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summer loving (happened so fast)

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Her aunt won’t shut up. 

 

It is one in the afternoon, and her aunt won’t shut up. 

 

One in the afternoon may not seem like a particularly dramatic time to anyone, but Ann has been awake since three, has suffered through an hour long taxi journey, a four hour flight next to a man who would not stop brushing her thigh with his hand, two temporarily lost pieces of luggage, an hour long road trip cramped into a car far too small for the entire Walker family, and now the goddamn pool is broken and her aunt won’t shut up

 

So. One might say that Ann Walker’s holiday wasn’t exactly going swimmingly, considering it was thirty one degrees celsius and she would literally kill a man to take a dip in the pool. 

 

Which, you know, would be great, if said pool’s filters weren’t making a frankly terrifying grating noise and the screen inside the pool filter room wasn’t flashing ERROR, ERROR in big, red, scary letters. 

 

Ann had gone in to investigate once Eliza had started making phone calls to her circle of friends back home in Halifax, which naturally started Aunt Ann off with her complaints of “Why can’t you spend one day without reporting back to those women, Eliza!”, and Eliza’s husband William was on the phone to whoever owned the villa except none of them knew Greek, and Ann decided that exploring was a much safer option than getting caught in the great battle of William Priestly versus Google Translate. 

 

She didn’t find much, the pool filter room was small and apart from the glare of the error sign, contained nothing of importance. Cracking the door open and hearing her various family members still yelling, she decided to slip around the side of the villa. 

 

It was beautiful, she’d give her family that. They certainly knew how to pick out a holiday. And despite - well, despite their general argumentative and overbearing nature, they were the only family she had. Besides, not every nineteen year old got to go to a tiny Greek island for two weeks after their first year of university. In that regard, she was pretty lucky. 

 

She walked round the side of the house, stopping to scoop her golden curls up into a ponytail as the back of her neck quickly coated in a thin layer of sweat due to the heat. Catching her reflection in a window, she grimaced. She looked exactly how she felt. She traced her hand along the side of the wall, smelling the bougainvillea that was creeping around, delighting in the bright pink and sweet white of the petals. She knelt down, picking up a handful, and childishly threw them up in the air, giggling as they swirled around her, landing in the folds of her long white skirt and a few in her hair. 

 

This place was exactly what she needed. University was... difficult. It was difficult, and lonely sometimes, and yes, she only lived a forty minute drive from home, and yes, she was doing history of art which she loved but... She was different from the others. They seemed to have so much happiness and not a care in the world, and she was stuck in summer two years ago, with a car crash that only she came out of. 

 

But here, there were cicadas, and they didn’t seem to mind that she was a little bit sad all the time, and neither did the little jay who was sat on the fence, staring curiously at the girl with twigs and petals in her hair, and a rosy blush from the heat tinting her cheeks. 

 

“Hello, sir. What can I do for you today?” She questioned, giggling slightly when the bird tilted his head. 

 

“You’re very, very handsome, did you know that?” 

 

“I hope you don’t expect him to respond, jays aren’t particularly known for their inter species communication.” Came a voice from behind her, and she whipped around in fright. 

 

Trouble is, the body belonging to the voice was stationed far too close to her - personal space who? - and by turning around quite so ferociously, she ended up bumping into the body, and due to her - shall we say, excessive lack of both special awareness and balance, Ann tried to overcompensate for rocking backwards and ended up sending both of them to the floor. 

 

Where she realised a couple of things. 

 

One, the voice belonged to a body. A female body. 

 

Two, the body was clad in just a swimsuit. Nothing more, nothing less. 

 

Three, the body was quite possibly the most perfect body she had ever seen. 

 

The collarbones protruded ever so slightly, giving a sharp edge to an otherwise smooth, tanned chest, the arms were gloriously toned with a tantalising vein standing out on both forearms, leading to long fingers that were clamped gently around her biceps to keep her steady. The swimming costume was only a plain navy one, but the dip of the front and the angle at which she was looking allowed her a view at sensual, milky white, aching-to-be-kissed- 

 

“Are you enjoying yourself?” A low, smug voice said, accompanied by an equally as deep chuckle. 

 

Ann then realised another thing. 

 

The body, which she had been staring, quite unabashedly at for some moments, was attached to a head, which had a mouth on it, which was smirking at her. 

 

It was at that moment that Ann’s eyes connected with her brain, and she realised that she was straddling a swimsuit clad stranger - albeit a very attractive one - and that she had been doing so for at least two minutes. 

 

“Oh my- I- oh my God I- I’m so sorry I- I was just, and then you, and I- I really am quite clumsy, I-” Ann rushed to stutter out as she scrambled backwards. 

 

“It’s-” 

 

“No you must understand, I’m-” 

 

“Honestly, don’t-” 

 

“I’m so tired, it’s, it’s been a long day and- I- I didn’t see you or hear you and then you were there and I’m awfully sorry, I’m so sorry for- well, for everything that just happened.”  

 

The other girl - woman? - person stood up lithely, movements as athletic as her body looked, and swiftly offered a hand to Ann, still sitting on the floor like some kind of helpless lemon. 

 

“Hey. It’s fine. I shouldn’t have snuck up on you like that.” She said, but the way her lips curled up into a smirk suggested that she thoroughly enjoyed it. 

 

Before Ann could embarrass herself (yet) again, she removed her hand from where it was thoroughly enjoying its stay in this other person’s grasp, and tried to smooth some of the creases out her skirt. 

 

“I, sorry, um, who are you?” 

 

“My name is Anne Lister. I work at some of the villas around here.” Anne Lister reached up and plucked a few petals from her tangled mess of curls. “And might I enquire who you are?” 

 

Ann blushed, and though she told herself it was because of the embarrassment of her dishevelled appearance, she knew it was because of the utterly charming, slightly impish grin that Anne Lister had shot her when she asked who she was. 

 

“I’m Ann Walker. I, uh, I’m staying here for the next two weeks. With my family.” 

 

“I see. Well, Miss Walker, I believe I have some pool issues to rectify. Would you care to join me?” Anne offered her beautifully golden skinned arm to Ann, and before her brain could connect to anything and tell her it was a terrible idea to go around feeling the forearm muscles of a girl she’d just physically accosted, she nodded her head. 

 


 

After what Ann was now referring to as the Incident of Holiday Day One, she couldn’t get Anne Lister out of her head. She felt like one of those idiot girls in school, always checking to see whether her makeup was perfect in case her crush of the week came along. Ann had never been like this before, ever, but she physically couldn’t stop thinking about her. Watching Anne fix the pool, standing in the shallow end with a pool testing kit, unscrewing the filter, had been utterly enticing. She could still see her rippling biceps as she hauled stuff around by the pool, could imagine what those muscular thighs would feel like under her hands, could dream about the toned muscles of her abdomen leading to her hipbones, and the soft- 

 

“Ann, are you quite alright?” Eliza asked her sharply, and she sprung back to consciousness guiltily to see the entire table of relatives staring at her. 

 

“I- yes, I’m, I’m fine, I’m just-” She flailed slightly, nearly knocking over her glass of orange juice before William grabbed it and steadied it. 

 

“Are you sure, dear? You seem... flushed.” Her Aunt added, and she brought the back of her hand to her cheek and found that yes, indeed, she was quite flushed. 

 

“Are you... unwell... again?” Eliza added, and Ann felt a cold feeling set over her body. 

 

“No, no, of course not. Just tired from yesterday. In my own little world. I might, I might go to the pool, thank you for breakfast, Aunt, Eliza.” She hurriedly thanked them, before wiping her mouth with a napkin to remove the traces of pastry and darting out of the kitchen to her bedroom upstairs. 

 

She closed the door behind her, back pressed to the cool wood as she tried to calm herself down. She didn’t like anyone alluding to her... illness, but her family had a way of making enquiries sound like a threat. “Are you unwell?” actually meant “You better not be sick again, Ann, we spent an awful lot of money on therapy, hasn’t that cured it?”. 

 

But they really were just looking out for her. 

