Chapter 1: Garden of Eden
“I was fighting some demons.
In the field, I’m deep in.
I was raised in the deep end.”
-‘Envy Me’, Calboy
London, UK, September, 9:11 AM
Eve Polastri jumped up from her cozy bed, the covers already calling her back with their warmth and comfort. Her alarm hadn’t alerted her that morning had arrived and the amount of sleep she’d been getting was suspicious.
“Niko! Why didn’t you wake me up?” She asked, hitting him with a pillow. Turning, she headed for her dresser, yanking a pair of palazzo pants and an oversized sweater from the same drawer. It was a wonder she found anything to wear, especially because she simply threw everything in whatever drawer it would fit in.
“You needed the rest.” Was all Niko said before turning his back to her and resuming his sleep.
Eve rushed through her morning routine, and power walked as fast as she could to the local bus stop somehow managing to not spill a drop of her precious coffee.
It was the first day of classes at Central St. Martins, and Eve was not prepared. Despite having taken a tour of the campus a week prior and spending the last three days designing her classroom, Eve was as nervous as it could get. Fashion Design Womenswear was an extremely challenging course to take. Eve, while an easygoing professor, took her craft seriously. She molded young minds and helped create timeless pieces of clothing that were to be envied by all. At least, that was her goal. And CSM was the exact place for it. In a converted warehouse complex, the college’s infrastructure was just as eclectic as its students and faculty. Renowned for its famous alumni, Central St. Martins was organized into nine programs including the fashion course taught by Eve.
She ran past the glass windows and into the building where she would spend countless hours over the next thirty weeks and flew into her design studio. In a frenzy, Eve deposited her shoulder bag and coffee on the desk, spilling just a little much to her chagrin.
Deafening silence captured her attention and she turned to watch fifteen sets of eyes peering curiously at her. She took them all in, appraising expressions from amused to concerned to confused.
“You,” Eve said, pointing at a random student. He looked more terrified than anything.
“Me?” He asked, pointing at himself.
“Yeah, you. What’s your name?”
“Give me your scarf, Kenny.”
“M-my scarf?” He looked around at his pupils for confirmation.
“Yes, your scarf.”
His eyes widened a fraction, but he pulled off the formal satin scarf that hung around his neck and handed it to her skeptically. The entire room watched in silence as she used it to wipe up her spilled coffee before tossing it in the trash bin.
When she turned back to Kenny, his mouth was open and his hand was reaching outward as if yearning to pick it out of the trash. “It was hideous. I did you a favor.”
Laughter drew Eve’s attention to her left and her eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets. A young woman stood with one arm casually draped over the shoulder of her work mannequin as if they were best friends. Her blonde hair was pulled back into an elegant chignon and her tailored pantsuit told Eve that she came from money. Once she noticed that she had captured Eve’s attention, she coolly slipped one hand into the pockets of her Dries van Noten cigarette pants and gave a confident smirk. Eve was instantly enamored with the woman’s confidence. With her posture alone, she let Eve know that she was going to be not only a pain in the ass but also one of her hardest working students this year. She lived a fashionista lifestyle and she was not going to apologize for it.
Eve took in her expressive eyes and full lips that were painted a lovely shade of neutral pink. She was beautiful — probably a mean girl, Eve deduced— which meant it was the older woman's duty to bring her down a peg or two.
“What’s your name?”
“Villanelle.” The blonde replied, tilting her head. Her accent was different. Eve guessed Russian. “My friends call me Billie.”
“It’s not nice to make fun of the natives, Villanelle,” Eve replied, making it clear that they were not friends. Villanelle’s eyes flashed, enjoying the way Eve said her name.
“Okay.” Eve clapped her hands together once. “Welcome to Fashion Design Womenswear. I’m Professor Eve Polastri. You can call me Eve. I’m brutally honest. You’ll hate me while you’re here, but after graduation, you’ll come back to tell me just how much you learned from me.” That elicited a few chuckles from the group, and she watched as a few of them began to visibly relax. “I’ve been teaching here for ten years, and every year one of my students has won an internship to whichever major fashion house sponsors the end of the year fashion show. Don’t let me down this year.”
Many of her students looked impressed, others excited. Except for Villanelle. She just looked bored. The blonde looked at her own manicure before using the same hand to cover a yawn that Eve was almost positive was forced.
“This year’s theme is—,” Eve turned back to her desk and opened her portfolio. Pushing a few papers out of the way, she skimmed the contents quickly, “‘duality’. You are each expected to create twelve pieces to showcase. Can anyone tell me why we expect twelve pieces?”
“Because this isn’t our first rodeo.” Villanelle quipped, sarcastically.
“Wrong. Can anyone who isn’t a smartass tell me why?” Eve replied. Villanelle smirked.
A hand went up in the back.
“You,” Eve pointed, “what’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Hugo.”
“You have an answer, Hugo?”
“Yes, ma’am. Twelve pieces are considered a full collection.” He replied.
“Excellent. Ten points to Gryffindor. Oh, and Hugo?”
His brows raised in response.
“Don’t ever call me ma’am again,” Eve told him with a smile. A few relaxed laughs went around the classroom. Hugo grinned and nodded his head.
“Any questions so far?”
A few students shook their heads, and others remained silent.
“Great, so, let’s get started.” Eve picked up her cup of coffee and sipped from the now-lukewarm liquid. “Turn to page seven in your text.”
Exactly two hours later, the class came to an end. Over the sound of laptops shutting, papers shifting and backpacks zipping, Eve reminded her pupils, “Guys, I expect a few brainstormed ideas and rough sketches when we meet again on Wednesday.”
She turned on the lights that she’d shut off halfway through class and unplugged her laptop from the projector. The studio emptied out, except for one lonesome figure that was headed directly towards her.
“Eve.” The blonde smiled.
When she didn’t say anything else, Eve’s brows raised, her palms open in question. “Questions? Comments? Concerns?”
“You did a very good job today.” Villanelle reached into the Louis Vuitton backpack hanging off of her left shoulder and produced a shiny, red apple. She held it between herself and Eve and the corners of her lips twitched. Eve suddenly felt like Snow White, and briefly wondered if the apple was poisoned. Reaching out, she accepted it.
“Thanks.” The brunette placed the fruit in her purse before pulling her hair from its clip. She fluffed it out, before asking, “So, do you have any ideas for your collection?”
Villanelle, whose expression had gone from amused to something that resembled curiosity, visibly pulled herself from her own thoughts. “I’ll have to do some research, but I see tailored pantsuits on the horizon.”
“This is a womenswear class.”
“Women don’t generally wear,” Eve looked Villanelle up and down, “pantsuits.” Though she had to admit: Villanelle did wear a suit extremely well.
“Duality is both, yes? Two opposed parts coming together to make something,” Villanelle took a step forward and Eve found her personal bubble being invaded, “magical. Sexy. Something different.”
Vanilla and teakwood assaulted Eve’s nostrils and it was such a unique smell. It was equal parts feminine and masculine; a unisex fragrance that would now always remind Eve of Villanelle.
“Fair point,” was all Eve could manage. She cleared her throat and took one step to the side until Villanelle was no longer overwhelming her senses. Despite making a show of clearing her desk, Eve realized that the young blonde did not pick up on social cues very well.
“Is that your husband?”
Eve looked over to see Villanelle peering at Eve’s laptop background.
A breathy chuckle. “He has an excellent mustache.”
Eve laughed. “He certainly likes to think so.”
Villanelle’s eyes lit up. She liked hearing Eve laugh and she made a mental note that she was going to make sure she heard it more often. Eve closed her laptop, slipped it into her messenger bag and Villanelle adjusted her backpack on her shoulder.
“See on Wednesday, Eve.”
“See you Wednesday,” Eve replied and began to gather her hair.
Villanelle headed to the exit, stopping at the door. “Wear it down.”
Before Eve could respond, Villanelle was gone.
“She’s just, like, intense, you know?” Eve said, biting into a raw baby carrot. She leaned her hip against the island in the kitchen and watched as her husband wiped his hands on the dishtowel that he’d slung over his shoulder.
“She sounds a little like you. Forward, determined, a little awkward.”
Eve feigned shock. “Me? Awkward?”
Niko grinned and leaned over to kiss her. She hummed into the first kiss. Just before he kissed her again, she put her hand on his chest. “Hungry. Food. Now.”
“Is this all I am to you? A nice meal?” He joked, turning to stir the contents of a simmering saucepan.
“No. You’re a hot piece of ass, too.” Eve teased back.
Moments later, Niko was serving them a savory home-cooked meal.
“My day was fine, thanks for asking.” Niko half-teased.
“Oh my gosh. I’m sorry.” Eve put a hand on her forehead. “Of course I want to know about your day.”
She knew Niko wasn’t actually upset. He married this woman so he knew that sometimes her mind was a cluttered wasteland and Eve could be forgetful. But there was balance. Niko, himself, was structured and he remembered what Eve couldn’t, which was usually anything that involved a calendar.
“It was a shit show.” He commented, shrugging as he drank from his glass of white wine. “The power went out and the backup generators are fucking ancient.”
“Jesus. What did you do?”
“Flashlights and ghost stories.”
Eve laughed, heartily. “I’m sure that was a great first impression.”
“I would say so.”
“I threw a student’s scarf in the trash.”
It was Niko’s turn to laugh. “You did not!”
“I did. Well, after I wiped up the coffee I spilled with it, of course.”
“Oh, of course!” He agreed as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
“It was ugly, but still, I’m sure my students think I’m nuts now.”
“You are nuts.”
“ Touché,” Eve chuckled.
When they finished their meal, Niko told her to close her eyes. She did as she was told and listened as he shuffled around the kitchen for a few moments.
"Okay, open them."
She gasped, dramatically. "Tell me that's not what I think it is."
"Oh, but it is."
Niko's hands held a small cake from their favorite bakery. Apple cinnamon crumbles cake, to be precise. They moved around the kitchen in perfect synchronicity, Eve gathering plates and utensils while Niko cut the cake into perfect slices. When Eve took the first bite, her eyes immediately shut and she reveled in the smooth taste of the moist cake. Cinnamon, an aphrodisiac, combined with the heady white wine, made Eve's entire body tingle. And mixed with the sweet taste of apple, Eve practically came.
Like the one Villanelle had offered her that she'd so willingly accepted.
"Do you want to go upstairs?" Eve asked her husband.
He searched her face, understanding almost immediately. Dropping his fork, he stood from his chair, Eve following just behind him.
Chapter 2: A Little T & A
I do so love your reviews and kudos. You're all so lovely. Thank you so much! Updates Sundays and Wednesdays. And if you want to say hi anywhere else, I'm on tumblr at melvncholymvmi OR etherealmvmi, and on twitter at adcspeaks_!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So, c'mon ride with me,
Ride with me.
See where this thing goes.”
-Bebe Rexha, “Meant To Be”
Central St. Martins, Wednesday, 11:53 AM
“Romeo Montague once asked ‘What’s in a name?’ Well,” Eve said, slipping her hands into the pockets of her army green chinos, “with all due respect to Shakespeare, he didn’t know shit about fashion.” Laughter rang out from her students and Eve smiled, pleased that they seemed more relaxed than they had on Monday. “But, he was right. A name means nothing unless something can be defined regardless of what it’s called. Shakespeare’s example? A rose. It’s a harder idea to follow when it comes to fashion, but there are a few fashion brands who really get it. For example,” Eve clicked a button on her remote and the slide on the projector changed, “who can tell me what this is?”
A few hands shot up.
“You.” Even pointed to a girl in the back of the class. “Nadia, right?” The squirrely girl nodded, and then suddenly looked terrified as people turned to look at her, awaiting her answer.
“Excellent. And this?” Another slide followed the first.
“Helmut Lang,” Kenny interjected.
“Perfect. And this one?”
“Alexander Wang, fall collection.”
“Yes! Last one?”
“Christian Dior, from the 2005 spring-summer collection.” Villanelle input.
“Okay, now, you guys are just showing off,” laughed Eve. Villanelle smiled at her and Eve unconsciously ran a hand through her wild curls. She cleared her throat and turned her attention back to the entire class. “The point is, you all know who these designers are based on their work. It speaks for itself. So, yes, Romeo was onto something here. Your work needs a name. But it’s what you create that’s important. We have to create clothing that will fill a person’s mind with an instant picture of its name as soon as they hear it. So, tonight’s homework is two-fold. The first part is to create a name for your collection. The second part? To decide just what image you want to conjure in someone’s mind when they hear it. Questions so far?”
“What would you call your collection, Eve?” A student called Diego inquired.
“I had a collaboration with a major fashion label. Extra credit on your first exam to anyone who can tell me which label, what year, and what collection.”
Almost immediately every head dropped down towards their computers. Fingers tapped away, everyone trying to find the answer first. Everyone except Villanelle, who sat patiently at her station, one finger tapping against the desktop.
“Someone’s confident that they won’t need the extra credit,” Eve quipped.
Villanelle shrugged and even made that look regal. “I already know the answer.”
“What the fuck?” Kenny whispered to himself.
“Mhm.” Villanelle nodded. “You are great friends with Pheng Lim, better known as Phillip Lim. In spring 2012, you gave him the idea to base his ready-to-wear collection off of Technicolor. It was unofficially titled ‘Sartorial Sorbet’. I own a few original pieces from that collection, by the way.” Villanelle sat back in her chair and crossed her legs, utterly pleased with herself. Eve stared at her, stunned. And just the slightest bit turned on.
The room was silent, every student waited for the confirmation that Villanelle was, indeed, correct.
“What. The. Fuck .” Kenny whispered again. He hoped none of that would be on any exam. Sure, he was familiar with the designer, but that’s where the depth of his knowledge ended. Villanelle must have stayed up all night doing research.
Eve cleared her throat. “Well done, Villanelle.”
The blonde’s smile broadened. She reminded Eve of a child who had been rewarded for good behavior.
“Uh, Eve?” Diego voiced, breaking the eye contact between the two women.
“Looks like we are out of time.”
Eve looked at her watch and her eyes bulged. “You’re right. I will see you all on Friday. Please leave your portfolios on my desk. I’ll take a look at your rough sketches and give my notes when we see each other again.”
Her students packed up their things and filed out of the classroom, leaving their portfolios on the desk beside Eve. She watched as Nadia made her way over to Villanelle’s desk, clutching her portfolio to her chest and stood close to the blonde.
“Billie, how did you know all of those things? You are amazing.”
“Yes. I am.” When Villanelle looked up to see who she was receiving praise from, her lips parted slightly. “I could teach you some things. If you would like.”
It appeared that only Eve caught the double-entendre.
“Oh, I-I would really like that.” Nadia pushed a stray hair behind her ear.
“You have a nice face.” Villanelle complimented. “You would make a lovely model.”
Nadia shook her head once and hugged her leather-bound sketches tighter. Eve watched as Villanelle placed her hand on Nadia’s arm.
“Why don’t we get something to eat, yes?”
A feeling that she couldn’t explain shot through Eve’s chest. Villanelle gathered her things and the two made their way to Eve’s desk, handing her their rough sketches.
“Villanelle, I’d like to speak to you for a minute,” Eve said. She looked at Nadia and then back to Villanelle.
“I will meet you in the lobby.” Villanelle dismissed Nadia. The mousy brunette turned and dutifully left the classroom with Villanelle watching.
“It’s nice that you’re offering your help to your peers.”
Villanelle tilted her head and bit her bottom lip, coquettishly. “Don’t be jealous, Eve. She just needs someone to help her boost her confidence.”
Eve’s mouth opened, a squeak of protest and she closed it again before she shook her head and crossed her arms. “That’s not what I want to talk to you about.”
But she didn’t deny it. Why hadn’t she denied it?
“I think you have an amazing internal encyclopedia of fashion design and it gives you a leg up in this class. So, I was wondering—. Have you considered filling out an application to be a student teaching assistant?”
“ Your TA?”
“Sure. You’re a senior. I’m sure if I put in a good word with Headmistress Martens, the job is as good as yours.”
Villanelle pretended to think. “Long hours. Shit pay.” She hissed as if something had pained her. “I don’t know, Eve.”
“But think of the experience you’ll gain. You and I are stuck in this godforsaken studio for hours after class trying to help salvage some of the worst designs you’ll ever see.” Eve joked. “On the plus side, my husband, Niko, will probably bring us homemade dinners.”
“You had me at homemade dinners,” Villanelle replied. Truth be told, Eve had her at ‘you and me ’.
Eve’s shoulders visibly relaxed. “Oh good. I thought I’d have to grovel. Or at the very least, bribe you with alcohol or an iPod or whatever you kids are into these days.”
Villanelle grinned as she took in Eve’s face. She stepped forward and Eve was once again overwhelmed with the lovely scent of her.
“What perfume do you wear?”
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, it’s very—,” For the love of God, use your words, Eve!, Eve rationalized internally, “you.”
“I should hope so. I created it myself.”
“What do you call it?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
It was then that Eve felt a hand tug at the ends of her hair before she even saw Villanelle reach forward. “You wore it down.”
“Yes,” breathed Eve.
Why had she worn it down?
“It suits you.”
“Thank you.” Eve didn’t understand what it was about Villanelle that made her forget social norms. Like not letting a student touch her hair so intimately. Though Villanelle was far from normal, that was for certain; she was forward and intimidating, but she seemed to have a soft spot for Eve.
...and Nadia it appears , thought Eve.
“You are welcome.” Villanelle’s hand fell and she stepped away. Her spell broke and Eve cleared her throat.
“I-I’ll speak with Carolyn, erm, Headmistress Martens and it should be sorted by Monday.”
“Okay.” Villanelle breezed cheerfully, with a cute shrug. “See you Friday.”
Office of Carolyn Martens, 12:24 PM
With stunning wood wainscot walls and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase behind her desk, Headmistress Martens was a middle-aged woman of means, but she never used her wealth to make anyone feel less than. She constantly burned the midnight oil, although one could never tell, as she was always flawlessly put together. Over the years, she and Eve had become good friends through their circle of acquaintances.
“So, let me get this straight,” Carolyn steepled her hands together atop of her desk, “ you actually want a student teaching assistant?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“Well, because for the last ten years I’ve tried to get you to take a student under your wing, and you’ve been utterly opposed to them.”
“None of them seemed good enough.”
“Mm.” Carolyn sat back in her chair looking every bit a queen on a throne. “And who is this student who is good enough ?”
Carolyn didn’t look the least bit surprised. “Has she filled out the application?”
“I’ll email it to her tonight.”
“Excellent.” When Eve didn’t make a move to stand, Carolyn raised her brows. “Was there anything else?”
“Oh, uh, no. It’s just--.” Eve had to ask. “You don’t have any questions?”
“What would you like me to ask?”
Eve shrugged. “Nothing, I suppose.”
“Look, Eve, I respect your opinion, and if you say this girl is as good as it gets, then you will have my full support.”
Eve nodded. She stood from the visitor’s chair across from Carolyn’s desk. “Thanks.”
Just as Eve got to the door, Carolyn called out for her. “There is one thing that I need from you, though.”
“I’ll need you and your new teaching assistant to set up a stand for the Back To School fundraiser.”
“Sure. Not a problem.”
Fear not, Villanelle lovers, next chapter will be more from our lovely blonde's point of view.
Chapter 3: Na Zdorovye
Unedited. Sorry. I've gotten so many followers on tumblr and twitter! You all are so sweet! Enjoy!
“It’s just a couple months.
But we do it anyway.
We do it anyway.”
-Willow Smith, ‘Summer Fling’
Kings Cross, London, UK, Friday
The building that held Villanelle’s luxury flat had been converted from a warehouse in the late 90s and had been prime real estate for students at Central Saint Martins ever since. The moment Villanelle walked in, she knew she had to have it, so she’d offered double what the seller was asking for and won the bidding war. With her bed as the central fixation of the spacious living area, it was clear to whoever walked in that she meant business. Along the western wall were the original floor-to-ceiling windows that opened outward onto a small balcony. Her kitchen ran along the southward-facing wall, complete with a built-in stove and vintage icebox. A small vanity and design area was the final focus point of her apartment.
Villanelle stood directly next to her desk, pushpins in her mouth, and her concentration completely on the task at hand. She was working on a rough design she’d sketched when she couldn’t sleep the previous night. The suit jacket on the mannequin in front of her was a stunning mint color with one pure white sleeve and one pure white lapel on the opposite side.
Fashion had always been a major part of her life. Villanelle had always enjoyed the finer things in life. Her parents, whom she no longer had a functional relationship with, had raised her with the impression that appearances were everything and people were tools that one used to succeed. She’d met people from all walks of life in her travels with her parents, but Villanelle had never met anyone like herself. Until she laid eyes on Eve Polastri. From the moment the woman practically fell through the classroom doors, Villanelle had been fascinated with her. Her blunt attitude and magnificent hair were absolute turn-ons, but it was when Villanelle did full-on research that she truly began to admire her.
In her forty-something years, Eve had accomplished quite a lot in the fashion world. She was friends with amazing designers and had such an extensive knowledge on all things fashion-related that Villanelle knew she still had much to learn. And Eve, as it turned out, could learn a few things from Villanelle. As far as the younger woman could tell, Eve gave off powerful bisexual energy whether she knew it or not. It was a vivid dream of being Eve’s sexual reawakening that had jolted Villanelle out of her sleep the night before.
And by the time she slipped the last pushpin inside of the mint blazer, Villanelle decided that she had to slip just as easily inside of Eve Polastri before the school year was over.
Central Saint Martins
“Guys, just a reminder that this is the only week that we will meet three times as a class. We will only meet once a week on Wednesdays. The rest of the week is yours to use as you wish. My professional opinion? Spend every waking moment that you can inside of this design studio working on your collection.” Eve reminded her pupils before adding, “My office is number 210, located in Annex B and my hours are listed on the door. Before you guys leave, come pick up your portfolios, take in the notes that I have written beside each design, and adjust accordingly. Also, if anyone is ready to put a name to their collections, I’m ready to hear them. See you all on Wednesday.”
A whirlwind of activity followed, everyone excited to get their portfolios returned to them.
“Eve, what do you think about Diego by Diego?” Diego inquires, using his hands to gesture as if he could already see the name in neon lights.
“I think Marc Jacobs thought that Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs was a good name, too.”
“Got it. I’ll keep brainstorming.”
Eve gave him his portfolio and a tight smile. “You do that.”
One by one, her students filed past, awaiting her advice nervously. Eventually, at the end of the line, stood Villanelle with her usual self-assuredness.
“Villanelle, as always, you impressed me,” Eve said as she returned Villanelle’s monogrammed book of sketches. “It’s been a long time since a student’s designs have made me feel--.” She opened her hands and searched for the right word, shaking her head. Ultimately, she finished with, “I think that’s it. I felt something when I looked at your work. I was excited to see what was on the next page, sad when I got to the end like when you’re reading a really great novel. More importantly, I’m anxious to see it coming to life. I’m looking forward to it.” Eve suddenly realized that, perhaps, she was feeding Villanelle’s ego. Any more praise and the blonde’s head was sure to start to resemble a balloon and float completely away. “I still had a few notes, though. Take them under advisement.”
“Also, it won’t be official until Monday, but,” Eve pulled a folder with the school’s crest in the front from her messenger bag and held it out to Villanelle, “congratulations! You are officially a student teaching assistant. Read through the qualifications and expectations and Headmistress Martens will meet with you Monday to discuss your salary.”
“I am not doing it for the pay. I am doing it because I feel that we just have so much to learn from each other.”
Eve’s lashes fluttered and an unmistakable tingling flooded her core. “Uh, I-I’ll need you to send me an email with a complete list of your other courses so that we can coordinate office hours.”
Eve nodded and turned to gather her things before adding, “Also, leave me with your mobile number.”
Villanelle wasn’t easily stunned by most people. But, Eve, she learned, wasn’t most people. So, when Eve raised her brows, it shook Villanelle out of her stupor. She reached into her Canali calfskin backpack and pulled out a small notebook and pen and wrote her number on it.
If there was one thing Villanelle had never experienced, it was waiting by the phone for someone to text her. And yet, there she was, on a Saturday night, sitting in her flat at her work desk. In a colorful silk robe with her golden hair pulled up, Villanelle sighed as she stared at her computer screen. Her attempts at graphic designing a website for her future collection was going miserably. Every few moments she found herself looking over at her phone in disgust. Just as she shut her computer, giving up for the evening, her phone chimed sweetly. She snatched it up, only to find a message from Nadia.
