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Am I still in time?

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CARMILLA'S POV

 

You wake up with someone bouncing on your bed. You groan. You think you might still be dreaming but then you open your eyes, and every potential outburst of anger is replaced by a wide smile on your face, as you see who is the source of energy on your bed.

 

Your daughter. 

 

Your beautiful daughter.

 

Her black hair reminds you of how your hair looked exactly like that when you were little. Now, you can see some grays sprouting in your hair, but that’s life. You have a little ball of energy who makes everything better. And your whole attentions are directed towards her. 

 

Who cares about one or two white hairs. But that reminds you that you’re growing old without who said would be there. 

 

“Mommy, get up! We’re going to be late!” You’re brought out of those thoughts by a loud voice.

 

“Evelyn, i’m perfectly awake!”, you say sitting up and obviously pretending to be back in the living world. That earns a laugh from your daughter, and that is enough for you to get up and start the day. 

 

You’re supposed to meet your mother for a coffee and then go to the park. 

 

You extend your hand for Evelyn to take it, as you open the door ready to leave your house, but she sprints back to her room. After some moments she comes back out, grabs your hand, and says, “i almost forgot my book.” 

 

You smile. She really is your daughter. 

 

At the park she’s playing with some other kids and you and your mother Lilita are sat on a bench talking. 

 

“We haven’t talked about work..how’s work, dear?” Your mother asks.

 

“Everything’s fine..i submitted my last story.” 

 

You’ve always loved reading and always loved creating scenarios in your head. Different worlds from the one you’re living in. People with their contorted minds. You are also pretty good at it, you have a strong contract with a quite renowned publishing house. You have been writing stories and short stories for almost five years. You’re definitely not rich, but you’re successful. Money is not really what you want.

 

Sometimes you stop to think about what you want, you ask yourself that quite often. You are even surprised to see how much that question is burnt in your head. Because you think you have everything you need. And most of the time, it really feels like that. But other times, something is missing. 

 

“Good. You’re having that party tomorrow night, right?” Lilita turns towards you.

 

You nod. “Will you still be able to watch Evelyn? Otherwise i can find another solution.”

 

“Don’t worry, sweetheart. You know i love being with her and she loves it too.” She pauses for a moment, “besides, you need to see your friends and go out.”

 

“Thanks mom.” You then look at Evelyn who is running towards you. She doesn’t say anything, she looks through your bag and grabs her book. She lifts it and points at it, as if to say she’s found a golden treasure, and runs off. She sits under a nearby tree and opens it. You find that too endearing. 

 


 

The party was supposed to be a quiet night, but your friend Kirsch invited a shit ton of people, half of which he doesn’t probably even know. 

 

Kirsch owns a bar, where you go pretty much every morning. You met him years ago, when you were in high school and kept the friendship going, because he’s actually the sweetest boy on earth. And the most reliable person ever. 

 

You arrive at the party, a bit tired, but still in the mood to hang out with people.

 

Kirsch greets you as soon as you enter with a big hug. “I have a couple of good news..your brother is coming!”

 

“Great, i really need someone who keeps teasing and making fun of me.” You sarcastically say as he releases you from the hug. 

 

You LOVE your brother, despite him being a jerk. 

 

“Wait, what’s the other news?” You ask, you’re really curious now. If one is your brother coming, which is awesome, maybe the other one is a nice one too.

 

“Oh, i’ll tell it later to everyone.” Kirsch drags you to the kitchen for a drink.

 

You manage to talk with various people, people from high school, old acquaintances, there are even Perry and LaFontaine, who are now happily married. You stop to talk to them for most of the night, and soon, Will, your brother, joins you all.  

 

“Giiirl, you need to get laid.” Will says massaging your shoulders. 

 

“As if i didn’t know that already.” You scoff. 

 

“Your muscles are so fucking tense..i know someone who could help with that.” He whispers that last part in your ear.

 

“Um, i don’t want the one night stands you always suggest me.” 

 

He works in a gay club and therefore meets a lot of people. He managed to hook you up with some girls but you’ve never really liked them. 

 

“God, you’re so picky.”

 

Kirsch yells something to catch everyone’s attention. “Hey y’all, a friend of mine is coming here tonight with her girlfriend, after years of being away, so as soon as she enters that door i want you to scream the loudest “welcome back”, alright people?” 

 

You wonder who the hell he is talking about. 

 

After another round of drinks, you hear people shouting that ‘welcome back’, from the couch you turn your head towards the door to see who this friend is. 

 

A tall ginger you’ve never seen. 

 

Everyone goes and says hi, but you don’t move. “Who is that?” You ask LaFontaine. 

 

“I think that’s Danny, an old childhood friend of Kirsch’s.”

 

Ok. You don’t care much, to be honest. So you resume your talk on sci-fi with Will. 

 

“Where’s your girlfriend?” You hear someone asking her, even though the loud voices muffle the sound.

 

You can’t hear what she says. You just pick up, “...she was not feeling well.”

 

Will is on a rant about what kind of aliens he’d like to see in the next Alien movie, you kind of space out, until you hear the redhead from before saying ‘Laura’. 

 

For a moment your mind completely turns off and you hear no sound. In that little instant, you realize how much effect that stupid name has on you. She couldn’t be talking about that Laura, no way, so you try to shove that thought away. 

 

She left you years ago, you shouldn’t even consider thinking about her. And yet, you think about her more than you should. Not that there’s a law that says you shouldn’t be thinking about someone, but she certainly doesn’t deserve you thinking about her. As if she would know you’re thinking of her. 

 

Fuck thinking, you think.

 

Ironic .

 

The night dies off and people start leaving. You walk home with Will, and you both go to sleep at your mother’s place.

 

A couple of days after, you’re walking with your daughter’s hand in yours. You went to buy some lights for your place, the little ones that you can hang wherever you want, you think they create such a beautiful atmosphere. 

 

You’re talking with Evelyn, when she tugs at your hand, and you look at her. 

 

Oh, a nosebleed. You crouch, “don’t worry baby, it’s nothing..let me grab a tissue.” You say as you rummage through your bag. 

 

A man stops in front of you two, you look up and you immediately recognize him. 

 

Laura’s father. 

 

“Carmilla?”, he notices blood streaming down your daughter’s nose, “oh, come in, we need to clean that nose.”

 

Come in? Where?

 

You take in the surroundings and you realize you’re in front of his house. Which was once Laura’s house. 

 

“Oh there’s no need to..we were going home.” You try to say.

 

“Don’t be silly, come.” He gestures to you to follow him.

 

You enter and your nose makes an almost automatic twitch. You don’t understand what it is, though. You just know the smell is too familiar. 

 

The bathroom is at the end of the corridor. You wash her nose and take a towel he hands you. After that you both move to the kitchen and he offers a glass of water to Evelyn, he asks if you want something but you kindly refuse. You need to get out of here.

 

“Sweety, come down!” He shouts. You don’t know who sweety is referred to. 

 

You’re standing near the entrance door, which faces a flight of stairs that leads to Laura’s room (you vividly remember that), his room and two other rooms. You hear a crack coming from the top of the stairs, which you can’t see. But you hear it. And you remember the crack was there even years ago. So you know someone must have walked on that wood and must be there. 

 

“Sorry but we need to go, i have an appointment in a while. Thank you, though, for, you know, helping us.” You lie, but you really need to be out of here.

 

“No worries. There was no way i wouldn’t have helped this pretty face..”, he looks at Evelyn, who smiles shyly, “..is she your daughter, right? She looks exactly like you.”

 

“She is.” You know he’s being sweet and kind but you can’t bring yourself to speak much more.

 

“I’ll leave you now. Have a nice afternoon.” He opens the door for you.

 

“Thanks again Mr. Hollis.” You say. Evelyn grabs your hand and copies what you just said, “thank you Mr. Hollis.” He smiles so wide it must fucking hurt. 

 

But it hurts you instead, because it reminds you of who smiled exactly like him. 

Chapter Text

LAURA'S POV 

 

You’re on the bus on your way home.

 

Home.

 

It feels so weird to call it home. That was not your home for a lot of time. You’ve been away for 7 years, but deep down you know this is something relatively close to what can be called home. 

 

Here you had your first kiss, your first girlfriend, your first love. A lot of first times, but one last time had been particularly hard. The hardest one. That was when you had to leave and had to say goodbye to some people in your life. It should have been a temporarily goodbye, but you turned it into what could be considered a proper goodbye. 

 

Turns out, it wasn’t a proper goodbye, because you’re here again. And you feel extremely terrified to be in this town again. You don’t know what changed here, but you’re sure something has. That is the meaning of life. 

 

Change. 

 

Something that when you were younger was never intimidating to you, maybe you were a bit reckless at times, but change was never something you were scared of. Now, instead, you fear it as if you were on the roof of a tall building on fire, and the only thing to do was jump.

 

The bus stops and you realize you’re at your destination. Your dad is here to pick you up. He greets you with the biggest hug and for a moment you’re happy to be here. 

 

You’re now at home, after a nice dinner, you go to sleep because you really need that. When you’re in bed you wonder who would you meet in this old town.

 

The next day you meet up for lunch with Danny, who came back home with you yesterday.

 

“So, how does it feel to be back to you?” Danny asks. 

 

“I still don’t know..i obviously haven’t seen anyone yet, except for my father..it’s a strange feeling, i don’t even know if anyone is still here.” You fidget with a napkin.

 

“Well..i wrote Kirsch, my old friend..do you remember him? He’s throwing a party and he invited me..he told me i could bring whoever i wanted, so you’re coming with me.” There’s a smug look on Danny’s face.

 

Your face is the opposite of that. “Um..ok i guess.”

 

“There are going to be people from school too, so we can catch up with everyone!” 

 

Danny is thrilled about this, and you have pretty much already decided you’re not going. Though you haven’t told Danny yet. 

 

The day of the party arrives. You’re definitely not ready to face old friends and old experiences, so you send Danny a text saying you’re not feeling well and you’re going to stay in bed. 

 

Coward.

 


 

Danny(10:13am): Hollis, you should have come. There were even the two redheads from your school!

 

Laura(10:20am): i know..i feel a bit better now. Who else was there?

 

You type that question after wondering if it’s a good idea to ask that. You know who could have been there. You know she’s friend with Kirsch. 

 

You know you haven’t seen her or heard from her in almost 7 years. You think she probably doesn’t even remember you that much. Surely, not as much as you do.

 

Danny(10:25am): too many people!!

 

Some kind of relief washes over you. It’s probably better to not know if she was there. 

 

You spend the next few days at home, not bothering to write to anyone at all. One morning you decide to go for a run. Maybe a nice jog will help you clear your mind. After a refreshing shower, you go to your room to get dressed. When you hear the front door downstairs get open. Your dad must be back from the grocery store.

 

But you hear other voices. You don’t quite recognize them. Your eyes wander around the room trying to take in those sounds and place them in who could be. 

 

Your eyes stop and stare at a blank point.

 

And they widen.

 

You perfectly know that voice. Even after all these years it’s so loud in your head. Still. 

 

It’s her and you want to run down the stairs and hug her so tight you could break her bones. But you know you can’t really do that. Again, she’s probably forgotten about you. But then you wonder why she is here. 

 

You hear your dad telling you to come down. You’re still in your underwear, but you don’t really care now, and you move and stop at the top of the stairs. You want to hear what is going on before facing her. They are now near the front door talking. 

 

Your dad asks her, “..is she your daughter, right?”

 

“She is.”

 

Your heart stops for a moment and then starts beating like hell. Carmilla has a daughter? She really has moved on, then. She has a life and you’re a loser. You’re pathetic for even thinking she wouldn’t have moved on. It’s not that you haven’t, you just tried to put her and every memories in a remote drawer in your mind. And that worked for a while. But being back here, opened that drawer. 

 

You had relationships after her. The fact that you’re still thinking about her now, tells you why they never worked. There were obviously other reasons, but this one it’s an ever-present reason. 

 

Suddenly, you’re curious to see how her daughter looks like and her too. You run towards the window in your room, that faces the street, but you are able to see just their backs and they’re mostly covered by an umbrella, because it’s now raining. You wonder if her daughter has those beautiful dark locks too and those dark deep eyes. Or if she took those from her other parent, whoever that is. 

 

Knowing that Carmilla goes home every day to someone with whom she chose to spend a life with, awakens something in you. You don’t really know what that is. There’s surely some envy, because she has a life, in contrast to you, who are a mess in every department of life, except for work. There’s also some kind of jealousy, and you hate to admit that to yourself. 

 

You finally get dressed and hope your dad doesn’t start talking about her straight away. And he doesn’t do that, because he knows Carmilla is kind of an off topic, since you told him that. He’s thoughtful and doesn’t approach the subject. 

 

But you helplessly want to know more, so at dinner it’s you the one who speaks up about it.

 

“I heard someone this morning while i was taking a shower..who was it?” You carefully ask.

 

He stutters a bit, “Um..I -”, he sighs noisily, “i know you don’t really want to talk about her, but it was Carmilla.”

 

You fake a surprised face and he buys it. “Oh, what did she want?”

 

He stutters again, “she - she has a daughter, she had a nosebleed and i bumped into them right outside, as i was coming back from the grocery store and i offered help.”

 

“Hm.” You just say.

 

“I know it’s hard for you to talk about her..we don’t have to, sweety. In fact, i’ll go take the dessert i bought for tonight.” He walks to the kitchen and brings back some panna cotta.

 

Your dad is a lovely man. 

 

“Actually it’s ok dad, we can talk about her..i’m here now, so i’ll probably run into her sooner or later, right?” You ask and you know you sound hopeful. And your dad catches that.

 

“You want to see her?” 

 

You’re taken aback by how much he understands you. “I - i don’t know, yeah i guess..i think i’d like to know how she’s been.” 

 

His phone buzzes and he looks down at it and then looks up to you.

 

You don’t get his expression. “Who is it, your new lady friend?”

 

“No, and don’t call her that.” He laughs for a moment and then gets serious, “It’s Carmilla actually.”

 

Why would she write to your dad? Is she asking about me? You can’t think of a reason as to why she could be sending him a message.

 

“Why?” You ask.

 

“Oh, i lent her an umbrella the other day, because it was raining and she didn’t have one. She told me she forgot to bring it back and she’ll come by tomorrow.” 

 

Oh , you internally say, defeated. You’re still a pathetic human for thinking she would be interested in you. 

 

He adds, “she said she’s free at 3 tomorrow afternoon, but i’m at work, is it ok for you...?” You cut him off, “it’s fine dad, i’ll be home. Don’t worry.”

 

He thanks you and then the two of you start clearing the table. You then settle onto the couch to watch a movie but you can’t manage to watch it. There are too many thoughts in your head. What if she just wants to give back that umbrella and leave right away? You smack yourself metaphorically, of course that’s what is going to happen, that’s the point of it. She’s just giving back an umbrella, for god’s sake. Maybe you can ask her to stay for a coffee or a tea, if she wants. 

 

Yeah, that’s what you’ll do. 

Chapter Text

LAURA’S POV

 

You’re trying not to think about it, but the tomato passata jar you accidentally dropped at lunch and the wrong wash you selected for the washing machine, tell you that you are indeed thinking about it.

 

You shouldn’t be this stressed out, you tell yourself.

 

Carmilla and her daughter will just drop by to return an umbrella. 

 

It’s no big deal.

 

But it is.

 

It’s 2:49pm and you keep peeking outside of your window, trying to catch sight of her. Any sound you hear, startles you, the neighbor’s dog barking, a car honk in the distance, the beep of your microwave telling you your hot chocolate milk is ready. Everything makes you think of her. When have you become like this?

 

It had been fairly easy avoiding her and everything that made you think about old times. 

 

It’s this place’s fault, you think. 

 

As you take a sip of your beverage, the bell rings and you’re once again startled.

 

But this time you realize it’s real and your attention is needed. You cannot ignore it now. You move towards your door and open it. You’re met with soft dark eyes looking at you with a bit of surprise, her daughter fidgeting with the umbrella. Behind her, on the lower little step, you see her, Carmilla, looking at you with the same eyes.

 

When you lock eyes with her, you’re shook internally. You realize you still remember those eyes, but they now look at you with something different, which you can’t quite figure out.

 

The stare between you two keeps going, without a word being uttered. When her daughter looks up at her, trying to understand what is happening, she speaks. 

 

“Hi..you lent us this, thank you very much.” Her daughter says and stretches out her arm and gives it back to you.

 

You’re brought out of your trance when you hear that sweet voice. “Oh, hi, thanks”, you say and pause for a moment, and look up at Carmilla, “hi”, is all you let out. 

 

“Hi”, she says back very timidly.

 

You don’t really know what to say right now. “What is your name?”, you ask her daughter.

 

Carmilla places her hands on her little shoulders, encouraging her to answer. “Evelyn..yours?”

 

“That’s a nice name..i’m Laura, not as pretty as your name”, you joke a bit. 

 

Evelyn lets out a small giggle. Carmilla watches attentively your interactions.

 

You feel like you could handle a conversation so you decide to invite them inside, “can i offer you something?”

 

Carmilla finally speaks, but it’s only to decline your attempt to spend some time together, “i’m sorry, but we’re supposed to meet my mother at the park, thanks though.”

 

You deflate immensely, and you’re pretty sure Carmilla catches on that. 

 

“Have a nice time at the park then”, you say a little too loudly, and it’s directed more towards her daughter than her.

 

“Maybe we will meet there”, Evelyn says excitedly and you see Carmilla tensing a bit behind her.

 

“Maybe”, it’s all you say. You know you desperately want to see more of them, but you’re not sure you’re allowed to do that. 

 

“Thank you again”, Carmilla says and you’re pretty sure you see her cracking a glimmer of a smile at you. 

 

You plaster a real smile back at both of them, “have a good afternoon”.

