The first time Lauren Jauregui was cleared to handle a call by herself, it was a freaking noise complaint.
Not that Lauren herself was complaining. Not really. She'd do whatever she could to make the world a better and safer place and if that meant busting some teenager's party to insure that the neighbors could get some sleep, so be it.
Only it wasn't that simple. Lauren had been sitting around the police station all day – her superiors had been trying this new thing where cops would keep to the station until necessary to prevent incidents like the disgusting bloodsheds that unfortunately still happened all over the country – when they called for her and she'd jumped out of her chair, ready to help with whatever needed.
Thing is, she hadn't been expecting a noise complaint. But, "The lady next door says she can hear a very loud and heated argument between a man and a woman. Plus, she thinks the woman is crying. She said she's just moved in so she doesn't really know either of them."
That certainly got Lauren's attention and soon everything about some punk partying too hard was forgotten. This was serious and so the young cop knit her eyebrows in concentration as she listened to her colleague and wrote down the address she'd drive to.
Lauren was fairly new to the force and had never come across something like this. The lady that had called 911 had said she was afraid for her neighbor and that she'd even heard a dull thump like a chair falling to the ground. She'd seemed very nervous according to her colleague and Lauren couldn't help but feel just as apprehensive.
If there was something she hated, it was abuse. Of any kind, shape or form. She guessed it must trigger her at some point, considering her history with her uncle. Regardless of her past, though, abuse was just- it was just bad. And as Lauren drove through the streets of New York, she hoped she'd get to her destination in time to prevent things from getting more out of hand than they probably were already.
Arriving at the apartment building she'd been sent to, Lauren buzzed the intercom of the lady who'd called so she'd let her in. Once inside, the young woman made her way up the stairs as fast as she could – no point in waiting for the elevator to get to the second floor, right? – but she couldn't hear anything but her breathing and her footste-
"Seriously? You can't even get that right? Fucking pathetic."
That was all Lauren needed to hear and she felt her blood boil as she walked up to the door.
"Don't you dare try and play the victim now, you hear me? Don't even-"
She guessed the doorbell and her loud knocking had startled the man into silence because for a second nothing could be heard.
Just as Lauren was about to basically start punching the door again, it was opened. In front of her stood a young woman about her age. She wore glasses, but they didn't hide the puffiness and redness of her brown eyes and if it weren't for the situation they were in, she'd take the time to really acknowledge how beautiful she was. But now was most definitely not the time, so.
"Hello, how can I help you?"
The shy and polite smile that stretched across her face was such a contrast to the redness of her eyes that for a second – but only a second – Lauren froze. The second was soon over, though, as she remembered how trying to pretend everything is fine was one of the most common reactions to abuse.
"Good evening ma'am, is everything alright?" Lauren tried, her intense gaze fixed on the girl's eyes in search of something, anything.
"Hmm, good evening, officer." She now fidgeted a little on her door step. "Yeah, I suppose so. Why?"
"Are you sure? We received a call from one of your neighbors about a couple fighting and when I got here, things looked bad." The girl in front of Lauren frowned a little and the young cop took a small step forward, averting her gaze to the living room behind her and looking for the man before returning her eyes to the girl's warm brown ones. "Look, if that man has done anything to hurt you, I can help. If he hasn't, I can also help. Either way, from what I've just heard, I think it may be best if I go inside..."
Lauren cut herself short when she heard the girl in front of her let out a chuckle. She'd expected tears. She could certainly deal with denial. But laughter?
"I'm sorry, it's just- you got it all wrong."
Lauren frowned. "What exactly have I gotten wrong?"
"I... okay, wait a second." She turned around. "Shawn! Get in here!" She shouted.
Shawn? Wasn't the guy's name Matt? Lauren furrowed her eyebrows in confusion and took a small step back when the woman turned to her again with an embarrassed smile.
A tall boy with brown hair joined them in less than a minute, looking kind of nervous.
"Hmm, hi." He said, scratching the back of his neck.
"You see." The small girl started. "Shawn and I are actors."
"Well, he's more into musicals and all since what he really wanted to be was a singer, but he's an awesome actor and he enjoys it so yeah." A small blush creeped into her cheeks as she probably realized she'd been babbling and she cleared her throat. "Anyway, we were just rehearsing for this play we're auditioning for and it's about a woman overcoming an abusive relationship so... yeah."
As if to emphasize, Shawn lifted up some papers he'd been holding and Lauren let go of the breath she hadn't even noticed she'd been holding. She reached for them and the boy was quick to oblige and hand them over. Lauren didn't need to look through it too much before she was sure they were telling the truth and soon she gave Shawn his papers back.
"I'm sorry we've wasted your time, officer..." The girl began.
"Jauregui. Lauren Jauregui." Lauren said and the girl snorted, making her frown.
"Cabello. Camila Cabello." The girl said with a deeper voice, smirking playfully while leaning against the door frame.
Lauren's eyebrows shot up to her hairline, making the girl – Camila, she supposed – blush slightly, but she couldn't help the way the corners of her mouth turned upwards in a small smile. Camila's cheeks were still a light shade of pink when she returned the smile.
Shawn cleared his throat and got back into the house, throwing Lauren back into reality. She hadn't even realized she'd held the brunette's gaze for more than a second but apparently she had and it was now her turn to blush. She guessed it wasn't her fault that Camila was cute.
"Well, okay then." Lauren started, clasping her hands behind her back and taking a step back. "You guys are okay, so I guess I'll leave. You should probably have a little chat with your neighbor though, she was really worried about you. And maybe try and rehearse lower next time, you don't wanna scare anyone else, right?"
"Right." Camila chuckled. "Thank you and will do, don't worry. Mrs. Banks is new to the building and I've barely seen her around, but I'll explain everything. I wish these walls weren't so damn thin, though." She sighed.
"Yeah." Lauren smiled, forgetting once again this wasn't a casual meeting. Shaking her head a little, she continued. "Have a good night, Ms. Cabello."
"You too, Lauren." Camila grinned and then looked mortified for a second. "I mean Officer Jauregui! Good night!"
Lauren only pressed her lips together to suppress a laugh and nodded before heading for the stairs.
Two weeks had passed since Lauren's weird noise complaint call. She couldn't say she'd minded it, though, as it had been quite the story to tell and remember. She also couldn't quite forget the color of Camila's eyes and if Lauren was being honest with herself, she didn't want to.
That was exactly what Lauren had in mind as she went into the coffee shop near her apartment. Her best friend from high school, Ally, owned the place and it had become her morning routine to stop by and order her black coffee. It'd been that way for almost four years and Lauren honestly couldn't remember ordering anything else to drink during both her college years and time in the police.
Today, Lauren ordered hot chocolate.