 

Sighing, she pulled a bikini out of the chest of drawers in her room, a simple black one, and she stepped out onto the balcony, admiring the view. There were olive trees scattered around, as if whoever planted them had done so absent-mindedly, and beautifully coloured plants all around. A dragonfly, a huge red one, came to land on the railing in front of her, and she gasped quietly. How beautiful it was, and she edged her hand closer and closer, millimetre by millimetre until her finger was just next to it, enthralled by the way it’s iridescent wings glinted and changed colour in the sunlight. 

 

“Nice outfit, Miss Walker.” Came a voice from below, and Ann felt her entire body tense and flush as she realised who it was. 

 

She glanced down and, sure enough, there was Anne Lister, except- 

 

Oh, god, except she was wearing a sports bra and running shorts, and she was carrying a pair of garden shears that she had swung over her shoulder and, oh goodness, she could see her abs even from up here and she was sweating, and Ann was actually about to combust. 

 

“I-” she cleared her throat when her voice cracked. “Hi, Anne.” 

 

“You look amazing.” Anne said, and oh lord, if she wasn’t mistaken she winked, and Ann nearly lost feeling in her legs. 

 

“I- um, thank you. You look...” Ravishing. Incredible. Sexy. Irresistible. “... Hot.” she managed, then blanched when she realised what she said. 

 

Too late, Anne was already grinning at her. “Oh really?” 

 

“No, not, not hot, like, sexy, like- like hot like warm, not that you’re- not that you’re not sexy, you’re, you are, you’re... warm. You look warm.” She finished meekly, face bright red, palms sweating profusely (and not just because of the heat) and mind wishing she could disappear into the depths of the earth. 

 

“I think somewhere in there was a compliment, so thank you, Miss Walker. I should be going, have a nice day.” Anne Lister winked again, undoubtedly aware of the effect she had on the blonde, before she walked away. 

 

And if anyone asked, Ann Walker did not stare at her ass as she did so. 

 


 

It was day five of the holiday and after incidents one and two, she hadn’t seen Anne Lister around, which dismayed her because god, was she insanely pretty, but also relaxed her, because she always seemed to be making a fool out of herself. 

 

The family had decided to take a beach day, leaving early in the morning and trundling back quite late, leaving seemingly everyone in the house exhausted but Ann, who lay awake until past eleven. 

 

After tossing and turning for what seemed like hours, she slipped out of bed, white nightgown making her look like a dainty little ghost as she drifted along the hallway and down the stairs. She wandered around the ground floor before the glint of the pool caught her attention, illuminated by the underwater lights that turned it an enticing turquoise blue. 

 

She unlatched the sliding door and slipped out, bare feet padding across the stone until she was at the edge of the pool, toes just grazing the still lukewarm water. A thought crossed her head, but she bit her lip and shook her head at herself. Really, skinny dipping by herself was just a bit weird. 

 

Instead, she pulled her white nightdress up to her thighs and sat down on the edge, a pleasant shiver settling over her skin as she lowered her feet and shins into the water. It was quite serene out here, only cicadas to keep her company. She liked being by herself. She was good at it. She wasn’t good at being around people, they all moved so... fast. They spoke like she wasn’t there sometimes, like she couldn’t see the barely concealed digs at her, but before she could even think about defending herself they’d have moved on. 

 

“Don’t speak to Ann about that, it’ll stress her out.” 

 

“Elizabeth was pretty, caught all the boys’ eyes, unlike little Ann here.” 

 

“She needs someone to stay with her, look after her.” 

 

All these opinions about Ann, and she never got a say in what happened to her. She was little orphan Annie, too old to be properly pitied and too young to know what to do with herself after her family left her. 

 

She swirled her feet in the water. How silly she was, sitting out here feeling sorry for herself. If one of her aunts saw her they’d have her institutionalised. She made a move to leave, but as she did, a small gasp sounded behind her. 

 

She spun around, and- 

 

And there was Anne Lister, stood still like a statue, a slightly sheepish expression on her face. 

 

“I- Anne?” 

 

“Ah, hello.” 

 

“Whatever are you doing in the garden at midnight?” 

 

Anne grinned, embarrassed, and ran a hand through her hair, trying to pull back the many wispy strands that had fallen from her ponytail. 

 

“Well, it’s my job to top up the chlorine in the pools once a week, but...” 

 

“But what?” 

 

“Well, you looked rather peaceful. A little melancholy though. Are you okay?” Anne’s brown eyes were concerned, and Ann noticed how the pools lights reflected in them, making her seem ethereal. 

 

“I suppose, yes.” 

 

“Would you like to talk? You were sitting so still, so calmly. Gave me a shock, you look like a little ghost.” Anne said, grinning as she made her way to the side of the pool next to Ann, before sliding her sandals off and sitting like Ann, her feet in the water. 

 

“My brain just seems to be... getting away with itself tonight.” 

 

“Anything I might be able to help with?” Anne ordered, and Ann found herself talking without giving herself permission to. 

 

“Have you ever- Do people ever judge you for something, and then they seem to have this view of you for the rest of your life? And no matter what you say or do, you’re always going to be that person to them? You’ll never change, no matter how hard you try. How hard you try to seem... normal.” 

 

To her surprise, Anne laughed. A dry, understanding laugh, full of self-deprecation. “More than you’ll ever know, Miss Walker.” 

 

“I can’t imagine anyone thinking ill of you, Anne.” Ann confided, blushing as the brunette looked towards her sharply. 

 

“You barely know me.” She remarked, and Ann blushed harder. She was being silly. 

 

“I suppose.” She looked down at the water, kicking her feet. When she looked up, Anne was still staring at her, an odd expression on her face. “What is it? What’s wrong?” She worried, bringing a hand up to feel her unruly hair. 

 

Anne caught it on the way up, her other hand coming to stroke her cheek. Ann was frozen in place, feeling almost like the brunette was burning her where they were touching. 

 

“You might be the most beatific creature I’ve ever laid eyes on.” She murmured, and Ann felt her whole world stop. 

 

Surely this wasn’t happening to her, surely Anne Lister couldn’t be complimenting her. 

 

“Ann Walker, would you mind terribly if I kissed you?” The words were barely a whisper, and Ann barely had the brain capacity to nod before Anne’s lips were on hers. 

 

She tasted sweet. Her lips were warm and soft, and the hand that was on her cheek moved to her neck to pull her in closer. Ann shuddered slightly as teeth accidentally grazed her lower lip, and Anne smiled into the kiss as she realised. Ann brought a hand up tentatively to rest it on her side, a thumb stroking her rib cage and digging in with surprise as a tongue tenderly brushed her lip. 

 

Ann barely realised that Anne was pulling away, eyes shut in ecstasy as she revealed in what was undoubtedly the sweetest kiss she had ever experienced. 

 

Anne chucked, not cockily like Ann would have expected, but fondly. “Was that okay?” 

 

“It was... it was brilliant.” She said, dreamily. Anne rubbed the underside of her jaw with the pad of her thumb, and she felt herself sinking into the tough. “I barely know you.” She repeated, and the stroking stopped. 

 

“That’s true.” 

 

“You don’t know me, either.” 

 

“Also correct.” 

 

“Why did you kiss me?” Ann questioned, eyes battling between focusing on the brunette’s soft, soft lips or her glowing eyes. 

 

“Because I’ve been wanting to do that since you said hello to a jay sitting on a fence, covered in flower petals and utter joy.” Anne said, staring into her eyes, not a shred of untruth in her words. 

 

“You- you really wanted to kiss me?” Ann said, blushing and darting her eyes down to her lap. 

 

“More than anything.” 

 

“That’s good.” Ann said, still not looking up. 

 

“Hmm?” 

 

“Because I rather wanted to kiss you too.” She confessed, and Anne almost startled, her breath hitching slightly. 

 

“Well I suppose that works out quite nicely, doesn’t it?” She said, and she leant in for another kiss, this one somehow even softer, more tender, and Ann moved her hand from Anne’s side to her cheek, feeling the smooth skin there covering the sharp, angled cheekbone. 

 

They broke apart and Anne chuckled, a low raspy one that send shivers right through Ann’s body, and they learnt their foreheads together. 

 

“I should really be doing the things I’m getting paid to do, Miss Walker, and I expect your family would have a fright if they saw you kissing the pool girl outside at midnight.” 

 

Ann flushed a bright red at the idea of her family catching her kissing a girl she’d only known for five days - hang on, kissing a girl at all, regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. 