 

“Bye”, Evelyn says and goes to look for her mother’s hand and holds it tightly, once she finds it.

 

They walk away, and you’re left paralyzed on the doorstep, not knowing if you should immediately go back inside, because it’s a bit cold, or stay there and watch them until they disappear in the distance. 

 


 

You’re ready to go out for your daily run, when your father calls you from the living room. You peek inside, “what, dad?”

 

“Tonight Carol is coming for dinner..would you like to join us? I’m cooking.” He’s tidying up the magazines on the table near the couch.

 

Carol is the woman your dad has been seeing for a while, you’ve already met her twice. She’s a nice person and you don’t see why you should be saying no. “Yes, i’ll be there..now i’m going.”

 

The fresh and cold air feels good on your face. You start to jog and you head towards the park near your place, it has a really nice path and it usually isn’t too crowded. 

 

Once you’re there you realize you’re really distracted, because you’re constantly looking at people scattered around. You know she can’t be here; even though you don’t really know where she lives, you think that for some weird karma’s spite, that you probably deserve, she must be living at the other side of the city, hence why you’ll never see her in this park.

 

You shove these stupid thoughts away and continue with your jog.

 

Once you’re home, after a shower, you start helping your father out with some promising muffins and talk about the most random things.

 

Dinner goes exceptionally well, everything your father cooked was delicious, the conversations were not boring at all and you managed to crack some good jokes. You praise yourself for being able to still make people laugh. 

 

You all then settle onto the couch to watch something together, but soon enough your father and Carol fall asleep. His head is leaned against her shoulder. You smile at that scene. 

 

You find yourself incredibly envious of that. You want that too, that kind of intimacy. And you’re fairly sure you still want to experience that with Carmilla. 

 

She was good and you fucked that up. 

 

With that thought you go to sleep and hope you’ll sort out your life soon.

 

It’s the sixth time you’ve chosen the park as your designated place for your workout. You’ve given up on hoping to find her there, when you hear a somewhat familiar voice.

 

It’s Evelyn. 

 

You stop jogging and sit down on a nearby empty bench.

 

“I don’t want to play now!” She almost shouts at some kid who is trying to drag her by the arm. He finally lets her go and she sits down on the grass with a book in hand. 

 

As you’re trying to catch your breath, you look around, trying to find Carmilla, she must be here somewhere. But you don’t see her, so you direct your eyes to her daughter again.

 

She’s flipping through the pages of her book, until a bee starts flying around her, she quickly stands up and starts running.

 

You kind of smile amusedly at the scene, you remember you used to do that too. She’s now running backwards in your direction, she bumps into your legs and turns around looking a bit frightened.

 

Her expression softens when she recognizes you.

 

The bee is gone.

 

Just as your heart is, when you look into those so familiar eyes.

 

“Hey there”, you say as she pulls herself up from the ground. 

 

“Hi..how are you?” She asks.

 

“I’m fine, just doing some exercise here in this nice sun..you?” She moves and sits on the bench with you. 

 

“I’m ok..sorry i hurt your legs”, she looks down.

 

“You didn’t hurt me..i saw you running away from a bee, are you scared of them?”

 

She just nods and you try to reassure her, “you know, i was scared too when i was little like you. Then my father told me they do not hurt you unless you step on them or bother them..they’re just doing their jobs, which is to collect pollen and carry it back to the hive.”

 

She watches you looking amazed by what you just said. “Ok, so i just need to stay still when i see one?” 

 

“Yeah, just do not annoy them and they will not annoy you. My father even used to farm bees for a while, when i was little.” 

 

“I don’t have a father, but i know my mom doesn’t like honey. But i do.” She shifts a little, pressing her back on the wood and letting her legs dangle.

 

You don’t know what to say, you dumbly blurt out, “you don’t have a father?” 

 

“No, it’s me and my mom. She’s the best and i don’t want anyone else.” 

 

Words you had thought too about her. You suddenly feel exposed, even though you know she doesn’t know you and can’t possibly know how you felt for Carmilla. 

 

“Where is she?” You ask.

 

She looks around “mm, over there near the slide with a friend.” 

 

You can’t quite see all the way over there, but you see someone resembling her. 

 

“You can go, if you want..i was just here to save you from the bee”, you wink at her and she giggles. You’re starting to love that little giggle. 

 

“No..i like being here with you. If you want to meet my mom, you can come with me later.”

 

You’re taken aback by that. You don’t know if you should say this, but you say it anyway, “actually i know your mom, we were friends when we were younger..”

 

“And you’re not friends anymore?” She perks up. 

 

“We..um, I had to go away and we lost contact.” 

 

She looks at you a bit puzzled, “now you’re here, you can see her again. You can come to my place!” She says excitedly. 

 

As she finishes that sentence, you look up and see Carmilla wandering through the park. “I think your mom is looking for you.”

 

She hops down, “mom”, she shouts and waves a hand. Carmilla turns around for a bit until she finds the source of that sound and comes right in your direction. She locks eyes with you when she’s a couple of metres away from the bench. Evelyn takes her hand and drags her even closer. 

 

“Hi Laura”, she says. And your heart skips a beat when you hear her saying your name. You haven’t heard that in years and it was always something you loved, among the many many other things.

 

“Hi..”, Evelyn cuts you off before you can say another word, “she saved me from a bee, mom!” 

 

You and Carmilla laugh at the same time and she blushes looking down. Still that beautiful gesture.

 

“Yeah, apparently i’m a hero, uh?” You say back to her daughter.

 

“Yeah..and you were my mom’s friend, so you’re awesome!”, she turns to Carmilla, “can she come and play with us?” 

 

Carmilla tenses, “as much as i’d like that, we are having dinner at Mel’s tonight, remember?”

 

You don’t know if she said as much as i’d like that , just as a pleasantry or if she means it for real. 

 

“Oh, right..another day then?” Evelyn asks. 

 

“Another day” Carmilla says a bit flatly.

 

Evelyn sprints at you and hugs you. Carmilla watches with a smile. 

 

“Thanks for saving my daughter from a bee”, she winks at Evelyn and then at you. You’re not sure of what just happened, and you blurt out, “bye, see you soon”. 

 

Did Carmilla just wink at you? 

 

They leave without saying anything else and you’re just left there, alone with your thoughts, once again. 

 

The next time you see Carmilla is at a party. You decided to go out with Danny and her friend Kirsch. You’re at a table, debating whether to order something else or not.

 

“But i really thought you two were together?!” He asks once Danny mentions a girl she’s been seeing.

 

“No..we’ve tried for a while, we kind of dated but she was not really interested..and she always had her head in the clouds..just as right now, always her head in the clouds”, Danny says nudging you, who aren't really paying attention. 

 

Kirsch looks at where your eyes are so focused on, “oh Carmilla is here, wait let me go call her”, he stands up and leaves.

 

You internally panic, trying not to let your emotions show.

 

When he comes back, Carmilla behind him, you really don’t know what to do or where to look. He sits down and she sits in front of you. 

 

“This is Carmilla..you obviously know her Laura, but the introduction is for Danny”, Kirsch looks for a moment at you and then smiles at Danny introducing herself to Carmilla.

 

“Oh, so you two know each other already?” Danny asks. 

 

“Yeah, we were together for a bit..anyway, sorry but i’ve got to wake up early tomorrow, i was here for just a quick drink.” You’re surprised to see Carmilla answering that.

 

Silence casts over the table, until Kirsch speaks, “oh, but we should totally hang out soon, eh?”

 

Carmilla winks at him, “goodnight”, she says to the table, but you’re pretty sure that is just directed to Danny. 

 

“I thought you two were ok..i mean, at least talking, i’m sorry Laura..” Kirsch scratches the back of his head.

 

You stand up quickly, and without saying a word, you sprint outside, with the hope of seeing Carmilla. You glance at your right and then left, and you spot her, just turning the corner. 

 

When you’re a couple of metres from her, you’re not sure of what to say. She still hasn’t noticed someone behind her. But you know that if you linger with your indecision, you’ll end up messing it up even more. 

 

“Carmilla”, you say very lightly. You hope she hears you because you’re not sure you can say her name again.

 

She turns and snaps, “what?”

 

You’re thrown off by that harshness in her voice. You stop and just look at her for a moment.

 

“We were together for a bit?” You ask, your voice shaky. 

 

Carmilla just looks at you with a blank expression. The lump in your throat threatening to burst out. 

 

“A bit?” You repeat, hoping she says something back. Anything.

 

“Yeah..a bit.” Her expression still the same.

 

You move your jaw and your hear it crack. “So..5 years was just a bit for you?”

 

“What’s wrong with that?”

 

“Well..that’s not exactly an amount of time that you would define as a bit , commonly..i mean, i would say that’s a lot of time..”, you know you should stop the nonsense you are spilling out, and fortunately she cuts you off before you can finish it. 

 

“Why does it even matter how i define the time i spent with you? Actually you know what..leave it”, she pauses and goes to take a step back in her direction, but stops, “why the hell are you here Laura?”  

 

The way she says that and the implicit meaning of the question, that she doesn’t want you here, sends a knife through your chest. 

 

“I’m back.” Is all you manage to say.

 

For a moment, you’re sure you saw her eyes soften at that. 

 

“Back?”, she falters, “back how?” The hard tone is back though. 

 

“I got offered a job here..and i accepted it.” You look at her in the eyes, knowing full well it means you could see each other if you wanted to. You know she’s thinking that too, but you don’t know if she actually wants to see you. 

 

“What job?” She breaks the eye contact and asks looking away.

 

You’ve been working in the Navy for some years, on and off ships, bringing cargo from harbour to harbour. They recently sent into retirement a lot of people working in offices and offered you a position. You could have kept doing what you were doing, with a good salary. The new position has a lower income, but it is close to home, and you felt like that was the right choice. 

 

“An office job..i’ll be working just 20 minutes from home. Well, home is still my father’s place, but i’ll soon find an apartment on my own.” You say, hoping her eyes look at you. And they do.

 

“Oh..that’s, that’s nice. I’m sure your father is really happy to have you here again..” You notice Carmilla’s expression is sad, but she can’t keep the eye contact and fidgets with the hem of her jacket. 

 

“He is..home is home, you know how he is.”

 

Of course she does know how he is. She knows him pretty well. 

 

“I do”, and simply nods at you. 

 

You desperately want to see her again, “we should talk Carmilla.”

 

“Should we?” 

 

You furrow your brow, “what does that mean?”

 

“What is there to talk about? You left years ago and never bothered to talk then..why now?” 

 

You know she has a point, she is right, but you can’t bring yourself to totally blame you, “well, you never wrote either.”

 

“Laura, you left me. You.” 

 

And with that, she silences you. You can’t possibly retort to that in any wise way. You were stupid and reckless and that’s your fault alone.  

 

She moves again and starts walking away, and once more you try to stop her. Funny how the tables have turned. Years ago she was the one begging you and trying to keep you where you were. 

 

“Carmilla..i’d like to hang out sometime.” You know you’re not really allowed to say that, but you try anyway.

 

“Laura..i don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but it’s a little late..and now, you have your life, i have mine.”

 

With that, she really starts walking now, without waiting for you to answer that or turning back. She’s gone. Within a couple of minutes, you can’t see her figure down the road anymore. And again, you think, she is right, you have your life and she has hers. She has a daughter, she really has moved on, you repeat to yourself.

 


 

One week later, you’re at the park near your home. You’re not working out, you just decided to come here to read a bit. And hope to see her again, maybe.

 

You’re immersed in your reading, when you feel someone tapping at your leg, you look up and see Evelyn.

 

“Hi Laura!” 

 

You were 98% sure you wouldn’t have met her here again. 

 

“Hey..it’s nice to see you!” You smile at her.

 

“Can i read here with you?” She gestures towards the bench you’re on. You nod and she hops on, crossing her legs and tracing the cover of her book with her index finger. 

 

“Don’t you want to play with the other kids?” You tentatively ask.

 

“Um..i don’t know them. We don’t usually come here”, she says and you’re struck by that sentence.

 

Could it be that she came here because it’s close to your house? , you think. You’re pathetic once again, for even thinking that. 

 

“Oh..where do you usually go?”

 

“The park near my school..but this is nice and big, and you are here. I like you. And mom said she wanted to see you, so we came here”, she says, opens her book and starts reading, as if she had just said the most normal thing. For her it is, of course. 

 

You can’t hold back the smile that blossoms onto your face. 

Chapter Text

CARMILLA’S POV



You can’t believe it’s her. You can’t believe she’s here again and that she’s back. The thought of seeing her again in your life had surely crossed your mind, it actually was more of a hope, than a mere thought. 

 

You remember vividly when she left this place, she was 24 and you’re wondering why she’s here again, considering she told you the job offer wasn’t really an upgrade of her previous one. So, you think it is fair to say it wasn’t a matter of money.

 

There must be something else, some other reason. You think about what Laura’s reason to be back might be. 

 

The thought crosses your mind and you immediately regret putting so much effort, reflection and speculation into it. 

 

Maybe she’s getting married, you think, or maybe she found someone and wants to start a life. 

 

You know, starting a life with someone while working on ships and going around the world, might definitely be tricky, if not impossible. 

 

That was one of the reasons you two broke up. Well, she left you, you never wanted to break up with her. She was all you had ever dreamt of, she was the one who lighted you up, the only one who could do that. The only one who can still do that, apparently. 

 

You’ve dated people, yes, but never found that spark. And now that you saw her again, you see why. 

 

She’s lighting you up again, only by being here. Even knowing she’s not yours and she’s not in your life.

 

You stand up from the bench and look for Evelyn. It’s late and you should head home now. Your eyes find her, once again, sat on a bench with Laura. And your heart can’t help but skip a beat at that scene. 

 

They must be having a funny conversation because you see them both laughing. You walk towards them and hope they don’t notice you right away, you want to admire that sight a bit more.

 

Laura turns her head and looks at you, the smile on her face dropping a bit.

 

“There’s your mom”, she says to your daughter. 

 

You see from the look on Evelyn’s face, that she has already understood why you’re interrupting the moment, “no, i want to stay here..please another 10 minutes? I want to stay here with her.”

 

Your heart skips another beat. 

 

Fucking heart.

 

You see Laura giving Evelyn a soft smile. “Well..i was actually going to invite Laura too..”, you pause for a moment to take in their expressions. Evelyn nods enthusiastically and Laura just looks at you with her mouth hanging open. “..would you - would you like to come to dinner with us?”

 

It doesn’t take long for Laura to spit out a “yes”, smiling broadly now at you. 

 

You know you were a bit too harsh the other day to her, when you met her at the bar, and you know you should apologize for that. Plus, you want to know more about her life, even though you know that might be like walking on thin ice. 

 

Evelyn stands up and hugs you really tight. “What are we eating mom?”

 

“Whatever you want to, sweetheart.” 

 

She looks up, trying to think of something her stomach craves for. “Well, do you want to eat at home or out?” You ask.

 

“Home”, she says almost shouting. 

 

“Ok, then let’s go.” 

 

“Home, so Laura can play with me after dinner.” You roll your eyes at that, but find that endearing as well.

 

The walk back home is not uncomfortable at all, unlike you thought it would have been. Evelyn plays some sort of mediator between the two of you, and the conversation flows really well. You’re telling Laura about her school, a bit of your job and about you mom too, who she remembers fondly. 

 

At dinner, everything goes well, you’re pretty relaxed, even though you know you’ll be left alone with Laura later and you’ll have to handle that on your own. You actually can’t wait for that but at the same time you don’t want to face that. It’s a strange feeling and you know it. 

 

“Can we go in the living room?” Evelyn asks you. 

 

“Yes go on, don’t worry.” You tell her as you start washing the dishes.

 

Evelyn sprints into the other room while Laura gets closer to you, “are you sure you don’t want any help?”

 

“I’m sure. I’ll join you in a while”, you say. 

 

You two stare at each other for a long moment, until she follows Evelyn and you’re left wondering if it’s a good idea talking to her later or not.

 

After one hour and a half, in which Evelyn managed to tire you even more, with too complicated and confusing games to play at 10 at night, you tell her it is time to go to sleep. And you know what that means. 

 

You’re alone with Laura.

 

“I like you because you’re more active than mom when we play”, Evelyn says to Laura. 

 

Laura looks at you a bit puzzled, “yeah, i’m always sleepy”, you clarify. 

 

“Oooh, i know that”, Laura says and as she finishes the sentence she realizes the weight it has. You’ve always been a sleepyhead and Laura knows that pretty well. So many times, you’d fallen asleep in her arms when the night was still young or when you’d decided to watch a movie. 

 

She looks at you and you both communicate something to each other with the stare. You’re not sure if it’s the same thing but it’s definitely something. 

 

“I hope you’ll come again Laura”, Evelyn hugs her.

 

“I hope that too, goodnight”, is all Laura says back.

 

“I’ll take this ball of energy to bed and be back in a minute”, you say to Laura.

 

When you’re back downstairs, Laura is not in the living room anymore. You panic for a moment and think she has gone home, when she peeks inside from the front door, “I’m here.”

 

You follow her outside on the veranda, she sits on the chair and you take the little couch. 

 

“I hope you liked dinner, i’m trying to cook new things and expand my cooking abilities..”, you start.

 

“Dinner was delightful, Carmilla..as your daughter is”, she says looking away from you. 

 

Oh, so we’re going right into it, you think. Serious conversation right away it is, then.

 

“Thank you”, is all you manage to let out.

 

“So, something..”, you cut her off, “Laura, i’m sorry for the other day..i was so cold, rude and harsh to you, there was no need to be like that, i wanted to apologize to you. Sorry if i waited till now.” 

 

“It’s okay..you actually had every right to be like that..”

 

There’s a pause, you know what she means by that, that you’re allowed to be mad at her for what she did to you. But, you’re honestly tired of being mad at her..you’ve been for a couple of years, then you learnt to put anger aside and move on, which is what you want to keep doing. 