"What's with the sudden change, Laur?" Came a voice from her side just as Lauren had sat down at her usual table.
Sighing, Lauren turned to her grinning friend. Obviously Ally just had to be there to notice her new drink and tease her about it.
"I dunno." Lauren shrugged. "I wanted to change a bit. It's cold, I guess."
"It's always freezing in November and yet you always order your black coffee. Does this maybe have to do with some, I don't know, chocolate eyes?" Lauren didn't think Ally's grin could get any bigger, but she was proven wrong when she groaned and her friend giggled, sitting in front of her.
Lauren opened her mouth to answer, but the words got caught in her throat as her eyes locked with the ones they'd just been talking about. Camila stood by the door, having just walked in the coffee shop, all wrapped up in a scarf and a beanie. She didn't have her glasses with her this time and looked pretty damn cute. Lauren averted her gaze, but it was too late.
"Hey, Officer Jauregui, how are you?" Camila asked sweetly when she got to their table. She noticed the brunette wasn't alone and had a tall blonde friend by her side.
"Oh, hi! I'm, uh... Fine, thanks!" Lauren stumbled through her words like a fucking five year old and she couldn't believe how dumb she must've sounded. A quick look at Ally's face told her she wasn't the only one who thought that and not for the first time, the dark haired girl wished she hadn't told her friend about the whole thing with Camila. Said girl only smiled, though her friend shot her an amused glance. "What about you, Ms. Cabello?"
Camila's friend snickered for a moment before putting a hand on her shoulder.
"Oh, please, Ms. Cabello?" She chuckled. "You can call her Camila." She smirked mischievously and Camila blushed a little, swapping her friend's hand from her shoulder.
"Same goes for Lauren here." Ally nodded and pointed to Lauren, who was seriously trying to remember how many years she may get in prison if she killed her friend just to get that shit eating grin off her face. She should know, she was a cop after all.
"And I'm Dinah! And you're Ally, owner of this place. I know because I asked one of your baristas, which are all pretty nice by the way." The tall girl moved to sit beside Ally, who raised her eyebrows in surprise. "And since we're all acquainted now, I must say I'm addicted to your hot drinks, they're amazing!"
All Lauren could do at this point was stare with her mouth slightly opened at the scene before her. A small blush now creeped through Ally's neck as she thanked Dinah, but she actually seemed happy to hear the compliments. Meanwhile, Camila slowly took the seat next to Lauren's, who tried her best to stay still and focus her eyes in front of her. If Camila's hesitancy in sitting beside her was any indication, she guessed she wasn't the only one at least somewhat uncomfortable with the situation.
"You see, I discovered this place a little over a week ago and began ordering a different drink every day. And let me tell you girl, they're all amazing!" Dinah exclaimed.
Ally was now smiling and Lauren felt herself relaxing a little. A quick glance to her side showed her Camila was, too, getting more comfortable as Dinah spoke passionately about coffees and lattes. Lauren took this as an opportunity to try and start a conversation of her own.
"No glasses today?" She asked before mentally slapping herself. What a dumb question.
"Oh, I usually wear them at home, I'm wearing contact lenses now." Camila answered quietly after looking surprised for a second that Lauren had talked to her.
The green eyed girl only nodded and was about to say something else – she didn't even know what – when Camila turned to Dinah at the mention of her name.
"...So I was like 'Mila you're gonna love this coffee shop' and now here we are." She finally seemed to stop to breathe and smiled looking around the table.
Ally chuckled, a radiant smile now gracing her lips. "Thank you so much! I'm so happy you like it in here. I opened it like four years ago because I didn't really have the money for college and I've always loved to cook and bake – have you tried the cupcakes by the way?" Dinah nodded eagerly and Ally's smile widened even more. "Well yeah, so once Lauren and I finished high school she went to college and my parents helped me financially so I could open my own little coffee shop. It's grown a lot since then.
"That's awesome, girl!" Dinah exclaimed, grinning. "So it's all going according to the plan, then? This is what you've always wanted to do?"
Ally seemed to think for a moment before answering. "Yes and no. I mean, I do love it here and it's all going very well, but I'm hoping someday I'll be lucky enough to join the music industry. I've always wanted to sing." She finished, smiling softly.
"She'll do it for sure. When Ally sets her mind on something, there's no stopping her. And she's pretty amazing at running things here, so yeah, I'm pretty sure she can do it." Lauren finally joined the conversation – and with such conviction Ally turned to look at her fondly.
"Thanks, Laur." Her small friend said, her smile still present.
"That was really sweet." Camila pointed out, looking intently at Lauren with a shy smile of her own gracing her lips.
And just like that, Lauren was back to five year old mode. She smiled to the girl beside her but couldn't say anything else and suddenly it was just like that day two weeks ago when their eyes met and there was no telling how much time had passed until someone else broke the silence. In this case, it was Dinah.
"If you two are done with your weird staring match or whatever, I'm gonna order some cupcakes."
It could go without saying that Lauren felt her face burning up so much she was sure the fucking sun had decided to stop by the coffee shop.
"Well, I'm- I'm gonna go now... I gotta run or I'll be late at the station and... yeah." Lauren stuttered, looking at Camila, whose face was just as red as Lauren's.
The smaller girl only nodded and got up, allowing the young cop to move out of her seat. They stood awkwardly next to each other for a second before Lauren looked at Ally, who apparently found all of this very amusing. The glare Lauren sent her way was enough to make her get up , though, and she hugged Lauren goodbye with a knowing smile before saying bye to Camila and going back to her duties.
"How's life as a cop?" Camila asked suddenly, as soon as Ally had left.
"Okay, I guess." Lauren shrugged and tried not to let herself drown in those brown eyes once again. "You know, I'm given as many noise complaint calls as possible after our little encounter." She added, chuckling nervously while running a hand through her hair. Camila threw her head back in a big laugh and Lauren's heart fluttered for a second.
(She chose to ignore it.)
Camila's laughter slowly died and she seemed to think about something for a second before opening her mouth to say something, but Lauren beat her to it.
"How was the audition?" Lauren asked with genuine curiosity, though she couldn't deny she liked the way Camila's face lit up after the question.
"It went great! We got called back and the final decision comes out this Friday." She spoke passionately. "I really think we can make this play, even if the other auditions didn't go that well." Her excitement was so contagious that soon enough Lauren caught herself smiling widely at the girl in front of her.
"Happy to hear that." She looked at her clock quickly before meeting Camila's eyes again. "I'm sorry, but I really gotta go now, so good luck! I believe in you guys."
"Thanks you so much. It really means a lot." She made a pause and Lauren considered her options – would a quick hug be too much? – but before the dark haired girl could make up her mind, Camila gave her a little wave and continued. "Goodbye, Lauren. See you around." She said, smiling.