Sweet, impressionable Nadia , Villanelle thought with a smile.
Drinks at The Driver?
Meet you at half-past , Villanelle answered. Anything to take her mind off of Eve Polastri.
The Driver, Kings Cross, London, 10:30 PM
A boutique pub where its impeccable service was only enhanced by a seamless mesh of modern elegance and timeless style, The Driver offered relaxation mixed with pleasure-driven entertainment. Complete with three floors of dining and drinking areas, Villanelle found Nadia at the bar, leaning over it and asking the barkeep for a drink.
“Let me guess, a chardonnay for the lady?” Villanelle greeted.
“Billie!” Nadia exclaimed. It was clear she’d already had a couple of drinks while she waited for Villanelle’s arrival.
“You are awfully pink-cheeked already.”
“The bartender made me try something called a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. It is actually quite tasty.”
“Well, I should catch up.” She signaled the bartender with no problem at all and pointed at Nadia before holding up two fingers. He nodded and within moments, they had their drinks. “There is a terrace on the roof with tables. The weather is nice enough. Want to go?”
“Yes, but we are waiting for two more people.”
“Yeah, oh--look, there they are.” Nadia waved over Villanelle’s shoulder. “Kenny. Hugo. You guys know Billie from class.”
The last thing Villanelle wanted was these two cockblockers ruining the evening. But if she wanted to get Nadia to go home with her, she decided that she would have to play nice and mingle with them.
“Oi, first round’s on me, yeah? What are we drinking, dark or light?” Kenny asked them.
Maybe they’re not the worst, Villanelle considered.
On the rooftop deck, the group found the perfect spot with a lovely view of the city lights. They took shots and breezed straight through the pleasantries about school. Once the liquor finally took ahold of them and everyone had relaxed enough to laugh and speak freely, the truly great conversations and debates began. With the music at just the right level that they had to speak louder than normal and the enthusiastic group on the opposite side of the terrace, Villanelle took a moment to realize that she was having a quintessential college experience with her peers.
They were deep in a discussion about the pros and cons of celebrities dating celebrities when the group across from them let out a chorus of ringing laughter followed by one of them jumping up with both hands in the air. The action drew only Villanelle’s attention. She thought she was having an out of body experience. Eve fucking Polastri plopped back into her seat and held out her hand. Villanelle watched as her companions slapped bills into her hand. Apparently she had won some sort of bet, but that’s not what piqued Villanelle’s interest. It was the fact that Eve looked so in her element around her friends. Two darker-skinned women and a gentleman who looked slightly older than Eve sat around the table. Villanelle recognized the two women as professors at CSM.
“Earth to Billie? Come in, Billie.” Hugo said and whistled once. Villanelle turned her attention back to her group and raised her brows. “Another round?”
She looked at the half-full glass still on the table and shook her head. “I am good. Thank you.”
“Hey, isn’t that Professor Polastri?” Kenny wondered aloud. Villanelle, now with a good reason to look over, saw as Eve knocked back one more shot and clapped her hands together once before grimacing.
“Yes. I think it is.” Villanelle feigned disinterest.
When Hugo returned with fresh drinks, he, Nadia, and Kenny jumped into a new topic of discussion. But the only thing Villanelle could focus on was trying not to turn and stare at her fashion design professor. She lost the battle, however, and when she turned, Eve was looking directly at her. The older woman’s expression changed from shock to worried and ended with a small, unsure smile. She held her drink up to Villanelle and shrugged. Villanelle reached for her own and held it up in a silent toast.
Let the games begin.
Chapter 4: Sweet Treat
Sorry for the late update. Pride was yesterday in my city and oh, god, the pure joy! I needed it! I hope this chapter makes up for missing my deadline. Also, I plan on making a Spotify playlist for this. Let me know if y'all are interested.
“Shut your mouth, baby.
Stand and deliver.
Oh, they make me a sinner.”
-Bishop Briggs, ‘River’
It had been all Niko’s doing. Really, it had. Although, Eve certainly did nothing to discourage the idea. But around noon on Sunday, Eve finally put Villanelle’s phone number to use. She couldn’t believe Niko had suggested that they have a celebration dinner for Villanelle’s new position as her teaching assistant, but he did. He wanted to get to know the woman who would be spending so much time with his wife, and who would probably be in his home at times. More importantly, he noted, Eve seemed truly impressed by Villanelle, so he wanted to see just what all the fuss was about.
“You look beautiful as always, darling,” Niko told his wife when he caught her staring at her reflection in the mirror.
“You think? It’s not too understated?” She pulled at the neckline of her grey sweater and tilted her head, wondering if it paired well enough with her boyfriend cut jeans.
“Not at all.” He kissed the crown of her head and left her in the room to stew in her thoughts.
Just as Eve was about to consider changing into a v-neck shirt, the doorbell chimed. She took a deep breath and exhaled before exiting her bedroom to answer the door.
“Hi, thank you.” In a custom-dyed mint Chloé top, asymmetrical jean shorts and Doc Martens, Villanelle was the picture of casual. Her blonde hair was down and shined so vibrantly that it took everything inside of Eve not to reach out to touch it. “You look amazing.”
And just that quickly, every doubt Eve had about her ensemble pairing flew out of the window. “Are you kidding me? Why do you always look like you’re coming from a photo shoot?”
Niko joined Eve at the door and held out his hand. “Niko. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Villanelle smiled and shook his hand. “Likewise. Thank you for inviting me.”
They stepped further into the house and Villanelle gifted the couple a bottle of white wine.
“This is a--.” Niko began.
Villanelle interjected, “ Montrachet Grand Cru , yes.”
“This is like a thousand euros per bottle.”
“Twelve hundred, actually.” Villanelle’s nose wrinkled sweetly. “It is better chilled.”
Niko took that as his cue to put it in the freezer before he returned to the stove to check on dinner. Eve gave Villanelle a small tour of their house, ending in her design studio.
“Eve, this is amazing.”
“Thank you. It’s just somewhere to work while I’m home.”
Villanelle took in the custom-made cubby-hole shelves that took up an entire wall. Most slots were filled with design tools or fabric. Others held books and small succulents and air plants. There were some pictures placed sporadically throughout the room, the majority of them of Eve with famous designers.
“So, I almost forgot that we are required to set up a stand at the Back To School night fundraiser.”
“That is in two weeks.”
“I know. And I know it’s lame, but teaching isn’t always glamorous.” Eve joked.
Villanelle continued her slow lap around the room, her right hand tracing the outline of certain objects that drew her attention. “I told you. I did not take the job for the perks. I took it to be closer to you. To learn as much as I can from you.”
“If I recall, you wanted to teach me things as well.” Eve immediately regretted the words the moment she said them. Had that sounded too sexual? Was Villanelle going to take it the wrong way?
Quick-witted as ever, Villanelle instantaneously responded, “Yes, would you like a lesson now?”
Villanelle’s right brow lifted and fell with such quickness, that Eve began to think she imagined it. Flustered, Eve turned to her desk and pretended to tidy up a stack of sketches as she changed the subject. “So, h-have you, uh, come up with a name for your collection?”
“ La Villanelle .”
It was classy, for sure, and Eve could actually envision the clothing’s label and logo. “A little narcissistic, no?”
“Maybe,” Villanelle said, crossing her arms over her ample chest. “You said we should give our collection a name that will put a picture of what we want in someone’s mind.”
“And what picture did it put in yours?”
Soft fabrics slipping off of your perfect body , Eve thought before shaking her head once to clear that image.
“Well… you,” Eve admitted, “but that’s because I know you.”
“And so will the masses if I do my job correctly.”
Eve looked at her curiously and shook her head. “Where does your confidence come from?”
“I assume the same place that yours comes from. Knowing that we are smarter and more clever than most people in our field.”
Eve didn’t have the time to comprehend her compliment before Niko gave a gentle knock on the open door. “I was wondering where you two got off to. Wine is chilled. Dinner’s ready. Shall we?”
Villanelle was polite enough when it came to Niko’s dinner conversation. She answered his questions as best she could without getting too personal and offered little knowledge about herself. But when Eve talked, she listened intently and gazed at the older woman as if Eve, alone, knew the meaning of life. Niko cleared their dinner plates and excused himself when the home phone rang.
“Dessert?” Eve asked, opening the icebox. She leaned in and Villanelle admired the view.
“Depends on what you are offering.”
Eve pulled out a covered tray of individual brûlée bowls of fruit fool. “Bold, don’t you think?” She placed the tray on the small, kitchen island. Unwrapping one, she dipped a finger into it and slipped it into her mouth. She watched as Villanelle’s eyes drifted downwards to take in the movement.
“Flirting with me while my husband is in the next room.” Eve didn’t know where the fearlessness to make that statement had come from. Maybe it was the three glasses of wine she’d downed at dinner. They’d done wonders to ease her nerves, but now, she was toeing the line between appropriate and danger.
“Bold to assume I was flirting with you.”
“You always are.”
“Do you want me to stop?”
They both knew the answer, but Villanelle practically salivated as she waited to hear it.
“Spoons,” Eve commanded, pointing at the cutlery drawer furthest from the sink. Spoons, she could talk about. Spoons were safe.
The blonde retrieved the silverware and held one out to Eve. “More wine?”
Eve watched as Villanelle headed back to the table to pour more wine. Moments later, Eve had yet another chilled glass between her fingers. Eve considered herself a very open person. She hadn’t had any sexual experiences with women, not even in college, but she hadn’t completely ruled it out. Women were beautiful and capable of incredible feats. She could appreciate a prominent clavicle, supple breasts, and the curve at the small of a woman’s back.
She had very delicate features, Eve remembered thinking the first time she saw Villanelle, “ eyes like a cat; wide, but alert. Full lips. High cheekbones.
Eve imagined that if she had been interested in women, it would be one just like Villanelle. Tall, honey blonde, phenomenal style, absolutely unobtainable. But, as it were, she’d chosen Niko. Took vows and made promises. She would try as hard as she could to fight the attraction she had to Villanelle. Whatever it was. And as if the Universe heard her silent prayer, Niko’s muffled conversation ended and he made his way back into the room.
“Got into the goodies already?” He asked.
“Oh, not yet,” Villanelle answered. “But I am dying to get my hands on them.”
Eve sputtered into her wine, nearly choking. Niko took the wine glass and patted her back as she coughed.
“Eve, darling, are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah. Yeah. I’m good.” She cleared her throat a few times.
“Well, that is it , young lady. Niko and I are cutting you off.” Villanelle teased. And if looks could kill, Villanelle was sure she’d have surely gotten the ax.
After dessert, Niko retired to the den to watch a little television.
“He will sit in that chair until his eyes start to get heavy,” Eve said. Villanelle ran two fingers across the back of the recliner, and the corner of her lips twitched. Eve led her back to the design studio.
“So, Back To School Night normally has a theme.” Eve opened her laptop and signed into her email. Scrolling through the junk mail and messages that she just didn’t want to address, she found the flyer Carolyn had sent her. “This is a carnival theme.”
Villanelle pulled a face. “Seriously?”
“Cotton candy booth?” Villanelle’s eyes widened, hopefully.
“You really have a sweet tooth.”
“‘Let food be thy medicine’.” Villanelle quoted conversationally, before leaning over Eve’s shoulder.
Eve turned her head to look at her, brows furrowed. “Who said that?”
“Mm. Well, Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘the first wealth is health’.
“Hm. Wasn’t he poor?” Villanelle asked, teasingly. It was an insensitive joke, but the younger woman caught Eve trying to stifle a smile as she turned back to the screen.
Eve pointed to the open options. “Concession stand, photo booth, game booth, or kissing booth.”
In unison, they turned to look at one another.
“Photobooth could be fun.”
Without skipping a beat, the honey-haired beauty responded, “So could the kissing booth.”
“Yes, but that would require one or both of us to kiss a shit ton of people.”
Villanelle’s nose scrunched in the cutest possible way and stood to her full height, turned, and sat on the desk. “Not interested. I only want to kiss one person.”
Eve made it her mission not to respond to that comment. Instead, she typed a concise email to Carolyn.
“Photobooth, it is.” She said as she hit send.
“Party pooper.” Villanelle crossed her arms over her chest.
“Pout all you want.” Eve leaned back in her desk chair. “It’s cute.”
“Bold, flirting with me with your husband downstairs.”
“Bold of you to assume I’m flirting.”
“I never assume. I am very good at knowing what people want. I would not be a good designer if I didn’t.”
Eve laughed. “Please, oh Wise One, tell me what it is that you think I want.”
Villanelle uncrossed her arms and bent at the waist. She turned Eve’s swivel chair toward her, hands on either of the armrests. Looking Eve dead in the eye, Villanelle told her, “Me.”
Eve’s lips parted. Her heart pounded. And her panties flooded with a fresh wave of cream. Villanelle’s eyes flicked down to her lips and back up to stare into eyes like untainted chocolate. They gazed at one another, each daring the other to lean forward. Eve’s chest rose and fell quicker and Villanelle’s lashes fluttered.
“I should go.” She said. “Thanks for dinner, Eve. This was delicious.”
Chapter 5: Round One
This chapter is a little shorter than the others because I had to break it up. Next chapter is much longer. Enjoy!
PS. the songs I post at the beginning are the songs I was listening to as I write and/or edit.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“I’ma take her soul
If she try to play me
‘Cause that’s all mine
That’s my lil’ baby.”
Trippie Redd, ‘Romeo & Juliet”
Villanelle had sat through a marketing course with absolutely no clue what the fuck her professor was talking about. It was the first day of her office hours with Eve and it was all she could think about throughout the day. By lunchtime, she’d inwardly scolded herself for acting like a teenager in love. Because she wasn’t a teenager anymore, and the stakes were much higher for both herself and Eve. Eve was married. She had an actual husband who absolutely adored her. Not to mention Villanelle was Eve’s student. While there weren’t explicit written rules barring faculty and students from having neither relations nor relationships, it was certainly frowned upon.
But there was no stopping the attraction that Villanelle felt for Eve Polastri. She wanted her, plain and simple. And as a woman of means, she was used to getting everything and every one that she wanted.
So it was during their first day of shared office hours, that Villanelle made her first move.
Awkward probably wasn’t the right word. Tense was a better way to put it. The pair moved silently around Eve’s small office. There was just enough room for two desks, four chairs and bookshelves on either side of them. A few framed educational achievements hung on the walls, and more plants decorated the corners and bookshelves. While Eve’s home hoarded more totems of who she was as a person, her office was very minimalistic. Two students had made appointments to see Eve during her office hours, though neither appointment had been longer than thirty minutes.
So, it was Villanelle’s duty to sit and complete her own work as they waited for the end of office hours. Every now and then, Eve would clear her throat or make a small grunt of disapproval as she scrolled through her laptop. The clacking of computer keys filled the remainder of the silence. It was infuriating, really, for Villanelle to be in such close quarters, door closed, and absolutely no real claim to the prize between Eve’s thighs. So, she placed her sketching pencils on the table and stood up.
“Mm?” The older woman hummed, not looking up from her laptop.
“Could you take a look at this and tell me what it’s missing.” She crossed the small expanse of the room and stood beside Eve’s chair. Handing her the sketchbook, Villanelle sat on the desk, crossing her legs. The black Rag & Bone shift minidress that she wore slipped further up her alabaster thighs and she watched as Eve’s eyes lifted from the page.
Eve’s fingers twitched and her grasp on the sketchbook tightened.
Eve looked up, and Villanelle raised her brows. “Any suggestions?”
The suit on the page was absolutely flawless, and she knew Villanelle knew that. “What shirt would you pair with it?”
“None. It’s designed to be worn as a shirt without a bra.”
“The only problem with your work is that you design clothes for people like you.”
“I don’t understand how that is a problem.”
Eve sat the work down and leaned back in her chair. “Not everyone looks like you.”
“That’s for sure.”
“But that’s the problem. If you want the masses to know who you are, you have to make clothes for the masses. You have to design things that every day people who are all shapes and sizes can put on and feel good about themselves.”
“You think I make clothes for thin people.”
“I think you make clothes for models.”
“Everyone can be a model. Fashion is about putting on a piece of clothing and really owning it no matter what you look like. It’s about gaining that inner confidence.”
“Not everyone will even have the confidence to buy a blazer that is meant to be worn as a shirt without a bra.”
That gave Villanelle an idea. “You are right. Thank you, Eve.”
“You’re… welcome?” Eve replied, confused but relieved that she no longer had to avoid staring at Villanelle’s perfect fucking legs.
Eve turned back to her computer, clicking on a new email to read.
“You really are good at what you do, Eve.”
Villanelle placed her hand on Eve’s, effectively halting her movements. She felt Eve’s hand flex. Mere seconds before Eve looked up at her, she slowly removed her own hand, fingers brushing delicately across Eve’s wrist. She turned on her heels and flounced back to her own desk.
“Do you mind if I head off? I have a dinner date.” Villanelle requested.
“A date?” Now she had Eve’s full attention. “With who?” Not that it was any of her business, or so Eve tried to remind herself. “I mean, you don’t have to tell me, if you don’t--.”
“Oh. Uh,” Eve looked at her watch, “yeah. Sure. I should get going soon, too.” She closed her laptop and began shuffling miscellaneous papers together.
When they were both packed up, Eve crossed the room to the door at nearly the same time as Villanelle. She started to open the door, but a hand pushed it closed once more. Suddenly, Eve was all to aware of a warm body mere inches from her own, and Villanelle’s perfume was invading her senses once again. Her eyes closed and every nerve ending was suddenly alight with desire. A rush of adrenaline surged through her heart as it started beating a mile a minute.
With her lips centimeters from Eve’s ear, Villanelle whispered, “Tell me not to go and I won’t see her.”
She was absolutely delighted to see a chill run down Eve’s spine. Seconds seemed like hours. Their breaths quickened and the sheer exhilaration of the moment could have made Eve come just then.
But she was the teacher here. She was supposed to be the voice of reason, and good god , it was not an easy decision to make. Eve watched as Villanelle’s hand moved from the door to her forearm, and slid softly downwards until their middle and pointer fingers were locked.
“Tell me.” Villanelle repeated.
Eve took a deep breath. Gave a slight shake of her head. Unlocked her fingers from Villanelle’s, and opened the door. “Have a lovely time.”
And with that, she was gone, leaving Villanelle to wonder: who actually won round one?
come say hi on Twitter: adcspeaks_ or Tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi
“Break up with your girlfriend
Yeah, yeah, ‘cause I’m bored.
You can hit it in the mornin’.
Yeah, yeah, like it’s yours.”
Ariana Grande, “break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored”
It didn’t take much to get Nadia to bed. Villanelle wasn’t sure if that was a testament to her own manipulation or if Nadia was just that easy. She suspected the former, but the fact remained: there was no real challenge. Nadia took to Villanelle like a moth to a flame and would never have a clue about just how fitting that analogy was.
Villanelle knelt on the bed and sat back on her haunches. “Open them.”
Nadia hesitated for a moment, unsure just how much of herself she wanted to expose. She parted them, but just barely.
“Don’t be shy, little pet. Show me.” Villanelle purred. She reached forward and placed her hands on Nadia’s knees, pushing her legs far apart. Nadia blushed a lovely shade of pink, silky wetness now on display.
“For me?” Villanelle asked, not expecting an answer, but was pleasantly surprised when Nadia shyly nodded her head. She bent closer and the moment her mouth connected with Nadia’s pussy, her eyes closed and she was suddenly with Eve. Utterly determined to give her nothing but pure pleasure.
Like a kitten trying milk for the first time, Villanelle flattened her tongue and gave an exploratory lick straight up the center. Nadia cried out. Her hands flew to the top of her lover’s hair. Villanelle rested her palms on the back of her thighs and pushed upwards so Nadia was completely spread open, knees bent, feet completely off of the bed.
Her lips wrapped around Nadia’s clit and she sucked gently. Villanelle teased her endlessly, bringing her higher and higher. Closer and closer. She rolled her tongue back downwards before thrusting it inside of Nadia’s cunt.
“ Oh god ! Yes !”
Nadia’s fingers tangled in Villanelle’s hair. She bowed and flexed, her hips moving on their own as she tried to find just a little… more friction . It was almost primal, the way her brain rewired itself to only want one thing in that moment. Every nerve ending was on fire, her skin prickled and she could feel Villanelle everywhere . And it was when Villanelle replaced her tongue with two fingers, slipping inside of Nadia’s nectar and her mouth returned to Nadia’s clit, that Nadia was gone .
Really, Villanelle was impressed with herself. It didn’t normally happen so fast. Most women took just a little bit more to push them over the edge. She gave herself props, but didn’t stop.
She fucked Nadia through one orgasm straight into another. Corkscrewing her fingers while simultaneously making a “come hither” motion, Villanelle sucked softly on Nadia’s small bundle of nerves. Nadia held Villanelle’s head in place and her back arched off of the bed.
“ Fuck! Yes! ”
Villanelle slowed her motions, letting Nadia really feel her against every wall as she rode out the aftershocks of her second climax.
When she finally caught her breath, Nadia laughed. It was a sweet sound and it made Villanelle look up.
Nadia removed her hands from her soft hair and put them on either of Villanelle’s cheeks. “You are very good at that.”
“I am good at everything.”
“And so modest.”
“Oh, very .” Villanelle said and they shared a laugh. She climbed up the bed and sat near the pillows beside Nadia’s head. She leaned her head against the headboard, her floral satin robe nearly baring her full breasts.
They were quiet for a few moments, Nadia breaking the silence first. “I’m not, uh—. What I mean is, I don’t—. This is—.”
A shy chuckle. “Yes. I mean I’ve only been with men and not very many. But you,” Nadia looked up at Villanelle, “you are very tempting.”
“Oscar Wilde said ‘the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it’.”
“I suppose he was onto something. But I don’t want to get rid of you.”
Villanelle’s head lolled to the right and she looked down at Nadia. There was a strange feeling inside her chest. “You don’t?”
“No, but there is another temptation I’d like to yield to.”
Villanelle raised a brow. “Is that so?”
The brunette nodded. “I’d like to taste you .”
Fuck . Those were pretty words from a lovely little mouth.
Villanelle slipped a leg across Nadia’s waist, straddling her. She tilted forward, one hand propping her up and the other gravitated to Nadia’s slender neck. Applying a little pressure, she offered the one thing she knew she would never give to Nadia, “Do you want to kiss me?”
The poor, sweet girl nodded. Villanelle slid up her body, using the headboard as leverage, until her bare pussy was just angled above her face.
“So, kiss me.”
She felt Nadia’s hands on her thighs before she saw them. They hooked around and pulled Villanelle straight down onto her mouth. Her kisses were tentative, at first, as she tried to gauge Villanelle’s reaction. Not easily impressed, but always willing to encourage a new lover, Villanelle ground down against her mouth. Nadia took the hint and shifted her efforts further up, lavishing her clit with attention.
“ Jesus, fuck! Right. There .”
Nadia teased Villanelle into a frenzy. She gripped Villanelle’s thighs tighter and became a completely different person when she felt Villanelle’s nectar run down her chin. Her hands caressed up the blonde’s lovely body, untying her robe. Villanelle looked down and saw a hunger in her eyes; Nadia was determined to get her off. It was almost laughable at how willing she was to please. If Villanelle had been into the BDSM lifestyle, Nadia would have made one hell of a submissive.
She took Nadia’s hand in her own and moved them up until they were squeezing her breasts. Once Nadia got into the perfect rhythm, Villanelle rested one hand on the headboard and let the other get knotted into Nadia’s hair. And when Nadia pinched her nipples, Villanelle came… hard .
Nadia fucking Kadomtseya , Eve stewed. She paced in her studio, sketching notebook in hand and pencil in her mouth. What did they have in common besides being Russian for god’s sake?
Nadia was quiet and lacked self-assurance. She wore dark colors, mostly cargo pants, henley shirts and oversized jackets as if she was trying not to draw attention to slim figure. In the grand scheme of things, it seemed like Nadia was simply existing.
Villanelle was the complete opposite. She was bold, daring, so in your face that she was impossible to ignore. It didn’t matter if she wore vibrant colors or if she wore nothing at all, when she walked into a room, Villanelle captured everyone’s attention. The woman was living .