 

“I think you’re right. Will you- Do you think you... you might be around tomorrow?” 

 

Anne smiled, then looked somewhat regretful, and Ann felt her stomach drop. 

 

“No, I’m sorry, you’re busy, it doesn’t matter.” It was just a stupid kiss. How ridiculous she was being. 

 

“No! No, Ann, I do, I want to see you. There are two families moving in tomorrow and the day after. I fear I may not have enough time to come and see you.” She picked Ann’s hand up and brought it to her lips, pressing them to her knuckles again and again until Ann was positively tingling. 

 

“But you do... you would like to see me?” She didn’t mean to sound so timid, so needy towards this girl she’d known for less than a week, but she couldn’t quite stand the thought of Anne not wanting to see her again. 

 

“Goodness, Ann. Of course I’d like to see you. I would very much like to see you, and if you would consent to it,” Anne brought her face closer, until their lips were just brushing each other, just touching, and Ann tried to tilt her chin to press them together more forcefully, only for the brunette to pull away with a smirk on her face. “I would love to kiss you again.” Ann whimpered, and the other girl chuckled. 

 

“You are such a tease.” Ann feigned annoyance as she climbed out the pool, giving herself away with the dazed smile on her face. 

 

“And you should probably get inside before your aunt notices you’re not in bed.” Anne murmured, pecking her on the cheek and leaving Ann to wonder what she meant as she slipped into the pool room, only for her to realise a light had turned on upstairs, and she quietly cursed before darting inside the house. 

 

It was only after she had managed to convince her aunt she was just getting a glass of water and she was curled up in bed that she realised how utterly bizarre the entire situation was. 

 

She didn’t even know whether she liked girls or not - well, she clearly did, but... she had never kissed one before, only admired them from afar, and here she was, having midnight trysts with the pool girl. 

 

Goodness. This holiday was turning out to be far more than enjoyable than she originally anticipated. 

 


 

See, logically, Ann knew that Anne was busy. 

 

Ann knew that people caused problems in villas all the time, and that was why it was day nine and there had been no sight of her since the kiss on day five, even though she said that she would be busy on day six and seven and said nothing about day eight or nine, which begs the question, where was Anne Lister? 

 

And yes, logically she knew that she was busy and doing pool girl things but the illogical part of Ann’s brain was very clearly telling her that Anne simply had no interest in her any more, that the kiss was on a whim and not very satisfying at all, and that Ann was all just a big joke to the other girl. 

 

Which may or may not have lead to a few frustrated tears slipping out the corner of her eye as she prepared herself a sandwich for lunch, which she angrily wiped away because this was a girl she had known for a week for Christ’s sake, why on earth was she crying as she cut the loaf of bread? 

 

But really, she knew why she was crying, because Anne Lister had seen her so clearly on day five, and she hadn’t looked at her strangely, and the kiss was so unlike any other hard, wet kisses she’d unfortunately had with members of the male sex, and really she thought something romantic and movie-like and brilliant was finally happening to her. 

 

To little orphan Annie, without a mum or a dad or any of her siblings, to the girl that a boy took to prom out of pity, to the girl that was waved at guiltily as her coursemates went out for pizza without her when she walked past. 

 

And really, who could blame her for being a tad upset when Anne Lister was so very charming? She was charming and brilliant and she had Ann wrapped around her little finger with just a look, and she really did look sincere when she told her she wanted to see her again. 

 

To kiss her again. 

 

And so maybe her being a tad upset was a bit of an understatement, and maybe that was why she found herself next to the pool filter with a small (okay, medium sized) rock in her hand. 

 

There were plenty of reasons a rock could end up in the pool filter. An animal could have done it. It didn’t have to be a manmade issue. 

 

Okay, maybe it had to be manmade, she thought, and once again she marvelled at Anne’s strength as she tried, nearly unsuccessfully, to wrestle the lid off the pool filter. It required an inhumane combination of coordination and strength, neither of which Ann had, but after channeling her frustration she managed to wrench it off. 

 

Checking once more that none of her family members were outside or within view, she plopped the medium sized (okay, large, it was large) rock into the hole and watched with equal parts guilt and mild excitement as it sunk to the bottom, before settling in between two slats of the fan type thing with a clunk, which unceremonially stopped the machine from working. Without further ado, the jets in the side of the pool stopped blasting, and she heard a quiet beep from inside the pool filter room, and ran inside to where her family was having lunch. 

 

“It would appear the pool has stopped working again.” 

 


 

After the general fuss of her family traipsing outside, checking that the pool was, indeed, broken, and phoning the owner, she got confirmation that the pool girl was indeed coming, before a wash of excitement settled over her. 

 

It may be the single stupidest thing she’d ever done, but she was going to see Anne Lister again, and that stopped her stomach from sinking with guilt. 

 

Before she knew it, there was a sound of a motor purring down the small driveway next to the villa. She had been stalking around the entrance, and looked over out of curiosity, only to see the one and only Anne Lister straddling a scooter, wearing swim shorts and a plain black swimming costume underneath. 

 

Ann choked on air. 

 

“Miss Walker. What a pleasant surprise.” Anne said, smiling her goddamn perfect smile again, enough to turn Ann’s legs to jelly. “I was actually on my way over here when my boss gave me a call.” 

 

Oops. 

 

“Hi, Anne. Lovely to see you.” She said timidly, she’s trained on the floor before she peered up at the goddess in front of her. 

 

“You look quite beautiful.” Anne reached over to brush her arm, sending shivers through her whole body and a red tint to her cheek. 

 

“I- thank you, you look-” 

 

“Anne! Thank goodness you’ve arrived! Yes, yes, quite a conundrum we’ve had, with the pool not quite working, I was just telling Aunt Ann that goodness, what a coincidence it was to see you here! I could barely believe my ears when she told me that it was Anne Lister working at our pool!” 

 

“Eliza, what a pleasure to see you!” Anne exclaimed, before leaning in to kiss Eliza on the cheeks. 

 

Ann, meanwhile, was standing. Staring. 

 

“How on earth did you end up here of all places!” 

 

“Well, you know I’m quite fond of Greece, and I’ve always been rather fluent in Greek, and one of my friends - Mrs Belcome, her daughter is Mariana, I went to boarding school with her?” Anne had a peculiar grimace on her face. 

 

“Ah yes, I know her, what a lovely woman!” 

 

“Yes, so she mentioned in passing her pool boy had to go back to England - urgent business, he packed up rather quickly, and she then offered the job to me - flights and boarding all paid for, and I make a bit of money over the summer. Brilliant, really.” Anne was animated, and she shone almost as she talked, making sweeping hand gestures and occasionally putting her hand on Eliza’s shoulder, a friendly gesture. 

 

“Ann, have you met Anne?” Eliza turned to her, beaming. 

 

Images of her tongue sweeping over her lower lip, her hand on the back of her neck and her breath whispering across her cheek flashed in front of her, and her throat went dry. 

 

“I, um, yes, on the first day we, uh, we met.” 

 

Anne was grinning. “Ah yes, I seem to remember that.” 

 

“You see, it’s so bizarre, I used to teach Miss Lister at her prep school! And when Aunt Ann mentioned a particularly charming young girl called Anne Lister I knew it had to be her!” Eliza was practically singing Anne’s praises, and Ann wanted to die. 

 

Only Ann Walker could have a summer fling - or whatever this was - with a family friend. 

 

“Yes, what a small world this is. Now, I understand you’re having pool trouble again?” 

 

“Ah yes, Ann came running in to tell us that it was broken again. Ann, dear, would you show Miss Lister over to where you said the problem was?” 

 

“I, yes, certainly.” She stammered, and she shyly stepped forward towards Anne. “It’s, uh, it was the filter again.” 

 

“Was it? Well, we shall have to take a look. But perhaps you might take a look in the pool filter room with me, Miss Walker? Just to see if we’ve missed anything.” Anne said, impish grin shining on her face as she made very deliberate eye contact. 

 

“Yes, I- I’d be happy to.” 

 

“Wonderful! Wonderful, I’ll get you both a glass of lemonade.” Eliza chirped, beaming, and she walked off. 

 

“She’s- so you know my aunt?” Ann questioned as they walked towards the pool room. 