 

She continues, “i’m sorry too, i should have told you i was coming back. Well, not should but, i don’t know, maybe i could have written you, maybe you would have liked to know.”

 

You don’t say anything to that. Even though it is true, you want to let her know you don’t want to be open about your emotions to her, the last time you did, she went away and never came back. 

 

“You know i wanted to see you”, she says again, when she notices you not answering.

 

“No i didn’t”, you say. Your answer is cold, like the blade of a knife. 

 

She doesn’t say anything to that, she knows it’s her own fault if you didn’t know that. 

 

You want to try and steer the conversation away from this topic, so you ask her about her job, “are you happy about your new job?”

 

“Yes, even though i liked being always on ships and moving from one place to another, it was really tiring. I never had time for anything else. Now, let’s say, it’s a more normal job, i sit in front of a computer and type things into archives and stuff...plus, i’m home.”

 

She looks at the road in front of your house and the moon sheds its light on her face. She’s still so beautiful, even more so now. You wish you could map her profile with the tip of your finger, and find out if it makes you feel the same things you felt years ago, by doing so.

 

“I’m going to be living alone, but i’ll still be able to see my father whenever i want..”, she continues.

 

So, she doesn’t have anyone maybe, you think. 

 

“I see..i’m happy for you Laura, you’ll have more time to go out here certainly”, you say, but you can’t be 100% happy about it. 

 

“Yeah, Kirsch invited me to a club, but i’m not really that type of girl, as you know..”, she blushes a bit, “..we’ll see.”

 

You nod, “yeah, he mentioned it to me too.”

 

“So, anyway..there’s something i’ve been wanting to ask you..what did you do after i left?” 

 

You’re taken aback by this. What kind of question is this?, you think. 

 

“Why?” You ask. 

 

Laura shrugs, “I don’t know, I just want to know about you and your life..”

 

You feel anger rising within you, “maybe you shouldn’t have left, if you cared so much to know about me.”

 

Laura stutters, “I - I, i know i fucked up, okay? I was following my dream, you knew i’ve always wanted to do what i did until now, and you never even tried to support me..”

 

You cut her off, “that’s not true. But do you really blame me? I just wanted you around, not always 4000km away from me”, you pause to take a breath, “we clearly wanted different things. That is why we are exactly like we are right now.” 

 

“I knew you didn’t want a long-distance relationship, but you know I didn’t want to be away from you..”

 

“It’s okay, Laura..I was not the priority for you and i get that. When you went away for 6 months the first time, I remember i was hoping with all of my heart you wouldn’t like that job, and i recognize that’s an extremely selfish thing to think, but i just wanted you back. And then you never came back, and i realized later you didn’t want what i wanted..” You’re tracing a random pattern with your finger on the armrest, because it’s too hard to look her in the eyes.

 

“That’s not exactly true, Carmilla..i was the one who’s been selfish in this, we were together for 5 years and i didn’t really think of how much it could impact you what I was going to do.”

 

“Well, as you notice, it had an impact..”

 

Laura laughs bitterly and shifts in her chair, “yeah..are you..i mean, are you seeing anyone?”

 

“No”, you don’t even think for a moment to answer to that, you want to be honest, like you’ve always been. 

 

Laura just presses her lips together and nods. There is tension between you two, you want to make it go away in some way, so you say, “Kirsch told me you and the redhead were together, and then he said he was wrong and didn’t get a thing about the thing apparently.” 

 

She laughs, and you feel the tension leave the air a bit, “oh yes, we were never a thing, we tried dating but no, we weren’t really compatible..”

 

“And you and I were?” You ask immediately, with a mocking tone, and regret it once the words leave your mouth. 

 

“Of course! That’s why we were able to be together for so long!” 

 

You break eye contact, you lower your eyes and hope the conversation doesn’t go there. 

 

“Carmilla, i know there were things you didn’t like about me..”, you don’t want to bring up old fights so you interrupt her, “stop. That’s not true, there wasn’t one thing i didn’t like about you..there were things that annoyed me a bit, yes, but that’s it.” 

 

“It was the same for me.” She’s looking at you intensely. 

 

You two stare at each other for a long while. There is no need to say anything more.

 

She shifts again in her chair and you know she’s about to ask something else. 

 

“So..since we were speaking of “impact”, you have a daughter.” She says and you know what is going to happen.

 

“I do.”

 

“She’s really cute. And apparently she likes me..who would’ve ever thought i could make such an impression on a kid?”

 

You chuckle, but you know it’s bitter. 

 

“She’s..I mean, can I ask, who’s the other parent?” Laura asks you.

 

You purse your lips, “she doesn’t have one. She just has me.” You know she’s going to pry more into this matter.

 

“But..well, how..did you adopt her?”

 

“Artificial insemination. I wanted a child, I went to a fertility clinic, looked for a donor..it took a couple of attempts, and here she is. She’s seven now.” You clarify.

 

“Wow...and how does she cope with that? I mean, does she ever asks why it’s just you?” 

 

“No, she knows I’m her mom, and that’s all she has to know for now..”, you pause, you brace yourself and prepare to say what you’ve kept as a secret to everyone until now, “the other parent I wanted for her..well, it was you..in my mind you’ve always been her other mother, even if i know you’re not. I wanted a kid with you..you’re the other parent for me, not for her though.” You see her looking at you flabbergasted.

 

“..what?”, she asks softly.

 

“What?”, you ask back.

 

“Carmilla..you - you can’t tell me that!”

 

You swear you saw her chin quiver for a moment.

 

“I’m sorry..i just wanted to be honest, i’m not trying to upset you.” You know that’s bullshit, of course that’s a lot to take in, you just dropped a metaphorical bomb on her.

 

She stands up, her hands waving around, shaking a bit, “you’re not upsetting me Carmilla..you’re..why..”, she quickly goes inside to grab her bag and comes back out, “..i need to go.”

 

You don’t say anything to that, you don’t really know what to say. You watch her go in silence, knowing well the only thing you can do is hope she’ll reach out to you.  

Chapter Text

Flashback - 12 years ago

 

“So, it’s my turn to ask someone a random question?”, LaFontaine asks. Perry just nods. “Ok, Carmilla, do you see yourself with children in the future?”

 

Carmilla shoots a quick glance towards Laura and then lowers her eyes. “Um..yes, i eventually want children.”

 

“That’s the alcohol talking! God, Carm you’re 22!” Will says making a disgusted face.

 

“So? I never said i wanted them now, you idiot..i said eventually.” Carmilla clarifies, still shooting a glance at Laura, who seems to have muted herself.

 

A moment of total silence casts over them. Then Perry tries to keep the conversation going, “well, i think that’s a wonderful thing, and that you’d be a wonderful mom!”

 

“Oh my god..think about this..say goodbye to all the sex you’re having now”, Will keeps adding his provoking retorts. 

 

Laura blushes and smiles at Carmilla, finally looking at her. 

 

“That’s not a problem of yours”, Carmilla smugly says. 

 

“Ok ok i get it..can we move on? Children are lame”, Will says.

 

“Your turn then, go on!” Perry challenges him. 

 

After another hour of random questions, they leave Perry’s house. Carmilla during the walk home is really quiet, and Laura immediately notices that. Laura grabs her hand, testing the waters, and Carmilla gladly intertwines her fingers with hers, and smiles. 

 

Still noticing a weird silence, not the comfortable silence they are used to, Laura speaks up, “i know we don’t really have to talk about it now, but we’ve been together for 3 and a half years, so sooner or later we’ll talk about it, and i mean, why not now, right?”

 

Carmilla squeezes her hand, “yeah?”

 

“About tonight.” Laura simply says.

 

Carmilla tries to play aloof, “what about tonight?”

 

Laura tilts her head. She carefully thinks of what to say, “are you drunk?” 

 

“No, i’m not. Why?” Carmilla asks not really following why she’s asking that.

 

Some sort of surprise or realization plasters on Laura’s face. “So..you were saying true things when you said you want children one day?”

 

Carmilla chuckles and shakes her head lightly, “yes, Laura, i was saying true things. ”  

 

“Oh..”, Laura just says.

 

Carmilla halts their walk, she takes both of Laura’s hands, “and to make myself even more clear to you, I hope it'll be with you.” She quickly lets go of her hands and starts walking, as if nothing happened. 

 

Laura takes a moment to absorb that. She then runs towards Carmilla, “hey.” She grabs her hand again, “i want that too, you know?”

 

Carmilla just watches her, a hint of a smile.

 

“With you”, Laura clarifies. 

 

That smile can do nothing but widen, almost automatically. Carmilla doesn’t say anything, she tugs at her hand and encourages them to start walking again.

 

“Sooo..a revealing night, uh?” Laura says after a moment, trying to push aside, for now, that beautiful smile out of her mind. 

 

“Nahh, nothing big i’d say”, Carmilla jokes.

 

Laura nudges her on the shoulder. “Ah, ah..do you think we’ll have less sex if we’ll have kids?” 

 

Carmilla cringes, “Laura, we don’t really have to talk about children NOW, you know?”

 

“Right, right”, Laura shuts herself up.

 

“We have time, cutie”, Carmilla sweetly says to her. This tender moment is interrupted as she adds, “plus, i don’t want you to kill my mood right now”, a smug look on her face.

 

“What do you mean?” Laura furrows her brow. 

 

“I was thinking of going back home aaand...i was thinking of riding your thigh like last time..”, Carmilla says, purposefully not looking at her. 

 

Laura blushes a bit, but then challenges her, “oh..what if i want to do it this time?” 

 

“Ok, first one to get home gets to ride the other’s thigh, bye cutie”, Carmilla lets her hand go and starts running off. 

 

“Bitch”, Laura mutters to herself, before chasing her.

 


 

LAURA’S POV



You’ve managed to replay this memory in your head for the fourth time. Apparently, you can’t get it out. And apparently it was particularly meaningful, if you remembered it. 

 

Something hits you.

 

You realize now, that she was indeed telling the truth. 

 

She really wanted a child with you. You feel your stomach drop at the bottom of your abdomen. 

 

You recall that you and Carmilla never approached the matter of becoming parents again, after that episode, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a desire still present. You thought you were waiting for the right moment, for you to find a stable job and just basically start to save up some money. 

 

Of course that was shattered by you leaving for a short period of time (6 months), and then by the 8 years you decided to be away from her. You remember that you weren’t really thinking of anything else, except for your job, in that period of your life. You were an incredibly selfish person, and you had realized that after 2 years.

 

That has to be one of your biggest regrets ever, you chastise yourself.

 

You still remember how wrecked she was when she last saw you the day before you left for your 6-months work placement. It surely hurt you to see her like that, but it absurdly hurts you more right now. 

 

She should have never suffered like that, and you definitely don’t even deserve to have her again in your life. But it looks like she’s okay with seeing you, for now. 

 

It’s been a week since Carmilla told you that she wanted you to be her other daughter’s parent. To say you were shocked when she told you, would be an understatement; but after thinking it through properly, and remembering everything you and her had built together, it now makes more sense to you. 

 

You’re not sure of what to do, honestly. Does she want you to be around? Does she still mean what she told you that night?

 

Your phone rings and it’s a message from Kirsch, reminding you about the party, which is tonight, and you’re pretty sure Carmilla was invited too. You quickly go to take a shower. Just as you’re done, you stop for a moment and look at yourself in the mirror, and there’s no doubt it’s you, but you feel something has changed. 

 

But there’s also something that hasn’t changed, you realize, and it’s pretty clear what it is.

 

You still like her, a lot. 

 

You’re not really sure of what to do with this information your mind decided to grant you. But you’re definitely not going to ignore it, like you did, for too many years. You wasted so much time of your life, pretending everything was fine without her, when it really wasn’t. Sure, your job was going well, but you quickly realized that that was not what you wanted your life to be about.

 

There were times, in which, out of the blue, she randomly popped in your mind, and you consequently spent a solid hour thinking of her. About what she was doing in her life and how much you missed her. 

 

You wanted her, in your life, no matter what, through easy times and hard times. 

 

It’s risky and desperate, and you know it, but you want to talk to her about it, and maybe give it a shot.

 

You’re walking to the designated place and you’re hoping, really hoping, she’ll be there. 

 

As you approach the club, you see Kirsch, Carmilla and her brother on the sidewalk. 

 

“Uhhh Laura! I’m so happy!” Kirsch hugs you, before you even have time to approach them. 

 

“Hey guys”, you greet them.

 

“Hi Laura, how are things?” Will asks. Carmilla just smiles at you.

 

Kirsch managed to let you go, “everything’s fine”, you lie, “what are you doing outside? It’s chilly.” 

 

“Oh, we’re waiting for a friend of mine, but we might as well head inside”, Kirsch explains. He then waves at someone and he and Will move away from you to say hi to this person. And you’re left with her.

 

“I’m sorry if i haven’t said anything to you and that i ran away last time..i just wanted..”, you start but she cuts you off, “it’s fine Laura, you don’t have any obligations towards me, i just wanted you to know it. That’s it.”

 

Your mouth hangs open and words don’t come out. She gives you a tight-lipped smile and goes inside. You just stay there, still, for some moments, then reach Kirsch and Will.

 

The person they were talking to leaves after a bit, “so, where the hell is he?” Will asks him.

 

“Don’t know, i’ll text him”, Kirsch looks at you, shivering from the cold air a bit, “you can go inside, Carmilla surely will be at the bar ordering some beers.”

 

You don’t hesitate for a second, “ok, i’ll join her, see you in a bit.” You move to head inside but Will speaks, stopping you, “she’s happy you’re back”, his tone serious.

 

You’re almost startled by that, you don’t know what to say, you smile and he smiles back at you, and you see, out of the corner of your eye, Kirsch giggling a bit and looking away. 

 

The club is packed with people. It’s hot inside, a stark contrast to the outside temperature. The music is a bit too loud for your liking, but you try to push that aside and enjoy your night.

 

You locate the bar counter and head in that direction, when you see Carmilla leaning onto the wood, waiting for the waiter to pay attention to her. 

 

A little smile plasters on your face as you see her and you decide to go there. Your thought is immediately blocked when a blonde woman approaches her, kisses her on the cheek and places a hand on her ass. 

 

Even before jealousy can take over you, you literally don’t know what to do; you’re in the middle of the club, you look around, every booth is taken, and you can’t go talk to Carmilla right now, she’s obviously busy, and you’re surely not going back outside. 

 

So, you head for the bathroom. You try to calm yourself, she has every right to go out with whoever she wants and you’re in no position to be this jealous.

 

As you’ve finished drying your hands, you push open the bathroom door and bump into someone. 

 

It’s the blonde girl you saw with her. You kind of take advantage of this and go straight to the bar counter. 

 

She’s giving her back to you, so she can’t see you, “Carmilla.” Apparently she can’t hear you either. Your voice is so cracked, you realize, for who knows what reason. 

 

You decide to tap on her shoulder and she turns around, her smile falling when she sees you. Maybe she wasn’t expecting you, you think. 

 

“Hey”, you try to say again.

 

“Hey there..so you came too, uh?” You notice her smile is back on her face, and you’re a bit confused. 

 

“Yeah, i figured i need to start having some sort of social life, since i’m back”, you laugh, blushing a bit.

 

“Well, we’re really on opposite sides here..”, you feel yourself defeated already, “i’d prefer to be home, i’m already too old for this shit, but Will dragged me here”, she shrugs.

 

What you meant to say was actually, i’d like to have a social life with you and that’s it , but you couldn’t quite say that, you’ve never been that bold.

 

The blonde girl comes back, says something in Carmilla’s ear and then leaves. You eye her walking away, “still popular with girls?”, you surprise yourself at this observation.

 

“I never was”, she’s serious and looks intensely in your eyes.

 

You tilt your head, “pff, so many girls hit on you when we were together.”

 

“That’s not being popular..i wanted to be “popular” just for one person”, she stands up and moves to leave. 

 

You know she means you , and you don’t know what to say. Why is it so hard to speak right now?, you ask yourself.

 

“Are you going home with her?” You unexpectedly hear yourself ask and you’re afraid to face her answer.

 

She looks at you with her brow furrowed, “no, i’m going to say hi to some friends.”

 

You nod and then sprint towards a table where you saw Will, Kirsch and two other persons. You’re pretty sure you saw her furrowing her brow even more at your quick escape. 

 

You’re trying to calm yourself by engaging in various conversations with the people at your table and then by dancing a bit. Just as you make a twist to the rhythm of the music, you notice the same blonde dragging Carmilla by the hand towards the bathroom. 

 

Before you’re even thinking rationally, you’re walking towards the bathroom too. As you open the door, the girl stomps out, you look at her confused for a second, and then head inside. 

 

“Are you following me, cutie?”

 

That nickname makes you feel things in your stomach. You can’t say yes to that, so you blurt out the most basic thing, “no..i just needed to pee.”

 

She’s washing her hands, “what a shame.”

 

You enter the bathroom stall, and you’re glad she can’t see your red face. Is she flirting or is she drunk?

 

When you get out, she’s still there, so apparently she’s waiting for you or wants to talk.

 

“What’s up with you and the blonde?”, you ask, trying to be a bit provocative.

 

“I’m definitely not interested..sorry to confirm the “not so popular” with girls’ theory.” You chuckle and then dry your hands. She takes a couple of steps closer to you and you stiffen. 

 

You take a risk and say, “well, i was just asking because i saw how she looked at you.”

 

“How did she look at me?” She smirks a bit.

 

“Like she wanted to eat you”, as you finish the sentence, you realize you could have chosen different words. And you see her smirk grow, as you expected.

 

“Are you jealous, Laura?” She asks.

 

Your cheeks turn red, “no.” 

 

“You know..you should have just said you wanted to see me, instead of following me around the club, shooting glances at me..because it’s pretty clear you want me. And i think it’s hot that you want me.” God, how you missed flirty Carmilla. 