"Bye, see ya." Lauren answered, a smile of her own playing on her lips.
That Saturday, Lauren was about to call it a day – or rather a night, since it was past ten p.m. – when the station received a noise complaint. When one of Lauren's colleagues announced the call, almost everyone nodded at her or looked at her or just smiled mischievously at her and all the Latina could do was sigh and roll her eyes at basically everyone.
Thing is when she told people about the first noise complaint she'd handled, everyone found it pretty funny and soon enough she was Lauren Jauregui, criminology graduate, police officer and rehearsal buster – which was a ridiculous nickname in her opinion. Now they tried to push her way every noise complaint they got, which fortunately had only been two since then, and she'd been busy during one of them, which meant she only had to handle one.
(This time she did have to cut short a seventeen year old boy's party, but it wasn't her fault they didn't want to lower the volume of the songs at midnight and even threatened to pee on her. It wasn't her fondest memory.)
"Jauregui, we're waiting for you." Said one of her smirking colleagues, the one who had answered the phone call.
"Okay okay, gimme the address so I can solve this and go home." Lauren huffed.
"Don't be so grumpy now, Laur. It's probably just some teens again." Normani, her partner and closest friend in the force, said. Her tone was serious, but the huge grin on her face told a story of its own.
"Yeah, I don't remember you being all that happy about the noise complaint you had to handle." Lauren shot back with a smug grin as they walked together towards the phone desk.
That remark was enough to change Normani's smile into a scowl. "Well yeah!" It was now her time to huff. "You're not the one who was forced to go probably only because you're Rehearsal Buster's partner." The dark skinned girl finished matter-of-factly.
Lauren rolled her eyes at that – seriously, couldn't her friends have thought of a better nickname? –, but a small smile was threatening to appear on her lips. "I am Rehearsal Buster, you little shit."
"I know." Normani snickered. "I'll leave you to it, then. See you tomorrow."
"Bye, Mani!" Lauren said before turning back to Jefferson, who sat patiently by the phone with a piece of paper – the address, she supposed – on his hands. He gave it to her and winked before going back to whatever it was he'd been doing. "What is it?" Lauren asked, not even bothering to roll her eyes as they'd probably fall from their sockets due to the break of her optical nerves.
"Just a party." He shrugged.
Lauren nodded and read the address, raising her eyebrows all the way to her hairline as soon as she did so.
She grabbed her keys and practically ran outside, ignoring the laughter of some of her friends and colleagues. Lauren didn't care, she knew it was all good hearted mocking and she would deny it if asked, but she actually liked the way things were. Before, she would often feel sort of left out in the force, but that changed as soon as she became Rehearsal Buster.
(So what if she received a few threats from drunk teenagers? She could handle those.)
Soon enough Lauren was standing in front of the vaguely familiar building and buzzing the intercom of one grumpy sounding Mrs. Banks, who rushed to thank the young cop and open the door of the building for her.
Lauren rushed up the stairs, stopping for only a second to catch her breath at the corridor of the second floor and surely enough, the deafening sound of a bass beat could be heard from afar.
Lauren shook her head as she made a straight line to the apartment all the music was coming from, taking a deep breath before ringing the doorbell. Soon enough the door was shot open and yep, there she was, Camila Cabello in a white cropped top and black skirt combination, with a drink in hand and a grin splattered on her face. She looked beautiful with those clothes and light makeup and Lauren felt her heartbeat pick up at the sight.
"Lauren!" She exclaimed, stepping forward to hug the young cop, who was slightly startled by the sudden action, having been kind of caught midway giving Camila a once-over.
Before Lauren could push her away or hug her back or think for all that matters, Camila was already pulling away and turning to look over her shoulder.
"Everyone, listen up!" It was only now that Lauren noticed the other people at the party inside Camila's apartment. "It's Lauren The Cop! Let's give her a toast!"
Everybody cheered and raised their glasses and Lauren couldn't possibly be more confused than she was at that moment. Lauren The Cop? What the hell, as if Rehearsal Buster wasn't bad enough.
"Camila." She called, turning the smiling brunette's attention back to her. "What's going on? Lauren The Cop? A toast? I-"
Camila started giggling and Lauren realized what should've been obvious from the moment she got there: the girl was completely drunk. Lauren paused and studied her for a second before taking her arm and gently but firmly pulling her out of the apartment. She closed the door behind her, earning some cheers and whistles from the guests and a "woah there" from Camila.
"So you here to join the party?" Camila asked slowly once Lauren let go of her arm, taking one step closer to the green eyed girl.
Said girl then took one step back, which made Camila pout a little. Oh God, she had to stop being so damn cute so Lauren could focus on doing her job right.
"No, I'm here because I've got a very aggravated Mrs. Banks who was trying to sleep when your party started." She answered matter-of-factly.
Camila only giggled again. "I know. It's a celebration party for me and Shawn. We got the parts!" The brown eyed girl exclaimed excitedly.
And just like that, as much as Lauren wanted to be professional, she couldn't suppress her smile. "Really? Congratulations!" She said, sincerely. Camila nodded and moved in for another hug, but this time Lauren was prepared and stopped her. "You do have to tone it down, though. You have very thin walls and your neighbors want to sleep."
Camila nodded again with a serious expression, but the act didn't act long. Soon enough her big smile was back.
"Okay, sure." She quickly said, making Lauren furrow her brows. "Will you stay though? At the party, I mean."
"Wait a minute." She looked deeply into the girl's brown eyes, trying to read them in her drunken state. "You'll agree just like that?" Camila shrugged. "Then why was it that loud to begin with?" Another shrug. Lauren narrowed her eyes and the other Latina looked down, biting her bottom lip. "You said you knew about Mrs. Banks..."
Camila really did seem guilty of something, though Lauren still couldn't quite put all the pieces together.
Then it clicked.
"You knew I'd come! You knew I'd get the noise complaint because I told you I get all of them at Ally's coffee shop!" Lauren's eyes were wide as she stared at the girl in front of her, who had yet to look up.
They were quiet for a while and Lauren didn't really know what to think about what she'd just found out.
Then Camila muttered something.
"Sorry?" The young cop asked.
"I wanted you to come." Camila repeated, finally looking Lauren in the eye.
She seemed a lot more vulnerable now and Lauren's gaze softened immediately.
"You could've just invited me, you know?" She said softly.
"I didn't know how. Hell, I didn't know you. I got the news yesterday which meant I had to organize the party real quick and I didn't have your number and Shawn was driving me crazy and then I remembered our talk and I just- it seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sorry if it was inappropriate and I'll talk to Mrs. Banks and-" Camila was ranting non stop and her pout was back, but now Lauren was afraid she'd cry if she didn't do anything, so she took the girl's free hand and gave it a squeeze to gain her attention.