And then, there was Eve. She was an obsessive fashion designer who, no matter how hard she tried, couldn’t focus on one thing at a time. Except when it came to Villanelle. She found herself thinking about the young blonde more often than not. Eve was fucking her husband more and getting off to a fantasy of Villanelle’s head between her thighs. She managed to convince herself that there was nothing wrong with fantasizing, as long as she didn’t act on it.
Eve tossed her sketches onto the desk and grabbed a prepared needle. She slipped it through two pieces of fabric and made quick work of a cross stitch. In less than twenty minutes, half of a collared leather shirt same to life. The leather had been dyed evergreen and, once completed, would have a very Edwardian look. It would be unique, that was for certain and only a special person would be bold enough to wear it.
“ Fucking aye .” Eve huffed, pulling the pencil out of her mouth. She snatched an empty wine glass off of the desk and stormed downstairs to pour herself more Riesling. Now she was making clothes for Villanelle? Who was she turning into, June fucking Cleaver ? Was nothing sacred anymore ?
Niko was home; the TV was blaring some godforsaken program and he was probably sitting in that stupid chair. Great . Bottle of wine under her arm, Eve headed back to her studio, grabbing her mobile off of the foyer table first. She was exhausted and just tipsy enough that her newest composition would be considered haute couture.
Back in her sanctuary, Eve plopped down in the chair, staring at the leather shirt that now dangled off of its mannequin. Before long, she’d down another glass. Then another. And by the time she poured the remaining contents of the bottle in her glass, her head was all over the place. She picked up her phone, tapped a few times on the screen until her text thread with Villanelle was in front of her. There were so many things to say. A plethora of words that she should string together to let Villanelle know that this was completely inappropriate and she shouldn’t be trying to seduce a married woman. She’d gone so far as to type up an entire paragraph in the message line before deleting it.
Eventually, what she sent was:
Don’t kiss her.
An hour passed with no response from Villanelle. So, Eve composed another message.
Forget I said that. Kiss her if you want to. I don’t care.
Twenty minutes followed. And Eve tried to work on the shirt, deciding where the gauche buttons would go.
Last message and then I’ll leave it alone , thought Eve. So, she picked up her cell phone again.
I didn’t mean that I don’t care about you or Nadia. I meant I don’t care about you kissing her.
There. That would do it. Shouldn’t it?
Under her message, it suddenly said: Read 23:41PM . Three dots jumped onto the screen and Eve’s heart started pounding. Villanelle was awake and she was typing back!
The dots disappeared, but then reappeared moments later.
Only to vanish again.
Eve downed the final swallow of wine and decided that it was time for bed before she made any other rash decisions that evening.
Don’t kiss her.
Forget I said that. Kiss her if you want to. I don’t care.
I didn’t mean that I don’t care about you or Nadia. I meant I don’t care about you kissing her.
Villanelle must have stared at those messages for nearly one full minute. Her thumbs danced across the screen, trying to come up with the perfect response.
But that one didn’t seem good enough. So she erased it and half wrote another. Then the bathroom door was opening and, steam seeping out, Nadia reentered the bedroom. Villanelle quickly deleted the message and locked her phone before smiling at her guest.
“This was fun.” Villanelle remarked.
“Yes. It was. Thanks for—.” Nadia made a gesture with her hands and her damp hair moved against her shoulders.
“The sex? You are welcome.” If there was one thing Villanelle adored, it was a polite houseguest. She curled one foot under her bum and watched as Nadia quickly gathered her shoes and jacket. Neither girl wanted to have a sleepover, so it was time for Nadia to do her walk of shame.
Or rather, take part in the get-laid parade as Villanelle liked to call it.
“I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
Villanelle gave a reassuring smile and nodded once. Nadia stood in front of her, finally fully dressed and gave her a double kiss, one on either cheek.
“See you tomorrow.” Villanelle assured her.
Once the brunette was gone and Villanelle heard her front door shut, she quickly retrieved her phone only to stare at Eve’s messages once more. Full-on grin, and a little shimmy of the shoulders as a happy dance to match.
Invisible affair clock? Right on schedule.
CSM, Kings Cross, London, Wednesday 9:03AM
Her entire fucking studio smelled like Villanelle. She’d smelled it the second she walked in, but the annoyingly fashionable blonde was nowhere to be found. Why couldn’t she get Villanelle out of her head? Was it getting to the point that she was now conjuring up the pure scent of the younger woman? She set up her laptop to the projector and pulled herself onto a high stool just beside her desk.
“Insecurity basically drives sales in the fashion industry.” Was how Eve started her lecture. “If you’re taking Strategic Fashion Management with Professor Pargrave, he likes to tell you to prey on the insecure. That’s because he’s a little shit.”
The class and Eve shared a laughed.
“And you can tell him I said that. He’s a really great friend of mine. But, what I’m trying to get you guys to understand is that you want your clothing to make everyone feel confident. I had a stimulating conversation this past—.” Eve was interrupted as Villanelle flounced into the room, late, holding a takeaway coffee cup from Noble Espresso. Her hair was in two braids and she donned a green Miu Miu satin bomber jacket overtop of a black tee. She completed the outfit with waxed black utility pants, Doc Martens and her signature shit-eating grin.
“Sorry, I’m late” She said to Eve as she bit the straw of her iced coffee. And Eve was well-aware that she wasn’t the least bit sorry. She’d wanted to make an entrance; wanted to throw Eve off her game.
“Nice of you to join us.”
Villanelle gave a small wave to Nadia, who blushed furiously and waved back. She took a seat at her work station, gazing directly at Eve. Her eyes roamed down, taking in Eve completely before they met her eyes again. Her wild curls were pulled up, no doubt a protest of Villanelle’s desires for her to wear them down.
“As I was saying, I had a stimulating conversation about confidence this past week. It made me realize that it’s partly our duty, as designers, to make clothes for everyone. There is no one standard of beauty. People come in all shapes, sizes and colors and from all different backgrounds. Your clothes should be made to fit the people, not the other way around.” As she spoke, the projector showed a slideshow of models on the runway and in magazines that were extremely diverse.
“So, this week’s assignment is to people watch. Go somewhere public: a park, a coffee shop, the library. Maybe even talk to people, network and see if they’d be willing to wear your designs in the end of year fashion show. And then go home or come here to the studio and begin to work on some pieces.”
A rousing debate about body positivity and the once exclusivity of fashion began. Eve listened to her students’ opinions and how they, themselves, had been affected by the manner in which fashion was displayed in the media and on their online social accounts. Hugo and Diego happily played devil’s advocate, which kept the conversation going even longer. Before long, it was nearly time for class to be dismissed.
Eve glanced at her watch and her eyes bulged. “Alright guys, as much as I hate to do this, we are out of time. We’ll pick this up next time we see each other. As always, my office hours are on my door in Annex B. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to me, my lovely new teaching assistant, Villanelle Astankova is also available to everyone. Go. Conquer the fashion world.”
Villanelle remained seated, completely composed, even as a flurry of movements surrounded her. Nadia stopped at her desk and Eve watched, furtively, as they spoke quietly for a few moments. Once Villanelle dismissed Nadia with a smirk and a wink, they were left alone in the studio.
Eve stood behind her desk and Villanelle sat behind hers. They stared each other down for what felt like an eternity. Then, wordlessly, Villanelle stood, gathering her things. She approached Eve’s desk slowly.
“Take your hair down.”
“It’s a tangled mess.”
“Take it down.”
Eve pulled her hair from the elastic and shook it out with her hands.
“Wow.” Villanelle took an audible breath, reaching out to push a few locks behind Eve’s ear. “Beautiful.”
“I thought about you last night.”
“Really. That’s interesting. Since you didn’t text me back.” Eve mentally kicked herself. She hated just how much she sounded like a resentful teenager.
“Don’t be that way.” Villanelle discreetly linked her pointer finger with Eve’s. “I didn’t kiss her.”
She watched as Eve’s expression went from hopeful to confused.
“I told you, I’m only interested in kissing one person.”
Someone cleared their throat from the doorway. Eve quickly pulled her hand away from Villanelle and took a step back, reaching for her laptop.
“So, let’s talk about that a little more in detail during office hours this week and we also have to go over what props we’ll have for the carnival’s Photo booth.” Eve covered.
“Okay. We’ll talk then.”
Villanelle turned and headed towards the exit, smiling at the beautiful dark-skinned woman in the doorway. She recognized her as one of the women she’d seen with Eve on the bar rooftop.
When she was out of earshot, Professor Elena Felton stepped into the room, grinning from ear-to-ear. “Looks like someone has a teacher’s pet.”
Eve rolled her eyes. “She just wants to learn from me.”
“I bet she does.”
“Oh, stop it.” Eve tried to laugh it off. “What are you doing here?”
“Uh, hello, we’re supposed to be having brunch. Remember? Endless mimosas at Drake and Morgan?”
Eve slapped a palm to her forehead. “I totally forgot.”
“It’s okay. I know you’re busy. Do you want to reschedule?”
“God, no. Are you kidding? I could use a drink right now.”
“Stressed already? It’s only week two.”
“You don’t even know the half of it.”
“Well,” Elena said, as they started towards the door, “let’s go get champagne drunk and you can tell me all about it.”
If only it were that simple , thought Eve.
come say hey on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi (fan page).
Chapter 7: Stop, Go
semi-dub-con, but NSFW af.
I'm needy today, come love on me over on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi
“It's that pivotal moment;
This kiss, this kiss (Unsinkable).
This kiss, this kiss.”
Faith Hill, “This Kiss”
Kings Cross, Wednesday, 19:09PM
Days seemed to fly by. Eve had managed to avoid Villanelle during office hours by rescheduling, via email, the three appointments that she had for the week. At home, Eve worked tirelessly on finding a company that would transport and set up a photo booth in the center of the quad at Central Saint Martins. She found props geared towards fashion and ordered them in bulk. In all honesty, Eve was happy for the distraction from thoughts of Villanelle. Even after class that day, Villanelle filed past her, Nadia beside her and never once looked in Eve’s direction. There had been a quick moment when Eve felt a pang of jealousy shoot through her heart. But , she thought to herself, better she’s focused on someone her own age.
Two days before the carnival was to take place, she received a text from her younger counterpart who, much to her credit, had given Eve the space she so clearly desired.
Can’t avoid me forever. -V
That was becoming more and more apparent. Especially since Eve could feel her resolve slowly crumbling. Besides, she would have to man the photo booth with Villanelle anyway. They’d have to speak eventually.
Not avoiding you.
There. It was a lie, and not a very good one, but hopefully it’d keep the persistent younger woman at bay for as long as possible.
When there was no response from Villanelle an hour later, Eve mentally patted herself on the back and finished working on the leather shirt she’d started nearly two weeks prior.
A knock sounded at her closed studio door.
Niko opened the door and looked around. “That’s lovely.” He jutted his chin at the shirt, crossing his arms and leaning against the doorframe.
“So, I have a bit of bad news.”
“Oh?” Eve replied, slipping the last cross-stitch into place.
“I can’t make it to the carnival.”
Eve finally turned to face him. That actually was bad news. Who was going to be her buffer; who was going to save her from Villanelle?
“Weekend conferences. Gotta be packed and on the train to Cambridge by half past four.”
“I guess this is my karma.”
At Niko’s confused expression, Eve clarified, “For missing teachers night at your work three years in a row.”
“Ahh,” he smiled in understanding, moving closer into the room. Niko placed his hands on both of her shoulders, massaging gently. “You’ve been awfully hard on yourself these past days. After the carnival, you should rest.”
Her eyes closed as his deft fingers moved to her neck, slowly easing the tension he found there. He pulled her hair from its elastic.
Take your hair down. She heard Villanelle’s voice in her head.
Less than five minutes later, she was bouncing on her husband’s cock on the floor of her studio. One hand over his mouth, the other pinching her own nipples. She screwed her eyes shut, rolled her hips.
I didn’t kiss her.
“Fuck.” She groaned, she was so close. So. Fucking. Close.
Tell me not to go.
You. Want. Me.
“Fuck, I love you.” Eve cried out, and her orgasm was explosive .
The day of the carnival arrived and Eve still hadn’t heard from Villanelle. She was actually beginning to get a little worried. Somehow, she had managed to convince herself that it was because she didn’t know what Carolyn would say if both she and her student teaching assistant weren’t working the photo booth together. But deep down, Eve could feel guilt and disappointment slowly bubbling to the surface. Her spirit had begun to ache from her self-imposed Villanelle fast. If she didn’t get her fix of a certain cocky blonde soon, she was sure to do something completely irrational.
Eve made the necessary calls to the photo booth company and by four in the afternoon, Eve and nearly fifty staff members had themselves a fully functioning carnival, sans Ferris wheel.
And by half past seven, the sun was setting and the bright lights of the carnival games could be seen for miles. Couples and families walked around, smiling and laughing. Some held stuffed animal prizes and others held snacks from a concession stand. It was supposed to be a joyous affair. But as Eve took tickets and helped people into the photo booth, she refused to smile.
And just as a young girl and her grandparents hopped out of the photo booth, Eve saw her.
She exhaled, not realizing that she’d been holding her breath for so long. A bubble of excitement floated up into her chest. Only to be deflated.
Villanelle, in a stunning tailored brocade patterned Dries van Noten suit, green scarf visible just under the collar, was holding hands with Nadia. She walked her to a booth, like a complete gentlewoman, and kissed her cheek before turning on her heels. Eve quickly made herself appear busy as Villanelle walked over to the photo stand.
“Professor Polastri. How lovely to see you.” Villanelle greeted with a smile, hands slipping into her pockets.
“Always good to be seen and not viewed, Billie .”
Villanelle looked both impressed and amused at Eve’s snarky tone.
“Here with your girlfriend?”
“Here with Nadia. But she is not my girlfriend.”
“Hmph.” Was all Eve said.
“Don’t be jealous.” Villanelle said, her tone low and commanding.
Take your hair down.
Eve shivered, but shook off the sudden feeling of desire she felt for the obnoxious blonde. She scoffed. “I am not jealous.”
Still amused, Villanelle put her hands up in mock surrender. “Okay, okay. You’re not jealous.”
Eve couldn’t believe she’d wanted to see Villanelle’s stupid gorgeous face. She had no one to blame but herself for avoiding the younger woman. But the absolute audacity of Villanelle to show up with Nadia had Eve fuming . Were women mere conquests to Villanelle? And when one victory was easier and younger and more… Russian , did she just give up on the others?
Did Eve not interest her anymore? Had she pushed her away?
Well, good , Eve internalized.
“That’s right. I’m not. And you know what else? You’re an arsehole.” Villanelle’s brows went up. “Stop trying to seduce me. It’s not going to happen. I am a happily married woman.”
Villanelle made a show of looking around. “Oh? And just where is your precious husband, sweet Eve?”
Eve stammered. Huffed. Slammed the ticket jar she was holding into Villanelle’s chest and stormed off. Villanelle wanted so badly to go after her, slam her against the nearest surface and kiss her silly.
But, she looked around the crowded carnival, this was neither the time, nor the place. Villanelle was good at many things, but her ability to be discreet was unmatched.
Villanelle sighed. Her cheek rested on her closed first and she pouted. “This is so BORING !” She yelled at the night sky.
A passerby or two gave her odd looks but she couldn’t care less. She had been standing at that fucking stand for what like eight hours. In all actuality, it was twenty-two minutes. Villanelle felt a pair of eyes on her. She turned to her right and saw Nadia staring at her. The brunette smiled, but there was something else in her eyes. Something completely animalistic.
Villanelle grinned. She enjoyed being the object of someone’s desire. And Eve surely wasn’t giving her the time of day anymore.
Looking around, she found a marker and ripped photo paper off of a spare roll. She scrawled “ON BREAK. WILL RETURN SOON” across it, leaving the lifeless stand unattended.
Villanelle sauntered over to the kissing booth that Nadia was working and leaned across the counter. She slipped a hand into the breast pocket of her suit jacket and pulled out an immodest amount of cash. Without even bothering to check what they were, Villanelle peeled off two bills and placed them inside of the jar. She crooked her finger at Nadia, who leaned forward, their lips connecting. Nadia’s eyes closed, and her skin prickled. She wanted Villanelle again and she tried to express that in her kiss.
When they pulled apart, Villanelle suddenly felt… wrong . And then as if the universe was called to solidify her guilty verdict, she turned to see Eve staring directly at her. She looked so hurt. Heartbroken, even.
Eve turned on her heels and started quickly away from the scene as she could.
Nadia followed Villanelle’s gaze but didn’t see anything. “What’s wrong?”
“I have to go.”
“Billie? Everything okay?” Nadia called after her.
Villanelle ran towards the exit of the carnival, and it didn’t take long for her to spot Eve walking briskly down the sidewalk.
The Asian woman turned to see her, but didn’t respond. She simply quickened her pace, trying to get as far away from Villanelle Astankova as possible.
“Eve! Jesus!” Villanelle watched as Eve darted into the street, a car missing her by mere seconds. She waited impatiently for another clearing in traffic before jogging across. The neighborhood quickly became familiar territory and Villanelle realized they were on Eve’s street. She caught up to the older woman just as she opened her front door. Eve swung the door closed behind her, only to have Villanelle’s hand stop it from shutting completely. She entered Eve’s house and locked the door behind her.
“Eve, we need to talk about this.”
“No. We really don’t.”
Get out, get out, GET OUT! , Eve screamed internally. She wanted this so badly, but she knew it was beyond wrong. Her heart was pounding. A tear fell from one glassy eye. The walls of the vestibule were closing in on her. Villanelle was too close and too far away all at the same time. The blonde moved closer, her hands reaching for Eve’s cheeks. Eve turned her head, craning her neck to get out of Villanelle’s grasp, but it was moot. She was trapped here, now, in an exact replica of a fantasy she had once.
Only this time, everything was real.
The consequences would be real.
One hand slammed against Villanelle’s shoulder, trying to keep her away, while the other pulled at the buttons of her suit jacket.
Hello, mixed signals .
“Tell me to stop,” Villanelle breathed. “Eve, please tell me to stop or I won’t. I can’t.”
And Villanelle’s lips collided with hers. Nearly four weeks of pure emotion spilled into that one kiss. And it was all lips, tongues, teeth. Villanelle tasted like cotton candy and something else that was purely her own.
“Mm, no.” Eve pulled her mouth away, panting heavily. “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.” Villanelle went for another kiss and Eve gave in almost immediately. Villanelle pressed a hand against Eve’s abdomen, pushing her harder against the wall. Her kisses trailed down Eve’s cheek to her neck, sucking at the soft skin. Eve’s hands unbuttoned her own jeans. Fingers trembling, she yanked Villanelle’s hand off her her stomach and shoved it inside the waistband of her panties.
The moment Villanelle’s digits slid through Eve’s warm, satiny dew, they both groaned. Eve’s knees turned to jelly. Villanelle wrapped one arm around her waist as her other hand circled Eve’s clit before slipping between her folds. When a singular, slender finger slipped inside of her, Eve knew she would beg for more before the night was over.
“Look at me.” Villanelle whispered. Eve, eyes closed, shook her head. Villanelle’s hand stopped working her over. “Look at me if you want to come.”
That was just cruel.
Eve’s brown eyes shot open. Villanelle’s smirk was in full force.
With Villanelle’s thumb pressed against Eve’s clit, she slipped one more finger inside of her and curved them upwards. Eve’s pussy contracted, her mind went completely blank and suddenly the only word in her vocabulary was:
“ Villanelle !”
“You said you wouldn’t kiss her.”
It was the first time she spoke since she came on Villanelle’s fingers.
That had been ten minutes ago. Moments later, they’d slid down the wall together, and had been sitting on the floor ever since.
And a few seconds after that , Eve watched with renewed arousal as Villanelle licked Eve’s come off of her fingers.
“I said I hadn’t.” Villanelle corrected. “Then you didn’t want me.”
Eve scoffed. “Bullshit. You and I both know I didn’t not want you. I just,” Eve shook her head, “needed space.”
“Still, you hurt my feelings. I thought you didn’t want me.”
“ Your feelings were hurt?”
Villanelle pouted theatrically, eyes closed, bottom lip poked out and she nodded.
Eve smothered her laughter, steeling her expression just as Villanelle’s eyes opened.
“Yes, my feelings were hurt. I do have them, you know.” She sounded softer than Eve had ever heard.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
Villanelle leaned forward and took Eve’s hand in her own.
“I am sorry, too.” Her iconic smile appeared. “Can I make it up to you now?”
Chapter 8: Blondie
“Orange soda, Deepak Chopra
Versace robe and my Gucci loafers.
Sex on the sofa;
That’s my yoga.”
Qveen Herby, “SADE IN THE 90s”
“Baby wants to come?” Villanelle panted, as she fingerfucked Eve roughly. Her arm was burning and her wrist was cramping, but fuck if she was going to stop before she felt more of Eve’s nectar slip down her her wrist. Eve was straddling Villanelle, knees pressing into Niko’s god-awful favorite tv chair. She was riding Villanelle’s fingers, one arm wrapped around the blonde’s neck and the other using the chair for leverage.
“ Fuck ! You’re so good. So good.” Eve breathed into the top of Villanelle’s hair. “ More… Please… ”
So Villanelle gave her more. She tightened her hold on Eve’s waist and slipped a fourth finger into her dripping pussy. Eve’s nails dug into the fabric of the chair and she reveled in the feeling of being stretched to her limits.
“ Yes !”
“Yes? Yes?” Villanelle asked. She pulled back slightly, forcing Eve to meet her eyes, her own head mimicking Eve’s nodding. “You are so wet.”
Well, yeah… but why did Villanelle have to announce it? And why was it so incredibly sexy when she did?
Eve’s walls tightened around her fingers. Well, Villanelle recognized, the lady likes a little dirty talk. Eve’s free hand found Villanelle’s cheek and watched as she leaned into the touch before turning and kissing Eve’s palm.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Eve bent forward and kissed Villanelle with such fervor that it threw off the younger woman’s rhythm. But only for a beat. And when Eve’s tongue slipped into her mouth, Villanelle groaned, energy renewed. Her hand turned and her thumb pressed against Eve’s clit. She rubbed the tiny bundle of nerves in perfect sync with the four fingers that were filling Eve to the hilt.
“Th--, oh god, that’s not fair.” Eve whispered into her mouth. “You’re the actual Devil.”
Villanelle grinned, enjoying that description of herself. The idea that she was the serpent who tempted innocent Eve with forbidden fruit just made this so much sweeter.
“I’m gonna come.”
Villanelle’s lips found Eve’s pulsing jugular. She placed a soft kiss there before biting it gently, and then soothed it with her tongue. The feeling when straight to Eve’s core and her climax shot through her like a lightning bolt. Eyes screwed tight, she saw stars and her pussy convulsed around Villanelle’s hand. Eve slipped both hands around Villanelle’s neck and her taut body rode out the aftershocks of her orgasm. The arm that held her waist squeezed impossibly tighter, a promise that Villanelle would be there to catch her when she fell from her euphoric high.
They stayed in that position for nearly five minutes as Eve caught her breath and Villanelle pulled her soaked fingers from Eve’s cunt.
“Sweet Eve.” She murmured into Eve’s hair and nestled into her neck.
Eventually, Eve suggested they get into bed.
“Are you sure?”
Eve knew what she was asking. Did she want to bring this into her marriage bed?
“I’m sure as shit not sleeping on this godforsaken chair.” She clambered off of Villanelle’s lap, taking her hand. Villanelle stood and let herself be pulled towards the staircase.
“I don’t know. I think I kind of like that chair. Very roomy.” She teased, looking back at it.
“Then you’ll love the bed.”
It was like she was a virgin all over again. Eve had pictured having sex with Villanelle in a thousand different positions. In a thousand different places. But the moment Villanelle had slipped her right leg over Eve’s left and Eve felt Villanelle’s slick pussy against her own, she was back at level one, experiencing a terrifyingly addictive newness that she would never forget. Villanelle rolled her hips, her clit making contact with Eve’s. They groaned in unison. Villanelle’s head lolled back and her hands found purchase on Eve’s breasts. Eve held onto her hips, urging her into faster movements, and Villanelle obliged ever so willingly .
Villanelle pressed a hand to Eve’s throat, slowly cutting off her air supply, and Eve knew she’d discovered a new kink. But it was when Villanelle commanded her to “Come if you want to breathe”, Eve’s eyes rolled upwards and she actually fucking squirted .