 

“Yes, although I had no idea. She wasn’t around on the first day, and of course I never thought a Priestly and a Walker would be related.” 

 

“How bizarre.” Ann said faintly, but before she could comment anything further, she found herself pressed against the inside of the pool room door, with Anne Lister’s lips locked with her own. 

 

She squealed slightly out of surprise, before settling into the kiss, and responding with all the desperation she had been feeling for the last three days. Anne reacted to her enthusiasm, slipping her hand down to grab the milky white of her thigh firmly, and Ann made a frankly pathetic noise of appreciation. 

 

She had never been this... eager. This hungry, for lack of a better word. She brought her head back for air, and before she knew it, Anne was licking and sucking her way down her neck, and Ann found herself struggling not to groan. 

 

Anne tongued her way across her collarbone, and then back up the side of her neck before nipping the sensitive skin behind her ear, and Ann’s legs gave way. The grip on her thigh tightened deliciously. 

 

Anne’s breaht was hot against her ear as she whispered, “I think you’re a little bit in love with me.” 

 

“How could- God, how could I not be when you’re doing that with your mouth?” She retorted, before winding her fingers in Anne’s hair and pulling her head back, surprising herself with her own ferocity to taste Anne’s skin. 

 

She licked from the brunette’s throat up, up and god, she never thought that sweat could be attractive in any way, but the salty tinge to Anne’s skin made her want to rip her clothes off and make her even sweatier. Anne made a glorious sound in her throat, and she connected their mouths together, revelling in the way the other girl tugged on her lip with her teeth and rubbed circles into the very top of her thigh until she saw stars. 

 

“Anne we- dear god, we should, we- stop, we should stop.” She managed to stutter out. 

 

Anne reacted far too quickly for her liking. “Stop? Why, what’s wrong?” 

 

Her brain still addled from the kissing, she opened her mouth to speak but before she could, Anne started again. 

 

“I’ve pressured you, haven’t I, I- I’ve overstepped, Ann, I’m so sorry, I-” 

 

“Anne! Stop, no it’s fine, I just...” 

 

“What? What’s wrong, what can I do-” 

 

“We’re in a pool filter room and my aunt is probably waiting outside with lemonade and I... well, if you keep doing what you’re doing, I’m not sure I can stay quiet much longer.” She admitted, blushing furiously. 

 

Immediately, Anne’s worried expression was replaced with a cocky, satisfied one. She moved in for another long kiss. “Well, in that case, I’ll be on my way to check the filter.” She winked, before moving to exit the room, but stopping before the door. 

 

“I don’t suppose you’re free tomorrow are you?” 

 

“I mean, I’m not aware of any plans so far, why?” 

 

“Brilliant. Be ready tomorrrow morning at ten. Swimming costume, bring shorts and a hat. I’ll drop you back here at six in the afternoon.” With that, she left, leaving Ann stood, panting slightly, mind reeling and lips tingling. What on earth did Anne Lister have in store for her tomorrow? What was she meant to tell her aunts? Where was- 

 

“How on God’s earth did a stone get in the pool filter?” She heard Anne exclaim in shock and confusion. 

 

Oops. 

 


 

She woke early on day ten, confused and slightly disguntled at her alarm, before she realised that Anne Lister was whisking her away for an entire day. A whole day with Anne Lister. She rolled over in bed and squealed a bit. Better to do it now than with the other girl, she supposed, before she leapt out of bed and into the bathroom, grinning at herself in the mirror as she brushed her teeth. 

 

Skipping back to her bedroom, she stopped in front of the chest of drawers and chewed her lip. She could wear... or, no, maybe not, would it seem too... too desperate? 

 

Screw it. She slipped on her bikini - tiny, white, with tie strings at the hips of the bottoms. It was by far her skimpiest bikini - she’d only bought it because it was on sale at H&M, but if she was ever going to wear it, she may as well wear it today. 

 

She pulled on a pair of denim shorts and a t-shirt, light but big enough to shade her shoulders from the sun, and she grabbed her sun hat as she left the room. 

 

To her surprise, the kitchen was bustling, laughter and chatter everywhere, and she soon discovered the cause. 

 

Anne Lister, sat at the head of the table, a glass of orange juice in her hand and the entire Walker family staring at her dotingly as she told a no doubt enthralling story. 

 

She felt her entire world stop for a moment as Anne looked up and made eye contact with her, and her expression softened, eyes smiling with her lips as she raised a hand in greeting. 

 

“Good morning, Miss Walker.” 

 

“Good morning Anne.” She said, almost breathlessly. 

 

“Well, thank you so much for the hospitality this morning, Miss Walker, Mrs Priestly. Have a wonderful day, Mr Priestly. I’m off to show Ann some of the island now, I wouldn’t expect us back until late this afternoon.” Anne said, and with that she swept out of the kitchen, leaving the Walker clan quite possibly as dazed as Ann was feeling herself. 

 

Out of sight of the family members in the kitchen, Ann quickly found herself being pressed against the kitchen door, wrapped up in a sweet kiss and breathing in the glorious scent of Anne, Anne, Anne. 

 

“Oh!” She exclaimed, when the brunette pulled away. “Good morning to you, too.” 

 

“It’s a brilliant morning if I get a kiss from you.” Anne said sweetly, and Ann felt herself blushing. “I hope you don’t mind boat journeys?” She said, tugging Ann out of the house by her hand, before handing her a helmet and swinging her leg over her scooter, patting the seat behind her. 

 

“Hop on.” 

 

Ann did a start she was instructed, and it definitely wasn’t because it meant she would be spending a solid amount of time with her arms wrapped around Anne Lister’s torso. 

 

And God, was it a brilliant journey. She threw her head back and laughed into the wind, feeling Anne’s muscles tense beneath her hands as she laughed with her. And if anyone asked, she definitely didn’t slip her hands up beneath the white tank top she was wearing, and she definitely didn’t feel a hot flush slip over her body and settle right between her legs as she dug her fingertips into the hard muscle there. 

 

No. Definitely not. 

 

Then they were there, at some kind of harbour, and Anne parked her scooter and yelled a few words of Greek at a middle aged man, before laughing, and Christ if Ann didn’t flush at the way the words rolled around her mouth, sweet and sticky like Greek honey, before tumbling out with a perfect accent. Anne looked like she belonged here at the harbour, untying a boat and hopping in. 

 

“Care to join me?” The brunette said with a smile. 

 

“Is this your boat?” Ann questioned, taking note of how at home the other girl seemed behind the wheel. Well. The steering... area. There were a lot of handles and buttons, and Ann felt a bit dizzy looking at everything on the dashboard. 

 

“No, no. I did a bit of work for Stefanos - the man I was talking to earlier - I think last year - no, the year before - and we get along pretty well. He trusts me enough to take her out by myself, and I’ve not messed it up yet.” 

 

Ann made a noise of understanding, taking Anne’s hand and stepping onto the boat, catching sight of a cooler bag stored under one of the seats. “Are we eating on the boat?” 

 

“Well, I was planning on taking you somewhere to eat, but yes, I have brought food.” 

 

“Is this... Um... Are we on a date?” Ann blurted out. 

 

“Well, I’m taking you out on a boat for the day, and I organised several dishes from one of my favourite restaurants to be packed up so I can bring them. I certainly hope it’s a date, or I wouldn’t have put in quite so much effort.” Anne teased, pulling Ann in for a quick kiss.  

 

“Anne!” She exclaimed, before the boat suddenly lurched slightly, and she found herself seated on the long, padded bench at the end of the boat. Anne chuckled, pulling the boat out of the harbour. 

 

“Sit back and relax, Ann. Enjoy the view.” 

 

She absolutely would, she thought, as she took in the long bronzed legs in front of her, the way the shorts shaped her ass perfectly, the slope of her hips to her waist, the way her white tank top cling to her ribcage and how the racerback let Ann admire the rippling muscles of her back, tensing and relaxing as she did various things at the front of the boat. 

 

“You realise I meant the sea and the island, right?” Anne teased, and Ann flushed for perhaps the hundredth time that morning alone. 

 

“Well maybe if you weren’t standing there being all...” She drifted off, and instead gestured towards Anne’s general person. 

 

“You’ve been staring at me for the last twenty minutes. Do you even know where we are?” 