 

She’s a couple of inches from you, your cheeks even redder, from the proximity. You feel one of her thighs touching yours and you see her smiling at you, probably sensing what she’s doing to you. 

 

“I - I wanted to see you, yeah..”, you pause for a second, “but i thought you had company.” Again, you slap yourself mentally for your choice of words, but you can’t help it, she’s making it difficult to make a coherent and proper argument.

 

“You know i don’t care about anyone else’s company..”, she doesn’t finish her sentence.

 

You risk it again and say, “what if it was my company?” It’s the little amount of alcohol making you this bold.

 

“That’s dangerous territory..”, she says leaning in, your eyes on her mouth and hers on your mouth. If you leaned in too, you could taste her again. But you want to wait and see what she’s doing, “..but i have to say, you look so much cuter than that girl.”

 

You can feel her hot breath on you now and your mind is spinning. 

 

She draws back a little, “you thought i was going to kiss you just like that?”

 

You’re left speechless at that. 

 

Someone enters the bathroom and she draws back entirely from you, still looking at you smirking. “I’ll come at your table in a while”, she leaves and you feel your heart beating wildly through your chest.  

 

You try to compose yourself a bit and then go back to the others. When you reach them they both smile mischievously at you, “what were you doing in there?”, Will asks.

 

You sit down, “what do you think a bathroom was designed for?”

 

“Well, i know i did non-designed stuff in bathrooms..you’re all red, that just made me think maybe you had a bit of fun.” Will says back.

 

You touch your face automatically, as if you could erase the redness from it, and you try to stop the thought of you and Carmilla doing things before it turns your cheeks like a tomato. 

 

You spend the rest of the night talking with Will, Kirsch and some other people that joined you. You’re actually a bit disappointed that Carmilla didn’t show up at the table, like she said she would have. She is nowhere to be seen. 

 

You down the fourth beer and you feel a bit dizzy. 

 

You surely would like to explore more of that tension that sparked in the bathroom. You and her alone would be better, but you’d be fine if she were here even with your friends. But apparently she has other things on her mind, not you, certainly. 

 

As your stream of thoughts comes to some sort of end, she appears, as if she sensed you were calling her in a way. 

 

“Hey guys, sorry but my mother called and Evelyn apparently can’t sleep without her favorite stuffed toy and i forgot it earlier..my bad. So, i’ll head home, maybe i’ll come back later, but i don’t know..”, Carmilla places both her hands on the table.

 

“Wow, you’re too kind.” Kirsch sweetly says. 

 

“Since you’re such a good mom, why don’t you take this drunk girl home?” Will asks gesturing towards you.

 

“I’m not drunk!”, you shout out, “but i’m tired”, you add.

 

“Do you want to go home?” Carmilla asks you a bit timidly and you love when she’s like that.

 

You nod, “yeah.” 

 

“Ok then, i don’t usually take drunk girls home, but i can make an exception for you”, she says, waves at everyone else and leaves.

 

You say bye to everyone and follow her quickly. 

 

When you’re walking with her and almost near her place, you say, “you’re not really good at keeping promises.”

 

She looks at you confused, so you explain, “you never came to my table.”

 

“I don’t remember saying that as a promise..” You make an offended expression and she catches that. “..but we can do something about it.”

 

You don’t get what she means, you stay in silence trying to understand that, and you notice you two have arrived at her place. She’s now opening her apartment door, letting you in first.

 

“I meant..you can stay here while i go bring Evelyn her toy, and when i come back we can pretend i came at your table.” She says and you look at her even more confused. “You’re saying you want to spend time with me?”, you ask.

 

She chuckles, “yes.”

 

“So you’re fine with me being here alone?” 

 

“Yes, you look like you need to lie down..i should be back in less than 30 minutes, you can take a nap if you want.”

 

You smile, “ok the sooner you leave, the bet..i mean, the..”, you stop, confused by your own mind. She chuckles again at your struggle and says, after having taken the stuffed toy, “just rest, i’ll see you in a bit.”

 

You sit down on the couch and shout, “be quick”, as she closes the door and leaves. 

 

You’re actually not believing this is happening. She really wants to spend time with you, without any bickering, it seems. You’re not sure what’s going to happen when she comes back, what you’re going to talk about this time and as you let these thoughts wander through your head, you fall asleep on the couch.

 

You wake up after a while, you watch the clock. She left at 11:10pm and it’s now 12:15am. You really need to pee so you use the bathroom, and as you sit back down on the couch she enters the apartment.

 

“Was i quick enough?” She asks.

 

“Not really, it’s been an hour.” You say, pretending to be hurt.

 

She goes and pours herself a glass of water, “sorry, she couldn’t sleep..she wanted me there for a bit.”

 

You smile, “that’s sweet, you’re a good mom.” When you hear your own words, you remember what she told you a week ago. She lowers her gaze, a bit timidly, you think.

 

“So..did you manage to sleep?” She asks, cutting the tension.

 

“Actually yes..i’m feeling better now. Thanks for letting me stay here.” You place your hands awkwardly on your thighs and you see her looking down at them. “So, Evelyn is sleeping at your mother’s?”, you add.

 

“Yeah, when i go out she sleeps there, yeah..”, you notice her expression has become a bit more tired and maybe a bit sad, you guess.

 

“How’s your mother?”, you ask, hoping she says something more.

 

She readjusts her positions on the couch, “she’s fine..she - she asked me about you earlier.”

 

“What did she ask?”, you’re surprised.

 

“I obviously told her you’re back..”, she pauses, realizing that she has just said implicitly that she talks about you, “..and she said she’d like to see you.”

 

“Oh..”, you’re even more surprised.

 

Carmilla smiles, “come on, Laura, you know she’s always liked you..she missed you too.” She looks at you and then quickly lowers her eyes, realizing the implication of what she has just said. She stands up and goes to the kitchen once more, fidgeting with something you can’t see.

 

You know she does this when she’s embarrassed. You used to love that, and you find yourself loving it even now. 

 

You stand up too and slowly approach her, you cautiously think of what to say. But you can’t find the right words, it seems, and all you manage to say is, “too?”

 

She sighs, turns around tilting her head, “do you really think i was not going to miss you?” 

 

You’ve always known she must have missed you, but hearing it from her is different. You feel an urge, right now. You take a step towards her, and she keeps looking at you intensely. 

 

Her eyes almost too heavy on you. You look down at the floor, and whisper, “i’m sorry.”

 

She doesn’t say anything for a moment and you’re afraid she won’t say anything at all to that. But then you feel her stroking lightly your index finger with her own fingers. You don’t dare look at her, for fear of becoming too overwhelmed by all this. You look at your hands touching so delicately, you open yours a bit and she accepts it by sliding her hand in yours.

 

She tugs at you gently, bringing you closer to her, “can I hug you?”, she softly asks, and if you weren’t overwhelmed before, you unquestionably are now.

 

You don’t even have the strength to reply to that, you just let yourself lean into her, until she wraps her arms around you, everything happening so slowly. 

 

The flirty Carmilla is long gone and you love when she’s so soft. It’s actually not a rarity on its own, it just is because you haven’t witnessed it in years. 

 

You move your head from her shoulder to the crook of her neck, tightening your grip on her back with your hands. 

 

Her smell envelops you once again, after a long time, and you can’t help but say out loud, “i’m sorry..i missed you too..i’m sorry”, and you feel your throat playing tricks with you, your words leaving your mouth broken and cracked. 

 

She hugs you tighter and you can’t help it, you’re unable to hold back the tears now, overcome by all of these emotions. 

 

You stay like that for a bit, but while you’d love to stay in her arms for the entire night, you know it’s late and you should let her go to sleep. You try to untangle from the hug, but she keeps you there, apparently of the same idea. 

 

“Do you want to come to lunch with me and my mother on Monday?” She asks you.

 

Now you look at her, keeping your hands on her hips, “are you sure?”

 

“Yes, i’m sure, Laura.” She brings a hand up and wipes a stream of tears off your left cheek.

 

“I’d like that”, you say smiling at her.

 

She lets you go from the hug but she takes both of your hands. “Stop crying, ok?”

 

“Ok..”, you laugh a bit, “..i need to go now, it’s pretty late.” You two move towards the front door and as you stop there, you realize her hand is still in yours. You feel like a teenage again, when she would walk you home and wait for the very last moment to let you go.

 

“I’ll see you on Monday, then?” She squeezes your hand.

 

“Yes, i’ll write you..goodnight Carmilla.” Your old teenage self would kiss her right now, but you can’t quite do that now. You feel it’s not the right moment, yet. 

 

“Goodnight Laura”, she lets your hand go and watches you walking down the steps backwards. She smiles at you and you smile back, your eyes still a bit red.

 

Maybe this is a step forward, you think. 

Chapter Text

CARMILLA’S POV

 

It’s been three days since you last saw Laura, and you can still feel her hand in yours. You can still feel her warmth.

 

This doesn’t happen and it never happened with anyone else. And you perfectly know why.

 

It’s Monday. You had invited her to lunch with your mother. You’re on your way to pick up your mother and head to the restaurant you agreed on. You send Laura a text, just to make sure she’s on her way too.

 

Carmilla(12:06pm): ready for a lunch with Lilita and me? :P 

 

Laura(12:07pm): i am! a bit nervous, but ready! see you there in 10 mins

 

Oh. If only she knew how nervous YOU are. 

 

Carmilla(12:09pm): see you in a bit 

 

When you reach your destination, you immediately spot Laura, with her arms crossed waiting for you. 

 

“Ooh there she is”, you mother almost shouts, walking towards her. 

 

“Hi Lilita, it’s nice seeing you.” Laura untangles her arms, not really knowing what to do.

 

Your mother stops, when in front of her, and then asks, “can i hug you?”

 

Laura just opens wide her arms and welcomes Lilita in a weird but familiar hug. You’ve seen those two hug each other a lot back in the day, they always went along and cared for each other. 

 

You don’t know why, but you kept at a distance from them. Your mother looks back at you with a frown, “well, are we going in Carmilla?” She doesn’t wait for a reply and heads inside. 

 

You snap back from wherever you were with your mind, approach Laura and you give her a quick smile, saying, “hey”, and then look down shyly. She does the exact same, and you grin while walking inside.

 

The waiter brings you to your table on the veranda. It’s autumn and there’s a good warmth in the air. You suddenly don’t know where to sit, but you quickly sit down not dwelling too much on that thought, leaving them with that apparently hard decision. 

 

Laura sits in front of you and your mother on your side.

 

Fair enough. You can watch those honey brown eyes, whenever you want.

 

“I’m really happy to see you Laura..i’ve surely missed you and your pizzas”, Lilita says.

 

You almost forgot how good Laura’s pizzas were. She was the one who would cook most of the times and often invited Lilita over. 

 

“I kind of lost my cooking ability, since i never had the chance..you know, the canteen on ships replaced my possibility at improving at cooking.” She fiddles with the napkin.

 

Lilita chuckles, “oh, come on, improve what? You were already magnificent at that. You actually can teach Carmilla, how not to cook raw things, right?”, she nudges you.

 

You purse your lips and see Laura giving you a confused look. “I - i tried to cook some muffins...they were still raw inside.” 

 

She smiles at you, and you add, “they were not that bad, though.”

 

“Mm, they kinda were”, your mother clarifies. The waiter comes and takes your orders. “So..are you staying for good, Laura?”

 

“Yes, i’m planning to..i found a new job, which is close to the city and i was really hoping to find an apartment on my own.” At those last words, she shoots a glance at you and you don’t really get why. Is she hinting at something or are you just delusional and imagining things?

 

“That’s lovely. Maybe i can ask around and see if there’s something available at a good price.” Lilita offers her, while sipping her wine.

 

“Well, yeah, i’d appreciate that a lot..”, the waiter comes with the dishes and you all start eating, talking about this and that. When you’re done, your mother excuses herself to go to the bathroom and you’re left with her.

 

A weird silence casts over. You play with the fork in your plate and you feel her eyes on you. You know that if you look at her you’ll feel even more nervous and stressed, but you do that anyway. You dare and look up at her, and you see her with her head resting on her hand. She’s looking at you intensely.

 

“What?” You ask.

 

“Just..there is something...” She gets interrupted by your mother coming back at the table, who asks, “anyone wants a coffee?”, you and her nod. She gestures to a waiter and asks for the coffees. 

 

You look at Laura again and you notice she’s a bit red on her cheeks. You don’t know why. She’s adorable just like that. But you desperately want to know what she was about to say just before the question about the damn coffees.

 

“You know, Carmilla, if you want to go out tonight, i can come and pick up Evelyn?” Your mother says looking at you and then at Laura. 

 

You’re a bit confused. “I don’t have any plans for tonight..plus i want to be with her.”

 

“Fair enough. When you want to go out with this lovely lady, i’ll gladly be available to stay with Evelyn.” Lilita says standing up and winks at Laura. You’re even more confused. You see Laura’s cheeks getting redder and you feel yours getting warm too.

 

Lilita looks back at you and Laura, “lunch is on me, don’t worry about it.” She then moves and goes to pay. 

 

Laura shouts a “thank you” at her. You don’t say anything, you take your stuff and head out, followed by her. 

 

The air feels good on your red cheeks. 

 

“She still wants to pay for everything, uh?” Laura asks.

 

“My mother? Oh yeah, you know how she is..”, you don’t finish your sentence.

 

“How is she?” She asks, after a moment of silence. You hear a provoking tone in the question. You don’t quite know how to approach that, but you end up saying, “yeah, like, apparently still rooting for you and me..always pushing me to do stuff..”

 

She looks hurt, “is she pushing you to do something you don’t want to do?”

 

You panic because you thought she misunderstood something and that she thinks you’re seeing her just because of your mother. “No, no..she’s not pushing me..”

 

Laura blinks a bit, “so you don’t want to see me tonight?”, emphasizing the “don’t”.

 

“Why do you say that?” You ask, quite puzzled.

 

“I - i’m just asking, because it looked like you didn’t want to.” 

 

“I never said that!” You say rather loudly and with a serious tone. But then you look at her and she’s smiling, “why are you laughing?”

 

“Sorry, you’re just..”, as she’s saying that, your mother comes back out, interrupting again. 

 

“Do you need a ride home, Laura?” Lilita asks her. 

 

Laura politely says yes, and you end up being left alone behind in the car, while those two talk about decoupage and other crafty stuff you don’t really care about. 

 

When you reach Laura’s house, your mother parks her car. “I need to do a quick errand right around the corner, i’ll be back in 10 minutes, Carmilla. I hope to see you soon, Laura! Bye!” She leaves walking uncharacteristically fast. 

 

“God, i’ve had enough of my mother for today..” You grumble leaning onto the car. 

 

“Always so tolerant, uh?” Laura says, crossing her arms, a smirk across her face.

 

“Don’t tell me you’re not exhausted..” You say, closing your eyes, trying to get the message across.

 

“Shut up, she’s nice. Actually i’m exhausted for something else completely, but anyway..i need to go to the pastry shop later..i was thinking of bringing something for you and Evelyn..if that’s okay.” You see her eyes darting from your eyes to your mouth.

 

You’re still trying to understand what she meant when she said she’s exhausted, maybe that’s none of your business..but again, why did she say that in the first place then? You know and you feel it that she’s messing with your brain again, like 10 years ago. 

 

“Um..yes, but i don’t want you to feel indebted because my mother paid for lunch..” You dumbly say.

 

“Carmilla..it’s not because of that..i just want to do it.” She sweetly says.

 

“Ok, sorry..i’d like that very much.” You want to add something, but you’re pretty scared. 

 

She smiles and suddenly places a quick kiss on your cheek. Your mind is spinning. Too many things are happening, and on top of that, Laura’s presence is exponentially increasing the effects of everything. 

 

She’s walking away from you, probably heading home, “see you later, around 7, ok?”

 

You don’t want her to leave, you want to tell her something. “Yes, 7 is ok, but wait, Laura..”, she stops and takes a step towards you, “yeah?”

 

“I’d like you to stay later..i mean, i don’t want you to just bring whatever it is you want to bring, and then leave..you can stay there with Evelyn and me..” You say, almost not believing your words.

 

She’s grinning, full on grinning at you. That has to be the most wonderful view ever. “So, you do want to see me tonight...i’ll be there.” She walks away with a smug look on her face, leaving you in a whirlwind of emotions. 

 

It feels surreal that she’s here again and you get to see her. Just a couple of months ago you thought you’d have never seen her again. It’s also surreal that she’s coming to your place tonight.

 

Your mother finally comes back after 20, not 10 minutes, and she asks right away, “smiling, uh?”

 

You realize you were containing a big grin, “can’t i?”

 

Lilita chuckles and starts the car. “You know i know you, right?”

 

You try to play aloof, “what’s that supposed to mean? Of course you know me, you’re my mother.” You perfectly know what she means but, for some reason you don’t even know, you don’t want to acknowledge that.

 

Or maybe you do know the reason. 

 

You’re scared. 

 

“Is she the reason you’re smiling?” The direct question catches you off guard. You look at your mother and you see that she already knows the answer to it, but she still wants to hear you say it.

 

“Well..yes..is it that obvious?” 

 

“Why do you say it like it’s a bad thing?” She pauses for a moment, waiting for you to reply, but you don’t find the words, so she continues, “whatever it is that you’re feeling right now for her, is valid, anger, regret, happiness or anything really..i saw you smiling, so i think it must be something good..”

 

You interrupt her this time, “yeah, it is.”

 

“Then, there’s nothing that brings me more joy than seeing you like that. And if the reason is Laura, well..you know i’ve always had a soft spot for her, i’m even happier.” She turns to look at you with sincere eyes.

 

Your mother is such a sweet woman. “Well, if you must know, i’ll see her later tonight.”