Villanelle had been with many women, but none of them made her feel… well, exalted, quite like Eve did. She found herself being rolled onto her back and Eve knelt between her legs, kissing her softly, working her into a vibrating frenzy. Her nerves were on fire, and goosebumps broke out along her skin when Eve kissed her cheek, the curve of her ear and down towards her neck. Villanelle squirmed and sighed as Eve left open-mouthed kisses along the most tender parts of her neck. Downwards she went, her fingertips creating the blueprint for every inch that her mouth would reach. Skillful hands squeezed Villanelle’s, softly at first, and brown eyes focused on her face, gauging just how her touch was affecting the young blonde.
“ Eve ,” whined Villanelle. She could feel her pussy pulsating as it clenched around absolutely nothing.
But Eve continued to worship her, wrapping her lips around each hardened nipple, lavishing them with attention. Villanelle’s hands held her face there, her back arched and her eyes shut tightly. The sensations were overwhelming, but somehow she knew that this was only the beginning. Down. Down. Down . For Eve, she knew how she, herself, loved to be touched, and while she knew not all women were the same, there were absolutely zero complaints coming from Villanelle’s lips.
“Eve, please .” She placed a palm atop Eve’s wild curls and her fingers twitched as if she was forcing herself to not push her to the exact spot she needed her. And she did, need Eve, so desperately in that moment.
Eve settled herself in between Villanelle’s legs and her nerves melted away the moment her tongue connected with the wet flesh.
Villanelle cried out. Eve moaned and it vibrated against Villanelle’s mons. She didn’t know what she expected, but she didn’t expect Villanelle to taste like fresh cantaloupe and something so incredibly feminine that she could have come again just from giving Villanelle head.
Eve tucked in to the meal set before her, tongue swirling exquisite wetness. Villanelle’s hips raised on their own accord and started to roll upwards, taking everything that Eve offered. Eve lifted one of Villanelle’s thighs, followed by the other, and rested them upon her shoulders while she rolled her tongue against her clit. Villanelle pulled one of Eve’s hands to her lips, sucking two fingers into her mouth before pushing them back down roughly. Eve took the hint and slipped them inside of her tight cunt. She worked them in and out, bobbing her head up and down while sucking on her sensitive love button. The noises Villanelle made increased in fervor.
“ Don’t stop. Don’t stop! Fuck yes !” She yelled out. Eve felt her muscles fluttering around her fingers. Villanelle’s body became taught. Her mouth opened in a silent scream that ended in a garbled version of Eve’s name.
They went at it for hours, neither realizing that the sun was on the horizon once again. As they rolled onto their backs, on the floor of Eve’s bedroom, panting heavily, Eve laughed.
“How did we get down here?”
“You were trying to run from me.”
“I was running from a potential leg cramp.”
“But aren’t you glad I caught you?”
Boy, was she ever.
At one point, Villanelle had refused to stop after one of Eve’s countless peaks and they happened upon the sweetest discovery: Eve was capable of multiple orgasms. She was in the middle of trying to push Villanelle away and somehow they’d found themselves halfway off of the bed. One of her arms resting on the floor, and the other gripping Villanelle’s wrist. Villanelle held her waist as she fucked her deeply.
And the moment one of Villanelle’s sopping wet fingers accidentally slipped into Eve’s asshole, Eve stopped breathing as she came harder and longer than she ever had before.
“Are you hungry?”
“For you?” Villanelle replied, pushing a wayward lock of hair behind Eve’s ear. “Always.”
“For food .” Eve rolled her eyes to keep her face from betraying just how much Villanelle’s words affected her. But they had.
What was this? This feeling? God, she felt like she was sixteen all over again.
“You read my mind.” Eve laughed.
It was late Saturday afternoon when Villanelle left her. She kissed Eve once more, put her hands into her pants pockets and swaggered down the front path, cockily.
Eve’s first move was to start the laundry. She stripped the sheets from the bed and tossed in a few articles of clothing as well. Pouring herself a glass of wine, she headed back upstairs to run herself a bath.
Her phone chimes and it brought her screeching back to reality. It was from Elena.
Sorted everything with the photo booth company. You owe me.
“Shit.” Eve typed back a speedy reply before downing half the glass of wine.
Her bath was… quiet. So fucking quiet. And she could hear her inner voice so loudly. It was practically screaming at how truly fucked she really was.
Sex. She’d had sex. With someone who wasn’t her husband. And a student, for fuck’s sake.
Her phone chimed again and she jumped. Eve grabbed it from the windowsill closest to the bathtub.
New message from: V
Eve unlocked her phone and opened it.
Stop freaking out. As far as he knows, you’ve been a good girl all weekend.
Eve inhaled deeply and exhaled some of her anxiety. Villanelle was right. Niko wouldn’t suspect a thing. Hopefully. The phone chimed once more.
Only I know just how naughty you’ve been.
Eve sank further into the hot bath, phone against her smiling lips.
How was it that Villanelle could calm her down and rile her up without even being in the room?
“Hey. Sorry I didn’t call yesterday. We were in meetings from breakfast to dinner.”
“It’s alright. I’m just glad they didn’t bore you to death.”
Niko laughed. “Very nearly. How was the carnival?”
Well, I got jealous when I saw my teaching assistant kissing another woman. She chased me home, fucked me thoroughly and now my vagina is sore so don’t expect welcome home sex.
“Ehh. Not as fun as I thought.”
“How much did they raise for the school?”
Shit . It was a fundraiser, after all.
“Carolyn’s still totaling up everything.” She lied.
“That's got to be a good thing, then.”
“Well, a bunch of us are going for drinks. Won’t be out too late. Early train.”
“When will you be home?”
“Ten in the morning.”
“Good. Can’t wait to see you.” She replied.
“I can’t wait to see you either. Sleep well.”
“Have fun. Love you.”
Eve sighed when they hung up. She had finished laundry, cleaned, caught up on emails, but she still had an excess of energy.
Deciding that she wouldn’t sleep unless she got some work done, Eve grabbed her things and headed to the studio on campus. At least for an hour or two.
When she entered the dark lobby, she made her way through the hallway that she knew so well, eventually coming to her classroom door. A dim light was on, so she pushed open the door and was met with a lovely sight.
“One way or another. I’m gonna see ya.” Villanelle’s voice softly sang.
Eve watched from the doorway as the blonde, headphones blaring, worked on a design that was sure to be absolutely stunning.
“I’m gonna meet ya, meet ya, meet ya, meet ya.”
Eve chuckled softly. She never pegged Villanelle for a Blondie fan. French classics, perhaps, but not American new wave. Villanelle turned to retrieve a pair of scissors from her desk and jumped upon seeing someone else. She snatched her earphones out by the cord and her hand flew to her chest.
“Jesus, Eve! Give a girl some warning next time!”
“I didn’t want to disturb your,” Eve smirked, “jam session.”
“Cute.” She huffed. Villanelle’s face lit up with a smile she reserved for Eve. “Hi.”
Suddenly, Eve was blushing. “Hey.”
“What brings you here?”
“Anxiety.” Eve admitted. “What about you?”
Villanelle briefly bit her bottom lip, innocently, as she gazed at Eve with a tilted head. “Inspiration.”
Pulling herself up onto a work station across from Villanelle’s, Eve asked, “Do you enjoy shocking me with the things you say?”
Villanelle smirked and turned back to the shirt she was crafting. “I enjoy the look on your face when I say them. Like you can’t decide if you’re turned on or if you should be outraged.”
“I’m always outraged.” She watched as Villanelle’s talented fingers slipped thread through the eye of a needle.
“I’d rather you always be turned on.” Villanelle replied, absentmindedly.
“I bet you would.” Eve studied her student’s work, trying to figure out where she was going with it. This, she realized, would probably be a recurring theme when it came to the younger woman. Her mind and work were brilliant, and Eve could hardly wait to see the finished product. She watched for a while longer as Eve hummed Blondie and created a masterpiece. It was pure black and the princess sleeves were completely see-through. Villanelle took extra care to make sure there was no tearing in the chiffon fabric.
“I should go. Let you work in peace.” Eve hopped off of the desk and no sooner had she started past the row of work stations, she felt a hand on her wrist. Villanelle pulled her back, wrapping an arm around her waist. Their noses pressed together and Villanelle ran a hand through Eve’s hair.
“I think I need more inspiration before you go.”
She kissed Eve’s lips. Cheek. Ear. Neck.
“This is the last time.” Eve warned her, her chest rising and falling faster than normal.
“Then I better make it good.”
Chapter 9: Possession
y'all will not believe the struggle I went through trying to post this last night and then again at work today. sorry, it's late.
“Move moons for you;
I choose to do it.
Gun fighting, fatality,
I stay for eternity,
For you, for you.”
It wasn’t the last time. Hell, it wasn’t even the second to last time.
Eve Polastri was having an affair. With her student. Any chance she got, Villanelle had Eve in positions that would make a nun blush. They were like newlyweds, sneaking off into locked offices and empty classrooms. Villanelle texted Eve every morning and Eve made sure there were always “good night” texts waiting for Villanelle after her evening showers. In a word, their intimacy bordered on obsessive.
Who the fuck was she becoming?
A better question would be: had she always been this person?
The sex was mind blowing, but it was the conversations before and afterwards that truly got to Eve. Villanelle was so insightful and funny and the way she viewed everything was so refreshing. She wasn’t as cynical and cold as she wanted everyone to believe she was. Eve saw right through her icy exterior.
It was nearly midnight and Eve knelt on the floor of her CSM studio in front of a large bolt of fabric, marking her seams with a sketch pencil. She slipped the pencil in her mouth and began to cut the material carefully and with extremely steady hands. The door to the studio swung open, slamming against the wall. Eve dropped the scissors, nearly ruining the thin lace as Villanelle stormed into the room. She shoved two bags and her laptop into a chair with a huff. Pulling herself up from her spot on the floor, Eve moved to comfort Villanelle who snatched her hand away.
“I am not in the mood.”
“Good because I have a headache.” Eve teased gently. She tried again, placing a hand on Villanelle’s wrist. This time, the younger woman didn’t pull away. Instead, she sighed. Her eyes closed briefly and when she opened them to look at Eve, her big brown eyes watered.
Eve’s heart seized in her chest and she looked so concerned. Not one to be pitied, Villanelle transformed into the coldhearted bitch she wanted everyone to think she was right before Eve’s eyes. Her posture straightened, her chin lifted. She inhaled, exhaled and then came her cockiest smirk.
“Do you want to have sex?” She inquired, tugging on Eve’s shirt to pull her close. Eve’s brows furrowed and she bowed backwards in her grasp, hands on Villanelle’s shoulders.
“No. I want you to tell me what’s wrong.”
Villanelle sighed again. This time out of annoyance. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Because it is about my family.”
Oh. That was new. And personal. And Eve’s brain quickly tried to understand why Villanelle didn’t want to open up about her personal life. Was this just sex to her? Was Eve just an easy ‘A’? Could Eve really blame her for not opening up? After all, Eve was the one with a husband. This couldn’t be more than just sex. It couldn’t go any further. Maybe Villanelle had the right idea; perhaps keeping their personal lives out of the mix would be best for both parties involved. At least, that way, when this… what it was… ended, it’d be easier to move on.
But Eve couldn’t help herself.
“Is this just sex to you?”
Villanelle realized weeks ago that the only person who could truly shock her was Eve Polastri. Her eyebrows went up and her lips parted as she chose her next answer cautiously.
“Is it for you?”
Eve placed a hand on her forehead and breathed deeply. Her eyes closed for a moment. She looked pained. “I—no. Maybe. I don’t know.”
Villanelle nodded slowly. “Okay.” She picked up her laptop and swung one of the bags over her shoulder, followed by the other.
“What are you doing? Where are you going?”
“I am going to work from home.”
“Oh come on. Why?”
“We both need some space.” I need space from you is what she actually meant. For a multitude of reasons, Villanelle needed her solitude. There were so many things on her mind and she’s gone running to the studio, just praying that Eve was there burning the midnight oil. And for what? She hadn’t expected her to solve her problem at the drop of a dime. Or had she? And had she put so much energy into whatever this thing was that she forgot just how truly fucked up everything was?
“Wha—? Villanelle!” Eve called to the blonde’s retreating back.
Eve paced back and forth in her backyard. Bill, Elena and Jess were on their way over for lunch and she wanted so desperately to focus her full attention on them. But she hadn’t heard from Villanelle since she stormed out of the studio on Thursday night. She didn’t show up for her office hours, only to send Eve a curt email that she was “sick”.
Eve put her phone to her ear and exhaled deeply, air puffing her cheeks.
“Hi, it’s Eve. Just send me a text to let me know you’re okay. Otherwise I’ll think you died of the bubonic plague or something.”
Eve mentally kicked herself and hung up the phone. Bubonic plague? Seriously?
That was dumb. But not as dumb as Eve believing she could make up for that voicemail by leaving another.
“Hi, Villanelle. Just checking in to make sure you’re feeling better. I’m sure you’re… taking care of yourself. It’s just… you know, so I know. I’m sure you’re fine.”
Eve scoffed at herself. This was so not her. But Villanelle brought out of things in her that she’d never thought were possible.
“Hey,” Niko said, poking his head out of the back door, “they’re here.”
Eve nodded. “I’ll be right in.”
She took a few deep breaths and prepared herself to be the welcoming hostess. She stepped into the house, anxiety in her heart but a brilliant smile on her face.
“Hey! So glad you guys could make it!” She double kissed each of her friends and squeezed them tightly.
Here we go.
Laughter rang out around the table. Mimosas and white wine mingled in their bellies with beer battered fish and chips.
“I don’t think they like to be called little parasites.” Bill laughed.
“Fine. Money-sucking leeches, then.” Jess corrected herself.
“I think the scientific term is ‘children’.”
“Oh, yes,” Jesse put a finger to her chin, and nodded, “that does sound familiar.”
“You’re a horrible person.” Elena teased.
“You’ll all know exactly what I’m talking about when you have kids.”
“Bill and Keiko just had a baby and they’re doing just fine.” Elena interjected.
“No, no. My diazepam intake has increased significantly since she was born.” Bill replied.
More laughter followed.
“I don’t know, I love my children.” Eve replied.
“That’s because they’re financially independent and, oh yeah, twenty years old when you get them.”
“I still love them like they’re my own.”
“Speaking of which, have you heard from Villanelle?” Niko inquired.
“What? No. Why would I?” Eve wondered, nervously pushing her hair back.
“You mentioned she was sick.”
“Oh, right. Well, I’m sure she’s taking care of herself.” She took a large gulp of wine. “Like Jess said, twenty years old.”
“I’ll pop down to the shops to get some ingredients for homemade stew. You can take it down to her.” He suggested. Eve nodded and drank deeply from her wine again.
“I’m sure she’ll appreciate that.” Eve eventually said.
Bill added, “What college student wouldn’t? Nice, hot home cooked meal is a rarity.”
“It’s nice that you and your teaching assistant are so close.” Elena commented. “I want to smack my assistant in the head with a textbook.”
“Villanelle is very mature for her age. Makes me wonder just how quickly she had to grow up.”
“That’s probably the teacher in you.”
Eve sat silently as the discussion turned towards the correlation between troubled students and their home lives.
“Do you know much about Villanelle’s family?” Niko asked his wife. “It’s probably terribly inappropriate to say, but it appears that she comes from money.”
“I don’t know much. She was upset on Thursday and she mentioned it was about her family but she didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t pry.”
I didn’t want to push her away, Eve thought. Seems like I did anyway .
“Well, I’ll make beef stew and you can bring it round to her. Maybe she needs a friend.”
Kings Cross, Sunday, 18:20PM
Eve was already intimidated and she hadn’t even stepped inside the building. She’d never been to Villanelle’s flat before and she was sure she’d crossed an ethical line by looking in Villanelle’s file for her address. But Eve couldn’t bring herself to tell Niko that Villanelle wanted space from her. That would warrant far too many questions, and Eve was just barely holding on to her sanity.
So, there she stood, holding hearty beef stew that her husband made for her mistress. She pressed a finger against the doorbell labeled B-1: Astankova .
“Eve?” Villanelle’s voice came over the intercom. Confused, Eve looked around before taking a closer look at the doorbell. Next to each was a small camera no bigger than a button. “What are you doing here?”
Eve lifted the container of food as an answer and gave a nervous smile. A heartbeat later, she heard a buzz. Villanelle had let her in.
It was a start to what Eve was sure to be an uphill battle.
Eve walked up the stairs to flat B-1 and knocked. Villanelle opened the door, stepped aside and allowed Eve into her space. She followed Villanelle up another set of stairs that led to the led to the lofted living area.
“This is your place?” Eve asked, shocked.
“Did you expect a cramped little hovel?”
“No, but I didn’t expect the Windsor Castle.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Eve. Buckingham Palace, at best.”
“Was that a joke? Are you feeling better?”
Eve finally noticed Villanelle’s dark blue kimono robe. It was silk and reached her ankles and suddenly Eve wondered what it would look on the floor.
“What are you doing here, Eve?”
Eve pressed the dish into Villanelle’s hands. “Niko thought you might want some soup since you’re… sick .”
“Niko thought.” Villanelle repeated as she took the food to the kitchen. Eve followed dutifully behind her.
“And what did you think?” She placed the food on the half-island and busied herself with finding a bowl and spoon.
Eve could figure out what she was really asking. “I thought about what you asked.”
“It is what you asked.” Villanelle corrected her.
“Fine. Point is, I did think about it. And the answer is no. This isn’t just sex for me.” She hesitated and Villanelle caught it.
“ But ?” She urged.
“But I also don’t know if I’m willing to give up my marriage. I don’t know what this is, but I don’t want to lose it. This might be easy for you: you’re not married or in a relationship. But it’s different for me. There is nothing major for you to lose if this just ended. And even if the sex stops, I’d like to think that we could remain close friends.”
If it’s one thing that Villanelle respected, it was honesty.
“So. We are friends?” Villanelle rolled the word around in her mouth, getting a feel for it. She didn’t have many friends, save for her Uncle Konstantin, who was like a father to her, really.
“Friends.” Eve nodded.
Villanelle could accept that. She liked the idea of being more to Eve than just a student and sort-of coworker. Friends was intimate, friends shared things. They talked about their personal lives. There was a sense of trust and loyalty.
“Okay.” She spooned a healthy amount of stew into the bowl and stuck it in her microwave.
“So, friend , talk to me. What’s going on with you? Why’d you storm out on Thursday?”
Villanelle rested her upper body on the counter, fiddling with the spoon.
“My parents want me to come home.”
“For the holidays?”
“For good. They do not believe in my career choice.”
“They think I am wasting my time and will not make any money.”
“What do you think?”
“You know what I think. How I feel. Fashion is my life.”
“Well, then, there’s your answer. If anyone did what their parents wanted them to do all their lives, everyone would be walking about here miserable and unfulfilled.”
“Yes, but not everyone has an inheritance to lose if they don’t fulfill their parents’ wishes.”
“Ah, the plot thickens.”
Villanelle nodded her head. “Precisely. Which is why I have until holiday break to decide.”
“Do you miss home?”
“No.” There was finality in her tone. “I do not like my parents.”
“I do not know them.”
That left more questions than it answered, but before Eve could ask, the microwave dinged its completion. She watched as Villanelle dipped her spoon into the thick liquid, blew away some of the steam and tasted it. Her eyes closed and she moaned gratefully.
“This is incredible.”
Eve’s face lit up. “I’m glad you like it.”
When she had finished the small bowl, Villanelle put away the rest and cleaned her dishes.
“Do you want to stay and watch a movie?” Villanelle asked abruptly.
Surprised, Eve smiled. “Sure.”
Thirty minutes later, they were writhing around Villanelle’s bed, knuckles-deep inside of each other. Lips locked, legs intertwined, panting breaths.
“ So close .” Eve whispered. Villanelle knew what she needed to take her over the edge. She liked Villanelle to whisper filthy little sentiments in her ear.
Instead, Villanelle murmured, “ You are mine, Eve .”
And Eve came.
Chapter 10: Baecations
blah blah blah. I was hungover yesterday, sue me.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“It’s you, babe.
I’m a sucker
For the way that
You move, babe.”
-Camila Cabello, “Never Be The Same”
“What would happen, I wonder, if your precious Niko saw you spread completely open for me on his favorite chair? Would you hold my hold my head exactly where it is so you can come in my mouth? Would your legs shake violently? Would you still call out my name?” Villanelle asked conversationally.
Eve’s panties flooded with desire. “Most people start out a phone call with good afternoon or good evening .”
“You and I both know that I am not most people. I am sensational.”
“And you’ve been working on your humility, I see.”
“And you did not answer my question.”
“Would you still come for me?”
Eve’s eyes closed and she could immediately picture the scenario. On its own accord, her hand softly touched her own breast. “Probably.” She whispered. It made her feel awfully dirty knowing that Villanelle had such an affect on her. Little did she know that her power over Villanelle was just as great.
Villanelle withheld a groan. “Can I see you?”
“Now. Later. Tomorrow. Yesterday. I don’t care.” The need in the blonde’s voice nearly broke Eve. Niko was down at the shops, finding what he needed for tea. It was pissing rain outside. Traffic would be horrible.
“Where are you now?”
“How long is he usually gone?”
“About an hour.”
“Lovely.” Villanelle said. She was beginning to sound out of breath.
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to get out of the rain.”
“Where are you?”
Eve’s doorbell rang.
“On your front porch.” The phone disconnected and Eve made a mad dash for the door. She quickly fluffed out her curls before opening it. Villanelle, damp hair clinging to her face, stood at the door, in a chalk pink Burberry trench coat. How the fuck did she manage to make being caught in the rain look sexy? Eve grabbed the belt of Villanelle’s coat and pulled her inside, kissing her soundly.
“What if Niko had been here?”
Villanelle created a high pitched, British persona out of thin air. “Oh, Professor Polastri, I’m having the worst time with this design. I could really use your guidance.” She kissed Eve again and took her hand. Eve laughed as Villanelle pulled her further into the house. They stopped in the laundry room and Villanelle pushed Eve against the washer. She tangled one hand into Eve’s hair and pulled roughly, forcing Eve to gaze into her eyes. She slipped her free hand into the linen pants Eve wore and bit her bottom lip when her hand hit slick, hot skin.
Something in Eve snapped. Her hands were suddenly fumbling with the bow of Villanelle’s high waisted paper bag pants. The button came undone and the zipper slide downwards. But before she could slip into the pale pink lace underwear that peeked just under the waistband of her pants, Villanelle pressed her fingers firmly against Eve’s clit. Eve groaned, pleasure shooting through her body.
“I need to have you all night again.” Villanelle whispered in her ear as she pinched one of Eve’s nipples. “Look what you do to me.” Villanelle pushed Eve’s hand into her panties. A whine escaped Eve’s throat when she felt just how wet Villanelle was.
Their lips met, as did their eager devotion to make the other reach her peak first.
“ Oh god .” Villanelle breathed. Her eyes squeezed shut and she buried her face into Eve’s neck. Her scent overpowered Eve’s sensations. Teakwood. Vanilla. Villanelle. She could feel her inside her. Above her. All around her. Villanelle was a part of her now.
“ Tell me you’re mine .” Villanelle whispered. She was so close, she could practically taste it. “ Eve. Tell me .”
Eve looked at her with pleading eyes.
Please don’t make me say it , her brown orbs begged. Please. There’s no coming back from it.
But Villanelle mistook the expression on her face. “Just lie to me.”
Eve pressed forward, gliding two fingers inside of Villanelle. She kissed her solemnly. “I’m yours.”
“ Oh god !” Villanelle cries out into her mouth. Eve pulled away to look into her eyes.
The sound of the front door opening ripped them apart. And there it was. The obstacle that would always be between them.
“Darling, are you here?” He called out.
“Here.” Villanelle pulled a small black gift box out of her trench and placed it in Eve’s hands. “I owe you an orgasm.” She kissed Eve roughly and snuck out of the back door, shutting it with a soft click. Now it made sense to Eve why she’d been pulled into the laundry room.
Eve hid the gift box behind a bottle of laundry detergent and made herself as presentable as possible, trying to calm her jittery nerves. Her hands shook as she made her way into the kitchen. Villanelle had managed to disarm her once again. There were so many thoughts running through her head at the moment. She made her way into the kitchen just as he was placing the bags onto the counter.