 

Ann took a moment to turn around, and gasped. They were, seemingly, in the middle of the ocean. She could see the island far behind her, but apart from that, it was just them and the sparkling blue sea. 

 

“Have you brought me out here to kill me?” She asked faux seriously, and Anne chuckled. 

 

“No, I thought we could take a break from driving for a while. We’re stopping somewhere sunny too, where we can swim, so I brought suncream for a top up.” 

 

Before Ann could begin to think about what that would entail, Anne was already sitting crossed legged behind her on the wide bench, a bottle of suncream in her hands. 

 

“May I?” Anne asked, lifting up the hem of her baggy t-shirt, and Ann gulped as she nodded. 

 

It was lifted over her head, and Ann felt goosebumps settle over her skin despite the heat. Anne began to rub suncream into her skin, slow, firm movements, thumbs rubbing along her spine in a glorious massage. She travelled down her back, giggling as Anne rubbed along her sides, before she rubbed suncream into her stomach, fingers straying up, up until they just teased the bottom of her bikini top. Ann’s eyes fluttered shut, her head falling back against the other girl’s shoulder as her hands danced over the front of her top and rubbed suncream into the top of her chest. 

 

All too soon, Anne pulled away, sliding off the bench to first dip her hands in the ocean, and then to perch on her knees in front of the blonde. “May I?” She wrapped her fingers around the button of Ann’s denim shorts, and Ann nodded, mouth far too dry to respond verbally. Anne unzipped her shorts and pulled them down her legs, taking a moment to stare at the girl in front of her, running her hands appreciatively up and down her legs. 

 

“My God, Ann. You’re magnificent.” Anne murmured as she started mouthing kisses on Ann’s legs, and raking her nails lightly down her thighs. As she neared the top of her thighs, Ann grew desperate, instead guiding her up, until Anne understood, and she stood and straddled her instead. 

 

“You are-” She pressed wet kisses to Ann’s throat, making her groan in appreciation. “-most definitely-” She kisses Ann deeply, before tugging on her bottom lip lightly with her teeth, and grinning at the whine Ann let out. “-the most beautiful girl-” Anne made her way up her ribcage, rubbing circles below her bikini top. “-I have ever set eyes on.” 

 

She looked up, eyes wide compared to Ann’s hooded, lusty ones. “May I?” Her fingers teased once again at her top, and Ann nodded far too enthusiastically. Anne chuckled, and reached round to untie the strings behind her. 

 

Ann felt self consciousness wash over her until it was rapidly dissipated by the look of sheer awe in the other girl’s eyes. There was no doubt she’d done this before, too expert and cocky and smug and simply wonderful to be a novice, but she made Ann feel like the only girl she’d ever laid eyes on. 

 

She swooped in for a deep kiss as her fingers trailed lightly around the edge of Ann’s breasts, and as she neared her hardened nipples, Ann threw her head back. There simply wasn’t enough oxygen in he world. 

 

Anne took it as an opportunity, licking and sucking her way down the blonde’s chest until she was placing open mouthed kisses that made Ann see stars. Anne looked up, peering at her for permission, and she let out a whimper as her mouth closed over the tip of her breast. She used this frankly magical combination of tongue and teeth until Ann was in a frenzy, aching and shivering and God, she needed Anne right this minute. Anne was clearly in the business of working a girl up until she couldn’t breathe, as she pressed kisses across her sternum, bit the sensitive area under her ribcage, tongued her magic onto Ann’s skin. 

 

“Anne I-” she let out a moan, fingers digging into Anne’s shoulders. “Anne, I want you.” She whispered, but it was enough to stop Anne in her tracks, enough to make her look up and take Ann’s face in her hands. 

 

“Are you sure? We don’t have to do anything.” She said, pressing a kiss into Ann’s forehead. 

 

“No, I- I want to. Please.” Her voice shook. “Touch me.” 

 

Anne seemed to be everywhere at once after that. Her breath hot on her neck as she licked and kissed across it, one hand woven in the hair at the back of her neck, and the other feeling it’s way down her body, down until she was rubbing gently over Ann’s bikini and Ann let out a soft moan, hands scrabbling at the back of the brunette’s neck and nails raking down when she pressed on her clit. 

 

“Fuck, Anne-” she tried to stifle a moan, embarrassed at how loud she was being. 

 

“You do realise we’re in the middle of the ocean, hmm?” She grinned. “You can be as loud as you want.” She punctuated her point by slipping her hand into Ann’s bikini. “My, you are wet.” Anne murmured, and Ann hadn’t the mind to be shy about it. 

 

Anne clearly knew her way around a woman’s body, and Ann found herself being touched in ways she couldn’t imagine, leaning back on her elbow to allow the brunette greater access. 

 

Anne teased her entrance with a finger, bringing her head up to Ann’s ear to murmur “Is this okay?” 

 

Ann could only moan in response, barely managing to nod her consent, and her hands wrapped around Anne’s back. 

 

She couldn’t see straight. Her chest was tight and God, fuck, was Anne good at this, and she added another finger which elicited a long moan from her, because screw being embarrassed at how loud she was when she was getting fucked this thoroughly. 

 

Anne brought a thumb to her clit and her back arched, all sense long gone from her mind as she moaned her pleasure into the sea air. The fingers slowed as she rode out her orgasm, but she felt Anne smile against her neck as she picked up the pace again and before Ann knew it, she was falling over the edge again, chanting Anne’s name as she clung to her. 

 

She came back to her senses to Anne shushing her gently, a fond smile on her face. 

 

“I-” She cleared her throat. “Wow.” 

 

Anne chuckled. “I never thought I’d see little Miss Walker swear quite so enthusiastically.” She quipped, and Ann blushed furiously. 

 

“I- I’m sorry, I-” 

 

“Don’t be.” She leant in, biting gently at her earlobe. “It was hot.” The breath on her ear made her clench again, and her eyelids fluttered. 

 

“You’re... You’re really good at that.” Ann said shyly. 

 

“I’m glad you enjoyed it.” Anne retorted, before kissing her on the cheek and climbing gently off her. “Now, I better get us to lunch before the tide ruins my plans.” 

 

Ann pouted, disappointed. “Don’t I get to...?” She trailed off, but Anne just smiled. 

 

“There’ll be plenty of time for that later. You’ll love where we’re going, I promise.” 

 


 

Ann spent the rest of the boat journey searching for her bikini top (flung under the bench), trying to comb her hair through with her fingers (to no avail, it was the definition of sex hair) and reliving everything that just happened (bad idea - she was already about to jump Anne Lister as it was). 

 

They didn’t have far to go, Anne expertly directing the boat around the tip of the island, and carrying on further until Ann saw where they were heading. 

 

Her breath caught in her throat. 

 

It was incredible. 

 

Magical. 

 

The sea turned a light turquoise where it met the cliff edges, and there were caves scattered about the coast like little pockets of perfect. 

 

“Do you like it?” Anne questioned, a touch of uncertainty lacing her voice. 

 

“Anne it’s... it’s gorgeous. How did you find these?” 

 

“Tourists mainly stay on the other side of the island, and I was curious as to what was over here. Best adventure of my life. Nobody ever comes out here.” 

 

She drove the boat within ten metres or so of one specific cave, before letting the anchor drop through the brilliantly clear water to the sand below. She hopped out, kissing Ann’s lips before murmuring “Wait here.” Anne waded through the water, holding the bag of food high above her head, before returning to the boat. 

 

“And now, if you wouldn’t mind climbing down onto the ladder...” Anne advertised charmingly, and Ann did as instructed, only to squeal as Anne tipped her over and surprised her by carrying her bridal style to shore. 

 

“Anne! Anne, put me down, put me- Anne!” She spoke through giggles, eventually giving up and looping her arms around the brunette’s neck and marvelling at her strength. 

 

“Really, you’re the worst.” She said, face red from laughing so hard. 

 

“I was only trying to be chivalrous.” Anne deposited her gently on the sandy ground of her chosen cave, and ducked her head to kiss her ever so gently. 

 

“Trust me, you succeeded.” Ann said, a little breathlessly. 