"Hey, hey, it's okay." Lauren smiled reassuringly. "Just don't do it again and ask for my number next time." She chuckled before realizing what she'd said. It was then that the five year old inside her decided to come out and play. "Well I don't mean it like that... but I mean, it could be like if you wanted it to, I'm just saying- phones are good for communicating and we should probably, you know, thank their inventor and stuff-" She was cut off by uncontrollable giggling, which was enough proof of the idiot she'd become.
Camila's laughter died down eventually, only to be replaced by that huge grin of hers again.
"Okay, you can give me your number if you want." The smaller Latina said, squeezing Lauren's hand and blushing a little.
Lauren, on the other hand, was blushing a lot. She didn't know what else to say, but when Camila started pulling her along towards the door, the dark haired girl seemed to wake up.
"I can't go to the party, I've got to report back at the station." Camila pouted, so Lauren tried a different approach. "Plus, look at me. I'm in my uniform for Christ's sake."
"So what? It's hot."
It was safe to say that now both their faces were a deep shade of red.
"Mmmkay." Lauren said, looking down at Camila's lips not for the first time since their first encounter. Shaking her head, she met the brown eyes once again. "What do you say I come back here in like half an hour? I'll just go back to the station and change."
Camila nodded eagerly, but Lauren raised a finger despite her smile.
"You gotta promise to turn down the volume though. And tell me what the hell is this Lauren The Cop crap!" She exclaimed with a playful scowl.
Camila giggled again with a cheerful "promise" before taking another sip of her drink, turning around and walking inside. Moments later the music was playing in a much lower volume, enough to make a party inside but not to traumatize old ladies.
Lauren stood there for a solid minute with a dumb smile on her lips. What was this girl doing to her?
Shaking out of her stupor, the green eyed girl rushed down the stairs and into her car, making her way to the station as fast as possible. She hadn't realized it until now, but it'd been ages since Lauren's last party, she was always either too tired or too busy to attend one. She certainly was tired now, but for some reason – that has absolutely nothing to do with a certain Latina – she didn't care.
Lauren parked her car and took a moment outside it to compose herself and walk like a decent human being towards the building. As soon as she set foot inside it, Normani made her way to her, smirking mischievously.
"How was it?" The dark skinned girl asked. She was only about a month older and they got along very well. She was Lauren's partner after all.
"Hmm... nothing much." Lauren lied, shrugging it off. If Normani knew what she was about to do, she'd be mocked for the rest of her life. "Just had to tell some people to lower the fucking volume, you know?"
"Yeah, no, sure." Normani nodded with an unimpressed expression. "Now tell me what really happened."
Lauren sighed and briefly told her that she'd attend the party she'd been called to take care of. She didn't give much details, only telling Normani it was Camila's, but that was enough to have the other girl biting her lower lip to contain the loud fit of laughter Lauren knew was trying to get out.
"Rehearsal Buster is kinda old, don't you think? I'm thinking Party Girl would suit you better." Normani said, appearing to be deep in thought, though her smirk told Lauren otherwise.
"Oh my God." Lauren groaned as she walked past her friend and headed towards the lockers. She could still hear Normani's laughter from afar.
When she returned, dressed in her skinny black jeans, a 1975 t-shirt and her leather jacket, Normani passed her by and muttered "go get her, Jauregui", which had Lauren blushing as she gave her report – leaving out some parts of it, obviously. Then, she rushed outside and into her car, back to Camila's house.
Arriving there, she buzzed Camila's intercom for the first time. A slightly familiar voice answered and asked who she was and upon hearing the answer, the door was opened in no time. Well, Lauren The Cop must be really famous amongst Camila's friends. It made her heart flutter, to think that the brown eyed girl told her friends about her.
When Lauren got to the second floor, the door to Camila's house was opened and the small Latina was planted on the doorway, as if waiting for the dark haired girl. When she noticed Lauren coming up the stairs, she broke into a huge grin and there went the stupid butterflies in Lauren's stomach again.
"Lolo, you came back!" She jumped to hug Lauren and this time the taller girl hugged her back tightly, ignoring for the time being the way her heart skipped a beat at the nickname.
"I said I would." She smiled brightly as they pulled away but kept in each other's arms. "You look beautiful."
"So do you." There wasn't even a bit of hesitation to Camila's words and Lauren felt her cheeks heat up a little. "I mean, thank you." The smaller Latina corrected herself, furrowing her brows in concentration. "But yeah, so do you." She smiled again before stepping back and taking Lauren's hand to drag her into the party. "Come on, I want you to meet my friends."
And so she did. Lauren talked to Shawn again, who had been the one to answer the intercom, and met a few girls named Jade, Hailee and Tori. Dinah was also there, and she hugged Lauren tightly – "Lauser The Cop! It's been too long!" – before excusing herself to grab more drinks. There was this couple making out who Camila told her were Harry and Louis – "You'll meet them later." – and other three guys, Niall, Liam and Zayn.
After saying hello to almost everyone, she could tell they were all a bit drunk, but no one seemed too out of it or close to passing out or throwing up. All of them looked older than twenty one, too, which was good (and by that she meant it made her feel less guilty for actually coming to the party). Camila herself was only more carefree and excited than what Lauren had learned to be her usual and besides a little goofiness and clumsiness – which Dinah had told her was completely normal for the shorter Latina – she seemed fine.
Lauren wasn't the most social person you could find, which was why she was – pleasantly – surprised to fit in so well in a party with eleven people, eight of which she didn't even know. Honestly? She was really enjoying it so far.
Now she was finally getting a drink with Camila and couldn't help herself but ask what had been on her mind since earlier.
"Why am I Lauren The Cop?"
Camila giggled. "Shawn told all of our friends about that noise complaint call you got and Zayn said it was like a good luck charm that it was so believable someone called the police." She took a pause and a sip of her drink before continuing. "Then after our run in at the coffee shop Dinah was like 'yo listen up, I met Lauren!' and our friends were like 'who??'" She chuckled and Lauren followed. She grabbed her cup and both girls made their way back to the living room. "So she said 'Lauren, the cop!' and that was it. Lauren The Cop was born."
"Why, I'm flattered to be the protagonist of such a beautiful story." Lauren joked, chuckling and earning a playful glare from Camila.
As the night continued, Lauren felt herself getting more and more intoxicated. She danced with Dinah, beat Louis in the karaoke she made Camila set up and even joined in an improvised game of beer pong. It was one of the best nights she'd had in quite some time.