“Hey.” He kissed her and then leaned back, pulling a face. “You smell different.”
“Yeah. You smell rich.”
Eve laughed nervously. “Okay, bloodhound, what’s for dinner?”
And as he began a theatrical demonstration of his beef Wellington with mushroom and jamón, Eve poured them both glasses of wine and she sat at the table. Her thoughts were only on a certain blonde and all she could think about was the fact that when she has told Villanelle that she was hers… it didn’t feel like a lie.
Hours later, as Niko slept, Eve lie awake in bed replaying her earlier interaction with the blonde. She remembered the gift in the laundry room and her heart leapt. She looked over at her sleeping husband and quietly got out of bed.
Eve padded downstairs and made her way to the spot where Villanelle had fucked her less than eight hours prior. She reached up behind the detergent and retrieved the black gift box. She slipped the ribbon off and opened it up. Inside was a black crystal perfume bottle, labeled La Villanelle . She pulled it out of the box, untwisted the lid and was pleased to see that it doubled as a glass applicator. The design was absolutely beautiful. She placed a little on her wrist, closing the bottle again and putting it its box for safe keeping. Rubbing her wrists together, Eve pressed it to the pulse points of her neck before bringing her wrist to her nose and inhaling deeply.
Good god ! It smelled heavenly. Faint hints of lavender, vanilla and cedar assaulted her senses. She could have bathed in the scent and it still wouldn’t be enough. Moving the box out of the way, Eve pulled herself up onto the washer. Her left hand cupped her right breast and when she pinched the nipple, her pussy responded almost immediately. She leaned back against the wall, spread her legs and slipped her free hand into her sleep shorts.
All she had to do was picture Villanelle’s face as she stroked her own drenched cunt. Her shiny hair. Soft skin. That cocky fucking smirk. And just before she flew into the deep end of euphoria, Villanelle’s name was on her lips
Weeks passed. Villanelle became a little distant. Two days before half-term, Eve and Villanelle were going over the first five pieces from everyone’s collections. Eve rounded a mannequin at Hugo’s station and dictated to Villanelle what she suggested.
“Flaws in cross stitch. Slightly uneven collar on first glance.” Eve slipped measuring tape from around her neck and took calculations on both sleeves. “Right sleeve is three centimeters shorter than the left. Note to designer: use your seam gauge and stop eyeballing your work. It makes me look bad and you look stupid.”
Villanelle nodded as her pen scribbled furiously on a piece of paper before yawning.
“Am I keeping you awake?” Eve asked, yanking horizontally on the bottom hem of the dress.
“I was not with someone else. If that is what you are wondering.”
Ignoring that comment. Eve mentioned, “Bottom right seams do not intersect flawlessly.”
“My parents had me on the phone until nearly one a.m. trying to convince me to come home for half-term break.”
“Oh? And what was the final decision?”
Villanelle sighed. “It is only four days. I will go home.”
Eve’a chest tightened so abruptly that it almost knocked the air out of her lungs.
“I don’t know why that makes me feel so abandoned.”
“There is more.”
“More than going home to parents who will try to convince you to stay there?”
Eve blinked. “Tell me.”
“I will be staying with Nadia on her parents’ holiday estate.”
“I am just a little concerned that my parents will try to hold my passport hostage so I can not come back.”
The older woman’s eyebrows raised. “They would do that?”
“They are vindictive.”
“Do you plan on—? Are you—? Is Nadia—?”
“I do not plan on having sex with Nadia again.”
“Just because you plan doesn’t mean it won’t happen.”
“You don’t know that.”
“You don’t.” Eve was furious. She moved to Kenny’s station. Villanelle followed quickly.
“I do know that because I only want to have sex with you.”
Eve scoffed. “You only want to sleep with a woman more then twenty years your senior even though there will be a hot girl, your own age, just down the hall from you?”
“ Why ? Why me? What do I have that Nadia doesn’t? She’s single. Young. Cute. Probably willing to do whatever you ask of her without a single question. So why me?!”
“Because I love you!” Villanelle shouted back, now equally as angry. How could Eve be so stupid? So blind?
“What did you just say to me?”
“I love you.”
“No.” Eve’s tone was adamant. Forceful, even.
Her eyes watered and her voice was but a whispered tremble when she responded. “Please… no.”
She couldn’t handle this right now. It was all too much. Too soon. And if she was honest with herself, she knew this was going to happen. She knew it was only a matter of time before one or both of them fell deeper than they should.
Stolen kisses and quickies in Eve’s office had become a thing of the past. Now there were full on make-out sessions that led to hours of slow fucking and sweet sentiments whenever they could. Their conversations were longer and held more depth. Villanelle told Eve about her aspirations, not only in fashion, but in life. Eve told Villanelle about the things she regretted not doing in life, and some of the things that she did. They made future plans under the guise of jokes, but each time they did, their heart strings tugged in their chests.
The fact still remained: Eve was married. There would always be Niko.
“Villanelle. I—I can’t.”
Can’t what ? Villanelle wanted to ask. A single tear rolled down her cheek, but that was all that she would give.
She took a deep breath. Understanding that this was hard for Eve as well, Villanelle steeled her expression and decided to not make it any harder. “I will go home for the short break. The distance will be good. When I return, we will talk.”
Watering brown eyes gazed at each other, neither knowing what to say. Eve was terrified, and not just because of Villanelle’s emotional declaration. She was afraid that Villanelle would go to Russia with Nadia thinking that Eve didn’t feel the same about her.
Even with all of the thoughts racing through her mind a mile a minute, Eve’s lips could not part to just fucking say it .
Eve wanted to reach out for her. To pull her close. To kiss her until she understood that what they had, despite its imperfections, was real.
Will you let me know when you land?
Four hours later…
Despite its concise nature, Eve was relieved to see the message come through. She sat in her home office, grading detailed photographs of her students’ midterm designs.
“What do you say you and I take a miniature vacation to North Norfolk? Small bed and breakfast. Romantic stroll through Cromer.”
Eve whirled around in her chair and looked up at her husband. He looked so hopeful and excited that Eve couldn’t break his heart. She had so much work to do, but it would be a nice distraction from her own inner turmoil.
“I say yes and when do we leave?”
“If we leave in an hour, we can get there by sunset.”
Eve’s face brightened with childish delight and jumped up from her chair. “I’ll go pack!”
Niko grabbed her before she could dart past him, holding her waist. He whirled her around, dipped his laughing wife and kissed her lips. He was such a sweet man. Kind. Safe. Loved her and all of the quirks that she came with. How was she ever supposed to choose between him and Villanelle?
In short, Eve was fucked.
angst is coming. fair warning.
Chapter 11: She Loves Me...
filth. just utter filth.
“Friends ask me how I feel
And I lie convincingly
'Cause I don't want to reveal
The fact that I’m suffering.”
-Mariah Carey, “Breakdown”
Cromer, Norfolk, late October
Three days into their four-day vacation, Eve and Niko held hands as they walked slowly along the shoreline, bundled in bomber jackets and scarves, feet clad in warm hiking boots. This close to the water, the cold air of the coastal town was salty and moist and left Eve’s curls completely wild by the end of the day.
The first two days of their adventure were filled with walks along Cromer Pier, delicious eats at small pubs that based their food around the local venison and fish. They’d been to the salt marshes at Blakeney Point where they were greeted by the early arrival of seal pups.
Eve’s nose was red and her cheeks were pink, but her insides were surprisingly warm from the whiskey and coke they drank before their walk.
“This place is straight out of a storybook. I’m happy here.” Eve admitted to her husband. She swung his hand lightly and looked up at him. He beamed back at her.
“That’s all I aim for.”
Her thoughts only strayed to Villanelle whenever it was quiet. It seemed so simple: Eve did love Villanelle. There were moments when she couldn’t breathe because the thought alone of never having Villanelle in her life just forced the air out of her lungs.
Yes, she loved her. But was it possible to be in love with more than one person?
“Shall we try Gunton Arms for dinner?”
Dinner was nice enough. The Gunton Arms was a luxe inn and gastropub built on a thousand acre deer park in the eighteenth century. The menus changed daily, but always boasted an abundance of meat-centric dishes. The design of the inn reflected heavily on the owners passion of art and no matter where Eve turned, she was absolutely delighted with a new canvas every time. Niko, ever the chef, savored each and every bite of the farm-fresh meal, silently promising himself that he would only buy straight from the farm back home.
It was late when they returned to their own bed and breakfast. Eve was completely exhausted, but Niko had other plans. Try as she might, Eve couldn’t bring herself to be as enthusiastic about fucking Niko. And so, she found herself on her back, legs up and allowed her husband to do all the work.
Fucking missionary. Done right, it could be euphoric; two bodies becoming one, creating a sensational friction until both parties climaxed… hopefully . But, after more than ten years of marriage, it was really fucking boring.
Hands on his back, Eve shut her eyes tightly and raised her hips slightly, hoping to pull him in deeper. A flash of Villanelle forced her pussy to contract around his cock and she involuntarily moaned.
Another flash of Villanelle and as disturbing as it was, Eve used that. She let herself feel every sensation as she used her memories of Villanelle to reach her peak.
Her favorite memory?
Two weeks ago, Villanelle invited Eve round to take a peek at her most recent design. She wanted feedback. And she got it.
“Fuck. This is incredible!” Eve covered her mouth in delighted surprised and shook her head. “You really have a gift.”
“I can do more with these hands than just sew.” Villanelle said, taking a step toward Eve.
“Is that so?”
“Mm. Would you like to see?”
“Very much so.”
Next thing Eve knew, she was being fucked doggystyle on the floor, in front of Villanelle’s vintage full-length tri-fold mirror. Villanelle had commanded that she keep her eyes open and she peered deeply into them, the entire time. And no matter where Eve turned, she could see herself being fucked from almost every angle.
Eve was already taking three of Villanelle’s long skilled fingers inside of her when she begged, “More.”
“Say please.” Villanelle goaded.
And so Villanelle worked a fourth finger into her sopping pussy. The feeling was unmatched by anything Eve had ever experienced. She felt incredibly full and her climax was just out of reach.
So she begged, her voice cracking, “More, please.”
“You are just take take take today.” Villanelle noted, cocky smirk perfectly in place. “Since you asked so nicely.”
Her thumb folded against her palm and she maneuvered it inside.
“Eve. You have my entire hand soaked.” With her free hand, Villanelle grabbed a handful of dark curls and pulled upwards, forcing Eve’s up and against her own. “Does your husband fill you so completely?” She breathed into her ear.
Eve was absolutely titillated that Villanelle was in that kind of mood.
The blonde’s grin spread and her hand pumped quicker inside of Eve. “Show me what you do when you think of me at night.”
Hesitantly, Eve’s hand slid down her own body and she began to rub her clit. Slowly at first, but as Villanelle picked up speed, so did she.
“Yes.” Villanelle murmured. “Just like that.”
A choked sob from Eve and a delighted chuckle from Villanelle.
“Look at you. Look how beautiful you are.”
Eve tried, but she couldn’t shut her eyes. Villanelle let go of Eve’s hair, slapped her hand away and took over rubbing Eve’s sensitive nub.
“Squeeze your tits.”
Eve did as she was told, going above and beyond by pinching her own nipples. Villanelle rewarded her by biting down on her pulse point before sucking gently. The sensations were too much and Eve couldn’t hold out much longer.
So when Villanelle whispered, “Do you like being my secret little whore?”, Eve squirted.
A few heightened grunts from Niko and Eve knew he was going to come soon. He raised up on his haunches, hands under her knees and began to jackhammer into her. He used his thumb to frantically massage her clit. Her eyes squeezed tighter and she held onto the images of Villanelle as she came mere moments before he pulled his cock out and spurted his cum onto her pussy.
Niko hopped out of the bed to get a warm, damp washcloth from the bathroom.
When he was back, Eve got out of bed, headed to the bathroom and shut the door behind her.
She needed a shower.
She tried. Villanelle really tried to enjoy her short vacation. For four whole days, she wasn’t supposed to think or work or feel anything other than complete tranquility. But she didn’t.
In fact, all she did was think, and work on sketches, and feel complete and utter fucking unrest. Eve had yet again been so unfair, expecting Villanelle to simply take whatever she was offering. Which wasn’t much when she really thought about it. Villanelle was younger than Eve, but she wasn’t dumb. She knew the consequences of seducing a married woman, but it took two to tango and Villanelle certainly hadn’t been dancing alone!
It certainly didn’t feel like it when she and Eve were doing what they did best.
Villanelle thought back to two mere weeks ago.
Eve entered their shared office, shutting and locking the door behind her. Villanelle looked up from the textbook in front of her.
“You have to stop doing that.”
“Doing what?” Villanelle asked innocently. A tad too innocently. And Eve was suddenly aware that she’d planned this all along.
Eve pulled Villanelle’s swivel chair away from the desk and turned the younger woman to face her. She gestured wildly at Villanelle’s short, black asymmetrical skirt and sheer high-neck blouse.
“Dressing like this. It’s very distracting.”
Villanelle uncrossed her legs and crossed them again. Just as she’d done an hour ago in Eve’s lecture. And caused Eve to say “fucking in only the shirt” instead of “ tucking in only the shirt”. Villanelle had been exceptionally pleased with that moment.
“I do not dress to please you, Eve. And I will not start now.”
Eve lowered herself to be eye level with Villanelle. “The way you dress does please me. Whether you try to or not.” She pushed against Villanelle’s legs to uncross and part them before dropping gracefully to her knees.
“No panties?” Eve asked.
The blonde bit her bottom lip and gave a coquettish shake of her head.
Villanelle spread her legs wider and her skirt forced its way further up her thighs.
Eve made a small gesture with her hand as if to say “let’s have it, then.”
Villanelle scooted down in the seat, obediently bringing her pussy to Eve’s awaiting mouth. Eve placed both of Villanelle’s thighs over her shoulders and kissed her pussy softly. Villanelle pressed the back of two fingers into her mouth, biting down as she tried to stifle her moans.
Something that Villanelle would never tire of was how Eve ate her pussy with such gusto. It was as if she was starving and Villanelle had a six course meal between her thighs. The things Eve could do with her tongue always made Villanelle just the slightest bit suspicious that she’d done this before.
But Eve was just a quick learner. Always had been. So it was no surprise that she had learned exactly what made Villanelle’s legs shake and body quiver. Like when she rolled her tongue firmly against her pearl while fingerfucking her painstakingly slowly, Villanelle would cry out, grab Eve’s hair and circle her hips in sync with Eve’s tongue.
“Oh god, Eve ! Yes !”
Eve took care to learn Villanelle’s body; what she liked, what she hated. And what she loved was when Eve fucked her through her orgasm and then lapped up the evidence like it was the last taste she’d ever have.
Villanelle sat cross-legged on an oversized velvet accent chair in a sunroom with a sketchbook on her lap. But she was staring out of a window at the rolling landscape before her. The property was well over 200 acres in each direction and it was just what Villanelle needed to escape everything except her own thoughts.
“Billie?” Nadia’s quiet voice came. The blonde turned towards the doorway where Nadia stood and raised her brows in acknowledgment.
“Your Uncle has arrived.”
That cheered her up just a little. “Where is he?”
Villanelle padded through the enormous estate, receiving polite smiles and curt nods from the staff she passed.
“There she is.” Konstantin greeted, his arms open wide. Villanelle ran into them, standing on her tiptoes to hug his round belly awkwardly.
“This is a terrible hug.” She admitted.
Konstantin laughed heartily and pulled away. “It is good to see you.”
“Likewise.” She looped an arm through his and guided him to an informal sitting room. “Would you like something to eat or drink?”
“No no. I actually cannot stay long. I just wanted to see how you are doing.”
Villanelle shrugged. “I could be better.”
“What is wrong?”
“I feel like everyone is playing tug-of-war with me. They all want me in different directions.”
“Have you spoken to your parents?”
“Not since I arrived.”
“I will arrange a dinner. In public. You can leave whenever you want.”
Villanelle sighed. “It won’t matter. I will not do as they ask. I am staying in London.”
“Do not call me that.”
Konstantin sighed. “It is your name.”
“Not anymore. I do not want anything to do with my life here. This place brings nothing except pain.”
“Villanelle,” he placated, “just hear them out.”
“Why? They never once attempt to hear me out. All they care about are appearances.”
He reached over and placed a hand on her arm. “Just dinner. For me. Then, I will drive you back here myself.”
Villanelle looked toward the heavens and gave him a frustrated exhale.
“First, you and I will spend some time alone. To talk more in depth. I will be past to get you tomorrow morning. Dress for a proper hike, not a fashion show.”
“I can do both.”
Konstantin wagged a finger at her and made a playful grunt of disapproval.
It was a nice interruption, but as soon as he was gone, Villanelle went back to the sunroom, pulled her sketchbook into her lap and her thoughts quickly returned to the predicament in which she’d found herself.
Chapter 12: ...She Loves Me Not
angst. dassit. das all.
“If I can’t have you
Let love set you
Free to fly your
Pretty wings around.”
-Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”
Konstantin laughed, clapping his hands together once. “How do you always find trouble?”
“I don’t!” Villanelle protested. She bit the cone of her ice cream and pouted.
Konstantin pinched one of her cheeks and she strained to remove her face from his grasp.
“Then tell me how this happened.”
“It just happened.”
“No, I know you.” He wagged a ginger in her face. “You use your charm for personal gain.”
Villanelle’s lips twitched and she hid her oncoming smile by biting her cone again. “I deserve the finer things in life.”
“That does not mean you take them from someone else.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Uncle Konstantin. I did not take her. She came willingly.” Villanelle smirked. “In every sense of the word.”
“Don’t be fresh.”
Her pout deepened, thoroughly scolded.
“You are inviting heartache. This will not end well. Be smart.”
Villanelle had been thinking the same thing for the last couple of days. It was actually the only thing she thought of. At first, Villanelle tried to comfort herself with the idea that maybe there was at least a glimmer of hope that Eve would leave her husband. And Villanelle had replayed every conversation, every touch, every furtive glance since her first meeting with Eve Polastri, trying to find just a hint that Eve really was falling deeper for her too.
But she couldn’t.
Eventually, when her thoughts became so all-consuming that she couldn’t even sketch her final three ensembles, Villanelle realized that she was losing her focus. Eve was clouding her objectivity when it came to her design-making process. Eve was making her soft and subjective. She cared too much and despite what Eve thought, this really was hard for Villanelle as well. If Villanelle failed to create the perfect collection she would lose out on signing with any major fashion house. If that happened, everything would have been for naught: her hard work would mean nothing and she would lose the constant battle of wills with her parents. What would she be left with?
Was it better that she end this now? And despite what Eve said, could they remain friends?
Villanelle wasn’t sure if she could give Eve only her friendship. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to.
No , Villanelle thought, maybe friendship is harder than whatever this already is.
“I do not want to talk about this anymore.”
Konstantin made a tching noise at her. “You are a woman now.”
“Yes, I have the occasional heavy period to prove it.” Villanelle sassed back.
“What I am saying is: you are not a child anymore. All of your actions have consequences now. There is no one to save you but yourself.”
Villanelle sighed and Konstantin wrapped a large, comforting arm around her shoulders and squeezed.
“Gin and tonic.”
“You really have changed.” Konstantin laughed.
Villanelle fiddled with the dinner napkin on her lap. Konstantin watched her carefully, a glimmer of pity in his eyes.
“One hour. Then we go.”
Villanelle nodded once, feeling only slightly less nervous. A few minutes later, her parents were walking toward them.
“Thank you for coming, Oksana.” Her father greeted in Russian. Villanelle’s eyes widened theatrically and she gave a polite smile as she looked to her uncle for help.
“She won’t speak Russian anymore. And she goes by Villanelle now.” He clarified.
“Ah.” Her father replied as they sat. Her mother remained quiet. “Well, thank you for making such an effort, Villanelle.”
Villanelle made a show of adjusting the shoulders of her outrageous pink Molly Goddard frock. Her black bralette showed underneath and she’d finished the look off with her favorite Doc Marten combat boots.
Her father, Viktor, was a scholarly looking gentleman with dark, close-cropped hair and connecting salt-pepper beard. He made his living as a criminal psychologist and had always known how to get into her mind.
But with his ability to read people within thirty-seconds of meeting them, his scathing honesty and professional anecdotes made him off-putting.
Her mother, Irina, or ’ the little bitch with really thin, shitty hair’ as Villanelle described her, pursed her lips but still said nothing. She had grown up as a socialite, married a wealthy man who didn’t need to work, but found he had a passion for learning the inner workings of a person’s mind. It was all just as well; Irina spent her time networking and finding new ways to spend Viktor’s money.
“We are very happy you came here tonight. We understand if you are angry at us.” Viktor began.
“I am not angry. I am indifferent. You want to withhold money from me. Fine. I will make more.”
Irina scoffed, drawing Villanelle’s eyes to her.
“But I will do it my way. With my fashion.”
“I wish you could see that everything we do is in your best interests.”
“Yes. Leaving me destitute in London is in my best interest.”
“We just cannot continue to see you throw your life away.”
Villanelle sat back in her chair and rolled her eyes to the heavens. “Is that why you adopted me? Because you thought you could craft the perfect human who would do everything you wanted?”
Viktor sputtered, his mouth opening and closing twice but he never spoke.
“You never wanted me to speak my mind or be who I really am. Are appearances worth that much to you? Am I that much of a disappointment? You have never even asked to see my work. You don’t even know how amazing I actually am.”
“You have always been amazing, Oksana.” Irina finally interrupted, though her tone was full of disdain. She actually sounded… jealous. “You were always exceptionally bright and charming and able to draw the attention of everyone in the room. Are you happy now? Is that what you want to hear?”
“I do not need to hear things I already know.”
Viktor added, “A career in fashion is not promising. What if you do not meet the right people or make enough money? You have to be taken care of.”
“I have to be happy .” Villanelle protested. “And I am not happy here. I never was. You want me here, but for what purpose? You have never spent time with me. Never cared about my interests. You just want to parade me around like a show pony until another show pony wants to mate with me.”
“Villanelle is doing very well with schooling.” Konstantin interjected. “She makes beautiful clothing and she has even met someone. You shou—.”
“ You met someone?” Irina asked.
“Don’t sound so surprised.”
Irina regarded Villanelle with muted interest. She drank from the complimentary water glass in front of her and mentioned, conversationally, “I ran into Anna at the bakery not long ago.”
Konstantin watched as Villanelle’s body language screamed uncomfortable. She suddenly didn’t know what to do with her hands. They balled into fists and then opened. Her arms crossed and her palms landed on her biceps, rubbing slightly as if she were trying to comfort herself. Her big, brown eyes watered and she cleared her throat.
“I would like to leave now.”
Konstantin looked between the young blonde and her parents.
“Now, please.” She repeated, firmly, standing from her seat. Konstantin stood as well.
“Oh, there she goes. Running from her problems as usual.” Irina commented.
“Irina!” Viktor chided.
When Konstantin had Villanelle safely out of the restaurant and down the street, Villanelle lost it. She stop in the middle of the sidewalk and let out the loudest, frustrated shriek that she should. A few people glanced but said or did nothing and when she was done, she took a few deep breaths to calm herself. In an instant, she’d put her wall again and Konstantin witnessed it first hand.
“I hate them.”
I hate who they made me become , Villanelle reflected. It was all too much. Her mind raced and so did her heart.
Sweet Eve. Sweet Anna.
Both were being tormented by their connection to Villanelle.
I , she decided, am the common denominator. I am the reason for so much confusion.
And with that though, she looped her arm with Uncle Konstantin’s, allowing him to lead her to his car, and decided that she would not be the reason for any more confusion.
She would stop being selfish. This would be the end.
Kings Cross, London
Monday came some soon, and yet not soon enough. For both Eve and Villanelle.
Hi. I hope your half-term holiday went well. Can we meet before office hours? -V
Eve started at the text for nearly two full minutes, not knowing what to say back. Villanelle had gone radio silent since she landed in Russia. And while Eve had a few moments of weakness where she wanted to text or call Villanelle, she stopped herself. Somehow, Eve convinced herself that this break really would be good for both of them, but truthfully, she was slowly dying inside. Every moment without Villanelle was so black and white. Villanelle added Technicolor to her every waking moment. And she hadn’t felt like that in a long time.
She’d made a decision on the three-hour drive home from North Norfolk: Eve was going to tell Villanelle that she loved her too.