 

“That’s what i was waiting for! When can i come by to pick up Evelyn then?” 

 

“Actually..Laura said she wanted to bring me and Evelyn something from the pastry shop, so..”

 

Lilita smirks. “Aaah, i see..she likes Evelyn, uh?”

 

“She does. And Evelyn likes her too, a lot.” Your tone, in contrast to that of your mother, is serious.

 

“Carmilla..would you stop that? Why do you say this too as if it was a problem?”

 

You don’t really know what to say, “I - because maybe it is a problem?” You phrase it as a question. 

 

“Shut up. I’m bringing you home, you’re going to spend a night with your daughter and Laura, you’re going to love it and everything will be fine.” Lilita stops the car and you realize you’re in front of your house. You greet her and thank her for lunch and head inside.

 


 

You have an hour or so to clean up and make the apartment presentable, before Will comes home with Evelyn from school. While you’re cleaning the bathroom, you realize you haven’t touched the “daughter” argument, since that night you told her. 

 

You remember she fled, as soon as you told her that she was the other mother you wanted for your daughter. But then, when she tried to address the matter, you shoved the opportunity away. So, basically it’s your fault if you haven’t had a proper talk about it. 

 

But you stop to think rationally, the water from the sponge you’re using, dribbling down your arm. 

 

What is there to actually talk about? 

 

Would she even want to be with you? Would you want to be with her?

 

You’re not sure of what to think right now. The day has already worn you out, engaging in deep matters is not up to your capabilities at the moment.

 

The bell rings and as soon as you open the door, you’re met with a little bean smiling at you and every tension leaves your body. 

 

“Sorry, Carm, but i’ve got to go. See you in a couple of days, sis!” He gives a kiss to Evelyn and runs away.

 

“Thank you, Will!” You shout at him.

 

You both walk inside and your daughter looks up at you, “I have already done all of my homework with uncle!”

 

You squint your eyes at her, “mm, and what does that mean?”

 

“That i can play?” She sounds hopeful.

 

You nod, “you can do that, or you can help me.”

 

“I always want to help you, mom. What do we have to do?” She’s so full of energy, you notice. You wish you had all of that energy too.

 

“Well, someone’s coming here tonight, so we need to make our house tidy. Do you know who’s coming?” You ask her.

 

“Laura!” She shouts widening her eyes and you’re totally taken aback. You don’t understand the fact that she guessed it right, because she wanted it to be Laura or because she sensed it from your behaviour or something.

 

“Yes, Laura!” You see her eyes shining and yours can do nothing but do the same. 

 

You’re in the kitchen, taking out pans and pots to cook some dinner. The bell rings, you stop in your movements, Evelyn stops whatever she’s doing and you two look at each other. 

 

“Do you want to open?” You ask her. 

 

Evelyn doesn’t even respond to you and runs towards the door. 

 

You hear the door being opened and hear Laura’s voice. You cannot be mistaken about that. You would recognize that everywhere. “Hey, little one!”

 

You reach them and see Laura crouching to accept a kiss on the cheek Evelyn wanted to give her. 

 

“Hey”, you say. You take in the beautiful yellow dress she’s wearing. 

 

“Hi Carmilla”, you all move towards the kitchen. You close the cabinets you had left open and turn to catch Evelyn asking her, “can i hug you?”

 

You immediately have a flashback to a couple of nights ago, when you had asked her the exact same question. Wow, you and your daughter really have something for this girl. 

 

Laura instead of letting Evelyn hug her from her legs, ‘cause that’s always a bit awkward for a hug, she crouches and picks her up, letting her wrap her arms around her neck.

 

“I brought what I told you”, Laura says looking at you with a little smirk. She gestures with her head to the bag she had placed onto the table. You open it and go to put it in the fridge, since you remember she had said pastries. 

 

“Open it, Carm”, she stresses again.

 

You’re confused but you open it anyway. There are 10 little pastries. Two of them are a bit bigger and you notice them right away. They are little cakes with blueberries and some pistachio cream on top. A weird combination, but one you’ve always loved. 

 

And she remembered.

 

You look up at her and you see her smiling at you with her head tilted to one side. You don’t know what to say, you’d just want to experience this every day. “Thanks”, you mumble, looking down at those sweets again. 

 

“I see there are a couple of them with...honey”, you add, something you can’t stand. 

 

“Oh, those are for Evelyn, they’re not yours”, a smug look on her face. She remembers this too. But..how does she know Evelyn likes honey? You think that’s something that might have popped up during one of their conversations. This makes your heart flutter. These are really minor things, but actually they mean a lot.

 

Maybe this is the answer to your own previous question. 

 

You’d want to be with her. You want this in your life.

 

“Ok..since she thought about our dessert, i should be starting dinner then, eh?” You say, not effectively thanking her how you would have wanted to. 

 

While you’re eating Laura asks Evelyn what she would like to do after dinner, and you’re happy just like that, because it means she intends on staying. 

 

You’re still putting away pots and other bowls, when you see Evelyn running towards you. “Mom, you need to come and do something with us.”

 

“What? I need to finish here..then i’ll be there.”

 

Laura, who’s on the sofa, is looking at you, “aren’t you curious?”

 

You cannot say no to her and your daughter. “Ok”, you just say and go sit on the couch. “The pots can wait”, you add.

 

“Exactly, we cannot” Laura says, pointing to herself and Evelyn. Her reply makes you feel warm for a moment and you hope she hasn’t noticed your face reddening.

 

“So, what are we doing?” You ask, feeling intrigued.

 

“Origami”, Evelyn says.

“Not just origami. Each of us is going to make an origami for the others.” Laura explains, pulling out some colored sheets of paper.

 

“Can i choose?” Evelyn asks.

 

“Choose what?” You look at her curiously.

 

She crosses her legs and looks like she’s about to give the biggest speech ever. “I am going to make an origami for mom. Laura is going to make one for me. And you are going to make one for Laura. Like a little present.”

 

“Oh..”, Laura looks just as caught off guard as you, “..ok, this is a nice idea.”

 

You all think for a while about the figure you want to create, looking through pages on the internet, and then start the work. 

 

“Ok, i’ve finished mine!”, you exclaim. 

 

“Oh, we’re done since a solid 10 minutes”, Laura says, winking at Evelyn, who giggles. God, these two are adorable.

 

“We can exchange our origamis then..you go first, Evelyn”, you say pointing at her.

 

She hands it directly to you, “i’ve made a bee for you..you brought me to the park where i met Laura and now it’s my favorite animal.”

 

You’re not sure you can handle how sweet your daughter is. You laugh and you feel your eyes water a bit, but you try your best to contain that. Laura looks at you with soft eyes, probably sensing what this is making you feel. You move from where you’re sat and hug your daughter, giving her a kiss on her cheek.

 

“Laura’s turn!”, Evelyn announces. 

 

“Ok, i’ve made you this..it’s a bit wonky, but I tried my best. It’s a cross, its name is Ankh and it symbolizes protection or some kind of rebirth.” You’re listening really closely, and see your daughter engrossed too. “It means that i will always protect you, if you ever need me.”

 

You knew this evening was going to make you feel a lot, but not at this level. Holy shit. 

 

Evelyn throws herself in her lap, hugging her, “thank you.” 

 

“Let’s see what your mom has made for me!”, Laura says, readjusting herself on the couch. 

 

Your heart has suddenly started to beat faster. “A lotus flower for you.” Your voice is low, almost as if you’re scared to talk. 

 

Laura looks at you surprised. Just as she remembers things about you (like the honey), you remember things about her, and that that is her favorite flower. 

 

The phone rings, “excuse me”, you say standing up and going to answer. 

 

“I’ll thank your mom later with a kiss..”, you hear Laura say as you click on the phone to see who it is. 

 

When the phone call ends, you go to sit on the couch again and you see Evelyn on Laura’s lap with her back pressed onto Laura’s chest. A warm smile cracks on your face. 

 

As you sit down, Evelyn moves and comes to put herself in that position, but on you. You hug her tightly and sway a bit. You all watch a movie that was on tv, but soon after, you feel yourself drifting into sleep.

 

After a while you feel Evelyn shifting on you, trying to wake you up. “Mom, i’m a bit tired.” You quickly look at the clock and see it’s 11pm, she’s usually really sleepy by now. “Ok, give me a minute and i’ll take you to bed.”

 

She nods and sits back down. “I can do that, you look pretty out of energy”, Laura offers.

 

You are really out of energy, so that sounds like a good plan. “Sure, her bedroom is at the end of the hallway on the left.” Laura gets up and picks up Evelyn in her arms. 

 

You immediately fall back asleep. You wake up after what feels like half an hour, when you feel someone shifting close to you. 

 

You recognize her smell obviously. Laura has her legs crossed, her knees pointing at your side, and one arm rests behind onto the couch, near the back of your head. “You were really exhausted, uh?”, she asks you.

 

“That i was”, your eyes are still closed, not wanting the impact with the light.

 

You feel her moving, a hand delicately brushing aside your hair from your face. You don’t want to move, you don’t want this to end. She then keeps on brushing away your hair, but she also traces with a finger a pattern, from your forehead to your temple. She used to do that a lot, when you were together. You had told her that that made you feel more relaxed. 

 

This all feels like 10 years ago.

 

You’re scared to talk, because you think that if you do, you’ll both go back to being guarded and formal again. 

 

“You said you were exhausted too today..at lunch”, you pause for a second, “why were you?”

 

She doesn’t answer immediately. She keeps doing that sweet movement. “Because i was tense today..and i just wanted to do this.”

 

You relish, once again, the feeling of her finger caressing you. 

 

“You were tense?”, you open your eyes and look at her. 

 

“Yeah..”, she pauses and you take her hand behind your head and start playing sweetly with her fingers, trying to relax her too. “..i wanted everything to go well.”

 

“And it did”, you quickly interrupt her, “..and i was tense too, you know?”

 

She smiles, looking down. “Oh yeah, i noticed..i was looking at you and noticed how quiet you were..well, you are most of the times anyway, but even more this time. And i just wanted to do something to make that go away, but i didn’t know what, because i was nervous too..”

 

“Laura...it’s fine”, you cut her off, “we’re both still alive.” You say. 

 

She chuckles, “anyway, your daughter is fast asleep..she’s a really sweet child.”

 

“She is..”, you pause and realize it’s probably pretty late, “..i’ll let you go home now”, you move to stand up, but she keeps you there.

 

“What if i want to stay here a bit longer?” She asks.

 

You’re happily surprised, “oh, ok, i’m perfectly good right here..”, you lean your head back onto the couch.

 

“Plus, i need to do something..”, she brushes another strand of hair out of your face.

 

You feel her leaning close to you. “What?”, you ask, almost whispering.

 

“I told Evelyn i would have kissed you to thank you for the lotus flower..”, her breath on your cheek. She presses a long kiss there and you close your eyes. You open them again when she draws back, but you feel another kiss on your cheekbone this time. 

 

“Can i kiss you?”, she softly asks.

 

“You just did”, you dumbly say. And then you chastise yourself because this is probably not the moment to be sarcastic or ironic.

 

“I mean, properly kiss you”, her mouth still hovering near your cheekbone, waiting for a reply from you.

 

Your whole body tingles and you feel extremely warm in your lower belly and on your face. You close your eyes again, and let out a tender “yes”.

 

Her other hand reaches up and cups your cheek, turning your head lightly, so that your mouths are aligned. You cannot wait anymore, so you catch her lips in a sweet kiss.

 

She lets out a small chuckle followed by a muffled “mm”, that makes you feel even hotter. You feel her tongue asking for permission and you absolutely allow her. You’ve dreamt of having her here for years. You’ve dreamt of crazy sex nights with her and dreamt of feeling those lips again on you.

 

Now it’s not a dream anymore, and you finally have her again.

 

She moves and sits on your lap, her mouth devouring you. You feel that she’s been as hungry as you have. 

 

She draws back a little to breathe, and tucks other strands of hair behind your ear. You try to catch your breath too, but you say panting and jokingly, “i’m impressed by this ‘thank you’ kiss..this is a really good one.”

 

She laughs looking down shyly. 

 

You see her shooting a glance at the clock, “i’m really letting you go home now”, you say.

 

“It’s just because i need to go to the office tomorrow morning..i would love to continue that ‘thank you’ kiss”, she jokes back. 

 

“Next time”, you just say, as you both stand up and head towards the door. 

 

She leans onto the wall, “thank you for tonight..it was a beautiful night.”

 

“It was for me too”, you pause for a moment, “will i see you again?”, you ask.

 

“I - um..I would like to go out with you.” Her eyes dart from your eyes to your mouth.

 

You smile. “Will i get another one of those kisses?”

 

“Absolutely”, she’s serious and you understand that this is important to her too.

 

She moves closer to you and places a kiss on your lips, “goodnight, Carm”, the nickname sending chills down your spine. “Night” you say back, and you place another sweet kiss on her cheek before she moves away from you. 

Chapter Text

LAURA’S POV

 

The night at Carmilla’s place was certainly out of the ordinary. You yourself were surprised for how it went. It felt like a night that would happen when you two were together years ago. A nice dinner (you were the one who usually cooked, Carmilla was always trying to distract you in some way), and then some sweet time on the couch together. Stolen kisses, soft touches and her telling you how much she loved being alive and having you. 

 

Or nights where you would come back home and just jump on her. She was always perfect in making you feel loved and feel good. She was also extremely good in bed; you remember those velvety fingers blessing every piece of your whole body. 

 

Your own fingers start to go down your stomach, until they stop right before the opening between your legs. You’re in the bathtub, the hot water relaxing your muscles. You realize you’re really thinking about her. In a moment like this. It hasn’t happened in a while, so it catches you off guard.

 

But it is what you want, so you slide them further down. You want her to do this to you. You want to feel like she used to make you feel. The first touch makes you shiver, as if her fingers were the ones touching you. 

 

Your mind cannot even control the thoughts you’re having. You’re imagining her trembling under your touch, her completely giving into you, wrapping her arms tightly around you, as you make love to her wildly. 

 

It doesn’t take long for you to actually come, this thought alone made you feel extremely close. 

 

You let your hand fall back down into the water and let yourself relax and catch your breath. It would definitely be sweeter if she were here, caressing you, as she used to do every time after your nights together. 

 

Would she even be interested in this? 

 

What does she want?

 

You’re sure of what you want. You want her again. And this time indefinitely, if that corresponds to her wishes too. 

 

You come out of the bathroom and decide to text her and see what she’s doing. You haven’t seen each other since that night. 

 

Laura(4:18pm): ehi there! How are you? 

 

She answers right away, and it surprises you.

 

Carmilla(4:20pm): hi :) everything’s good..i just went to pick up Evelyn from school. What about you?

 

Laura(4:23pm): i was thinking of you actually 

 

Your cheeks turn red the moment you press ‘send’. Maybe you shouldn’t have been so direct. Well, it’s a little late now.

 

Carmilla(4:27pm): uh..of what exactly?

 

You can’t really tell her tone, so you try not to be too explicit this time.

 

Laura(4:30pm): just of you, in general. 

 

She stops answering and you fear you went a little too far. After an hour or so you hear your mobile vibrate.

 

Carmilla(5:25pm): well, i’ve got a dinner tonight, with some colleagues..but then we could do something together, if you want to..Evelyn will be at my mom’s place anyway, so I have my place available if you want to watch a movie or something..

 

“Um…..HELL YES?” You tell to yourself, not even questioning for a moment your response to that.

 

Laura(5:28pm): yes i’d like that. i could come wherever you’re having dinner, we could drink something..how does that sound? ;)

 

Carmilla(5:30pm): definitely something pretty interesting..unlike my dinner :P remember that place we used to stop at to order pizza? my dinner is on the other side of the road, right in front of that..you can come around 9.30pm, i’ll be done by then

 

Laura(5:36pm): of course i remember. I’ll be there..and you better be done by then ;P

 

Again, you try to be a bit flirty and see how she reacts.

 

Carmilla(5:45pm): why is that?

 

Laura(5:48pm): i haven’t seen you in 6 days!

 

Carmilla(5:55pm): oooh..you miss me then?

 

You decide to leave her hanging, even though you feel that she probably knows the answer.

 

Laura(5:58pm): see you tonight Carm <3 

 

Carmilla(6:04pm): maybe <3

 

You can feel and see her smirk from here. You’re extremely happy and can’t even wait for it to be 9:30pm. 

 

Your dad comes back from work and you both have dinner together. After that, you go to your wardrobe and decide what to wear. You pick some stylish grey trousers and a light pink blouse. 

 

“Wow..you’re seeing Carmilla tonight?” Your dad says, as you walk back down. 

 

You’re confused, “uh..why-how do you know? I haven’t told you about my night yet.”

 

“Girl, you’re glowing.” He simply walks back into the kitchen.

 

Your mouth hangs open and you don’t really know what to say. He really knows you if he got that from whatever hint or clue he picked up. 

 

“I’m glowing?” You follow him and ask.

 

“You are, Laura! You could have told me you two were going out again..”, he mocks being offended, but you know he’s actually faking it.

 

“I know, i’m sorry..it’s just that i don’t know..”, he cuts you off, “don’t worry, honey. It’s fine, you can tell me what you feel like. No pressure. Just have a nice night with her.” 

 

He smiles and you thank him, “thanks dad.”

 

A moment of silence passes, but then he asks, “you’re going to sleep at hers?”

 

“No, i’ll be back later.” You say as you eye the clock and notice you need to get going. “Oh, i have to go, i don’t want to be late.”

 

“Say hi to Carmilla from me!” He says while you take your bag and give him a kiss.

 

When you get to the restaurant, you don’t know what to do. Should you head inside or wait for her right here? You decide to go inside, because it’s a bit chilly, and maybe order something while you wait. 