"Hey, Lo, come here for a second." She heard Camila calling, but while she did smile at the nickname, she didn't turn her face as she was focused in throwing the ping pong ball in the right cup. She missed, which earned an "awww" from her partner, but Hailee would have to wait.
"What's up, Camz?" Lauren smiled, now turning to the brunette beside her.
Said brunette's grin got bigger and then turned soft but before Lauren's fogged mind could search for any hidden meaning to those actions, Camila was already grabbing her hand and dragging her to the sofa.
"You never gave me your number." Camila said, sitting close enough to Lauren that her left knee would bump together with the other girl's right one.
"You sure want it, huh?" The dark haired girl smirked, locking her eyes with Camila's.
"Not as much as you want to give it, huh." The brown eyed girl shot back.
"Sassy." Lauren chuckled.
"You're such a dork!" Camila suddenly exclaimed, giggling.
"Look who's talking." Lauren laughed a little more. "I don't mind it, I like your dorky self." She smiled fondly.
"I like my dorky self too." Camila said nonchalantly, making Lauren chuckle. "But I think I like you better."
All the while they were getting closer to each other and their thighs were now pressed against each other. Still, those words made Lauren's breath catch in her throat for a second.
"You know, I can't see you very well without my glasses. Do you mind coming a little closer?" Camila asked, her voice low and a little huskier than usual.
"You have your contacts on." Lauren answered with a smirk, but put her left hand in Camila's thigh anyway, turning her body to face the girl beside her.
"I know." She smiled slyly, her index and middle finger tracing Lauren's cheeks and leaving goosebumps all over her before going down and settling on the girl's neck.
Camila's thumb traced Lauren's lower lip and went on to caress her cheek after said girl started leaning in. Both brown and green eyes went shut and soon enough Lauren was tasting probably the softest pair of lips she'd ever kissed.
It was quick and chaste, and Lauren wanted more, so when they pulled back to look into each other's eyes for just a second, the green eyed girl didn't hesitate in closing the gap once again. This kiss was a bit deeper and Lauren cherished in the feeling of their lips moving together. She let her left hand wander up Camila's thigh as the right one pulled her closer. One of Camila's hands was in her hair and the other one was in her waist, though soon enough the shorter brunette found its way under Lauren's shirt.
Lauren smiled into the kiss as she felt Camila's hands on her bare back and chose that moment to press her tongue on the other girl's lower lip. She was immediately granted access and as the kiss deepened, so did her need for air. After a few more moments, they both pulled back, panting a little from the kiss. Lauren couldn't help the idiotic grin that made its way across her face as her eyes met Camila's and she was glad to see the brunette in front of her was just as happy as she was.
"Hot damn." Said a familiar voice behind her. "Get it, Mila."
Lauren turned her head to see Dinah – and almost everyone else – smirking. It was enough to remind her of where she was, and her cheeks seemed to catch fire right there.
She turned back to Camila, who was only smiling shyly, and ran a hand through her hair, chuckling.
"You still want my number?" She asked, tucking a lose strand of Camila's hair behind her ear and resting her hand gently on her face afterwards.
Camila giggled and leaned into the touch. "It can wait." She answered, her smile matching Lauren's.
As they kissed again, as Lauren felt Camila's lips curl into a smile and breathed in her scent, as someone changed the song in the background to "Kiss Me" by Ed Sheeran and Camila's friends cheered, the dark haired girl thought she should correct herself. This was definitely the best night she'd had in a long time.
Lauren woke up the next morning to the sound of her phone buzzing on the nightstand. Her body was warm and her eyelids felt heavy as she tried to open her eyes. Big mistake. As soon as the light hit her, not a second later, she closed them again. Her head was pounding and for a moment she couldn't remember why. Then it hit her: the party. Camila's party.
A party she couldn't remember ever leaving.
Lauren slowly opened her eyes again only to find herself in a strange room and a strange bed, with her phone resting on a strange nightstand. Something that wasn't strange, though, was the girl lying in front of the green eyed girl. Lauren realized then why she felt so warm, she was literally enveloping in the smaller Latina. Their legs were tangled together and her arm was draped across Camila's upper body as the girl's head was tucked under her chin, resting on Lauren's chest. Both her arms were hugging Lauren's torso and her warm, steady breathing sent shivers down the girl's spine.
Lauren's heart skipped a beat at the scene before her, both from slight panic and endearment. Panic because A: she shouldn't have slept over, B: she had a family lunch at her parent's house with her siblings and C: that was probably why her phone was buzzing. Endearment because Camila sleeping was probably the cutest sight she'd ever seen and she never wanted to get out of the bed.
Lauren smiled to herself as she felt the panic subsiding and memories from the night before came back to her mind. By the end of the party both girls had been so exhausted – and drunk – the only thing they managed to do was remove Camila's contact lenses – yes, both of them, because the owner of the brown eyes couldn't do it by herself but didn't want to get blind so she asked Lauren for help – and quickly remove their make up before falling on the bed.
Lauren's phone began buzzing again, effectively bringing her back to the present, but she didn't feel any kind of panic now, just this tiredness and warmness that threatened to take over her. She didn't want to pick up, know what time it was, get ready, meet her family. She wanted to go back to sleep and stay in bed with Camila forever. Lauren blamed the warm feeling in her heart for it, even if she didn't quite want to acknowledge what it was just yet.
Sighing, Lauren reached for her phone as quietly as possible so as to not wake up Camila and cringed as she saw the time. It was almost noon, which meant she should've been at her parent's house for almost half an hour now. The dark haired girl untangled herself from the apparently heavy sleeper beside her and closed herself in Camila's private bathroom.
"Hey, mom." Lauren greeted as soon as she answered the call, her voice hoarse from sleep and hangover. Her head still hurt and she honestly couldn't imagine a worst time to have lunch with her parents.
"What happened, Lauren?" Her mother's concerned voice reached her ears and Lauren shut her eyes tightly at the loud sound. "What's that voice? Are you okay?"
"It's nothing, I just overslept because I had a full day at work yesterday." She lied. Oh well, better than I partied all night and then slept at the host's house because I kind of have a crush on her and we made out a lot. "Sorry I'm late, I'll be there as soon as possible."
"Do you want to reschedule? We can if you're too tired." Clara, Lauren's mother, really was the best.
Still. "No, no, I'm going. Give me half an hour and I'll be there. I'm practically ready."
"But your apartment is further than thirty minutes from here." Clara countered, her voice growing suspicious.
"Hmm, I meant an hour, sorry. I'll be there in an hour, promise. Love you, mom! Bye!" Lauren quickly hung up and leaned on the sink for support as she thought about what to do next.