 

“Bear with me one second whilst I set up.” Anne said, pecking her on the cheek before striding to the furthest corner of the cave. She edged her way some three feet off the ground before feeling blindly but knowingly for a shelf that Ann hadn’t even noticed, before she pulled out a waterproof bag and jumped down. Unzipping it, she revealed two towels and a large blanket, which she spread out over a patch of dry sand, and she returned and grabbed the food bag with one hand and Ann with the other. 

 

“Come. Sit. You must be hungry, you didn’t even eat breakfast.” 

 

Ann nodded, and she sat next to the brunette with her legs crossed, eagerly awaiting lunch. As Anne pulled out container after container and gently took the lids off, Ann heard her stomach growl at the incredible smells that were revealed to her. 

 

Anne pulled out two forks and began explaining the dishes to her, forking pieces of fish and potato infused with rich flavours into her mouth, chuckling as she moaned and her eyes rolled back in her head. 

 

She deliberately missed Anne’s mouth with a forkful just so she could press silly kisses to her cheek, and sat on Anne’s lap and covered her eyes with her hands and made her guess which dish was which, and it was the hardest Ann had laughed in a long while. 

 

They sat and ate together until they couldn’t possibly eat more, and then they lay together and Anne wipes sauce off the corner of her mouth with such affection and tenderness that she quite nearly cried. 

 

Here, they were sheltered from the heat of the midday sun, and accompanied by the waves lapping just feet from where they were lying curled up on the blanket. 

 

“So how many other girls have you wooed here?” Ann asked half jokingly, and Anne rolled her eyes at her. 

 

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve never met a girl before you.” And Ann grinned and poked her in the side. 

 

“Seriously! How many other girls have you wooed with that- that- sag- saga-“” She struggled, and Anne giggled at her. 

 

“Saganaki.” Her eyes fell slightly. “Only one.” 

 

“Oh.” Ann said. “Who was she?” 

 

“It was a couple of years ago. It was silly, really.” 

 

“I’m sure it wasn’t.” Ann comforted, placing a kiss on the bottom of her jaw as she waited to see if she would continue or not. 

 

“Her name was Vere. I met her waiting tables two years ago.” Anne took a deep breath, began playing idly with Ann’s hair. “I though- Well, I thought we were in love. I certainly was. I thought she was perfect. We would meet nearly every day for a month, and I would bring her out here, and she promised me that we would meet back in England.” 

 

“What happened?” Ann asked softly, not wanting to pressure the other girl. 

 

“She left and I never heard from her. I admit I was a little... crazed, and so I set about trying to find her. I’m not one for social media, but I found her on Instagram.” Anne’s voice was full of hurt, and anger. “She had a boyfriend the entire time.” 

 

“Oh, Anne, that’s horrible!” 

 

“No, no, I was stupid, and eighteen, and it was silly.” 

 

“You listen to me,” Ann grasper her very gently by her chin. “You are not stupid, or silly. She lead you on and made you believe things she never meant, and that was horrible. And disgusting, and I want to- I want- I’d slap her, given the chance.” She surprised herself with her angry, and clearly Anne too, who broke out into a shocked burst of giggles. 

 

“My goodness, Ann Walker. You never fail to surprise me.” 

 

“Well, she was mean, and I don’t like her.” She pouted, and Anne laughed again. 

 

“How about something sweeter than that conversation?” Anne offered, before pulling away slightly - eliciting a whine from Ann - and retrieving a box of baclava from the food bag. 

 

She opened it and brought out a piece, honey dripping onto her fingers as she offered it to Ann, who took a bite and immediately moaned at the sweet, thick honey and the way it complemented the pastry and nuts. Anne took a bite herself, eyes fluttering shut at the taste, before offering the rest to Ann, who took it without complaint. 

 

She looked at the smear of honey on Anne’s lip, the way her tongue darted out to wipe it away, the soft contented grunt she made in her throat, and she was all of a sudden hungry for something quite different. 

 

Taking Anne’s hand in her own, she brought it up to her mouth, a surge of confidence telling her to keep eye contact. Anne’s breath caught in her throat as the blonde slipped her fingers in her mouth, tongue trailing down her palm to catch the drops of honey. 

 

“Fuck, Ann...” Anne’s eyes were dark, lusty, as she took in what Ann was doing. 

 

“Is it later yet?” Ann asked, a coy smile on her lips. Anne looked confused, but before she could question further, Ann swung a leg over her straddling her where she lay and pinning her down. 

 

“You said I could touch you later.” She said as she bent down, lips tickling Anne’s ear, and she pressed dainty kisses along her jawline and smiled to herself when she heard the other girl’s breathing stutter. 

 

“Ann, you don’t have to, please don’t feel pressured.” The brunette reassured, catching her hand and pressing kisses to her wrist. 

 

“Please, Anne. I want to. She said, and for someone who found decisions so hard to make, she had never been been more certain of anything in her life. She wanted Anne. She wanted to show her that she really liked her. That she was beautiful, and captivating, and wonderful. 

 

“Are you sure?” 

 

Instead of replying, she bent down for a kiss, sweet, and open mouthed and filled with all of the things she wanted to tell Anne. She kissed down her neck, savouring the taste of Anne, Anne, Anne, and she didn’t even realise she was scrabbling at the hem of the brunette’s shirt until she heard a low chuckle, and Anne guided her hands away so she could pull up her shirt herself. 

 

Ann was astounded, just like the first time she saw her. Her breasts were slightly smaller than Ann’s own, but they were perfect. And god, her body... she was crafted by gods, strong and toned and fuck, Ann couldn’t stop pressing her hands into her abs because it was just delicious. 

 

She wasted no time in showing her appreciation, kissing and licking and nipping her way down Anne’s body, feeling the sharp muscles under her tongue and whining when heat pulsed through her. She pulled her shorts down and threw them carelessly to the side, just focused on the newly exposed skin of Anne’s legs. She kissed over her hipbones, up the side of her ribcage and back down again, until Anne was almost writhing underneath her. Looking up for permission, she hooked her fingers under Anne’s plain black bikini and gave a tug when the brunette smiled and nodded. 

 

And god, was she beautiful. Ann took a moment to stare, to appreciate. 

 

“Anne, you’re beautiful. You’re so beautiful.” 

 

Anne looked at her with such tenderness, and she pulled her up gently to kiss her. 

 

“I- I don’t know, I’ve never done this before. Will you...” She trailed off helplessly, and Anne smiled at her, put a hand on her cheek, and kissed her. 

 

“It’s okay. I’ll help. But I don’t think you’ll need it.” Ann smiled and leaned down to join their mouths together again, and she snaked her hand between their bodies until she found the trimmed patch of hair above Anne’s wetness. Gently, nervously, she pressed a finger just lower, searching for the other girl’s clit. 

 

Anne let out a small moan, eyes closed. She rubbed, at first gently, slowly, but faster as Anne began moving her hips. Anne was panting, whispering curses and Ann’s name under her breath, hands bunching the blanket underneath them. 

 

She slipped her fingers lower, teasing at Anne’s entrance. 

 

“May I?” 

 

“Fuck, Ann, please-” and she groaned as Ann slipped a finger in her, pressing upwards slightly as Anne had done to her, and revelling in the uncontrollable moans that were escaping from her lips. 

 

“I- more, Ann, please. More.” Anne managed out, and she pressed another finger inside her, moaning herself as she felt her clench around her fingers. She dipped her head, wanting to be close to the brunette, leaning into her neck and placing kisses there. The angle change resulted in her palm pressing against Anne’s clit, and she let out a high moan of appreciation. 

 

“Fuck, I want- I want you to-” Anne struggled, instead propping her leg up and grasping Ann’s hips with her hand. Her toned thigh pressed into her center and god, fuck, Ann suddenly understood as her hips canted against her leg without meaning to.  

 

She was close, despite not having been touched. Close from feeling Anne, touching Anne, hearing her moans, but most of all being the reason for all of them. Knowing that she was the one bringing Anne to the edge of her orgasm. 

 

In no time she was seeing stars herself, Anne’s fingers and thumbs pressing deliciously into her ass and hips, helping her grind down on her leg, and she panted against the brunette’s neck. 

 

She felt Anne’s body go tense as she curled her fingers, the fingers on her hips bordering on pleasantly painful, and she let out a long moan as she came, the sight pushing Ann over the edge as well. 