What was the point of denying it any longer?
Niko was a kind man, yes. And he loved her. But he ran on routine and Eve preferred the unfamiliar. She felt safe with Niko, but life wasn’t about feeling safe. For Eve, it was about taking risks and learning new things every day.
Yes. She responded. We have so much to talk about.
Office, half hour early? -V
I’ll be there.
Eve couldn’t stop smiling.
CSM, Annex B, 11:27AM
It was a small office. Too small for the big emotions that Eve felt. The blonde walked into the office and it felt like the hushed chatter in Eve’s mind finally quieted. Everything was right again; Villanelle was back in her world. She stood from her desk, her expression both surprised and expectant.
“Hi.” Eve breathed. And it was the first real breath she’d taken in four days.
“Hi.” Villanelle replied. Despite her made up appearance, Eve could tell that she was exhausted. Whether it was from emotions, lack of sleep or jet lag, Eve couldn’t be sure.
She watched as Villanelle placed her things at her own desk before crossing the small room to take a seat across from Eve. Eve sat back down, shuffled a few papers together and closed her laptop.
“I’m glad you still wanted to talk.” She let out a nervous laugh and Villanelle’s eyes dropped to Eve’s fiddling hands.
“Do I still make you nervous?” Villanelle asked, the corner of her mouth twitching upwards briefly.
Almost at once, Eve folded her hands in her lap. “Yes. And I suspect you always will.”
They sat in silence for a few moments simply looking at one another.
“You said we had a lot to talk about.” Villanelle finally said.
“Yes, but you go first.”
The younger woman cleared her throat. “I don’t think we should do this anymore.”
“Have sex. Or be intimate in any way, really.”
Eve’s breath was suddenly sucked from her lungs. She shook her head. “Wh—?”
“I know this has been hard for you. And it has for me too. I understand how difficult it would be for you if you had to go through a divorce, and I do not want to be the reason that happens. It would make you unhappy and I do not want you to be unhappy.”
“But I’m not unhappy.” The quiver in Eve’s voice nearly made Villanelle rethink the end of the conversation.
“You will be if you continue to be pulled in two different directions. Trust me, I know.”
Eve was trying to process what Villanelle had just said to her.
Was Villanelle breaking things off because she thought it’d be easier than telling her she was leaving? Had her parents convinced her to return to Russia?
“Is this because of your parents?”
The blonde’s brown eyes closed briefly and she sighed. “I… I am not myself. I think of you too often. You are taking over my world and I just,” the blonde exhaled again, “need this to end.”
It was harsh, Villanelle knew, but it was what was best for Eve. So, she stood and Eve watched as she went to her desk and gathered her things.
“I will take my appointments in the library in Annex C.” Was the last thing Villanelle said before she left the room.
“But,” Eve said quietly to the empty room, “I love you.”
Chapter 13: No Place Like...
posting tonight because I’ll be at Dorney Park all day tomorrow.
“Oh, you loved me 'cause I'm fragile,
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while,
And all my fragile strength is gone.”
-Sara Bareilles, “Gravity”
Days passed. Weeks passed. Nearly two full months. Eve and Villanelle somehow found a rhythm that was comfortable enough. Mostly because they’d managed to avoid one another on campus except for class. Villanelle took her office hour appointments in the library or in a quiet corner of a coffee shop. She and Eve communicated mainly through a series of terse emails and they were strictly about the work of other students.
One week before the fashion college was to conclude its fall-winter semester, Villanelle’s world was, once again, turned upside down.
She pulled two pins out of her mouth, stuck them into her mannequin and turned around to see who was interrupting her.
“Niko.” She stood to her full height, already wondering why he was on campus.
“Hi. I hoped I might find you here.”
And what the hell did he want from her?
A half-assed apology started to form in her mind.
Niko, babes, listen, I am sorry I was fucking your wife. Well, not sorry about the fucking part. More sorry that she is your wife. You wouldn’t be considering a divorce by any chance? No? Well, then—.
“What can I do for you?” Villanelle inquired as politely as possible. She half-sat, half-leaned against the lip of her desk, ankles and arms crossed.
“Two things actually.”
“The first being that I would like to commission a piece from you for Eve’s Christmas gift.”
Villanelle’s lips parted and she tilted her head to the side. Her smirk, that hadn’t seen the light of day in months, was suddenly back in full force.
Why hadn’t she ever thought of creating lingerie that fit Eve’s supple body so fucking perfectly? Maybe pull off a barely-there lace thong with her teeth—.
Down girl , Villanelle told herself. Focus .
“Well, no. Although, that’s a lovely thought.”
Yes. Yes it is.
“I was thinking more along the lines of a dress or a blouse? I’ve seen photographs of your work that Eve was grading. You’re quite talented.”
“Yes, I am.”
Niko didn’t know how to respond to that, so he moved on. “Let me know your price and I’ll have a check sent to you by messenger.”
“You said there were two things.”
“Yes. The other is that—,” he looked away and Villanelle noticed it immediately.
“Is Eve okay?”
“Yes. Yes. She’s fine. I just—. Eve mentioned that your family is far away and that you will probably stay here over holiday break.”
Villanelle nodded, understanding now. “She told you my parents are shit and I’m spending the holiday in London without them.”
“Not so bluntly, but she’d had two glasses of white, so—.”
“So, she was very generous with her mouth.” Villanelle interrupted, stifling a smirk at her own private joke.
Niko found Villanelle strange, and the way she phrased things even more strange.
“Sure.” He responded. “Anyway, I was hoping you’d do us the honor of attending our annual Christmas Eve party. Perhaps, stay over and open gifts with us on Christmas morning.”
Villanelle suddenly felt like a pitied orphan. “Does Eve know you are inviting me to spend the holiday at your home?”
“It won’t matter to Eve. The more, the merrier. Besides, no one should spend Christmas alone.”
“I won’t take no for an answer.”
Villanelle wanted to protest. She wanted to tell him that she would be just fine alone on Christmas. There would be an abundance of spiked eggnog, red wine and carryout from the Thai restaurant a few blocks away. But she didn’t. Because no matter how much she denied it, not seeing Eve at least once a week for the next month would kill her. So, if she had to suffer through pleasantries with Niko and God only knows l how many other people, she would.
“Fine. Yes. I accept your invitation. Thank you.”
When he didn’t leave immediately, Villanelle raised her brows. “Was there anything else?”
Niko realized he was overstaying his welcome and he put his hands up in surrender. “I’ll leave you to it.”
“Fall/Winter ready-to-wear collections are bullshit. The only fashion house even worth mentioning in that department is Fendi!” Hugo shouted.
“What? High necks in various shades of brown? Pass. The only thing they’ve gotten right is their logo. Two massive Fs for fucking fail !” Kenny rebutted.
“Oooo!” Came the taunting collective. Eve’s head whipped back and forth like she was watching a ping-pong tournament.
“If were talking about fall/winter failures, the only company we should be looking at is Betsy Johnson.” Another student added.
“She’s not even a fucking contender! Now if you want to talk about Ralph Lauren, then we can have a real discussion.” Hugo objected.
“Ralph Lauren is iconic. They never change their designs, which is how they’ve managed to stay so relevant. They don’t conform to what bullshit is considered ‘ in ’.” Kenny said, using air quotes.
“Yes, well, style is relative.” Villanelle spoke up. She pushed off of Eve’s desk that she had been leaning on, arms crossed. “What I consider the perfect ensemble, might be absolutely ridiculous to you. I don’t think it is about being in . It is about being you .”
“Oh, come off it, Billie. You’re an absolute fashion icon at CSM. Everyone on campus talks about your fashion choices.”
“But that is exactly my point. Fashion is absolute. Throwing together two outrageous pieces designed to turn heads and make people think is fashionable. It is art. That does not mean Nadia, for example, would wear anything in my closet because her style is completely different.”
“So, I think that takes Ralph Lauren out of the running. Just because you wouldn’t wear what they create, doesn’t make them failures.”
Eve nodded her head, impressed with the debate. “Well, I think that is the perfect place to end for today. So, remind yourselves that what you create is wearable art, as Villanelle stated. Make your mark on the fashion industry and leave a lasting impression. Happy holidays. I’ll see you all in the new year.”
Eve accepted hugs from students who reached out to her first and wished others happy holidays. When the room cleared and it was only she and Villanelle left, Eve cleared her throat.
“Any, uh, any plans for the holiday?”
Villanelle put her hands in her pockets and tried not to smile. “Are you making small talk with me?”
“Yes. Is it weird? It’s weird, right?”
“Very weird,” Villanelle admitted, turning and putting her palms on Eve’s desk, “but cute.”
“Try to,” Eve gestured at Villanelle’s face and then the rest of her body, “turn on the charm after giving me the cold shoulder for the last two months.”
Villanelle hid her delight well. Eve still thought she was charming.
“Well, you will have to play nice with me. Niko invited me to your Christmas party.”
“Oh?” Eve could hide her pleasure, too. She hoped. “What did you say?”
“I said I will be there. Will that be weird for you?”
“No. Not weird. Good. Fine. The more, the merrier.”
“That is exactly what he said. Just before he invited me to open gifts with you on Christmas as well.”
Try as she might, Eve couldn’t stop the surprised expression from crossing her face.
“So,” Villanelle said, giving a small shimmy of her shoulders, “get me something nice.”
For the next week, Villanelle worked diligently on her commission for Eve’s Christmas gift from Niko. It was a stunning black and white halter dress made of satin that crossed around the neck. She would install a zipper along the back and went for a tight, feminine fit. While Niko had sent her sizes to Villanelle, she went a size smaller since Eve usually wore her clothes oversized and unflattering for her beautiful shape. She charged him for the materials only, ending with a grand a grand total of twenty-six-hundred dollars.
Villanelle’s gift to Eve was the original sketch of South Korean designer Andrè Kim’s first ever couture design. She’d paid an ungodly amount at an auction and then another obscene quantity of money to get it re-authenticated. It had been hard trying to decide what to get her former lover, but she knew how proud Eve was of her Korean heritage. It’d make a lovely edition to her home studio.
Eve had the absolute worst time trying to find a gift for Villanelle. Everything she looked at was either too drab for the wild young woman or too inappropriate to give to her in front of Niko.
In the end, she decided on two gifts. One that she’d give to Villanelle in private during the Christmas party, and the other she’d give on Christmas morning. The first present would be to let Villanelle know her true feelings. Truth be told, Eve’s heart still ached for Villanelle. She never got to tell her that she loved her and she hated that Villanelle walked around with no knowledge of it.
Still, she had to be careful in her approach. Both she and Villanelle had been walking on eggshells when they did cross paths. But no matter how hard either tried, there was no denying the chemistry between them. And if Eve was honest with herself, she didn’t want to deny it anymore.
Eve could be herself with Villanelle. And it wasn’t that she couldn’t with Niko. Villanelle completely understood the creative part of Eve that Niko couldn’t. It was strange for Eve to connect with another creative who she felt matched her in most ways and elevated her in others.
And it was so incredibly liberating.
Christmas Eve, 19:44PM
Eve paced the kitchen, glass of spiked eggnog in one hand and uncharacteristically biting the thumb nail on the other. With guests in almost every corner of her home, Eve had played the gracious host for the past hour and had yet to take a moment for herself. And it was the worst idea she’d ever had. Alone with her alcohol and her thoughts, all Eve wondered was when the fuck was Villanelle going to arrive.
Almost as if on cue, the doorbell rang and her heart slammed against her chest. Everyone else had arrived. It could only be one person. Eve headed to the front door, Niko meeting her along the way. He wrapped an arm around her waist and she had to stop herself from pulling away.
In a Wales Bonner plaid-checked shirt and near matching pants, the blonde held three, fairly large gifts in her arms. Black gift boxes with gold bows. Just like Eve’s perfume box.
“Villanelle, you made it. Welcome.” Niko greeted. He took the gifts she held out and stopped her from entering. Niko pointed up and three sets of eyes looked up to see the mistletoe hanging above the door. He’d done it for everyone, and they had all obliged the silly tradition and Villanelle was no different. She double-kissed Niko’s cheeks and then turned her attention to Eve, cocking an eyebrow suggestively. Eve leaned forward, hand on Villanelle’s forearm and made a move to kiss her cheek. Villanelle turned her head ever so slightly and Eve’s lips landed on the corner of Villanelle’s mouth and she couldn’t stop the almost inaudible whine that escaped her.
“Come in. Come in.” Niko said, finally pulling her inside and away from Eve. “What would you like to drink?”
Eve didn’t hear her answer because she was too busy trying to will away the flood that happened in her panties.
“Come along, Eve.” She heard Villanelle urge. Groaning, she tapped her forehead against the edge of the door.
“Fuck. Me.” Eve mumbled to herself before shutting the door and following behind them.
Chapter 14: ...Home for the Holidays
major "pick me, choose me, love me!" vibes.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“I belong with you.
You belong with me.
You’re my sweetheart.”
-The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”
Horny. Eve was hand-to-God, pray for forgiveness because she was going to commit adultery for the thousandth time fucking horny!
Villanelle integrated perfectly with Eve and Niko’s friends. She and Bill shared a stimulating conversation about the meekness of most humans and how easily it was to exploit weaknesses.
With Elena, she talked about the inevitable consequences of not receiving closure from ex-lovers, with Villanelle vehemently agreeing with Elena’s pro-closure stance. Jessica, while at first put off by Villanelle’s blunt attitude, had laughed heartily at something that the blonde said. Keiko struck up a conversation about freedom of expression and how having kids with a man over forty could stifle it. Even when Jessica’s husband, Nick, asked her a question that Eve considered misogynistic, Villanelle easily took him down a peg in less than five words. And Elena’s ex-boyfriend, well… he hadn’t lasted past pleasantries before Villanelle cocked an eyebrow and he excused himself.
Watching as Villanelle flitted from one conversation to another effortlessly, Eve became more and more impressed with her. She was so alluring and elegant and her intelligence couldn’t have been more of a turn on for Eve.
What was even more amazing was that Villanelle did not particularly seem interested in speaking with Gemma, a coworker of Niko’s, but watched her intently throughout the evening. Eve had never been a fan of Gemma’s either. At first, it had been cute watching Gemma try to gain Niko’s attention, but over the last few years, it quickly became irritating and Eve simply tolerated her presence.
It was when everyone retired to the family room, decorated with a Christmas tree and string lights, that Eve’s libido went into overdrive. She and Bill fell onto the floor where he laid his head against her outstretched legs. Nick and Jessica, sat on the loveseat and Niko was pulled down beside them to talk about how lovely the house looked. Keiko sat on the arm of the loveseat and reached forward, handing off her glass of wine to Bill just as Gemma, Elena and Nick excused themselves to smoke in the backyard.
The only place left? Niko’s favorite recliner chair.
Villanelle cleared her throat, catching Eve’s attention immediately. Smoothly, she sat in Niko’s chair, hands on the armrests, and rested one foot on the opposite knee looking every bit a queen on her throne.
She gave Eve a pointed look.
“Baby wants to come?”
Eve’s breath got caught in her chest and her eyelashes fluttered.
“You are so wet.”
The blonde smirked then turned her attention to Niko.
“Niko, I just love this chair.” Villanelle remarked, rubbing the arms of the well-loved chair that she had fucked his wife on. Eve sputtered into her glass of eggnog. “It is so spacious and comfortable.”
“It is, isn’t it.” He went into the specifics of the chair and Villanelle gave him her undivided attention as if she actually gave a fuck.
And Eve knew she was doing it to torture her.
Eventually, the topic changed and Villanelle was engaged in a healthy debate about designers using their platforms to offend people.
“If we’re all entitled to our own opinion, than what’s to stop these designers from incorporating that into their work?” Gemma said.
Eve and Villanelle gave each other a look.
Elena explained, “I don’t think what Jess was saying meant their work suffered, I think it’s the people who look up to them who suffer.”
“Yes, like Dolce and Gabbana saying that they don’t believe gay couples should be able to adopt.” Villanelle mentioned.
“Yeah and didn’t they criticize IVF and surrogacy?” Niko added.
“Exactly, and don’t even get me started on the constant cultural appropriation in the fashion industry. It’s depraved.” Villanelle remarked, resting her elbows on her knees.
“Here, here.” Bill raised his glass to Villanelle.
“Billie, I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that you’re a student at CSM. You’re so refined and intellectual for your age.” Jessica observed.
“I like to think we age with our experiences.” Villanelle told her.
“If that’s the case, I’m 109.” Bill joked.
“Does that mean you had to grow up fast?” Keiko inquired.
Villanelle shrugged. “A little, I suppose. I spent a lot of time alone and had to find ways of entertaining myself. My adoptive parents were away a lot. Sometimes, I read. Sometimes I got into a little bit of trouble. I have discovered that it is not good, for anyone, when I am bored”
Adopted. Eve’s mind pulled her heartstrings in a million different directions. Villanelle had never spoken much about her childhood. And Eve didn’t pry; it seemed like a sore subject for her. With Eve, Villanelle always preferred to talk about the future instead of her past.
“How old were you when you were adopted?” Niko had to know.
“Do you—?” Eve’s voice had become dry and raspy. A lump was in her throat. She cleared it. “Do you remember your biological parents?”
“What I do remember, I wish I didn’t.”
“That’s tough.” Nick supplied.
“I’m sorry that you had a shit start in life.” Niko added.
“Yeah, but it’s not always about how life starts.” Jessica chimed in. “Look at Billie. She’s made something of herself.”
“Oh, I owe it all to Eve. She has taught me to see people for who they really are.”
“She’s pretending to be modest. She was perfect when I met her.” Eve smiled at Villanelle who looked a bit taken aback by that appraisal of herself.
“You do not give yourself enough credit as a professor. I have learned so much from you.”
“And I’ve learned much more from you .”
“Oh, get a room already.” Keiko joked. And while mostly everyone in the room laughed, a blushing Eve could only pull her gaze away from Villanelle when Bill tapped her leg and offered the wine to her.
Niko was the only one who hadn’t cracked a smile.
“Bugger, I forgot the spoons.” Niko sat down the tray of tea he brought to their guests.
“Oh, I will get them.” Villanelle offered, politely.
“Cheers, lovely.” Niko gave her a strained smile.
Villanelle found her way into the kitchen only to find herself alone with Eve who was rummaging through the fridge for dessert. She gathered spoons from the drawer Eve showed her the first time she was in their home.
Turning back around she realized that Eve had shut the door to the refrigerator and was moving to empty her hands onto the counter. Villanelle assisted her, and their hands grazed. Eve cleared her throat and avoided eye contact so Villanelle reached over and tugged at Eve’s messy ponytail.
“Are you five?”
“Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you like a girl? Pull her pigtails?”
Eve sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “I’m pissed with you.”
“Why? Let’s start with how you never let me say what I had to say. How you were an asshole. And how you made me fall in love with you before you completely shut me out.” Eve replied, sotto voce.
Villanelle grinned and leaned her hip against the counter. “You are in love with me?”
“That’s all you got from what I said?”
“Where are those spoons, Billie?” Niko asked, stepping into the room. Villanelle held them up. He nodded and turned on his heels.
As she started to follow Niko out of the room, Villanelle whispered, “I won’t sleep until we finish this conversation.”
Eve felt Villanelle’s fingertips across the back of her neck and indulged in the shiver that ran down her spine.
Villanelle was going to be the death of her and somehow, Eve didn’t mind.
It was nearly one a.m. on Christmas Day when the last straggler finally left and almost an hour after that when Niko was snoring soundly beside Eve. She pulled her phone from the nightstand to text Villanelle, who Niko had made comfortable in the guest room while Eve had cleaned up the mess left by their guests. It felt so wrong with her husband in the house sleeping peacefully in his own bed.
But , Eve convinced herself, we’re just going to talk.
I told you I wouldn’t.
Meet me downstairs?
Come to my room.
Eve slipped quietly out of bed and tiptoed through the hall to her studio only to see Villanelle already there. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a ponytail on the crown of her head and she was using Eve’s materials to sketch. One of the presents she’d brought to the party was sitting next to her on the desk.
The door, which always had a slight creak to it, sounded a thousand times louder to Eve as she slipped it shut. Villanelle stopped sketching and turned to face Eve.
“So,” the younger woman started, leaning forward and unintentionally drawing Eve’s attention to the cleavage in her robe, “you are in love with me.”
Eve swallowed harshly and tore her eyes away from the softly-wrapped gift that was Villanelle Astankova. She exhaled a shaky, “Yes.”
“I am in love with you, too.”
“Oh, she says.”
“I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what else to do.”
“Well, that is not entirely true, is it, sweet Eve? You know exactly what to do, but you can’t.” Villanelle arose gracefully from the swivel chair and stood before Eve.
Had she always been this much taller than Eve? Or was it the pedestal that Eve put her on?
Voice quivering, Eve admitted aloud, “I want to get a divorce.”
“Oh, I do not think Niko will be opposed.”
“Why? Do you think he suspects?”
“No, because he is fucking Gemma.”
“Well, I cannot be certain, of course, but—.”
“ What ?” Eve hissed. Her world started to spin, only for Villanelle to ground her by placing her hands on Eve’s shoulders.
She was giggling. “Eve, you are too easy. I’m kidding.”
Except she wasn’t, but the look on Eve’s face told her exactly what she needed to know. Eve loved Niko, too. And sure, she may not have been in love with him anymore, but Konstantin was right: this would end badly. For everyone involved. The best thing Villanelle could do was be there to catch Eve when she fell.
Eve pushed Villanelle’s hands off of her shoulders and walked to the desk for lack of anything else to do. “That’s not funny.”
“Oh, come on, it was a little funny. Besides,” Villanelle shrugged one shoulder, “if they were, you really have no room to be outraged.”
She hated that Villanelle had a point.
But Niko would never—.
It was enough for Eve to doubt her husband. It was what Villanelle wanted; how she thought she’d win .
“You weren’t joking.” Eve accused. She whipped back around to face her younger counterpart. “You could see that Gemma bothered me. It was a weakness and you exploited it. Low blow, but I can take that. What I can’t take is you being dishonest anymore.”
“ I’m being dishonest? You’re the one living a lie to appease whatever heteronormative code that you so desperately want to cling to.”
“And that’s what gets you off; the idea that you have taken an innocent little housewife and made her spin 180 degrees into your world.”
Villanelle huffed out her laughter and walked to Eve’s cubed shelves trying to simultaneously distance and calm herself to no avail. Eve followed right behind her. “Innocent is not the word I would use to describe you, Eve. Especially not when you were begging me to fill you up just a little bit more.”
“And you gave it so willingly.” Eve spat. “I’m not denying my role in any of this. That’s the difference between me and you. I’m being honest about all of this. I always have been. What about you?”
“What about me?”
“Earlier tonight, you told Jess that I taught you how to see people for who they really are. Was that just bullshit? Because from where I’m standing, it’s like you see everything and everyone as a goal to conquer. So, just be honest.”
“Honesty? That is all you want from me?” Villanelle asked, stepping towards Eve who immediately backed away. Villanelle followed her step for step.
“In this moment? Yes. Be honest! In your designs, in your life! Be honest with yourself! Enough bullshit." Eve hissed at her.
“Fine,” Villanelle took another step forward, effectively backing Eve into the wall behind her, “I like beautiful things. I like to possess them. I want to possess you . I want to breathe in the scent of your hair while your silk drips down my hand. I want to make love to you all night. Sleep in until noon with you. Make hard fucking choices like should the bedroom in our home have two closets or can we make due with just one? But most importantly, I want you to possess me . I want to be desired the way I desire you. For fuck’s sake, Eve, I want the easiest decision that you have to make to be me .” Villanelle took one last step toward Eve, her hand landing on the wall beside Eve’s head. “So, how’s that for honest?”
Eve swallowed harshly. Her chest rose and fell too quickly to deny feeling anything for the stunning woman before her. She wanted that too. All of it.
“Of course I choose you. Do you think we’d be here if I didn’t.” Eve placed her hands on Villanelle’s face. “Tell me to stop.” She whispered as Villanelle had the first time Eve let her in. “Villanelle, tell me to stop or I won’t. I can’t.”
Villanelle smirked. There she was. “No.”
Eve’s lips pressed against Villanelle’s. They were suddenly both lost and found.
And quite frankly, fuck the consequences, because they were coming anyway. But instead of Eve feeling alone in the battle against them, she now knew Villanelle would be alongside her.