She was doomed, that was for certain. Okay, not really doomed, but her mom was already probably going on about the secret relationship she always assumed Lauren was in. If Lauren wanted to prove her wrong, or at least keep this quiet for now, she needed to hurry the fuck up. But first, she really needed to cover the multiple hickey on the side of her neck.
Lauren rushed out of the bathroom and grabbed her bag before going back inside and masking the bruises the best way she could. She also washed her face and put on some makeup to make herself more presentable after brushing her teeth with the tooth brush she kept on her purse when going to work – you never know, right?
When Lauren returned to the bedroom, she realized Camila still didn't have her number and she didn't have hers either, which meant she couldn't leave a text. Groaning, she looked around for a pen and some paper she could use, smiling when she caught sight of a small notebook in a corner of the room. The dark haired girl didn't waste any time in ripping off a page and writing down her number alongside a small note.
The words "sorry for not staying, had a family lunch, but at least now you have my number" were still fresh in Lauren's mind as she closed Camila's front door and rushed to her car.
Lauren was right to assume that her mother would be going nuts with theories about all the secret relationships she had. The girl's headache had already gone away by the time she arrived at her parent's house, but Lauren had a feeling it might be back by the end of lunch. If Clara's knowing smile when she greeted her daughter was any indication, she guessed she was probably right.
Lunch was as pleasant as it always was with Lauren's family, which were great people, but Lauren couldn't wait for it to end so she could go back to her place and sleep until her hangover went away. If anyone noticed how the green eyed girl seemed to stay away from any source of bright light and found it suspicious, they didn't mention it, but she bet everyone knew about her state and just didn't say anything. It's not like they'd never saw a hungover Lauren before, after all.
Talking revolved mostly around her siblings' college and her job, but eventually it all came down to relationships. Chris was in a lasting one, after all, so Lauren should've seen this coming.
"How's Emily, Chris?" Clara asked as they were starting to eat dessert.
"She's great." Chris smiled. "We're great, actually. We've been talking about moving in together so we can get out of our college dorms and live somewhere decent without going completely broke." He chuckled, taking a piece of the delicious pie their mother had baked. "Our jobs pay well enough, so why not, you know?"
Clara smiled proudly and Lauren couldn't help but share the feeling. Both Chris and Emily were in med school and yet he found the time and energy to work as a barista in Starbucks while his girlfriend waitressed tables at a dinner on campus. They were both pretty amazing, if you ask Lauren.
Taylor had just gotten into college, so she was mostly partying and not in any relationship right now, but that didn't stop their mother from speculating. Clara meant well and it certainly was kind of funny when you weren't under the spotlight, so all the siblings – nowadays only Lauren and Taylor – rolled with it, even if it was embarrassing and gave them minor headaches sometimes. So once the questionnaire with Lauren's sister ended and Clara turned to her, she braced herself.
"What about you, sweetheart?" Her mother started, looking at her with that knowing smile, though her eyes were loving. "Feel like sharing something with us?"
"Nah, not really." Lauren replied around a mouthful of pie. "There's nothing to tell, to be honest."
"So what are those on your neck?" Chris smiled, holding in his laughter.
Lauren's eyes widened and she shot her brother the most deadly look she could muster while she resisted the urge to cover the hickeys with her hands. Chris seemed scared for a moment but soon enough he started laughing quietly, joined by Taylor, who took a quick glance to her sister's neck before snorting.
"What? This? I just fell." She shrugged, trying to look nonchalant though she wasn't sure that was possible after the little scene with her siblings.
"On someone's lips?" Her father, Mike, spoke up wearing a smirk. Lauren swore to God he was worse than Chris sometimes.
"Okay dad, you have got stop watching reruns of Friends." Lauren muttered, looking down for a moment before meeting her mother's eyes again. "It's nothing, okay?" She smiled reassuringly. "I'm not secretly dating anyone, you'd be the first to know about any relationship I was in."
"Okay, but is that," Clara pointed to the apparently visible hickeys, "why you weren't home last night?"
"Oh my God."
Lauren let her head fall in her hands while her siblings cackled by her side and Mike reprimanded his wife for being tactless – "Let her tell us about the girls she hooks up with when she's comfortable, honey". When she thought the embarrassment couldn't get any bigger, her phone buzzed, but fortunately only Taylor saw it and Lauren sent her a look deadly enough to make her keep her mouth shut. She was a cop after all.
But when Lauren opened the text app under the table and saw a message by an unknown number that said "good morning, now you have mine too", a smile crept across her lips and she couldn't help but wonder if her mother had a sixth sense for this kind of thing. Lauren knew what she hoped for.
Lauren had her eyes closed as she panted heavily, but she still felt and heard Camila collapse by her side on the bed. She gave herself a while to breathe and recuperate from the most incredible orgasm the smaller girl had given her yet before opening her green eyes and locking them with brown. Smiling lazily but happily, she reached for Camila, who wore a similar expression and didn't hesitate but come closer.
"This was amazing." Lauren breathed, kissing the tip of her girlfriend's nose. "You're amazing."
"I know." The other Latina replied with a chuckle before scrunching up her nose in response and tilting her head up to give a smirking Lauren a proper kiss.
Camila had also gotten her release earlier, so for now the couple just exchanged light kisses and cuddled. They lied in each other's arms for a while, the room silent apart from the playlist playing on the stereo of Camila's room and Lauren couldn't help but think about the two months they'd been together now and how she couldn't remember ever being this happy.
(She knew her mother had probably never been happier when she told her she was in a relationship, even if she hadn't met Camila yet because of her busy schedule rehearsing for the play.)
"You know I love being like this, but I'm starving." Camila giggled into Lauren's neck, the sound of her voice and laughter vibrating through the taller girl's body.
Lauren couldn't help the loud laugh that came out at that. "You're always starving, Camz." She exclaimed, smiling fondly.
"It's really bad, though. I could probably eat an entire pizza right now." Camila stated, lacing her fingers together with Lauren's.
"I guess we could go out..." Camila shook her head very slightly and very slowly with an innocent expression. "Or we could just order."
"Yes! How do you always read my mind like that, baby?" Camila giggled happily before placing a gentle kiss on Lauren's lips.
"Must be magic." Lauren murmured against Camila's mouth before smiling and kissing her again, this time more deeply.
Camila pulled back shortly after that and Lauren guessed she didn't want things to escalate until she ordered her pizza. The green eyed girl was still sprawled on the bed, smiling as she saw her girlfriend get up and pick up the phone to order the biggest pepperoni pizza Domino's had. As soon as we she was done, she threw herself back on her bed.
Some song was playing and Lauren didn't even know who sang it but it had a nice beat and she couldn't say she minded the music as she scooted closer to Camila.
"What do you say we take a shower before the pizza arrives?" She murmured, her voice raspy and low.