 

A waiter brings you to a little table in a corner, you order a light drink while you eye the place. It looks really fancy, the place you usually see in movies where rich people talk about big business. Not really your scene, but you try to think that in some moments you’ll see her, and that’s all that really matters. 

 

You send her a text just to inform her that you’re here. 

 

Laura(9:32pm): i’m waiting for you at a table, left of the bar counter, near the luxurious round table :)

 

You previously and mentally told yourself that you would address the ‘daughter’ topic, and you’re pretty determined to ask her to talk about it. Because it is something you have to talk about, right? 

 

As you’re moving the straw around in your drink, someone comes up to you.

 

“May i sit with you?” Carmilla asks with a regal tone. 

 

“You don’t have to say it like that”, you laugh, “actually, you don’t even have to ask.”

 

She sits down, “mm..so, i’m that honoured, uh?”, a pretty wide smirk on her face.

 

“You know you are”, you lower your gaze, a bit embarrassed at how much you’re revealing. She orders something too, and then just looks at you.

 

You look back at her, raising your eyebrows a bit, not knowing why she’s looking at you like that.

 

“Sorry..”, she looks down shyly, “..it’s just, i don’t know if i deserve so much in one night.”

 

You frown, not following what she’s saying. “What do you mean?”, you ask with a bit of concern in your tone.

 

“Uhh, well..I- i’ve just won a big prize for one of my books and now i get to spend a night with, you know, someone like you..”, she fiddles with her glass, and you know she does that when she’s tense.

 

You cut her off, “you absolutely deserve this. And, hello? I wanted to go out with you too!”

 

She just smiles at you. God, she’s beautiful when she does that.

 

“Well? Tell me about this big prize!” You say a bit too loudly.

 

“Remember I told you I had a dinner with colleagues? Well, two editors joined us and told me that they approved a project i was working on and i was given a big amount of money as a prize..that i did not expect to actually win.”

 

“I’m really proud of you..and you know, you can go on a vacation now with that money! Another thing you earned and definitely deserve.” You say as you sip your drink.

 

“No, Laura. No vacation.” She doesn’t look at you.

 

“Why not? It’s perfect, you could go wherever you’ve always wanted to go.”

 

She shooks her head. “Laura, i won a lot more money. I can finally buy a house...my house.”

 

You widen your eyes and you can’t refrain yourself from asking, “how much money, Carmilla?”

 

“A fucking lot. 200.000$. I can finally have my own place.”

 

Your eyes can do nothing but widen again. “Holy shit! Where would you want to live? Here?” As you ask that, you feel tension taking over you, and you’re scared she’s going to say she wants to live in a place on the other side of the planet.

 

“Yeah, here. Not in the centre of the city, like now..but maybe in a little quieter neighbourhood.” She finishes her drink as she says that. 

 

“Near a nice park..since those are Evelyn's favorite places.” You add.

 

She laughs a bit, “absolutely.”

 

You both get startled as loud music starts playing in the restaurant. A waiter comes up to your table and talks directly to you, “Would you like to dance?”, you just look at him a bit perplexed, but then he adds, “you’re welcome to dance on your own or with your friend here..just have fun.” He gestures to an area of the restaurant where people have started to gather and move to the music, he smiles at you and then at Carmilla and then leaves.

 

You watch her, and you blurt out, “would you like to dance with me?”

 

Her eyebrows shot up, “Laura, me? Dancing?”

 

“Yes”, you nod, “dancing”, you pause for a second, “with me.”

 

“Um, i guess it’s ok only because it’s you..”, she says but she makes no movement to get up.

 

“Alright,” you extend your hand for her to take it. She looks at it for a second and then accepts it, smiling at you shyly.

 

While you’re both walking towards the dancing area, she mumbles “what the hell are you making me do.”

 

You just laugh, and turn around facing her, putting your arms wrapped around her waist. “Shut up. You’re going to love this.”

 

She smiles and puts her arms on your shoulders.

 

A slow-tempo jazz music is being played, everyone is swaying and you’re pretty sure Carmilla is enjoying this, despite her demeanour. She’s leaning more into you and she’s caressing lightly with her thumb at the back of your neck.

 

You’re startled when Carmilla speaks directly into your ear, “ok, i’m loving this. You were right.”

 

You squeeze her waist with your left hand, “i really know you, uh?”

 

“You do”, she pauses for a while, “what you don’t know, is that my daughter likes jazz too.” She smirks a bit. “She does?”, you ask her. 

 

“Yeah, one time we were cleaning her room and i had asked her to choose a song from a playlist i had..she chose a classic jazz one and really loved it. Now, every time we clean the house or something she wants that.”

 

You feel like this is the moment to maybe address this topic, finally. “You know…”, you start, “I'd like to know much more about Evelyn.”

 

“Yeah?”, she just says.

 

“Yeah, like really get to know her”, you clarify.

 

She eyes you for a moment, “well, since you already really know me, you could do that too”, she’s being a bit humorous, but you know she uses the funny card when she’s reluctant to admit or say something.

 

You decide not to push this again. Instead, you hug her, you slide your hands up from her waist to her upper back, bringing her closer to you. She locks her arms around your neck, “have we danced enough now?”

 

You don’t know what she plans to do now, head home or stay here a bit more, but you don’t really want to leave her yet. “Yes, we have, miss”, you joke, and you hope she wants to stay with you a bit longer.

 

“Already tired?”, you cautiously ask once you’re back at your table. 

 

“Nah uh, i just want to go home though”, she says rummaging through her purse. 

 

You feel kind of sad for how little time you two spent together tonight, but you don’t want to force anything on her. “Oh, ok..well, thanks for tonight.” You move to stand up.

 

She looks at you puzzled, “what are you doing? I was thinking of going home with you..”

 

“Oh..”, you make a surprised face, “ok, i thought you wanted to end the night and just go to sleep”, you laugh as the tension leaves your body.

 

“Maybe I want to go to sleep with you”, she jokes and winks at you. 

 

Oh, how you’d want that. Falling asleep by her side was the most comforting aspect of your whole life. 

 

“Are we going to your place?” You ask, just to make sure.

 

“Do you want to?” She asks back, stepping outside of the restaurant.

 

“Yes, i do..but i don’t want to be a burden, maybe you need to work early tomorrow or something..”, she cuts you off, “i’m off tomorrow, i just need to go pick up Evelyn before lunch. You’re not a burden, Laura.”

 

You smile and you feel her hand searching for yours. She interlocks her fingers with yours and starts walking, pulling you in that direction. 

 

The tension, though, has not left you completely. You suddenly remember what you were doing this morning in the bathtub, and how much you were thinking of her. You unconsciously turn a bit red in the face, but she doesn’t notice. She’s looking for her house’s keys and opening the door.

 

“Go ahead and sit on the couch..do you want anything?” She asks, once you’re inside. 

 

“Just some water, thank you.”

 

She comes back with two glasses and places them onto the little table to the side of the couch. 

 

“So, what about your house? Weren’t you looking for a place of your own?” She sits down, next to you. 

 

You haven’t looked around for anything yet. “Uh, i was thinking of staying at my father’s for a while..i need to save some more money before i can think of buying..even money for rent is actually challenging..”

 

“Yeah, i get you..i’m sure you’ll find something for you”, she’s not looking directly at you and you wonder why. Maybe she’s implying something. Could it be that she wants you to go live with her? Wow, that’s some strong wishful thinking, you admit and chastise to yourself. 

 

You decide to joke on it, because that’s something really unlikely. “I could come live with you. I’m sure at least Evelyn would love my company.” You say with a smug, but also nervous face.

 

You don’t know what she could say to that.

 

She deeply studies you, “careful what you wish for”, a smug look on her face too. Great, irony again on her part. It’s even harder to understand her now. Well, she’s still the same after a lot of years, but she also isn’t. You hurt her and she could have easily raised some walls to protect herself, you’re actually sure she has, so reading her is totally different. 

 

“You don’t know what I wish for”, you say back. 

 

She’s quick this time, “that’s true. You know, maybe you wish what I wish.”

 

“What would that be?”

 

She crosses her legs, a bit sensually you think. “Remember you had told me you wanted to continue the kiss from last time?”, she pauses and your stomach makes a tiny flip, “..I wish you to continue.” 

 

She comes near you, and it looks like she’s waiting for your move. You lean closer and say, “I’ve been wanting to kiss you for a while.” You press your lips on hers.

 

“For a while?”, she questions as she draws back a little.

 

“Since you came to my table tonight”, you kiss her again. It’s slow, she moves her hand up to remove your hair from your faces, tucking it behind your ear. You hear and feel her breathing heavy through her nose. 

 

You stop to look at her and let her catch her breath. While you look at her intensely, you move your hand to caress her cheek and she smiles at you. 

 

How beautiful she is.

 

“Was that up to your expectations?”, you jokingly ask.

 

“You should know by now that you always surprise me, so..”, you look at her trying to understand what she means, “sooo..?”

 

“So..kissing you is really mind-expanding every time..every time you kiss me, you open my mind”, she looks down, but you can’t ignore the warm feeling her words made you feel in your lower belly. You search for her lips and capture them in a hungry kiss. 

 

She looks surprised by this sudden kiss, but she gladly accepts it and participates in it.

 

The moment is broken when a mobile starts ringing. It’s not yours.

 

Carmilla goes to the kitchen table, where she had put her mobile, and answers it, heading into the hallway where you can’t really hear her talking.

 

“Sorry..it was my mother, Evelyn wanted to wish me a goodnight..”, she comes back but doesn’t move to sit back down onto the couch.

 

“I’m really glad I got to meet such a sweet child..”, you tentatively say, trying to steer the conversation to what you want to express.

 

She’s quiet for a moment, “she actually told me to wish you a goodnight too..she knew i was going to see you tonight..”

 

You can do nothing but smile. “She really has a thing for me”, you say with a chuckle.

 

“As i do”..she moves towards you now, places her hands on your knees and gives you a quick kiss, leaving you overwhelmed by her words and action. “Movie?”, she asks, hovering over your lips.

 

You just nod and she sits down next to you. She lets you choose anything you want to watch. You settle for a sci-fi that looks really intriguing. 

 

After the first half of the movie you notice she has fallen asleep, and you catch yourself focusing more on her than on the tv. Sometimes you look at her peaceful face and wonder what she really wants from you. If it’s the same thing you want from her. 

 

You don’t think she’s playing with you or just trying to have fun, there would be no point in doing that, except for trying to hurt you back, but you know she’s not evil or vile. She’s not that kind of person. 

 

You’d like to reach out and caress her or cuddle her, as you used to do when watching something together, but you don’t know if you’re “allowed” now. Well, she has kissed you, so she’s definitely not repulsed by you, but there’s still something that blocks you. Maybe you just need some kind of confirmation.

 

The movie has ended and she’s still sleeping. You wait there for a while, then you get up and crouch near her face. “Carmilla?”

 

“Mm?”, she softly says.

 

You ponder what to say. “I’ll take you to bed, ok?” She doesn’t answer, but you pick her up, putting one arm under her knees and one behind her back.

 

“The bed is comfier”, you say, but she just snuggles into your neck once you have her in your arms.

 

You gently place her onto the bed and she just mumbles. You should go back home now, it’s not that late but she’s really tired apparently. 

 

“Ehi..”, you sit right next to her onto the bed, “..i’m going to go home now, i’ll see you soon, ok?”

 

“No..”, she mumbles again. “No?”, you ask back. 

 

“Stay here”, she says, this time more clearly. Her eyes still closed, her hand searching for yours, she caresses your fingers once she has found it.

 

“Ok, i’ll stay for an hour or so, then i’ll go home.” You’re caressing her hand back.

 

“No Laura, i mean, stay here for the night.”

 

“Oh..”, it sends a nervous chill down your spine, “..you mean sleep here with you?”

 

She moves her hand a bit and it lands on your thigh, where she starts tracing a circular pattern with her thumb. “I’ve missed you..i’d like you to stay and sleep with me.”

 

You can’t believe this is really happening. No words come out of your mouth, so she speaks again. “Sorry..i didn’t mean to be this forward.” You look at her, and she’s opened her eyes now, a guilty look on her face.

 

“No no, I want that too. But i can’t really sleep in this”, you gesture to your clothes. 

 

“Take something from my wardrobe, and come back here.” She closes her eyes again, but after a moment she gets up and changes into something more comfortable, and you do too.

 

You sit on the bed, your legs crossed, while Carmilla is on her back. “We haven’t done this in a bit, eh?”, you manage to say, not even trying to hide your nervousness.

 

She looks at you smirking. “Done what?” 

 

She’s clearly trying to play aloof. “You know what.” 

 

“Mm, i don’t know if i do, actually. If you mean sleep with someone by your side, i do it plenty with my daughter.” 

 

“I said we , I meant you and me. There’s a difference.” You quickly say, and you know what she’s going to reply.

 

She smiles at you, “oh..then show me the difference.”

 

You look at her intensely and shook your head. You hate how she always plays with you, but deep down you love it. 

 

She opens her arms wide, welcoming you, and you launch yourself at her, burying your face into her neck. She laughs and tries to untangle herself from you, you’re tickling her with your mouth on her neck and behind her ear. 

 

She’s able to push you back a bit, and you push back even further, “so, you want me to stay away from you? Is that what you want?”

 

“No”, she says shyly, but still laughing a bit, “but please, just give me a kiss, don’t be rude.”

 

“I’m never rude”, you say, leaning in and capturing her lips. You go slowly, you want her to know and feel how much you’ve missed her too. You don’t know why you haven’t said it back to her before when she said it to you. But in some way, you know she knows.

 

“Oh..so this is the difference”, she says once you draw back a bit.

 

“Yes..was i rude?” You slide down from her, and adjust yourself on her side, your hand resting on her stomach. 

 

She rolls on her side and faces you. Her arm around your waist and one of her legs on yours, effectively hugging you. “No”, she drawls and places a kiss on your neck. 

 

“I just want you here”, she adds into your neck after a moment of silence.

 

You’re not sure of what she means, if on a permanent basis or just right now. “I’m here”, you just say. 

 

You stay there, the calmness surrounding both of you so familiar you could almost say you two were back in the college period, when you were together. 

 

She stirs a bit and lets out a quiet “mm.”

 

You gently massage her back with your hand, the one hugging her. She stirs again at your touch and you’re pretty sure she’s moved her crotch against your leg. You stay still for a moment, thinking she has not done that intentionally. She probably really hasn’t, but then you start your pattern again on her back and she does that movement again.

 

This time a bit more firmly, it seems to you. 

 

You feel your cheeks getting warmer and your lower belly too. You turn your head and try to tell her you want her to look at you, and so she does. Your eyes on her mouth and hers on your mouth. You kiss her, surprising her. This kiss starts off slowly, but quickly turns heated. 

 

She moves her hand up, cupping your cheek, while she kisses your lips. 

 

“You were cute tonight”, she says while catching her breath. 

 

“Were?”, you ask.

 

She pinches you. “You always are, but you were particularly tonight.”

 

“Why?” 

 

“I don’t know, just seeing you at the table waiting for me, made me feel good. And it was cute knowing you were waiting for me.” She admits.

 

You can do nothing but kiss her hungrily this time. She looks taken aback by your abrupt response, but gladly kisses you back, with the same energy.

 

She starts moving her body and presses herself more into you. Her crotch now grinding slowly against your leg. 

 

You’re now sure that’s intentional. You press against her back, pushing her more towards you, encouraging her motion, and she keeps doing that. 

 

She huffs a bit, “Laura..”

 

“Yeah?” 

 

“I want you”, she says just looking at you. Your heart stops for a moment and you want to scream how happy you are right now. You kiss her and lift your t-shirt just a bit, guiding her hand on your stomach. Her fingers linger just above the hem of your underwear, “you’re sure?”, she asks, and you can feel your pussy throbbing.

 

“Yes”, you say, as you push her hand further down. 

 

Her fingers slide down through your folds, and you let out a small “ah”, to which she responds by kissing your cheek, “missed this?”

 

You’re too absorbed by the pleasure that that gives you to say anything back. She taps on your clit and you wriggle your legs around. She chuckles, she remembers that this used to drive you insane.

 

She stops, grinds again against your leg, but it’s just to slowly slide down. She takes your trousers and underwear off, and kisses the inside of your left thigh. “you want me too, uh?”, she asks.

 

She obviously saw how wet you are and you can feel it too. You let your head fall back onto the pillow, as she presses a kiss on your mound. The anticipation almost making you tremble.

 

Her tongue suddenly licks the entire length of your pussy, making you twitch. Then a more constant approach takes care of your clit. She flicks it lightly, until you feel a finger hovering over your opening. 

 

She stretches it a bit, and then pushes one inside. 

 

You let out a bit too loud “oh fuck”, and you found her smirking with her head buried between your legs.

 

She adds another finger and starts pounding tenderly, letting you take in the pleasure. She sucks on your clit and starts flicking it wildy. The pace of the fingers inside you hasn’t changed, it’s relatively slow, but she’s angling them just right.

 

You start to feel warmer around her fingers and actually in every area near her mouth. Your breath is ragged and you feel your pussy holding her in tightly as she makes you come with probably the longest and most intense orgasm in years.

 

She stops her motions, and just kisses your thighs sweetly. She lets you catch your breath, until she climbs back on top of you and kisses you passionately, both her hands cupping your face. The way she’s kissing you makes your pussy pulsate again a couple of times. 

 

“You’re always so cute when you come”, she’s looking at you with a wide grin. 

 

“Mm..you are too. That’s why i am going to do something about it.” You say back. 

 

You quickly flip her over, her back onto the bed and you on top of her, on her lap. You caress her sides as you lift her t-shirt up, until you take that completely off. She suddenly looks a bit uncomfortable, not smirking or smiling like some moments ago. 

 

You don’t like seeing her like this, you dive into her neck and place light kisses there, and you feel her melting into you. Once you draw back, you look at her again. 