“Merry Christmas, Eve.” Villanelle said into a kiss.
Eve laughed and kissed her again. “Merry Christmas.”
talk to me over on tumblr: melvncholymvmi or etherealmvmi.
Chapter 15: Done to Death
half-edited. the day got away from me. I’ll edit more thoroughly tomorrow. also, this was broken into two parts because it got longer than I expected.
“My whole life
Got me ready
Ariana Grande, “pete davidson”
Eve’s entire body was thrumming with the need to be fucked. And Villanelle knew it. The way her hands roamed upward and squeezed her breasts before reaching for her neck to hold Eve still as she kissed her.
“ Please .” Eve begged for the third time in the last half hour.
“No.” Villanelle denied her again.
“The next time I have you,” Villanelle kissed her lips, “it will be in bed.” Eve’s cheek was next, “And I want to make you run from me again,” her neck, “and be as loud as you can.” She kissed the tender spot just underneath Eve’s ear and chuckled when the older woman’s knees buckled.
When Eve whined in protest, Villanelle distracted her with a metaphorical shiny object. “Look, I brought you a gift.” She pointed to the desk and watched as Eve’s eyes followed the gestured. Still, she didn’t move from being wrapped in one of Villanelle’s arms. “If you don’t open it, I will have to lug it all the way back to my flat.”
It wasn’t very large, but Villanelle had a flair for the dramatic.
Villanelle released Eve, kissing her temple as she pulled away. Eve’s hands untied the elaborate bow and opened the black gift box. Inside a small placard sat atop gold wrapping paper. In Villanelle’s decadent handwriting was scrawled, “Sorry Baby x”. Eve could smell Villanelle’s perfume and she lifted the card to her nose and inhaled.
“I know how much you like to smell me.” Villanelle said in explanation.
“Shut up.” Eve’s half-assed attempt to hide her delighted smile made Villanelle’s heart leap. She hid the note card in between the pages of her sketchbook and turned back to the neatly wrapped gift. Pushing aside the gold wrapping paper, Eve slid her hands into the straps of a stunning ivory silk and lace chemise.
“Did you make this?”
Villanelle nodded. “Do you like it?”
“I love it. I’ll always be so in awe of what you are capable of.” Eve said and then smiled. “A gift for you too, I presume?”
Villanelle smirked, shrugging her shoulders. “It is like a bow on a very delicious gift. It won’t be on very long.”
“How are those humility classes going for you?”
Eve chuckled as she gently folded the modest lingerie and as she went to slip it back into the box, she noticed there was something else in the bottom. Villanelle took the chemise from her so she could focus on the next gift. The shorter woman reached for the small ring box and then looked to Villanelle, her expression both curious and alarmed. “What is it?”
“Not an engagement ring.” Villanelle’s alarming ability to read her mind and calm her within seconds was really a gift.
Pushing back the top, Eve found a small gold signet ring inside. Small, ovular flat face. It looked vintage, no doubt expensive. But Villanelle didn’t care about money. She cared about the sentimentality of things. There was an inscription.
“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.” Eve read aloud. She pulled it out of its perch and her eyes dropped to Villanelle’s hands.
Villanelle spread the fingers of her right hand, showing her own rings to Eve. The one on her thumb looked exactly the same as the one Eve was holding.
“Only two of these were ever crafted, and we own both. Only two of us have ever been crafted. Rare. Two of a kind. And, you and I, own each other.” Villanelle explained. She took the ring from Eve and slipped it onto the middle finger of Eve’s right hand.
Eve was speechless. She couldn’t stop looking at the ring. It was the same way she’d looked at her engagement ring when Niko had proposed. Astonished. She touched it. Her head shot up abruptly as if she just remembered something.
“I have something for you, too.”
Villanelle’s eyebrows went up. “Oh?”
Eve crossed the room and knelt beside her work mannequin to open a trunk. It was filled with bolts of fabric and other design materials. Eve pulled out a medium-sized gift wrapped in shiny gold paper and topped with a cherry red bow. Villanelle took to proffered gift, held it to her ear and shook it playfully. Eve laughed. The younger woman tore off the wrapping paper, letting Eve take it from her and opened the box.
“Eve!” she pulled the piece from and sat the box aside. It was a black pleated suspender miniskirt. It was super retro and Villanelle could already envision what she would pair it with.
“That is vintage Eve Polastri. It’s the first piece I ever made. Summer of 1988. I just turned seventeen and had decided that I was going to be a world renowned fashion designer.” She flagged off that idea with a hand gesture and a roll of her eyes. “But I can still remember how sure I felt and when I stepped back and looked at this, it cemented how I felt about fashion. That’s how I feel about you. I feel... sure .”
Villanelle’s eyes widened. “I can not take this, Eve. It means too much to you.”
“You have to. Otherwise I’ll have to lug all the way back to my storage unit.” She teased.
“It is stunning. Thank you. Really.” Villanelle pulled Eve close to her and kissed her soundly. “You know the way to a girl’s heart.”
“You just want me for my designs.”
When Niko woke up the next morning to the sound of Christmas music blaring loudly and his wife’s laughter, he smiled. The house smelled of ginger and cinnamon and fresh-brewed coffee. Christmas .
He rolled out of bed, stretched and quickly worked through his morning routine. Teeth, brushed. Face, washed. Mustache, combed.
Down the stairs, he went, enormous smile planted on his face. And as he rounded the corner to the kitchen, what he saw made him stop in his tracks.
Eve and Villanelle had on aprons, arms and faces dusted with a few streaks of flour. Eve had a little in her dark hair and there was what resembled a smeared handprint on one cheek of Villanelle’s jogger-clad ass. Eve bit the leg off of a gingerbread man cookie, and as she drank from her mug of coffee, she absentmindedly held out the cookie to Villanelle. Instead of taking it from her hand, Villanelle kept rolling more dough and bit the other leg off.
There was nothing illicit about it, but a niggling feeling crept into the back of his mind.
It looked so lazily intimate.
Like they’d been doing this all their lives.
All I Want For Christmas came to an end and just as the first twinkling notes of Baby, It’s Cold Outside began, Niko cleared his throat.
“Merry Christmas, ladies!”
They greeted him cheerfully.
“Coffee?” Eve asked, already pulling out a mug.
“Gingerbread man?” Villanelle offered.
Niko put a hand up. “Not before breakfast, thank you.”
Villanelle shrugged a shoulder, turning back to her task.
“So, breakfast first or presents?”
A necklace that she’d never wear. Pajamas. Casual clothes that fit her normal style; chinos, sweaters, button-ups. A new phone with which she’d probably spend the next three months trying to figure out the speakerphone feature. There were only a couple of gifts left under the tree and Eve’s eyes kept furtively glancing at one in particular.
“And this one is from Villanelle.” Niko retrieved the box from under the small festive tree and handed it to Eve. She looked at Villanelle and shook her head.
“You really didn’t have to get me anything.”
“Don’t be silly. It would have been rude if I didn’t.” She jutted her chin in the direction of the present. “Open it.”
So Eve did. And when she opened the lid to the flat black box, her eyes bulged.
“Is this what I think it is.”
“Depends on what you think it is.”
“André Kim’s first couture feature.”
Villanelle nodded. “That is his original sketch, signed, sealed and delivered to you to keep forever.”
“Sorry, who is André Kim?” Niko quizzed.
“He’s an amazing South Korean designer. He’s the reason I got into designing and a large reason why I decided to take on the Womenswear class at CSM.” Eve shook her head in disbelief as she studied the glass-encased paper.
“‘Fashion should portray grace, intellect, artistic beauty and youthful energy. Not too classic’.” quoted Villanelle. Eve’s head slowly raised from the sketch to gaze at Villanelle.
“I don't like 'old’. I don't feel my age. I feel like a teenager who is 10 or 15 or 20 years old in a fairy tale, a fantasy, young and brilliant’.” Eve finished.
Villanelle’s fingers twitched; she was dying to reach out and push Eve’s curls behind her ear. To tell her that she wasn’t old, and she was a fantasy, young and brilliant.
But there was always—.
Niko cleared his throat. “I wonder where we could hang it.”
“I think I’ll put it in my studio. Who knows? Maybe when I’m frustrated it’ll help me to refocus my energy.”
“Niko,” Villanelle said and pulled the other gift she’d brought from under the tree, “I did not forget about you. It is just something small to say thank you for inviting me.”
“That’s very kind of you. Thank you.” Niko unwrapped it and when he pushed back the top, his eyes bulged. Eve peeked over and saw that it was a book. The title was obscured by the gift box, but she wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway. It was in Polish.
“Eve told me you are fluent in Polish.” She smiled.
“What is it?” Eve asked, reaching for it.
“It’s the Kama Sutra translated into Polish.”
Eve looked at Villanelle, whose shit-eating grin was unmatched by any Eve had ever seen.
There , thought Villanelle, now you’ll have 63 more positions to try with Gemma. Missionary has been done to death .
“You strike me as the kind of man that appreciates the nature of love. There is poetry and prose and it really is so much more than what people make it out to be.” Villanelle noted.
She was so fucking satisfied with herself and Eve wanted to both laugh and wring her neck at the same time. Instead she shifted the focus to the second to last gift under the tree.
“Thanks.” Niko said, holding up the book and giving Villanelle a tight smile. The blonde was infuriating, and what’s worse is that she was just the right amount of polite that Niko couldn’t tell her exactly where to go and what to do to herself when she got there.
“This one is from Niko to me.” Eve leaned to the side, kissed his cheek and turned her attention to the box.
Inside was the dress that Niko had commissioned from Villanelle.
“Oh. My. God.” Eve stood to her feet and held the dress up before pressing it against her body. “Oh my god! Niko! I love it. I have no idea where I’m going to wear it, but I don’t care. It’s gorgeous.”
Niko smiled up at her, but Villanelle could tell that it was half-hearted. Truthfully, it was Villanelle who’d put that smile on her face, and he knew it. All three of them did. Eve peeked at the sewn-in label, expecting to see a name she might know, and was surprised to see in small gold-embroidered cursive: La Villanelle . Good god. She couldn’t wait to feel the dress on her skin. Since Villanelle was denying her the sexual pleasure she wanted, at the very least, she could feel something Villanelle had crafted.
“Wear it to Gemma’s New Years party.”
Villanelle’s eyes flashed. Eve sank back to her knees, folding the dress in half. “Right. Sure.” She allowed him to wrap an arm around her and pull her upper body towards his own.
Niko kissed her temple and all Eve could think was how different it felt from when Villanelle had done it mere hours ago. With Niko, it felt like an act of possession. He was showing Villanelle to look what he got to do in front of everyone. But with the young blonde, the gesture was loving and soft and felt as if it’d been second nature for her to do so. As if it’d been so effortless.
And that really was the difference when it came down to it. Everything that Villanelle had brought into her life, while not always easy, was organic. It occurred naturally and she flowed so easily into Eve’s core system, that one would have thought it was meant to be from the beginning.
When Eve met Niko, she’d decided that he was a good man and would do what she had been taught to do from a young age. Go to school, graduate, work hard, get married, travel a little and then possibly have children. Her parents believed that there was an order to life and she’d just gone along with it. Because it fell into that order.
But, as Eve learned, was that sometimes it was easier to find order in the midst of total chaos.
“One more gift.” Niko said. “From both me and Eve to you, Villanelle. Mostly from Eve, because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what you liked.
Your wife, mused Villanelle.
Eve placed it into the younger woman’s hands.
“So, Merry Christmas, Villanelle.”
Chapter 16: Reflection
filler chapter before a little drama.
“Dark brown eyes
Daddy taught her all she knows
She brought me to life
She set my soul in motion.”
Marc E. Bassy, “Morning”
Two plane tickets.
That was Eve’s (and Niko’s) gift to Villanelle. She and Villanelle always talked about traveling. While both women had done their fair share of adventures in other countries, it wasn’t enough. To see the fashions of every culture had always been a dream of Villanelle’s, and even if it took the rest of her life, it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.
So when she was presented with two plane tickets for any destination of her choice, Villanelle suddenly found herself absolutely clueless as to where she wanted to go next. Rome was in the midst of its rainy season. And Paris had always spelled trouble for her. She always spent her time there either shopping or having short-lived affairs.
Vienna would have been nice if not for the cafes and eateries on every corner. And Villanelle’s personality was just addictive enough to substitute food in favor of fucking. And good grief was she in need of a life-altering orgasm, but the last thing she wanted was to return to London looking like a sausage. Her wardrobe just wouldn’t allow it.
Amsterdam, perhaps ? She’d always wanted to visit De Wallen . The appeal of its street art and architecture was nearly enough to make her consider it a viable place to visit. But it was the fashion in Amsterdam that really cemented her decision.
So, as she was saying her goodbyes to Eve and Niko, she decided to divulge that information to Eve.
“Oh, I packed you some leftovers. I’ll run and grab them.” Niko said, leaving the two women in the vestibule.
“I think I’ve decided to take a holiday in Amsterdam.”
“Yes. It will keep me busy until the new year. When I can see more of you.”
“You can always see me.”
“Yes, but does that mean I have to see your husband too?”
“I’ll make time for you. For us. To be alone.”
Villanelle nodded. “I’ll let you know when I return.”
Eve hugged Villanelle tightly, suddenly feeling like she was being abandoned. She breathed in Villanelle’s perfume.
“It would have been so lovely unwrapping you underneath that Christmas tree.” Villanelle whispered just before Niko reappeared.
“Here you are.” He handed her a reusable grocery bag that held food stacked perfectly in containers.
“You did not have to do this.” Villanelle replied, politely.
Niko waved off the sentiment. “It was nothing.”
They said their goodbyes and Villanelle thanked them once more for their hospitality before heading off.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Friday, 2:12AM
Villanelle began her adventure just after the Boxing Day rush. Though she was well aware that the train would have been a far shorter trip, but she never did well on trains. The rush of scenery made her nauseous and the tight quarters forced her to be polite and civil to complete strangers. She found people peculiar, and at times, felt as if she were in a living museum. They put on a good show, making themselves look and sound as presentable as they hoped they felt, but in all actuality, that’s all it was: a show. Inwardly, she’d come to learn, most people felt alone and wished they could be someone other than who they were.
So, it was an interesting city to travel to. Amsterdam, with its Red Light District, where people literally put themselves on display in shop windows under red or blue neon lights. The only difference from the rest of the world? They weren’t pretending to be something that they weren’t. And Villanelle revelled in that. She strolled down the streets, hair down, and green, satin Jason Wu trench making her feel ever powerful.
Peculiar as they were, people always managed to entice Villanelle’s curiosity. She watched as they made transactions with lovely sex workers. She gazed as they ate. Drank. Got high. And she came upon the realization that it was the minority who lived only to feed their basic carnal needs who were the most honest to her. Their only concerns were to make themselves happy. They lived moment to moment. They were selfish.
And Villanelle was no different.
She, too, was wrapped up in only what she wanted: Eve. She had everything else she wanted. Everything she needed. Eve, however, she had to share. And she hated it. But this time apart would give Eve space to put her affairs in order. Hopefully, when Villanelle returned, they could have an honest conversation about where they were to go from here.
Two hours prior, she’d slipped to the front of the line at Club Nyx. One look at her face from the bouncer and she was immediately granted entrance to the dance club. She walked through, attempting to find the bar. She wasn’t big on mind-altering substances, like alcohol, but she would partake socially; usually to find less self-aware people more interesting. But tonight, Villanelle decided that she’d have a nightcap if only to relax her mind and help her sleep a little better.
Bodies pressed against others as the young crowd danced to bass-heavy house music. The strobe lights changed colors on cue to the rhythm. It was a chance to let loose and forget the problems of the day. To remind themselves that they were supposed to live this life while they still could. She looked around and noticed a lovely, young Asian woman staring in her direction. And under the jarring green-blue lights, Villanelle could never mistake her for Eve. She was, however, reminded of her love.
And for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why she was there. In that club.
She was young, yes, but her idea of living life would be having Eve here. With her.
Before Eve, she was dead inside. She went through life, believing every conversation with another human to be like a transaction, with most people not really offering anything. Then, there was Eve Polastri. The spark of life that she never knew she needed.
Being with Eve was living. And being without her, well… Villanelle could only pout at the notion.
So, there she was, lying in an enormous bed in the penthouse of one of the greatest international hotels in the world. Her entire body drowned in the decadent duvet, and she stared at the ceiling. Her fingers tapped an uneven beat against her stomach, picked at the bracelet against her wrist. She looked down at the ring on her thumb, stroking it fondly.
God, without Eve, she was… so fucking bored.
And that was never a good thing. For anyone.
London, Friday, 1:15AM
Eve laid in bed, peering up at the ceiling of her bedroom. Just as it’d been doing all day, her thumb brushed against the ring on her right hand. She wondered what Villanelle was up to. Was she sleeping? Had she found the most luxurious shops to peek in during the day? Where had she gone for dinner? Did she party a little before bed? Was she still partying? Had she been tempted by a gorgeous street walker and been taken up to a shabby room to fuck all night?
Eve huffed. She was angry. She knew it was irrational, but Villanelle just left her! She was young, alluring and her personality, while an acquired taste, was dazzling nonetheless. Eve didn’t wanted to suffocate Villanelle, or stifle her creativity. The blonde had her whole life ahead of her.
Eve wasn’t an insecure person in any aspect. But in that moment, when she had the time to do the math, she realized that she was twenty-seven years Villanelle’s senior. She’d done so much, and seen so much more, and met more people than that.
There was so much more for her to see. More people for her to meet. What if, in a few years, she met someone in her own age bracket? Would she leave Eve for someone younger? It was a possibility that Eve had to consider. She, after, had every intention of leaving her husband for someone younger. Her student, no less. And Niko had no say in the matter. Would there come a time when Eve would have no say in it, either?
While she wasn’t big on religion, there was a tiny voice in her head that always reminded her that ‘what goes around, comes around’.
It was a risk that Eve was willing to take for someone like Villanelle. The younger woman made her feel like there was nothing she couldn’t do. Villanelle validated everything that Eve had ever felt about herself. She was attractive, passionate, intelligent, loving. She hadn’t been seeking the validation, that was for certain, but it came into her life at the same moment as Villanelle Astankova. And Eve didn’t believe in coincidences.
Her thumb caressed the ring once more.
Christ, without Villanelle, she felt... so fucking alone.
And that, she discovered, was worse than being lonely.
Chapter 17: A Little Face Time
so, as most of you know by now, my google drive was hacked and disabled so I was forced to rewrite the next few chapters all over again. I’m so sorry for the wait. thank you all for sticking with me!
“I looked over to the left
A reflection of myself
That's why I couldn't catch my breath.”
-Tweet, “Oops (Oh My)”
30 December, King’s Crossing, London, 11:30PM
It wasn’t that Eve hated her in-laws, it was that they didn’t really approve of her . Much like Villanelle’s parents, they didn’t believe that a career in fashion design was stable. To be fair, Eve understood that she had gotten lucky. Networking was a fundamental part of the fashion industry and she was fortunate enough to have met the right people. But what she didn’t like was the implication that she didn’t work as hard as Niko did. Falling into teaching fashion design hadn’t been an easy decision for her, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. Not only was it a steady paycheck, but Eve considered it a privilege to be able to teach an entirely new generation of designers.
That wasn’t to say that Niko’s parents weren’t good people. They had their moments. And it was always sweet of them to fly in from Warsaw to London to celebrate the new year as well as Niko’s birthday every year. This year was no different. As always, Niko cooked them an enormous pot of traditional goulash for dinner followed by croissant cookies for dessert.
Niko retired to bed for the evening, feeling as though he was coming down with something, leaving Eve to serve Earl Grey tea to the older couple.
“So, Eve, have you planned anything for Niko’s birthday?” Mrs. Polastri inquired.
Do I ever? , wondered Eve. She usually came up with an ingenious plan the day of that thrilled Niko to no end. He wasn’t high maintenance. Just being thought of was enough for him. This year, though, Eve had made reservations at a restaurant that Niko wanted to try.
“Any special gifts?”
Eve sipped her tea, giving herself a moment to think. Truth be told, she hadn’t; she hoped he would relax enough at the restaurant to get completely wasted and pass out in bed later without any thought of birthday sex.
“Maybe a baby announcement?” Mrs. Polastri continued.
For fucks sake , Eve inwardly huffed.
“No, not this year.
“You don’t have very much longer, you know.”
“Leave her be.” Mr. Polastri gently scolded his wife.
Eve smiled politely and breathed a sigh of relief when her phone chimed.
V: 1 New Picture Message
Eve tried to contain her excitement as she opened the photo. Villanelle, in a black suit, crisp white button up and skinny tie, stood in front of a bathroom mirror of what Eve assumed was a bar. One hand to her chin, she feigned deep thought as she looked up at a bright pink neon sign that read: Why are we not having sex right now?
Villanelle’s personal caption: Good question.
Eve shook her head as she typed back: Says the girl who ran off to a different country to get away from me.
“Mm?” She looked up from her phone.
“We’re going to call it a night.” Her father-in-law announced. “You rest well.”
Eve bid them goodnight and cleaned up their mugs of tea. She turned off the downstairs lights and made her way upstairs. Just as she was about to pass her studio, a wicked idea struck her, so she slipped inside and shut and locked the door behind her.
She glanced at their phone to see that Villanelle had texted her again.
I want to see you soon.
Eve opened up the trunk that held her work materials and pulled out Villanelle’s secret gift. She shed her comfortable clothes and slipped the soft chemise over her head. White satin and lace hugged her breasts perfectly and fell loosely over the rest of her small frame. For her finishing touch, Eve took her hair down and let her untamed curls free. She used her phone to take a photograph of herself in the mirror and sent it to Villanelle.
The blonde quickly typed back.
Followed immediately by : Take it off.
So, Eve did. She slipped the spaghetti straps down her shoulders and let it pool at her feet. In nothing but her panties, Eve snapped another picture and sent it.
Less than a minute later, as she anxiously waited for Villanelle’s response, her phone buzzed and wouldn’t stop.
V would like to FaceTime.
Eve tapped the green button on her phone and was immediately greeted by Villanelle’s perfect face. She was walking along a dimly lit sidewalk.
“You are being very naughty, Eve. What has gotten into you?” She grinned and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
Eve laughed. “Well, you certainly haven’t lately.” She watched as Villanelle focused on her surroundings as she crossed a street before looking at her again.
“See? Very naughty.”
Eve couldn’t stop herself from asking, “When do you get back?”
“That’s so far away.”
“One more sleep.” Villanelle’s eyes squinted and then she asked, “Speaking of which: shouldn’t you be doing that right now?”
Villanelle suddenly entered a beautifully lit building and Eve peered at the screen, as the blonde marched through an enormous lobby, her hair whipping behind her. She didn’t speak to a single soul as she rummaged through the breast pocket of her suit jacket and pulled out what could only be a key card for a hotel room.
“Then why are you not sleeping?” She slipped into an elevator and tapped a button before leaning coolly against the wall behind her.
“I was having tea with my in-laws.” Eve, half-naked, sat in her swivel chair, pulling her feet up under her bum.
“Oh, how did they take the news that you’re leaving your husband?” Villanelle asked, conversationally. She was grinning mischievously and Eve wanted to kiss that expression right off of her face.
“Well,” Eve teased, “they wish me well in the new lesbian relationship I’m having with my twenty-something girlfriend.”
Villanelle let herself into her room and smiled as she plopped down onto the bed, her hair fanning out around her face. “Girlfriend, huh? I don’t recall being officially asked actually.”
“Yes, Eve Polastri?”
“Will you be my girlfriend?” It was ridiculous and felt like such a middle school question to ask, yet Eve found that her heart pounded a little as if there were a slight chance that Villanelle would say no.
“Yes, but for the record, flowers and candy are how you are supposed to woo a girl.” She cheekily responded.
Eve scoffed playfully. “Duly noted.”
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Villanelle asked, her brown eyes so deliciously hopeful.
“Good.” Eve mimicked her, nodding her head once. For a few moments, they were quiet. They just gazed at one another, each trying to hide a shy smile from the other.
“I want to see you.” Villanelle told her for the second time that night. She loosened her tie and undid the first couple of buttons on her shirt.
“You’re seeing me right now.”