The dark haired girl didn't even wait for an answer before she started leaving a trail of kisses down Camila's neck, lightly sucking on her pulse point the way she knew drove her girlfriend crazy. The moan she heard not a second later proved her theory and Lauren smirked against Camila's smooth caramel skin.
"I mean, to save water, obviously." Lauren paused long enough to say this before returning her attack on her girlfriend, moving to her collarbone now. She could feel Camila's hand squeezing her waist, where the girl's hand had previously been resting.
"I- I think. Lauren." Camila tried to formulate a sentence without much success. Chuckling, Lauren stopped for a moment to give her girlfriend the chance to speak. "Maybe we shouldn't, Lo. I mean, it's going to take twice as long and not save any water whatsoever."
Lauren let out a giggle and pecked Camila's lips quickly before tucking a strand of hair behind her girlfriend's ear. She knew the brunette was big on recycling and saving water and anything that was good for the planet. Lauren found it awesome and the number of things she'd learned in the two months she'd been dating Camila was mind blowing, but she couldn't help but also think it was endearing and – lovingly – make fun of her girlfriend for it.
"But if it takes twice as long as a regular shower, then it's the same as each of us taking our own shower and sharing one is so much more fun." She raised an eyebrow suggestively and gave Camila the smile she knew the brown eyed girl loved.
Camila was nodding – seriously at first, which was amusing to Lauren, but soon enough she was smiling – and bit her lower lip as if to contain a giggle from coming out of her or her smile from stretching too much across her face.
"Okay." She said simply before pulling Lauren even closer to kiss her one more time.
This time, Lauren was the one to pull away and get out of the bed, extending a hand to help her girlfriend up before leading her into the bathroom. Before they could take more than a couple of steps, though, the doorbell rang.
Both girls looked at each other, confused looks stamped on their faces. Lauren looked towards the door when she heard a few knocks and paused the music.
"Maybe it's the pizza?" She tried, her brows furrowed.
"They didn't buzz the intercom and it's too soon anyway. It can't be them." Camila replied, shrugging.
Sighing, Lauren walked around the room and grabbed one of Camila's robes from inside her closet. She did have a drawer but she didn't own a robe like that and knew her way around the smaller Latina's closet, especially since her own apartment was further from the station than Camila's and Lauren often used that as an excused to sleep at her girlfriend's.
"Go ahead if you want, I'm gonna go get it. It's probably just one of your neighbors." Lauren reasoned, looking over her shoulder as she walked out of the bedroom.
Camila shrugged and threw the green eyed girl a kiss before picking up her glasses from the nightstand and heading into the bathroom. Lauren turned her head again and went straight to the front door, picking up her pace as she heard yet another loud knock.
"Coming!" She called, before muttering a quiet, "Jesus, people really have no patience these days."
Lauren thought she should ask how she could help whoever was on the other side of the door.
Well, as she opened it and her eyes met Normani's, all thoughts vanished at once.
"What the fuck?"
"Lo? Is everything okay?"
The first thing that came into Lauren's mind when it decided to work again was that she was going to kill Mrs. Banks. The second thing was that Normani looked like she was about to let out the biggest fit of laughter she'd ever had in her entire life, so she did what any responsible grownup who had majored in criminology would do in such a situation: she lunched forward and covered her friend's mouth with her hand.
"What the fuck!" Normani repeated, this time more amused than confused, her voice muffled by her friend's hand.
It was then that Lauren heard Camila's footsteps behind her and oh God, this situation couldn't get any more embarrassing.
"Lauren, what are you doing?" Camila's voice sounded more alarmed than before, which was understandable. "Who is th- Oh! Normani, hi!"
A quick look back at Camila told Lauren the other girl caught on to what had happened and was just an embarrassed as she was. The green eyed girl knew that, out of the two of them, she tended to blush more often and more intensely, but Camila's face was about just as red as she guessed her own must've been if the heat on her cheeks were any indication.
Normani glared at Lauren, clearly over the whole "hand-in-mouth" thing, so the younger of the two took a step back, freeing her friend's mouth. Normani then turned to address Camila with a quick "hey Mila" before facing Lauren again. This was it. This was how Lauren would die – of embarrassment. She hoped her parents donated all her money to Green Peace or something, at least that way Camila would have something to be happy about after her departure.
"So..." Normani started, amusement returning to her eyes now that she was free to speak and breathe properly. Lauren took a step back to stand beside Camila, who held her hand and intertwined their fingers. "I'm sure you're familiar with Mrs. Banks by now."
They surely were.
"Well she called us because you two were listening to too loud music aaaand because certain noises could be heard through it." Normani concluded, attempting – and failing – at keeping a straight face.
If Lauren really wanted Green Peace to have her money when she died, maybe she should've written something. There would be no time now, she could already feel her heart giving out.
"Why can't Mrs. Banks just talk to us?" Camila suddenly exclaimed, her brows furrowed. "It's not like I live far away, it's literally one door to the right."
She was flustered and slightly aggravated, but the color on her cheeks had begun to fade and she even seemed to be okay with the situation, which, how?
Normani only shrugged at Camila's question. "Well, I don't know, but by the looks of you two I can guess what the noises were and well, I'll just be on my way then?" Normani chuckled. "Bye Mila." Then she turned to Lauren with a mischievous grin. "Bye, Screamer, try keeping it low next time."
Oh my God.
When even Camila couldn't suppress a loud snort, a fit of giggles and a breathless "bye Mani", Lauren's eyes widened and she let go of her girlfriend's hand. Both her and Normani – who had made no motion of leaving despite having said fucking goodbye already – were laughing and Lauren just felt so betrayed. Well, not really, but she felt like digging a hole on the ground so she could stick her head in it and never ever talk to either of them again.
So she did the best next thing: she ran inside.
Normani's laugh was already dying by then but like a phoenix it rose from its ashes with full force after Lauren's quick escape. The green eyed girl guessed she must've doubled over by now, which she always did when she laughed too hard. But who cares? Where was her ID? Her passport? How long until she could change her name?
"Wait, Lo, no." A chuckle. "Oh God, I gotta go Mani, we'll talk later okay?"
"Sure, bye Mila."
Why did Normani like to say goodbye so much? Did she not understand that after the first one you're supposed to go?
Lauren heard the front door shutting but she was already at Camila's bedroom, closing herself inside it.
"Lo, wait, come here. St-"
She didn't see Camila or heard what she said next because the door was closed and her face was buried on her pillow. Literally. Lauren couldn't even breathe properly because she just threw herself on the bed and lied on her stomach. Not even the sound of the door opening drew her attention or made her change her position.