 

They lay there for some minutes, breathing heavily in tandem, hot and sticky and god, was that the best she’s ever felt. She pulled away from Anne, wiping her fingers on the blanket, falling onto her back and laughing breathlessly. 

 

“That was amazing.” 

 

“It absolutely was.” Anne sounded just as exhilarated as she did. 

 

“So I was- I did- did I do alright?” 

 

Anne laughed and rolled into her side to face her. 

 

“Baby, you did so much better than ‘alright’.” She comforted, and Ann felt a hot flush of happiness race through her at the pet name. 

 

“Although,” she continued. “I have to admit, it’s very sweet of you to think we’re already done.” 

 

Before she could say a word, Anne had swung a leg over her body, reversing their roles. 

 

“I am far from finished with you, my dear.” 

 


 

“Ann! How was your day?” Eliza exclaimed when she bustled in through the front door, lips still tingling from the fierce kiss Anne had pressed against her lips just outside the villa. 

 

She had left her with the promise that she would come tomorrow, but most importantly, with her phone number in Ann’s phone. 

 

“Uh, great, it was really great! Anne was a great tour guide, she showed me, uh, she showed me loads.” 

 

Images of Anne between her legs, working magic with her tongue, showing her exactly how good she was at making a girl come flashed through her brain and she willed them away before she turned bright red. 

 

“I’m so glad! Yes, a wonderful girl, just wonderful. One of the brightest students I ever had the pleasure of teaching - so eager to learn about everything! It was such a shame that her brother died. The poor girl sort of... went off the rails a bit.” 

 

“Oh.” Ann said, noncommittally. She was interested in Anne, wanted to learn as much about her as possible, wanted to read her like a book, but hearing it all from her aunt just felt a bit wrong. 

 

“Yes, she was close to her brother. He died on a school trip. She started acting up after that, and her father whisked her away to a different, stricter boarding school. Lord knows it must have done her the world of good, though, look where she is! York Uniiversity, studying PPE! I was so proud of her. What a gorgeous young lady she’s turned into. You know, I-“” 

 

“Actually, Eliza, I have to go upstairs, just take off my bathing suit, sorry, I’ll see you in a minute, yes?” And before she could receive an answer, she was gone. 

 

Practically flying to her room, she shut the door behind her and leaned against it, the wood cool from the air conditioning a stark difference against her suddenly flushed skin. 

 

Anne Lister went to university in York. 

 

She went to university in Leeds. 

 

That was only- 

 

That was only an hour away. Maybe less. 

 

This entire time she had been thinking that Anne would be like a dream to her. 

 

Beautiful. Captivating. 

 

But gone in seconds. 

 

She thought she would have to return home with Anne’s name on her lips, and Anne’s lips on her skin. 

 

They hadn’t talked about it, either. Anne had only just told her about Vere, they spent the rest of the day fucking and kissing and swimming and licking honey off their fingers, savouring the taste of summer like it would never come around again. She hadn’t wanted today to end. She hadn’t wanted this holiday to end. 

 

But- 

 

But now there was hope. 

 

Now Anne was a 50 minute drive from her university. Now Ann could think about September rolling around and not feel slightly sickened. 

 

She took off her bikini, wrapped herself in a towel and padded to the bathroom, slipping inside the shower to wash the salt off her body. 

 

She didn’t want to hope, because things never went her way. Ann wasn’t lucky, these things never just happened to her. 

 

And she didn’t even know how Anne felt. She might be glad to never see her again. She was worried she might have imagined things but... Surely she can’t have imagined the way Anne looked at her. Surely not. 

 

She rinsed her hair off and walked back to her bedroom, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth. She glanced at her phone, carelessly thrown on the bed. She had only been dropped off half an hour ago. This was a bit needy. 

 

Fuck it. 

 

Unknown Number 

hey anne, it’s me, ann :) 

 

She waited, nervously tapping her nails on the side of her phone. 

 

anne lister 

Oh really? I’m afraid you’ll have to prove it, plenty of scams going around. 

 

Ann Walker 

[Picture message] 

 

anne lister 

Hmm. 

 

Ann Walker 

what’s up? 

 

anne lister 

Nothing. 

I just find it near impossible that you’re somehow even cuter than you were an hour ago. 

 

She grinned stupidly to herself. God, she was smooth. 

 

Ann Walker 

sweet talker 

 

anne lister 

Only to you. 

Did you have a nice day? 

 

Ann Walker 

i had the most brilliant day 

thank you so much :) 

 

anne lister 

What are your plans for tonight? 

 

Ann Walker 

i think we’re heading out for a meal at one of the restaurants close by. 

i’m getting ready now 

 

anne lister 

Is that so? 

It would be practically illegal to tell me that and not show me what you’re wearing. 

 

Ann Walker 

well i’m in my underwear now ;)) 

 

She flushed at her sudden confidence, wondering what Anne would think of it. 

 

anne lister 

Now it’s definitely illegal if I don’t get a picture. 

 

Ann chuckled before pulling on her dress for the evening, a little pink sundress with puffy capped sleeves, and an embroidered flowery pattern across the middle. 

 

Ann Walker 

[Picture message) 

 

anne lister

I never thought I’d be pleasantly surprised to receive a picture containing more clothes than I had expected. 

Ann, you look gorgeous. 

 

 

Ann Walker 

you’re so sweet. thank you 

 

anne lister 

The puffy sleeves look absolutely adorable. 

 

Annie Big Sleeves 

i used to hate them when i was little, but now i think they’re cute :)) 

what are your plans for tonight? 

 

anne lister 

I was going to ask you what you’re doing the day after tomorrow. I have to come round to do some garden work but I can bring my lunch if you want to keep me company? 

 

Annie Big Sleeves 

that sounds lovely! 

 

Her heart soared at the prospect of seeing Anne again soon. Eliza started to call up the stairs for the family to start moving, so she said goodnight to Anne and made her way downstairs, smiling politely when she was bombarded with questions about her day. 

 

It was so worth it. 

 


 

On day twelve, she barely ate breakfast she was so excited for lunch, and she spent the morning pacing nervously around the villa, racing almost childishly to the entrance of the villa when she heard Anne’s scooter pull up. 

 

“Good morning.” She said breathlessly, looking behind her to check for her family before she swooped in for a kiss, grinning as she realised Anne’s lips were minty. 

 

“Good morning, Ann. You look amazing.” Anne cupped her cheek gently, brushing her thumb over it. 

 

“Not as good as you.” She winked, and laughed when Anne rolled her eyes. 

 

“Not humanly possible. Now, I have to make a start on the hedges at the back, would you come with me?” 

 

“Yes! Yes, of course.” She said, entirely too eagerly, and she received a chuckle from the brunette. 

 

They wandered to the back, Anne politely poking her head in to greet the family, and Ann settled crossed legged on the wall whilst Anne retrieved shears from the small shed. They chatted whilst she worked, about what else the island had to offer, where Anne had been. Which, it turns out, was practically everywhere. Italy, Greece, Spain, France. She had travelled all over Europe, and she always managed to wrangle herself a job. Ann asked what she was saving up for, and Anne’s eyes positively sparkled answering. 

 

“I’m going to Russia. No, I’m going everywhere, but I’m starting with Russia. I’m going to climb every mountain on my way, and see everything. I think the world is so much bigger and beautiful than we realise. Imagine growing old and staying in shabby little England your whole life. No, Ann. That shall never be me. I want to see everything.” 

 

And Ann fell in love. 

 

Just like that. 

 

She had known this girl for twelve days and she was in love. 

 

How could she not be? Anne was brilliant, and beautiful, and she liked Ann, and she was going to cry if she never saw her again. 

 

“I go to Leeds.” She blurted out. 

 

“Pardon?” 

 

She blushed. “I go to Leeds University.” 

 

“I see.” 

 

“And you- my aunt said you go to York.” 

 

“I do indeed.” Anne raised an eyebrow. 

 

“Theyre- well, they’re only an hour away. Fifty minutes. By car.” She swallowed. “I have a car.” 

 

Anne looked uneasy. She propped the shears against the bush. 

 

Ann continued. “I live in Halifax, but I drive to uni, and York isn’t very far, and- well, what I’m saying, I suppose, is that... If you’re in York, and I’m in Leeds...” 