 

You see it now. A pale c-section scar.

 

She’s looking at you now, so she knows you saw it. You look back at her intensely, not saying a word. You just climb down, and kiss her sweetly there. You feel her lower belly retract for a moment, as you touch her with your lips, but then she relaxes. 

 

You don’t want to ask anything about that right now, it’s not the right moment. You just want to make her feel loved. 

 

You climb back on top of her. You’re hugging her now, your face buried in the pillow near her ear. You turn your head lightly towards her ear, and talk right into it, “is everything ok?”

 

“Yes..”, she says, almost whispering. “..can you be gentle?”, her tone of voice still low.

 

“You didn’t even have to ask, Carm.” she turns and kisses you.

 

She tries to take her trousers off, but you stop her, you want to do that. Her breath is filled with tension as you do that, leaving her completely naked. 

 

You bring your hand down and start massaging on her clit, slowly. She moans quietly and you love hearing that. Oh, how you missed that sound.

 

You’re kissing her shoulder, “want to turn around?”, you ask her.

 

She looks at you a little puzzled at first, but then she gets it. “So, you haven’t forgotten a thing about me, uh?”, a beautiful smirk on her face.

 

“Never”, you say. Her lying down on her stomach, legs spread and her ass lifted just a bit, was one of her favourite positions. 

 

She turns around, her arms extended above her head. You kiss her back and start caressing her ass, your fingers are light on her velvet skin.

 

“Please, Laura..i want to feel you inside”, she squirms around a bit.

 

You move your fingers down, teasing at her opening. She’s soaked. You let one finger slide in, and move it back and forth, “like this?”

 

“Yeah..”, she says, with little breath. You push another finger inside, feeling how tight she is around your fingers. She lets out a small moan followed by a somewhat loud  chuckle. 

 

You keep doing that movement, until she brings a hand down on your wrist and grips it. “Stay still”, she says, you follow her indication and you keep your hand right there, without moving it.

 

She then starts moving her body back and forth. Now you get what she’s trying to do, and it makes you horny again all of a sudden. She’s riding your fingers and smothering your hand with her fluids. You love how she’s not just going back and forth now, but she’s trying to angle your fingers inside in the right way. 

 

You place a kiss on her ass, and resume your movements with your hand, as you hear her getting tired. You also feel her walls twitch around you. “Turn around”, you tell her, moving closer to her ear.

 

She does as you say. She immediately catches your lips, in a breathy kiss, while you play with her clit again. 

 

She moans into your mouth, and you push your fingers back inside her. 

 

Your mouth is on her neck and you feel an urge to say something. “I’ve never stopped thinking of you”, you blurt out. 

 

Her head falls back and you feel her pussy tightening again and again around your fingers. She comes moaning and you keep peppering kisses on her neck and jaw.

 

You even out your movements until you remove your hand and just let her catch her breath. She’s panting and she starts chuckling again, probably too immersed in the pleasure she’s feeling. 

 

You kiss her lower belly again, just near the scar, and you hear her light laughter turn into something else.

 

You panic and look up at her, the back of her hand rests on her forehead and she bursts into tears. 

 

Panic shots through you even more. You move up and settle near her, cupping her cheek. “No, no, no, Carm..i’m here”, you move some hair away from her face, and she turns her head away from you. 

 

You feel a bit hurt, but you try to understand her. As this is a lot for you, it is a lot for her too. Maybe even more. 

 

You kiss her jaw, and your lip captures a tear that’s streaming down her face. “I’m here, ok?”, you repeat, trying to make her feel a bit better.

 

“I’m sorry i’m like this..”, she starts, but you cut her off, “don’t. I like you the way you are. You don’t have to be ashamed of anything in front of me, ok?”

 

She wraps her arms around you, burying her face into your neck. “I’ve missed you so much, Laura..”, she’s still crying. 

 

You look at her and hold her face into your hands, “I’m not going anywhere, Carmilla.” And you know it feels like a promise, and it actually is. 

 

She trembles, as even small movements threaten to tear her apart, and you hold on to her, bracing her. 

 

“Can we sleep?”, she whispers softly. 

 

You wipe away the tears from her face and she’s a bit calmer now. “Yes”, you just say. She pushes you and makes you turn on your side. She hugs you from behind, you being the little spoon. 

 

You gently and sweetly touch and trace patterns with your fingers on her hand that grips you on your abdomen. You both drift off to sleep in that position.

Chapter Text

CARMILLA’S POV

 

Someone shifts near you, and in the blink of an eye you realize who that is.

 

You slept with Laura.

 

You had sex with her and really slept by her side.

 

Had sex? That doesn’t quite sound good to you. But this is not the moment. 

 

There’s a sleepy Laura just near you. She moves a bit and snuggles into you. She’s still sleeping, so you’re not sure if she’s doing that voluntarily or if that’s just-

 

“Good morning”, she mumbles into your neck. Her hot breath tickling you a bit.

 

You stiffen for a second, scared, as if she was just able to hear your thoughts. 

 

“Morning”, you say back, not adding anything else.

 

She caresses your cheek and then your shoulder with her hand, but after a moment, seeing you not responding in any way to that, she draws back entirely and moves to her side of the bed, “sorry, i didn’t mean..”

 

You know she sensed there’s something wrong with you. “No, don’t worry..”, is all you’re able to say.

 

You don’t actually know why you’re being this cold. Maybe it’s your defense mechanism, but defense from what? She is the only one to whom you want to show your true self. 

 

Maybe it’s because you’re embarrassed by how intense the night with her was for you. How you cried and how you let her take care of you. But actually, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and deep down you know.

 

But there’s still a little bridge you have to cross to reach her. And you know what that is.

 

“Breakfast? I’ll make something”, she says enthusiastically and unexpectedly, standing up. 

 

“Mm”, you nod, and she extends her hand to give you a quick and sweet pinch on your cheek.

 

She leaves the bedroom to go and prepare something, leaving you literally without words. She knows why you don’t want to talk about it. She knows how to be respectful of you and of your boundaries. She knows how to still tell you ‘everything is fine’, without being pressing and inconsiderate. 

 

She knows you.

 

And you know she’s the one. 

 

After a good breakfast, you now need to have a shower and then go pick up Evelyn from your mother’s place. Laura told you she needs to go home and you’re now at the door.

 

“Thank you for breakfast”, you joke, as you cross your arms.

 

“Oh, my pleasure..were my services to your liking?” She jokes back.

 

You chuckle, grasping the double meaning. “Yeah..absolutely”, your eyes lowering. 

 

She goes to take your hand, but just takes one of your fingers between hers, playing with it sweetly. “Was it a date for you yesterday?” 

 

The blunt question throws you off guard. 

 

You look up at her, she’s looking at every trait of your face, your nose, your eyes, your mouth, how your lips part in bewilderment. She looks as if she’s never going to see you again and wants to memorize everything about you.

 

“Do you want it to be a date?” You ask back, knowing it isn’t fair, but you feel like you should know what she says first.

 

She smirks, “yes..and frankly it was one of the most beautiful dates we’ve ever had.”

 

She’s using the we and it makes your stomach flip. “It really was..”, you say softly and you see her releasing a nervous laugh, “..and we can always step up the game.”

 

“Mm, what do you have in mind?” She inquires curiously. 

 

“It stays in my mind for now. Just, don’t make plans for next weekend.” You say and she smiles coming into your space, placing a kiss on your cheek.

 

“I won’t make any plans, i’ll be yours”, she adds, keeping her mouth near your cheek. 

 

You turn your head and give her a kiss on the lips, surprising her. 

 

“See you”, she tells you and giggles, walking away from you. 

 

“Have a nice day”, you just watch her, that beautiful soul. 

 


 

You’ve been thinking about Laura non-stop for the next few days, and it’s a bit embarrassing to be honest. You feel like you’re back in your teens. 

 

Your mobile vibrates and it’s her dad calling you. Why is he calling you?

 

You get suddenly nervous, but answer straight away.

 

“Hello?” You pick up.

 

“Hi Carmilla, it’s Sherman..sorry, am i disturbing you?”

 

You were trying to write something for a new book, but your mind couldn’t focus too much. “No, no, go ahead and tell me..what’s going on?”

 

“Um..it’s about Laura. I know you’ve been going out lately and there wasn’t anyone else i could call..i mean, Carol, my partner, is at work and i need to get to work too in a bit..”, he pauses for a moment, to catch his breath, and you smile, recognizing how much Laura rambles just like him.

 

“..and, um, she was out for a run this morning and had an accident. I took her to the hospital and she sprained her ankle, so she can’t really do much. I was wondering if you could watch her this afternoon and maybe get her something to eat..” He stops, you can hear his nervous breathing waiting for an answer.

 

“Y-yeah..i can come over right now. I need to work a bit, but i can do it from there too. Is it ok if I'll be there in 20 minutes?”

 

No way you could say no to that.

 

“Absolutely..you’re an angel Carmilla! Thank you! Drive safe here!” You say bye to him and then close the call. 

 

You immediately pack your computer and notes and put on some more presentable clothes. Your daughter is at school, so you don’t have to worry about her for now. Right now, you’re worrying about your..what is she? Your..your..Laura. That’s it.

 

You ring the bell and the door opens right away. “Thank you again, Carmilla..i really need to go”, Sherman hugs you awkwardly on the steps and then leaves.

 

You get inside and go directly to the living room, where you think she is. And there she is, on the couch with a leg propped up. 

 

“Hey..well, look at you!” You say, as you move closer to her.

 

“Don’t look at me..”, her eyes tired and a bit down. 

 

“What happened here?” you ask, hoping not to upset her. 

 

“I was on my usual morning run..i do the same path almost every time i go out, so i know it..there’s a little staircase near the park, i didn’t see the last step..and that’s what happened.” She presses her lips together and readjusts herself on the couch. 

 

“I’m sorry..”, your voice is low. You put your arm on the back of the couch, near her head. You take some strands of her hair between your fingers and play with them delicately. She seems to find that comforting, you see her melting into that touch.

 

“Thank you”, her eyes closed.

 

“For what?” You know what she means but it seems obvious to you. 

 

“For helping me or whatever..”, she flails her hands around. 

 

You tuck those strands of hair behind her ear. “You don’t have to thank me, Laura..i’m here because i want to be here.”

 

She puts her hand on your thigh, “yes i have to.”

 

That little gesture makes your stomach warm. She’s distracting you right now, you should write. 

 

“Maybe you can thank me later with one of your kisses?” You suggest.

 

A smug look on her face, “one of my kisses? Are they special?” 

 

You’d like to kiss that smug look away, right now, but it would probably make you lose time and make you even less concentrated. “You know they are”, you’re almost shy to say this. 

 

“That’s good to know”, she looks serious and she seems to be thinking something deeply.

 

“But i really need to do some work now..can i sit there?” You point to the table near the window. 

 

“Sure. I’ll be reading, so i won’t disturb you with the tv..or sleeping.” She smiles.

 

You get up and set everything down on the table. You need to end the chapter you had begun. After what feels like an hour or so, you found yourself shooting glances towards Laura. She can’t directly see you, she’d have to turn her head a bit. 

 

Her profile is beautiful, and seeing her there, in the place where she grew up in, and in the place where you would hang out together, makes you feel so many things. They are even kind of inspiring your writing right now.

 

You look at her again after a while, and you notice she has fallen asleep. And it hits you, again. 

 

She looks like home. 

 

You’ve made her lunch and resumed your work. It’s almost 3pm, you close your computer and join her on the couch. 

 

“Can i?” You ask, sitting down. 

 

She doesn’t really answer your question, “you have to go pick up Evelyn from school, right?”

 

“Yeah, i need to get going in a bit..why?” You’re a bit confused as to why she’s asking this. 

 

“Nothing..i just wanted you here..it’s ok though..”, she’s not looking you in the eyes. 

 

You find her so cute. You think for a moment. “Well..i can always come back here later..with Evelyn”, you clarify, hoping she doesn’t look annoyed that there’s going to be your daughter too. 

 

She grins widely and you find yourself doing the exact same thing. Almost like a mirror.

 

“I’d love that..but i’d love to kiss you now”, she tries to lean into you, but she struggles as she feels a stabbing pain. 

 

You lean into her, without saying a word and kiss her lips. She raises up a hand and cups your cheek, making you feel weak. 

 

“You know what this reminds me of?” You say as you draw back a bit.

 

Her gaze focussed attentively on your lips. “What?” she whispers.

 

“When we were going out the first times, and you weren’t out with your father yet..and we would kiss right on this couch.” You kiss her again, not letting her answer. She smiles into you and you love that.

 

“It’s better now”, she says once you let her catch her breath. 

 

“We’ve upgraded our kissing ability?” You joke. 

 

She laughs, “you’re an idiot. I was going to say something deep and serious and you ruined it.” 

 

You know how to get back on track, “well..you’ve certainly made me crush on you again, you know that, right?”

 

She looks dumbfounded for a moment, but then jokes too, “‘cause of my kissing ability?”

 

You love when she plays like that with you. “Absolutely”, you say closing your eyes and raising your eyebrows. “One of the many reasons..”, you add but you stand up, because you need to go.

 

“I’d like to know these reasons”, she says letting her head fall back on the couch, looking defeated. 

 

“You’ll have to wait. I’ll come back in an hour, is it ok? Do you have everything you need?” You put your bag on your shoulder. 

 

She sighs, “I just need you here later.”

 

You smile and crouch near her, “so clingy today”, and you plant a kiss on her lips. 

 


 

You’re in the kitchen with Sherman, making something for dinner together. Evelyn and Laura are in the living room. She’s helping your daughter doing her homework. 

 

All of this really feels right. 

 

Everything you’ve ever wanted.

 

You’re almost determined to say something to Laura. Maybe you’ll do it later.

 

Dinner is so familiar you could cry. Everyone is smiling and laughing, and you love how Evelyn wanted to sit near Laura at all costs. 

 

“Laura, we need to wash that foot and apply that unguent the doctor told us.” Sherman says, coming into the living room, drying his hands on a cloth.

 

Laura grumbles and you jump in, “I’ll help her”, you say standing up. 

 

“Can i help her too?” Evelyn speaks up too, with soft eyes.

 

You shoot a glance at Laura, “you can apply the unguent if you want, but you really need to be delicate.” 

 

“Of course i’m delicate with Laura!” she says a bit loudly. Her phrasing makes all of you chuckle.

 

“Ok..i’ll call you in a bit, ok?” you say, helping Laura stand up. 

 

Evelyn just nods and waits there. You let Laura hold herself up on you, “remember not to put down that foot, eh!”

 

“I know, i know.”

 

“Ok, just sit on the toilet..”, you help her lower herself by keeping her by her hands, “..put your foot in here”, you gesture to the bidet. 

 

“Wow, we really look like an old couple trying to do basic living stuff”, she says, chuckling a bit. 

 

You shook your head smiling, “oh, shut up. I’m being the perfect partner.”

 

“I don’t have anything to say against that”, you look up at her and she has a smug look on her face. 

 

“Ok, your foot doesn’t smell anymore. You’re welcome.” You’re drying it with a towel, using the softest touch ever. 

 

“I think you really are the perfect partner”, you don’t know if she’s joking, imitating your last retort, or if she’s being deadly serious. You hope for the latter, and you want to ask her about it, but your process of thoughts is interrupted when Evelyn shouts from downstairs, “can i come up?”

 

Laura holds herself up onto you again, “yeah!”, she shouts back at your daughter. You’re heading towards her bedroom and Evelyn pops up, opening the door for you. You gently put Laura onto the bed and you let your daughter sit at the foot of the bed. 

 

“Remember, you need to be soft, do not push or press on her skin, ok?” You tell her, squeezing a bit of unguent on her hand. 

 

Laura rests her head onto the pillow, while Evelyn tries to be as gentle as possible, and she actually is. “Is everything ok?”, she asks Laura. 

 

Laura smiles at her and nods. She then extends her arm, looking for you. You’re surprised by her action, but you sit near her anyway. Her eyes look a bit tired and you want to let her rest. “We’ll leave in a moment..you need to sleep”, you say as you take her hand in yours.

 

Evelyn is still softly spreading that salve on her ankle. “I know..but come here a moment”, Laura says putting one arm on your shoulder to drag you towards her. 

 

You’re still taken aback by how she’s behaving, she’s never done this in front of your daughter. You let yourself fall on her, your head pressed onto the pillow, near her face. You’re enveloped by her smell and can’t really complain. 

 

She turns her head and buries it in the crook of your neck, “can i give you a kiss?” she whispers and you know she means ‘ can i give you a kiss in front of your daughter? ’. 

 

You suddenly get all tingly, you love how she wants you to always be comfortable. 

 

“Next time i’ll cover you with kisses..but yes you can”, you whisper into her neck, and she giggles. How you love that sound.

 

“Ok, i finished..was i good?” Evelyn asks you both. 

 

“I didn’t feel a thing, so you were phenomenal”, Laura says, and you pull away from her. Evelyn laughs and goes to wash her hands. 

 

Once she is back you tell her to say bye to Laura because you’re going home. She goes and gives her a kiss on the cheek. You lean into her too and she kisses you on the lips. Your cheeks getting a bit red, when Evelyn exclaims “you two are cute.”

 

You notice Laura’s cheeks turn red too and you smile back at her, “Goodnight, Laura.”

 

During the ride back home, you grow curious as to what your daughter thinks. Mostly what she thinks about Laura, but also if she has anything to say about what she just witnessed.

 

“You’ve been really good with Laura before..she’ll recover soon”, you try to start the conversation.

 

She gets pulled out of her thoughts by your voice, “i hope that..i want to go to the park with her too.”

 

“You definitely will. I might have to still come here and help her again, since she can’t do really much..”, you shoot a glance at her to see how she reacts.

 

She looks deep in thought, “well, why can’t she come to our place?”