"Did you just close the door on my fa- face?" At first Camila sounded kind of mad, so Lauren thought she should turn to face her, but her voice got softer as she spoke and she hesitated on the last word, so Lauren didn't. Before she could do anything she heard a sigh. "You act all tough and stuff but you're honestly such a dork sometimes. How can I be mad at you when you're like that? It looks like you're dead or something."
"I am." Lauren's voice was so muffled by the pillow even she couldn't hear herself, so she finally turned her head so the side of her face was resting against the pillow while she continued to lie on her stomach. "I am. Dead, I mean. Of embarrassment."
Lauren could finally see Camila. Her girlfriend had been standing near the door with her arms crossed and a half amused, half mad expression on her face, but a fond smile took its place across it as soon as Lauren spoke up. Camila's brown eyes also softened and she uncrossed her arms, sighing before shaking her head lightly and walking towards the bed. She sat on the edge of it, all the while not breaking eye contact with the raven haired girl, and began running her fingers through Lauren's hair.
"It's not that bad, baby. It's just Mani." Her smile got a little bigger, but was just as loving as initially.
"Exactly. Do you think it's too late to change my name to Emily and move to Canada?" Lauren asked around a yawn. It was late after all and they'd had quite the activity earlier.
"Nope." Camila answered, popping the p. She was just so cute, Lauren just had to smile up at her while the younger girl scrunched up her nose. "But I do like the name Lauren and Canada is even colder than New York, so let's just stay here, okay?"
Lauren's breath caught in her throat at accidental confession.
"You'd follow Emily to Canada?" She asked quietly, turning her body and propping herself on her elbow so she could face Camila better. "But this is your home."
Said girl's hand stopped her motions on Lauren's hair as the meaning of her words probably dawned on her. Soon enough she was retreating her hand and Lauren felt her heart fall. That is, until Camila took off her glasses, returned them to the nightstand and lied down beside the dark haired girl, softly pecking her lips.
"Of course I would. Home is where your heart is at, it doesn't have to be a place." Camila smiled shyly and Lauren couldn't help the grin that took over her face. "I'd follow Emily anywhere." She added sweetly.
Lauren threw her head back in laughter before letting herself fall back on the bed and hugging a surprised Camila to pull her as close as possible. Their noses were touching now and they were so close Lauren could barely resist the urge to lean forward and kiss the shit out of her girlfriend.
"What about Lauren?" She asked with a smirk, her voice low.
It was Camila's time to chuckle as she slapped Lauren's shoulder. "Cut the bullshit, Jauregui."
"Make me, Cabello."
So she kissed her. Deeply. And sure as hell, that did the job. At some point they both had to pull away for air, though, and Lauren let her gaze wander across Camila's face. Her eyes were still closed and her cheeks were flustered, but she had a bashful smile on her face and Lauren honestly didn't know what she'd done to deserve such an amazing girl. At this point Lauren was pretty sure she loved Camila – actually, she knew she was madly in love with her – but they hadn't exchanged those three little words yet, so she told her girlfriend whatever her heart felt like expressing at the moment.
"You're beautiful, you know?" She said in a soft tone. Camila's eyes opened slowly at that, her cheeks slightly redder than before. "Inside and out." Lauren continued, reaching for Camila's cheek and caressing it with her thumb. Her girlfriend leaned into the touch, her eyes fluttering as they closed once more, and her smile widened.
"You're too good for me." Camila whispered contently before opening her eyes again. "And way more beautiful than me, while we're at it."
Lauren scoffed. "Am not."
"Yes you are."
"I can do this all night, I don't have to work tomorrow." Lauren suddenly blurted out, raising an eyebrow in challenge.
"You know, we still haven't taken that shower and we barely have clothes on... I could think of other things we could do all night." Camila suggested, the innocence in her tone contrasting the look in her eyes.
Lauren guessed it didn't have the effect Camila planned on achieving, because the only thing she managed to do was grimace and hide her face on the crook of the brown eyed girl's neck.
"Oh God." She groaned. "Normani is probably laughing her ass off with the whole station by now."
"Oh, baby, no, it's okay." Camila apparently struggled to contain her own laughter at the moment as she was reminded of what had just happened, but she kept her arms around Lauren and rubbed her back soothingly so the green eyed girl didn't really care. "I'm sure they won't bother you... too much."
"Have you met them?" Lauren pulled back to look into brown eyes. "I went from Rehearsal Buster to Party Girl in like two weeks and then there was the babe fiasco..." Camila let out a loud chuckle at that, but Lauren ignored it as she continued. "And now I'm gonna be Screamer forever. And it wasn't even me! You're the one that's too loud."
"Can you blame me, though?" Camila asked, biting her lower lip.
(Probably to keep her grin from stretching too much. This girl.)
"Good point." She smirked a little. "Anyway, maybe you should find a new apartment. These walls are way too thin, Mrs. Banks is probably hearing this entire conversation."
"I don't know, maybe we should thank her." Camila said, now moving her hand up and down Lauren's arm. "We wouldn't have met each other if it wasn't for her."
"True, but wouldn't you like some privacy? Like, when we're at my place, no one ever disturbs us." Lauren pointed out.
Camila stared into nothing and stayed quiet for a while after that and while their silence was usually comfortable, for some reason Lauren felt the need to break this one.
"I was just thinking..." Her hands, which were still absentmindedly caressing Lauren's arm, suddenly came to a halt as she locked her eyes with Lauren's. "Do you think it's too soon to move in together?"
Lauren hoped her gasp wasn't audible, but by the way Camila averted her gaze and retreated her hand from the older girl's arm, she guessed it had been.
"Sorry, it is, I- I shouldn't have asked at all." She stuttered, but Lauren only shook her head and grabbed her hand.
Camila's insecure side usually came out on subjects like this, but there really was no need for it. Lauren had been surprised, but that was all. If she were being honest, she had thought about it herself on more than one occasion. And while yeah, it could be considered too soon to move in together, she didn't really care about socially acceptable standards when she knew there would be no one else she'd want to share a house with. At the end of the day, like Camila herself had said, home wasn't necessarily a place. To Lauren, it was a certain brown eyed Latina who had stolen her heart – and she had no intention of taking it back.
So she brought Camila's hand to her lips and kissed her knuckles, one by one, before telling her that.
Watching a huge grin make its way across Camila's face was the best answer she could have received. And when the pizza arrived and Camila got up to pay for it, she thought maybe her girlfriend was right: she should thank Mrs. Banks. If it weren't for her, she might have never met the one person that made her happier than she ever thought possible.
Lauren finally got up to join Camila on the living room and the look on her girlfriend's face when their eyes met felt so much like home that Lauren figured they could be anywhere and she'd be happy as long as they were together.
If Lauren could name a facial expression, she'd say it looked like falling in love.
Maybe words weren't always needed after all.