 

“We could see each other.” Anne completed, and then nodded, humming as she seemed to take in this information. 

 

“Yes. We could. Quite easily.” 

 

“You’re quite right.” 

 

“And I- well, what I actually meant was- I want to see you. I don’t want this to be over.” She looked up from the flower she’d been staring at in her hands. “I like you, Anne. A lot. I don’t want this to be over.” She repeated. 

 

Anne sighed, a funny look on her face. She looked partway between elated and pained. She wiped her brow on her sleeve, pushing back wisps of hair from her face as she strode over to where Ann was perched. 

 

“Please, don’t hurt me, Ann.” Her voice cracked, and she saw the same hurt in her eyes as she had the day before talking about Vere. “I’m not as strong as you think. Well, I am, obviously.” Ann chuckled, placing a hand on her cheek. 

 

“It will be hard. I’m in my third year, my dissertation is quite frankly ridiculous - the role of sapphic women in politics and economics and how they have shaped the laws we know today, just ridiculous, really, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m going to be busy, and so are you, and- And I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want you to think you’re not important, and worthy of being loved, because you are.” She took a breath. “You’re incredible, Ann. But I’ve worked so hard to get here, and I want to come out of university with a first before I dominate the world.” She finished her sentence with a smile, and Ann laughed, quite possibly falling even deeper in love. 

 

“I wouldn’t want you to do anything else, Anne. But I want- I want to try. If you want to, too. I want to try.” 

 

And Anne no longer looked pained. She looked hopeful. She stared into Ann’s eyes and hers were glinting, slightly, and she looked hopeful, and Ann’s heart swelled with the possibility of maybe. Just maybe. 

 

“I want to try.” Anne all but whispered, and they kissed. 

 

They kissed in the back garden and they didn’t even care about the possibility of being spotted (even though Ann was thankful they weren’t), and they kissed and laughed and they couldn’t stop kissing and laughing, not even when Eliza came out to check on them and Ann fell, shocked, from the wall and narrowly missing a cactus, covered in leaves and giggling like schoolgirls with their hands clasped together. 

 

And Ann didn’t mind in the slightest when she got funny looks for being red faced and out of breath at the lunch table after Anne had left, because they were going to try, and they were going to be together, and there was absolutely nothing that could make life better. 

 


 

Epilogue 

 

God, she was tired. 

 

She was tired, and somehow everything ached, and she was just getting over a disgusting bout of the flu, and she had approximately sixty-seven emails she had to read and sort through, and she hadn’t even so much as sneezed at her reading for tomorrow, and yet somehow she was in an expensive dress getting ready for a dance. 

 

The start of second year hadn’t been nice to her. She was immediately swamped by work, her tutor already wanted her to start thinking about her dissertation, her friends Catherine and Harriet were practically myths at this point because they were also being swamped by their evil art history course, and on top of it all she had only seen her girlfriend three times. 

 

Anne had been as busy as she anticipated, and Ann had been even busier than she thought possible in the first place, and they managed to see each other once in september, once in reading week, and once at the end of November. 

 

Which, when you considered how utterly crazy in love Ann was, was most definitely not enough. 

 

They had already set a date for seeing each other after christmas, but that was another two weeks away, and Ann hadn’t seen her in two, so that was an entire month that she was going without seeing her girlfriend. 

 

She loved being with Anne, don’t get her wrong - the distance made seeing her even more special, and every moment they spent together was utterly brilliant, but she envied that Catherine could meet up with her boyfriend for lunch, how she could call him over with ice cream whenever she wanted, and Ann had to settle for a shitty facetime connection and falling asleep next to the phone. 

 

But no matter. Tonight she was going to the art history ball, and she was going to enjoy it. Catherine and Elizabeth had dragged her dress shopping like they were some American girls going to prom, demanding to see her in a “sapphire blue” dress like their lives depended on it (all while fawning over Catherine’s phone the entire time, so much for girl time). 

 

And so, she was in Catherine’s flat, trying her best not to mess up the blue eyeshadow that Elizabeth had painstakingly applied to her eyes as she pulled the dress over her head. 

 

The theme was ‘Renaissance’, and she figured it was her best opportunity to wearing puffy sleeves in public without looking like a child dressed up as a Disney Princess. She gave a little twirl in the mirror, enamoured with the way the embroidered mesh on top flowed out slightly. 

 

She startled at the knock on the door. 

 

“Catherine, it’s your room.” 

 

Another knock. 

 

“Cath? Come in.” 

 

Silence. Maybe a flatmate had got the wrong room. Catherine and Elizabeth has organised pre-drinks, and maybe one of their course mates had thought the room was empty. 

 

The person knocked again. 

 

“You can come in.” She said, but made her way to the door anyway, swinging it open. 

 

“Hello, Annie Big Sleeves.” Purred the voice in front of her. 

 

The voice being attached to a person. 

 

The person being her girlfriend, who should absolutely not be standing in front of her right now, but impossibly was. 

 

“I- Anne?” She managed to say, before pure elation overtook her and she flung herself into Anne’s arms. 

 

“SURPRISE!” Catherine and Elizabeth both yelled, barrelling into the hallway where they were stood, embracing. Anne laughed heartily, but Ann couldn’t bear to move her face from Anne’s neck, her legs wrapped around her waist in a sort of koala-like pose, pressing kisses to Anne’s neck all the while. 

 

“Come on, my love, we’ll be late.” 

 

“Late?” She questioned, before she climbed down from her perch and really took in the girl in front of her. 

 

Anne was wearing a gorgeous, tailored blue suit that fit her like a glove, with a black lace bralette underneath, cropped just enough to show off her abs at the bottom. 

 

“We have a ball to attend, do we not?” 

 

“Wait, you mean- you’re-“” She felt tears flood her eyes, and she turned to her two friends. “You guys did this?” 

 

“Of course we did!” Elizabeth said, and they barrelled into her for a group hug, one of them pulling Anne down to join in too. 

 

“You were so pathetically mopey that we decided to put an end to it.” Catherine teased, whipping a tissue seemingly out of nowhere for her to dab at her eyes with. 

 

“We asked the society if we could pretty please have another ticket and they said yes, and then we made sure your outfits would match, and then we smuggled Anne in here without you noticing, and basically were the best friends in the entire world, you’re welcome.” Elizabeth explained, and Ann let out a happy sob. 

 

“You guys are absolutely the best and I’ll buy you coffees for the rest of your lives. I can’t believe you.” She said, happy and grateful and overwhelmed by the three girls around her. 

 

“And you, you said you were busy? I thought- don’t you have a meeting with your tutor tomorrow? How are you going to get back in time?” 

 

Anne chuckled, brushing a piece of hair out of Ann’s face. “I moved it to yesterday. I’m officially all yours for the next few days.” 

 

“I- I can’t believe, this is- This is far too good to be true.” She said, eyes watery again. 

 

“Ann Walker, I may have set your eyeshadow with every product under the sun, but if you cry any more it might run, and then I’ll have to kill you.” Elizabeth said, and she chuckled as she tried to wipe away the tear in the corner of her eye with minimal disruption to her makeup. 

 

“Right, we’ll be downstairs, ordering the Uber, and we’ll see you guys in a couple of minutes? Don’t be too long.” Catherine offered, dragging her friend away by the elbow and leaving Anne and Ann stood in the hallway. 

 

“I can’t believe you’re here.” 

 

“Are you happy?” 

 

“Anne, I’m- I’m ecstatic, this is the best surprise in the world, ever. I thought I wasn’t going to see you again before Christmas.” Anne leaned in to kiss the pout off her lips, and she relished in the familiar feeling. 

 

“Neither did I. Your friends helped me organise everything, I couldn’t have done it without them.” Anne said, wrapping Ann up in her arms. “I missed you so, so much.” 

 

“I love you, Anne. Thank you.” 

 

“I love you too, baby.” 

 

And she swooned as hard as she did the first time Anne said that, and she drank three glasses of terrible cheap wine at dinner, and she slow danced with her girlfriend until she caught sight of the snow and dragged her outside. 

 

They kissed under the falling flakes before bustling home and falling into Ann’s tiny bed together, legs tangled and Ann’s hair in Anne’s mouth, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.