 

You’re a bit shocked, you actually hadn’t thought about that and you wonder why, right now. That could be the best solution. “You’re right, i’ll ask her about it..is it ok for you if she stays with us?”

 

She mocks an offended face and you laugh, “of course i’m ok! I like her and i like seeing you and her together.”

 

Your heart picks up its rate, “is that why you told us we were cute before?”

 

“Yes, and you always smile when you’re with her, so..of course i like her.” You want to hug her so much right now, but you can’t, you’ll surely do it later.

 


 

Two days have passed since that, and you’d like to see her, but you don’t want to disturb her. She really needs to be resting. You remember it was going to be today the date you had planned, but it can definitely wait. You just had breakfast and you’re on the couch reading something, while your daughter watches cartoons. 

 

You hear your mobile vibrate on the little table.

 

Laura(9:10am): hey, it’s sunday today. It’s the weekend.

 

Carmilla(9:13am): i’m aware. We had a date, am I right?

 

Laura(9:15am): yep. So, what are we doing?

 

Carmilla(9:19am): um, nothing? You sprained your ankle, cutie. No fun for you.

 

Laura(9:24am): but i need to see youuu :(

 

You could go to her place tonight, your brother had told you that he could stay with Evelyn in the evening. 

 

Carmilla(9:29am): i could come by after dinner..?

 

Laura(9:32am): yes yes yes. Will you be alone?

 

Carmilla(9:35am): yes..I, too, need some alone time with you.

 

You smile looking at your mobile, and hope she does the same.

 

Your day hasn’t been particularly busy, you just stayed home with your daughter doing whatever she suggested. But now, you can’t wait to be at Laura’s place, you want to know how she is and spend some time with her. 

 

As you reach her place, you see Sherman taking out the garbage. You approach him, “good evening Sherman”, and he immediately smiles widely at you. Just as his daughter always does.

 

“Hi Carmilla..how are you?” 

 

“Everything is fine..you?”

 

“Ah, good good..can i have your confirmation?” He suddenly speaks in a low voice.

 

You’re confused, “about what?”

 

“You and Laura..are you still a thing, right?” He looks hopeful.

 

You don’t really know what you are right now, but you answer anyway, “we’re dating, but i don’t know..wait, why are you asking?”

 

“I just noticed how happy she is lately..and when she goes out she is often with you, so i kind of figured, you know..” You’re both outside the front door, he stops there.

 

“Yeah..well, there are still some things we need to figure out..”, you start but he cuts you off, “i’m sure, i’m sure, i just wanted to..well, just don’t worry about me..you two have my blessing on everything, kids and everything..not that you need it anyway, but it’s just to tell you that i’m rooting for you.”

 

You smile at him, the way he talks and gestures his hands around, it’s like watching an older Laura and it warms your heart. 

 

“Well, i have the best father-in-law.” You tell him as you enter the house and he winks at you. 

 

“Look who’s here!” He exclaims once you’re inside. Laura’s on the couch, as you expected, in her pajamas. Lovely as always. You lock eyes with her and feel a burning in your chest. You want to hug her, and kiss her and cuddle her, but you have to wait. 

 

“Hey there”, you say as you sit right next to her.

 

“Hi..thank god you’re finally here. He won’t stop speaking about pool, his new sport discovery.” She places a hand on your thigh, while speaking. 

 

“Don’t make fun of me!” He says extending his arm in the air and pointing a finger at Laura. 

 

“I’m not, but the game is just boring as hell!” You agree with her, but you don’t speak your thought, it’s just so entertaining to see them bicker. 

 

“Hell is where i’ll send you if you don’t leave me alone to watch my stupid sport discovery and go upstairs with your lovely, unlike you, guest!” He sits down with a thud on his armchair.

 

Laura looks at him with an unimpressed face. “That does sound like a threat I will gladly and easily avoid, without effort too.”

 

You help her get up and climb the stairs together, “how’s your ankle?” 

 

“Better..i still haven’t put on my unguent tonight”, she sits on her bed and asks you to close the door and you comply.

 

“I’m here for something, am i?” You joke, as you take care of her ankle. 

 

Once you’re done, you take off your shoes and sit right next to her. Again, this feels like that night at your place (when you had sex) when she said “we haven’t done this in a while”, but your thoughts are interrupted as she takes your hand and kisses you on the cheek. 

 

You move your head, you really need to kiss her right now, so her lips land on yours. She smiles into it and you deepen the kiss, your hand through her hair. 

 

You both draw back after a while and just look at each other in the eyes.

 

“This is nice.” She looks at your mouth and then up into your dark eyes.

 

“What is?” You really don’t know what she means.

 

She tilts her head, “having you here..it’s nice”, she looks down now, shyly. 

 

“It is for me too..”, you can’t say much more. 

 

“Even though we’ll have to wait a bit to have proper fun..”, she almost drawls, and you unexpectedly don’t catch what she’s implying. You frown and she speaks again, “..i mean, i can’t really have sex like this”, pressing her lips together.

 

You didn’t grasp an innuendo. Wow, you’re really gone. Your mind really isn’t working correctly, but you know why, there are some things obstructing it. The sooner you let them out, the sooner you’ll be completely you again.

 

“Mm..well, maybe we can find a way around it”, you’re feeling a bit proud of yourself, right now.

 

She smirks and places a kiss under your chin, “you always have the solution for everything, uh?” She keeps peppering kisses right there and then continues, “can you show me this way around it?”

 

She takes your right hand and guides it on her thighs, on the inside of her left one, and then goes a little bit higher, between her thighs, until she presses on your hand, to let you know what she wants.

 

You’re a bit surprised, you certainly didn’t mean right now. “Laura, now?”

 

“Yeah..why?” 

 

“Your dad’s downstairs, Laura..and we’re not seventeen anymore..” Your hand is still planted between her legs, unmoving.

 

“So? I want you..and besides, i can be quiet..you know that.” This sends a chill down your spine, a good chill. And you feel your lower belly get warm. Her words are enough to not make you think twice about it. 

 

You plant your mouth on hers, and hear her let out a small “mm”, that makes you want her even more.

 

Your right hand starts moving slowly, just over her pajamas. You slide your fingers underneath it and massage her on her underwear. You can feel that she’s already a bit damp. She really wants you then.

 

“Are you sure you can keep it quiet?” You say, as you trace the length of her pussy with just one finger. 

 

She squirms a bit, “I’ll try to.”

 

You don’t stop your movement, “Laura, do you really want your father to catch us while I have two fingers in you?”

 

“No..shit, wait a second”, she takes your hand away and starts moving around a bit. You’re confused, “what are you doing?”

 

She tries to pull down the blanket. You smirk, but don’t move, “so you are a little bit scared, uh?”

 

“Please, Carm..”, her tone is demanding and desperate, you love when she’s like that. 

 

You do what she was trying to do and get both of you under the blanket. “It’s just a preventive measure”, she says smugly once you’ve adjusted yourselves.

 

You chuckle, finding her even cuter. “So, can i take care of you now?”

 

“Kiss me”, you do as she says and put your hand on her breast, squeezing lightly. Your hand goes down and you lift her shirt, you feel her stomach retract when your fingers touch her. “Cold hand..”, she explains and laughs a bit, “..but it’s the only hand i want.”

 

Your heart skips a bit. These little tidbits keep making you think that she’s really into you. Into you like you are into her. 

 

You go down and surprise her, sliding your fingers down her underwear, feeling the wetness there. 

 

She moans, and it’s a bit loud, probably not expecting that action from you so soon. She brings her hand up and covers her mouth. “Who said they could be quiet?”, you say pressing a kiss on her hand, still on her mouth. Once she removes it, she blushes hardly.

 

“You really don’t know how much i love it when you blush..it’s like you’re trying to draw me in..” You say, and at the same time, you feel her pussy pulsate. Your words had some effect on her, you think, looking at her smirking.

 

She moans again, this time it’s really faint, “keep doing that”, she tells you whispering. So you keep drawing circles on her clit, with the same pace.

 

Her hand flies back onto her mouth, to muffle her sounds. You slow down your movements until you stop completely and she huffs displeased. “If you keep quiet, there will be a surprise later”, you speak softly.

 

She spreads out her unharmed leg even further and you love how impatient she is.

 

You resume your movements and she’s really soaked now. She arches her back and lets her head fall back. “Do you want to come now?”, you ask gently into her ear.

 

She doesn’t answer you, she grips the sheets tightly with both her hands and lets herself go over the edge. She trembles, but she’s keeping it down, her head now buried into your neck.

 

Once she has come down off those pleasuring waves, she hugs you and keeps her head there and you do the same.

 

“Everything good?”, you ask her after some moments of pure silence.

 

“Yeah..Carm..”, she mumbles into you, “..your touch..” She pauses, maybe she wants you to say something, but you don’t know what she means.

 

“My touch?”, you ask.

 

“I’ve been lusting after it..searching it in other people..”, you suddenly blush, what is she going to say? Does she feel the same way as you? “..i’m sorry i left you, i never wanted to..i did, but i never wanted to.”

 

“Stop apologizing. I’m not punishing you for it or anything..it’s ok. Really.” you reassure her, caressing her hair.

 

A sound startles both of you, but then Laura adds “it’s my dad, he’s probably fallen asleep and his book just fell down..it always happens.” 

 

You don’t say anything, you just let yourself be surrounded by her smell.

 

“Can we stay like this for a while?” She asks you, almost timidly.

 

“Of course”, you readjust yourself to hug her even more and you pull up the blanket completely, covering you both. Laura falls asleep after a bit; you on the other hand are not able to, there are so many thoughts floating in your head. There was something you really needed to tell her tonight, but it’ll have to wait.

 

It’s getting late, you should go back home, but you don’t want to wake Laura up, so you try to detach yourself from her, as softly as you can. 

 

You decide to leave her a note.

 

I didn’t want to wake you up, I had to go home. Sorry :(

Hope to see your pretty face soon!

 

Goodnight <3

 

The next day, she sends you a text early in the morning.

Laura(7:15am): it’s just too good to sleep with you again! Thank you for yesterday <3

Laura(7:19am): btw, where’s my surprise?

 

Carmilla(7:32am): you slept, that’s your fault! anyway you’ll still have to wait u.u

 


 

Three weeks have passed and Laura can finally walk normally again. Her birthday is coming up in a couple of days and you’re stressing out because you haven’t thought of a birthday present yet and that other thing is still bugging you out.

 

You really need to muster the courage, Laura has been away from you for so long, she has to know.

 

Just as you’re thinking about this, you get a message from her, inviting you for a drink to celebrate her birthday with some other friends. You tell her you’ll be there, even though you’ll be able to stay there just for a while. Your mom is abroad and Will, who has accepted to be with Evelyn that night, has told you that they changed his working schedule and he’ll have to go to work at some point.

 

You’ll be able to stay at the party for an hour or so. You’re trying to be positive.

 

Five days later, Laura’s birthday, you’re walking towards the bar she told you about. Stress is really eating you alive, but you can’t wait to see her.

 

As you get in, you’re almost startled by the loud music. You look around and see a jumping Laura headed towards you, the biggest smile appearing on your face. You catch her in a hug as she reaches you, “hey cutie.”

 

“Carm..i’m so happy you’re here!” She tells you, still hugging you.

 

You don’t know if you should kiss her, maybe she hasn’t said anything about you two to her friends, so you decide to follow her lead. She takes your hand and pulls you towards a table, where other people are seated.

 

You both sit down and she still has your hand in hers. You find that lovely. All of her friends have noticed that, and you’re blushing a bit.

 

“So, Laura, are we dancing?”, one of her colleagues asks.

 

“Oh, right, absolutely”, she stands up and takes you with her.

 

When you’re both on the dancefloor you look at her, a displeased look on your face.

 

“What?” she laughs.

 

“Dancing? Again?”

 

“Yes. Dancing. Again. With me”, she says firmly. “You don’t want to tell me the famous surprise, so..put up with this”, she looks smugly at you.

 

“Still hang on to that?” You joke, you perfectly know she has every reason to be like this. She wants to know, and you’d want to know too if you were in her position. 

 

“Uuuh..Carmilla, it’s been three weeks, give me a break.” 

 

You press your lips together, “you’re right..when’s the right moment i will.”

 

“Ok”, she just says, and she presses a quick kiss on your cheek. You dance for a while together, her hands travelling around your body, making you weak at every touch. After that, you sit down at the table to drink something, until it’s time for you to go home, unfortunately.

 

You’re coming back from the bathroom and she’s just standing there near the table with a drink she just ordered in her hand, probably waiting for her colleagues to join her back. You approach her and put your bag on your shoulder. “I have to go now, but..”, you start but you’re cut off by her coming into your space and telling you, “but, i need to see you soon.”

 

You just smile softly at her, and she looks down, blushing. “I mean, do you want to see me..maybe in a couple of days?”, she asks.

 

“Yes, i do..”, you chuckle, “..have fun tonight, ok?” You hug her, moving her hair away, putting it behind her shoulders. She still has her drink in one hand, so she’s reciprocating the hug with just one arm and she dives her face into your neck.

 

You draw back from her and start to head for the door, but you come back to her, “oh, i forgot something.” She makes a confused face, and as you reach her, you lean into her, telling her into her ear “I’m still in love with you.”

 

You quickly shoot a glance at her as you pull back, your lips curving up a bit, until just in that moment, her friends join her and drag her to something she has to play, probably some game organized for her birthday.

 

You leave for real this time. You’re surprised by yourself, you weren’t planning to tell her like that, but it was becoming unbearable to keep it to yourself alone. She had to know. But you’re still scared, scared of what she thinks, of what she wants, of her not wanting you in the same way you want her.

 

You’re home, your daughter has been sleeping for an hour or so, and you’re still turning those thoughts over in your mind. 

 

You decide to read something to distract you a bit, but you find it difficult. As you get up to drink a glass of water, you hear your phone vibrate. You look who it is.

 

Laura(11:40pm): please tell me you’re still awake..open the door if you are. I’m right outside

 

You suddenly start to get nervous. What is she going to tell you?

 

You head towards the door and open it. As you do, she enters without you telling her. She goes to the couch, but quickly stops and turns around. She looks lost for words, so you take all the courage you have and get closer, taking her hand in yours.

 

“Laura..”, you start, but she unexpectedly cuts you off, “was that the surprise you’ve been telling me about?”, she asks, and you realize you’re holding your breath.

 

You look down, “yeah..it was..i’m sorry, that wasn’t really the way i intended it to tell you, but i couldn’t take it anymore.”

 

“I’m still in love with you too”, she abruptly says. 

 

For a brief moment you don’t feel a thing, you don’t even realize what she has just said, you just look up at her with incredulous eyes. But then she cups your face with both her hands, “i mean it, i love you too, Carmilla.”

 

You feel it in your stomach, then in your throat, and you can’t keep it in. You burst into tears, again. And again, you feel ashamed for how much you’re letting yourself go. But you don’t feel shame because Laura is in front of you, you feel shame for yourself, for how much these things are affecting you. Deep down you know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and you’re working on trying to accept it.

 

That’s why Laura is here, she’s helping you accept yourself.

 

You sit down on the couch, still crying, Laura’s standing right in front of you, her hands in yours.

 

You hear a door opening, and you immediately try to compose yourself. “Mom?”, your daughter appears in the living room, rubbing her eyes.

 

She comes near you, “mom..why are you crying?”

 

You don’t even know why, but the question makes you cry even more. Laura sits on your side, keeping her hand in yours, and with her other hand she gently strokes your leg.

 

"Your mom is crying because I told her I love her." Laura says, placing a kiss on your hand.

 

Evelyn makes a confused and sleepy face, “but that’s a good thing, right?”

 

You dry your eyes, as best as you can, and try to explain the situation to your daughter. She has every right to know. “Yes, that’s a good thing..but, as i told you, we’ve been apart for a really long time..i missed her, and now she’s back. I’m just crying because i’m happy..”

 

Evelyn crouches in front of you, “so, she can stay here with us?”

 

Laura shoots a glance at you, and you’re surprised by the question too. “Here? What do you mean?”

 

“Can she stay with us in our home?” She hasn’t really cleared up what you wanted to know.

 

“You want her to live with us? Here?”, you ask again. Laura is still stroking lightly your leg and you find that adorable.

 

“Yes!”, she exclaims.

 

You turn your head towards Laura, “we should ask her then..do you want to?”, you ask almost shyly.

 

“I’d love that”, she says and your heart skips a beat. “Great”, Evelyn shouts, she stands up to give Laura a kiss and to you too, and then goes back to her room.

 

You chuckle at that, but Laura suddenly leans into you and kisses you on the lips. “Thank you”, she whispers against them, until she kisses you passionately. Your mind goes blank and all you can feel is..Laura.

 

Once you draw back, you touch her lips with your fingers, stopping her from kissing you. “I still need to ask you something..remember i had told you that when i had Evelyn, i did that because i wanted a child, and i wanted it with you..”, she cuts you off with another quick peck on your lips.

 

“Yes Carmilla..if you want it and Evelyn wants it, i want to be her other mother.”

 

Your lips curve up into a big grin. “You’re so pretty when you smile”, she tells you, tucking a strand of hair behind your ear.

 

“I want it Laura..i guess that’s pretty clear..”, you chuckle, “..so, you’re not planning on leaving and going to places that are galaxies away from me?”

 

Laura looks intensely at you, “you are my favorite place in the universe. You. Always have been.”

 

Your smile gets even bigger, “so, since i’m your favorite place, would you like to stay the night?”

 

She makes a contemplative face, “mm, only if you cuddle with me.”

 

You laugh, “you know that will happen, so you could have straight out said ‘yes’”, you smugly say as you stand up. “Are you coming?”, you ask, extending your hand to her.

 

She looks at it and then up at you, “yes”, she grabs your hand and runs taking you with her to your bedroom.