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Because I Could Not Stop for Death

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When Logan dies, the hospital waiting room goes quiet. Or Gerri thinks it does. The only sound she hears after the surgeon says ‘we lost him’ is the dull drone of the hospital fluorescent lights. Kendall’s wail behind her knocks her back into the moment. She doesn’t bother to stay and see what the Roy Family Performance of Sadness would be like.

She rushes out of the hospital. It’s nearly 2:00 AM, but Gerri knows she’d still be awake as she hails a taxi in front of the hospital. Her phone is stuffed between her ear and her shoulder.

“What?” a groggy voice croaks over the phone.

“Karolina, he’s dead. I’m coming over.”

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Gerri knocks on Karolina’s apartment door. During the twenty-minute taxi ride, she was able to alert her staff to put a legal pause on the CEO Succession Process and get an overpriced floral arrangement ordered. She even called her daughters. If she wasn’t so exhausted, she would feel pretty damn smug right now.

Karolina answers the door, a black robe wrapped tight around her waist and a glass of red wine in her hand.

“Finally.”

Karolina moves to let Gerri in. Gerri gives her a small kiss as she enters, then collapsing on the couch. For the first time in the last hour, Gerri exhales.

Karolina curls on the couch next to her, feet tucked under herself. She motions to the side table. A freshly poured glass of Merlot sits there like a lifesaver. Gerri lets herself smile. Karolina always prepared in the smallest ways. It’s what makes her great at Public Relations. She prepares everything but can change it up at a moment’s notice. Gerri always needs a beat to collect herself and assess a situation. But Karolina has an instinctual sense Gerri had lost in the years of working for Logan Roy’s Conservative Circus. Or maybe it’s the ‘thinking like a lawyer’ trap. Gerry has always seen Karolina’s is a mind reader. She knows what makes people comfortable. She can also have them fall off guard and move just the way she wants them to.

Gerri wonders if she’s playing into that now or just being a good partner. Gerri could never tell the agenda, but that’s what keeps her coming back. She shakes off her self-awareness and takes a sip of wine.

“I sent out the official press release, the accounts all have tweets sent out. It’s done. The world knows,” Karolina lets out a sigh and puts down her iPhone. “I can’t believe he’s gone, Ger.”

“I’m waiting to deal with the pageantry before I hit...that mark,” Gerri says.

She hasn’t processed that the man who kept her in a collar to the company, to the point of forcing her to be the godmother to his youngest child, is gone. She finishes her glass. Karolina pulls her close into an embrace.

“You can be sad about it. He’s a big part of, well everything.” Karolina places a kiss on Gerri’s forehead. A tender embrace that Gerri would not accept from another.

Gerri lets her breath hit Karolina’s neck. Gerri nips at her skin. She feels Karolina stir under the touch. Gerri traces Karolina’s neck to her lips, placing another small peck on her wine-dampened mouth. Gerri deepens it, letting her tongue slip past Karolina’s lips.

Gerri brings her hand under Karolina’s robe, finding her breast. She massages it until Karolina’s nipple is hard. Karolina lets out a soft moan into Gerri’s mouth. With her other hand, Gerri pushes Karolina’s dark brown hair out of her eyes. She twists Karolina’s long sidebangs around her fingers, pulling it gently taught, twirling at the ends.

“I need this tonight, Lina,” Gerri says between pecks. “Thank you.”

Karolina smiles, cheeks full against her own. It‘s the only answer Gerri needs.