“Show me.” Villanelle commanded and Eve knew exactly what she wanted. So as Villanelle slipped on hand behind her head, Eve placed her feet back on the ground and rolled the chair over to the mirror. She flipped the camera around so Villanelle could see her in all of her glory.
“You look absolutely edible, Eve.”
God, the way Villanelle said —no, breathed — her name just made Eve wet.
“Spread your legs.”
Eve did as she was told, watching herself in the mirror just as Villanelle was.
“Pull your panties to the side.”
Without any hesitation, Eve gave Villanelle what she wanted. And Villanelle made everything feel so intense that Eve didn’t say no. It wasn’t that she couldn’t. It was that she didn’t want to.
“You look so beautiful right now.” Villanelle complimented. Eve bit her lip. Breathing was becoming difficult. She’d never done anything like this. Not even with Niko.
Eve couldn’t stop the moan that fell from her lips even if she wanted to.
Is in your promises,
Then there’s no need
To even promise it.”
Camden, Gemma’s house, New Years Eve, 10:30PM
What are you doing?
Eve looked up at the scene before her. Niko and most of his coworkers who she could never quite remember the names of, stood around laughing and drinking. It was a party, after all, and the music was in full swing. Gemma, a teacher through and through, enticed most of her guests with her cheerful disposition and Great Gatsby-themed New Years Party.
Would be it too cliché to say Eve was missing Villanelle? Because she was. Villanelle had been back in London for nearly twelve, long hours and neither could sneak away for a secret rendezvous.
At the most boring party on the planet.
“Eve, are you having a good time?” Gemma asked, placing a hand on arm’s forearm. Eve looked down at her hand and then back up as Gemma’s expression turned from polite curiosity to vaguely frightened. She removed her hand and used it to unnecessarily smooth down her dress.
“The best time.” Eve deadpanned. Gemma didn’t know how to respond, so she turned her attention to Niko.
“Niko, have you told Eve about the excursion?”
“Oh, a bunch of us are going on a hiking excursion in Epping Forest a couple of weekends from now. Philip from t.”
“I didn’t mention it because I know you’re not a fan of hiking.”
Still would have been nice to be asked , thought Eve.
“You should come, Eve! Epping is so lovely, and hiking is such good exercise.”
When Eve raised her eyebrows, Gemma stuttered, “I-I mean it’s not like you need it. You look… er, well, your body is—. W-what I mean to say is,” she gestured to Eve’s body, “You look great.”
Eve put the poor girl out of her misery. “Thanks.”
Gemma wasn’t a shitty person. She was polite, albeit a bit too prying at times. Her jokes weren’t the funniest, but she had a sweet awkwardness about her that someone could find endearing. Niko certainly did. Eve could see that she was thoroughly in love with Niko, and though she couldn’t be sure that he felt the same, she wouldn’t mind if Gemma was who he chose to date after her. Still, it would help if Gemma wasn’t so fucking obvious about her love for Niko; wasn’t there some sort of Girl Code?
She’d been with Niko for over ten years, and it wouldn’t be truthful if she said she wasn’t just the teensiest bit jealous of Gemma. She saw Niko in his element, teaching something that he was passionate about. Eve knew that one of her major flaws was making certain things about her, but it really did hurt her to think of someone else making him happier than her.
Even if it was what he needed.
“Niko’s right.” Eve said, smiling up at her husband. “I’m not a hiker. I’m sure you’ll all have fun. Especially in the snow.”
Gem smiled and bobbed her head in agreement. “You’ll be missed.”
But would she, though?
“May I use your bathroom?” Eve asked, excusing herself.
“Yes. Just up the stairs.”
Eve chugged the rest of her wine in an unladylike manner and handed the empty glass to Niko.
In the bathroom, Eve sat on the closed toilet seat and looked down at her phone.
How IS innocent little Gemma?
Eve chuckled wryly and responded: Sinking her teeth deeper into Niko as we speak.
Is that such a bad thing?
Eve tapped her screen a few times and then pressed the phone to her ear. It rang once, twice, thrice—.
“Eve? Are you okay?” Concern dropped from Villanelle’s voice.
“Yes. I’m fine.”
“Wh—? Where are you?”
“The bathroom.” Eve took a peek at her surroundings. The pink tile was vomit-worthy and the frilly hand towels and matching curtains made her eyes roll. “It’s like a bottle of fucking Pepto Bismal in here.”
Villanelle’s laughter in her ear did something to her. A small chill ran down her spine. “Are you sure you’re okay? Press two buttons if you’re being held hostage.”
Eve smiled, shaking her head. “Yeah, I just… I needed to hear your voice.”
What she really needed was to see Villanelle and she wasn’t sure why she couldn’t say so. Instead, she went with the safest thing.
Villanelle was quiet for a moment before she hesitantly said, “I’ll be there soon.”
“What?” Eve whispered.
“I’m coming to Gemma’s.”
“But… but you can’t.”
“Why not? I was invited.”
“Somewhere between Gemma’s third eggnog and the very intrusive questions about my childhood.”
Eve smiled, mentally reminding herself that she still had questions about Villanelle’s upbringing. Hell, she had so many questions about Villanelle in general.
“You don’t have to.”
“I know. I do not do anything that I do not want to. You should know this by now, Eve.”
Somehow, Eve knew that there was no need to protest. VIllanelle had already made up her mind. Her heart pounded with excitement; just knowing that she would be in the same room with Villanelle again.
“Flush the toilet and leave the bathroom. I’ll be with you soon.”
“Now, that is an entrance,” announced someone behind Eve.
It was Villanelle. She knew it was. There was no one else in her life that could command a room of strangers like Eve’s favorite blonde. She turned to face the door, and sure enough, Villanelle was walking into the room, wearing a long, black dress with a high, sheer neck. Her blonde hair had been parted on the side and slicked back into a lovely low ponytail.
“In vintage Alexander McQueen.” Eve salivated. “Wow.”
Nearly everyone in the vicinity stared at the tall blonde as she made her way around to room, smiling and shaking hands. Eve’s grip on a glass of champagne tightened.
“Eve!” Villanelle pretended to spot her for the first time. But Eve was well aware that she had felt Eve the moment she stepped into the room, just as she had Villanelle. She excused herself from the group of people she had just introduced herself to, making her way to Eve.
“Villanelle,” Eve allowed Villanelle to kiss either of her cheeks, “what are you doing here?”
“Gemma, here,” she kissed Gemma’s cheeks as well, “invited me. I was surprised, of course.”
“Surprised? Why?” Gemma inquired.
“I know I can be just shy of disagreeable when you first meet me, but it seems you looked right past that. That says a lot about you.” Villanelle complimented. Eve stared in absolute confusion as Gemma ate up Villanelle’s compliments.
“Niko! It’s good to see you!”
Niko, still surprised to see his wife’s teaching assistant, tried his best to shake himself out of it. He hugged Villanelle, who gave Eve a clandestine wink.
“It’s always good to see you, Villanelle,” Niko lied smoothly. He wasn’t sure what exactly was so off putting about Villanelle, but there was something that was rubbing him the wrong way. Since Christmas, she had been on his mind. The quiet easiness with which she moved around Eve had upset him slightly. While he tried to remind himself that she and Eve simply spent a lot of time together on campus, he couldn’t stop the small feeling in the back of his mind.
But, the blonde was here, now, and he would grin and bear it. As far as Niko knew, Villanelle had done nothing but be herself and show him --at the very least-- and iota of respect.
“Don’t be silly,” Gemma said, “you’re absolutely charming.”
“You are so kind.”
“Let me get you a glass of champagne. It’s nearly midnight.” Gemma offered.
“I’ll help you. Eve needs a fresh glass as well.” Niko added, taking Eve’s glass from her hand before she could object.
“Well, Eve Polastri.” Villanelle said, stepping close to the shorter Asian woman. “Don’t you just look good enough to eat . I don’t think I’ll make clothes for anyone else but you for the rest of my life.”
Please do , Eve hoped. Her panties were sure to be ruined.
“I can’t compete with you in that dress.”
“This old thing?” VIllanelle asked, looking down at the dress before waving off the compliment. “You, however, just made black my favorite color.” The dress Villanelle had created wrapped so perfectly around Eve’s body.
Villanelle leaned into Eve’s space, her lips brushing against her ear. “I want it on my bedroom floor.”
The blonde was overjoyed when she pulled away and Eve looked both shocked and open to the idea.
“There it is. The look.”
“I told you. You look as if you can’t decide if you’re appalled or turned on.”
“Stop that.” Eve scolded. “And for the record, I’m always appalled.”
Completely unfazed, Villanelle looked around. “This party is boring.”
“I told you. You wasted your time coming here.”
Villanelle’s eyes shot to Eve’s, and she commented, genuinely, “It is never a waste when I get to see your face.”
Eve couldn’t stop the slight flush in her cheeks. “I bet you say that to all of the fashion design professors.”
“Here we are.” Niko reappeared, followed by Gemma who handed both woman a glass of fresh champagne. “Countdown is supposed to start soon.”
“To new beginnings?” Villanelle suggested, raising her glass to the small circle before her.
“To new beginnings.” The others clinked their glasses together in agreement.
Villanelle made small talk with Eve’s husband and his prospective girlfriend until they decided it was time for a smoke. Niko didn’t partake, but he made a small pronouncement about not letting a lady stand outside alone to smoke a cigarette.
It didn’t matter. The countdown to a new near year and new beginning rapidly approached.
Two minutes to midnight and they were still outside. Talking, Eve could only assume.
“Show me the pink bathroom.” Villanelle requested.
Thirty seconds to midnight.
Eve led Villanelle to the powder room.
“God, this is hideous.”
“I told you.”
Eve was suddenly slammed against the locked bathroom door.
Villanelle’s hand ran a hand up Eve’s body from thigh. To neck. Face.
“Happy New Year.” Villanelle whispered and kissed Eve to the sounds of fireworks, gun shots, and a chorus of celebratory people who weren’t concerned about where they were or what they were up to.
Unbeknownst to Eve, her husband was amongst them.
y'all the next chapter is just... I'm sorry in advance.
“You already know that you're my weakness
After all this time I'm just as nervous
Every time you walk into the room
-Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
Classes resumed on the sixth of January and Eve was excited. She always was during this time. Her students were a mere six months away from the Central Saint Martins fashion shows. In a nutshell: it was crunch time. Most of her students had, by now, completed half, if not more, of their collections and she was excited to see what else they’d come up with over the holiday break.
“Welcome back to Fashion Design Womenswear. I hope you all had a lovely holiday because these next few months are basically sink or swim. There is heavy competition from the Menswear and Sportswear departments.”
“Yeah, but we’ve got Villanelle.” Hugo called from his usual spot in the back of class.
“Yeah,” Kenny agreed, “she’s like our secret weapon.”
Villanelle smirked and cockily readjusted the lapels on her velvet, horse-embroidered Chloe blazer.
“I’m glad you think so. Still, there will be a vote to see whose designs will end the show.”
“Being the last designer to showcase work on the runway is nearly as major as being the final model down the catwalk. Saving the best for last, so to speak, is the fashion industry’s way of introducing a fashion house as one of the greatest out there.” Eve explained. “Oscar de la Renta, for example, nearly always ends international fashion weeks followed closely by Givenchy and Balmain.”
Eve hopped off of the stool she’d sat in the middle of the room. She rounded her desk and reached into the bottom drawer. From it, she pulled a small, cardboard ballot box.
“This currently has twenty-six votes already in it. Every member of the faculty, excluding the four who teach classes that we’re in competition with, here at CSM has taken a peek at each of your collections and made their choice on who should end the show. The rest of you are going in blind. So, cast your votes when you can within the next two weeks.”
“Can we vote for ourselves?” Villanelle asked.
Eve chuckled, having already expected the question. “Yes.”
“Can we vote more than once?” Kenny wondered aloud.
“Can you vote for your Member of Parliament more than once?”
“No.” He responded.
“Then, there’s your answer.” Eve replied. “Any other questions about the ballots?”
Silence from her class.
“Good. So, let’s jump right back into it, shall we?” Eve asked her students.
Villanelle studied the older woman. She looked different. More commanding, if that were at all possible. Eve always commanded Villanelle’s attention. Whenever she walked in, across or out of a room, Villanelle’s eyes were trained on Eve and Eve alone. That day, however, something was different about her confidence.
As Eve began a speech on how important it was to be autonomous rather than play by the rules in fashion, she swaggered around the room, relaxed and open. She hadn’t hid behind an oversized sweater and loose pants. The hunter green turtleneck shirt clung to her upper body and she’d tuck it into a pair of pale fawn cigarette pants, paired with cognac-colored leather moccasins. She’s pulled her curls into a ponytail and she even wore her tortoise-shell glasses that Villanelle had never seen before.
Villanelle’s professor kink went hit a new high when Eve picked up a clipboard, resting it against her stomach, delicate fingers curled around the top.
“Next order of business is London Fashion Week.” Eve said. Excited chatter went around the room and Eve smiled. “As you know, seniors and grad students are allowed to attend, but we have limited tickets. Out of eight hundred seniors, grad students and faculty, only two hundred tickets are available for the entire week. If you’re lucky enough to attend,” She handed the sign-up clipboard to Kenny, “you will get a wristband at the start of the week and you must wear it all the time if you want to get into any show or event.”
The clipboard circled the room and Eve watched as everyone hurriedly scribbled their names down on the paper. Everyone except Villanelle.
Fashion Week didn’t mean much to her. She’d been to one in each of the “Big Four” cities: Paris, Milan, New York and London. It wasn’t exciting for her anymore. Majority of the time, there was a lot of standing around and waiting for shows to begin, sometimes for designs that were mediocre, at best.
She would much rather spend the time working on her own collection and focusing on winning the contract. And that’s exactly what she would do.
As luck would have it, Niko came down with a horrible stomach bug just before his birthday. He had sickness coming from both ends. His mother didn’t let Eve do a thing to help him.
“He’s my son. I know how he likes to be taken care of when he’s sick.” The elder Mrs. Polastri has said. So, Eve told her husband that she was popping down to the shops to get him some things to make him feel better.
And she did.
But she couldn’t help stopping at Villanelle’s on her way home.
“You’re a fashion snob, y’know.” Eve told Villanelle. She leaned against the headboard of Villanelle’s bed, her hands gently massaging Villanelle’s head. The blonde, lie lazily between Eve’s legs, her back to Eve’s front. Her eyes, once closed, popped open and she leaned her head backwards in order to see Eve’s face.
“I am not.” She protested.
“Mhm. Tell me again why you don’t want to go to Fashion Week?”
“The people are annoying, some of the designers are subpar, and I—.”
“Snob!” Eve poked Villanelle’s nose as she shouted accusingly. They broke into a fit of laughter. Villanelle lifted her hands and then dropped them back onto the bed.
“I cannot help it. I know what I like and what I don’t.” Villanelle laughed.
“So what do you like?”
“You.” Villanelle’s big eyes regarded Eve with such wonder Eve felt her own eyes watering.
Eve shook her head and looked away. “Good answer, but I’m serious. What do you like?”
“I don’t know.” Eve felt Villanelle’s shoulders rise and fall against her stomach. “I like to be wowed. I like a piece to take my breath away. It’s like what you said to me before: I want to feel something when I look at a shirt or dress or suit. I want to covet an ensemble so bad that I get the urge to step up onto the catwalk and offer the model wearing it an obscene amount of money.
“Sometimes I get what I want and I find that I don’t want it anymore. I take it home and think ‘why did I buy this?’. Or I think about how I just put money in the pockets of someone who I don't even know. What if this designer beats their wife? What if this fashion house uses a sweatshop? What if that designer hates their kid and disapproves of anything they do? That’s why I create my own clothes. I know where it comes from. I know what inspired me to create a certain piece. And until I see my own work on a Fashion Week runway, what is the point?”
Eve was quiet for a moment. Then, she wrapped her arms around Villanelle’s front and leaned her head against the top of hers. “Tell me about your parents.”
Villanelle immediately tensed up. Eve held her tighter and kissed her temple.
It took awhile. Three full minutes of absolute silence before Villanelle took a shaky breath.
“My biological parents were shit. From what I can remember, and the research I’ve done, they were poor. My mother once tried to sell me for a week’s worth of food.”
“You were a baby.”
“I was currency.” Villanelle snapped back. She took Eve’s hand in her own, toying with her fingers in a wordless apology. “To her, at least. My father, was a spineless coward who preferred spending what little money he did have on prostitutes and alcohol. My Uncle Konstantin is my adoptive father’s brother. He used to run an orphanage in the town over from ours. One day, the neighbors had enough of seeing me unwashed, in soiled clothing and matted hair. They basically kidnapped me and gave me to Uncle Konstantin. A few falsified documents later, I am adopted by his younger brother and his brother’s wife.” Villanelle shrugged again. “They just wanted a doll. Someone to dress up and parade around and then put me back in my room when they were finished. So, I spent a lot of time alone with a nanny who taught me to knit and crochet and sew. And each time I showed my parents a new creation, they were far from excited. Making your own clothes, they believed, was for the poor. It was for the people they’d ‘rescued’ me from.”
“Jesus.” Eve whispered.
“Yeah. So, I considered that another rejection, and I gave them hell.” Villanelle smiled fondly. “Parties at the manor when they were out of town. Let them conveniently find me in bed asleep between two women. Influenced the decisions of my father’s boss by flirting with him. ”
“You little minx.”
Villanelle gave a satisfied shimmy. “But, now, I don’t know. I used people as entertainment, I think, but now I just prefer to make clothes and love you and be at peace.”
“You’ve lived too many lifetimes to be so young.”
“All of them led me to you, so I would not change a thing.” Villanelle kissed Eve’s palm, her fingers, the inside of her wrist.
“God, you can be so sweet.”
“No one will believe you so don’t try. I have a reputation to uphold.”
Eve laughed. “Your secret is safe with me.”
“Tell me about you.”
The request was huge, but said in the smallest, softest voice.
“What do you want to know?”
“That’s pretty broad.”
“Well, I was born and raised in Ontario. Upper-middle class family. Mom’s a biochemist, Dad’s a businessman. I already told you when I was seventeen, I decided I wanted to be a designer. Haven’t looked back since. I started travelling when I was about eighteen or so. I promised my parents that if fashion didn’t work out by the time I was twenty, I would go to university. On my twentieth birthday, I was in Paris and got offered an apprenticeship at a Hermès atelier. I took that as a sign that the universe or whatever higher power out there wanted me to keep going. So I did.”
“How did you get into teaching?”
“I went through a period where I felt like there were so many young designers whose only goal was to make money. I felt like no one was teaching them the real art of fashion design. So, I stopped creating for awhile and started a small workshop at CSM. It became so popular that they offered me a teaching position. Part of me likes to think it was my decision while the other part of me believes it was that same higher power that landed me that apprenticeship.”
“And where did Niko enter your life?”
“He spearheaded a campaign for students who wanted to visit art and design universities instead of purely academic ones. So, one of the schools he’d made an agreement with was CSM. Our paths crossed and the rest was history, I suppose.”
“Do you still love him?”
“I think I’ll always love him. I’m just not in love with him anymore.”
“He is going to be devastated, and so will you. I just want you to know that you do not have to go through the pain and heartbreak alone.”
Eve nodded, as if Villanelle could see her. She had no idea how she would break things to Niko, but it was comforting to know that Villanelle wanted to be there for her.
“I love you.” Eve told her.
“And I love you.”
“Can we have sex now?” Eve asked abruptly.
“Can you stay all night?”.
Eve wasn’t sure when the main dish of cheating came with a side of lying, but it had.
A month had passed and before long, London Fashion Week was upon them. Villanelle wouldn’t attend Fashion Week with the school, but she’d promised Eve she would come as a guest of a friend to closing night. As she did every year, Eve would attend as a chaperone, to a degree.
Normally, she stayed at a small, boutique hotel and Niko figured that this year would be no different. In truth, Eve took the opportunity to stay with Villanelle at her enormous flat that was a mere four blocks from the festivities.
It was a cold Friday in February when Eve exited Villanelle’s enormous bathroom, slipping a diamond stud into her left ear.
“I’ll be out late. The final show starts at midnight. Will you still be up?” Eve asked, slipping her hands into the pockets of the royal blue pants she wore. The suit jacket she wore open over a cream silk camisole had a thin, almost unnoticeable window pane design towards the bottom and was rolled up to her forearms. She’d pair it a set of leather booties that matched the camisole perfectly. Her hair fell in perfect curls and was so shiny that Villanelle wanted to reach out and touch it. Villanelle swallowed her lo mein noodles and almost choked.
“Wow.” The blonde commented, nearly dropping the chopsticks she was eating with.
“You look--.” Villanelle was at a loss for words. “I think I want you to top me right now.”
“What?” Eve sputtered, her head falling back in laughter. “You’re absolutely ridiculous.”
“Do you have to go?”
“Yes.” Eve leaned across the bed and pressed her lips to Villanelle’s. “I’ll make you a deal.”
“If you’re still up after the Givenchy show at ten, I’ll come home… er, here, afterwards.” Eve told her. Villanelle grinned at her use of home . She was glad that her place made Eve comfortable enough to use the wording. Still, she was going to miss her older counterpart, not to mention seeing Eve dressed for a fashion show was really a turn on. But, Villanelle kissed Eve once more and then again for good measure.
“You have a deal.”
Eve flitted through different venues, stopping for photographs with her elite designer friends and making small talk with other acquaintances. She was even invited backstage to a few shows to meet a couple of the models and get a sneak peek of what their runway ensembles.
Eve looked forward to the two weeks a year in London when fashion was the talk of the town. This was her element and being in the midst of brilliant designers always lifted her spirit and made her feel like she could do anything. And what was even more exciting was being able to share it with her students. She hadn’t stayed with them the entire time; they were adults, free to roam around and network as they pleased, but she had kept a close watch on Hugo who was a notorious flirt, and also on Diego who could be too macho for his own good. In the end, she found that they were on their best behavior, and she took pride in watching them come out of their shells.
Front row during the Givenchy show, Eve found herself wishing Villanelle was beside her instead of some nameless celebrity who was only sitting there for clout. Just before the final look, Eve pulled her phone from her pocket and shot her blonde lover a text asking if she was still awake. Moments later, Villanelle responded… with a photograph.
“Fuck.” Eve muttered to herself.
Villanelle was in a bubble bath, candles all around her, blonde hair pulled into a bun atop her head and droplets of water dabbled her bubble-covered chest.
I’ll be home in ten minutes. Don’t move an inch.
Ten minutes later, she let herself in, using the spare key Villanelle had given her, complete with a gold, cursive V keychain.
“Honey, I’m home!” Eve called out, playfully.
She tossed her key onto the side table and hiked up the stairs to the main floor. Soft music played from the surround sound speakers and Eve followed the flickering candlelight to the bathroom. Villanelle looked up at her, a sultry smile playing on her lips.
“You’re home.” She cooed. Her tone told Eve everything she needed to know about how the rest of the night would play out.
“I am.” Eve replied, leaning against the door, ankles crossed and arms in her jacket pockets.
“Take off your clothes.”
Eve smirked, shedding her suit jacket, letting it drop to the floor. One by one, articles of her clothing slipped from her body until she was completely naked. Villanelle stretched out an arm, suds dripping from it as she waited for Eve to take her hand. Eve slid into the hot water with her, pressing her back to Villanelle’s front.
“Did you have a nice time?”
“I had a great time, but I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” Villanelle slid her hands down Eve’s and back up to massage her shoulders. “How did the children get along?”
Eve laughed. “They blossomed. I even saw Nadia crack a smile.”
“I thought I saw a pig fly.” Villanelle quipped.
“What did you do while I was gone?”
“Ate a shit ton of Chinese carryout and watched a movie about a female psychopath who killed her boyfriend and made the cop who was supposed to arrest her fall in love with her instead.”
“Don’t get any ideas.”
Villanelle kissed Eve’s curls. “You have nothing to worry about.”
“Did you already get clean?”
“No. I was waiting for you,” Villanelle lips found Eve’s ear, “to get dirty.”
Slowly, Villanelle let her hands roam down Villanelle’s chest, squeezing her tits just firmly enough to make Eve’s back arch. She pinched her nipples, and Eve’s eyes closed. She’d missed this. And so did Villanelle.
Lower her hands went until she reached the apex of Eve’s thighs, spreading them as much as she could in the bathtub. Her right hand returned to Eve’s breasts and her left hand cupped her pussy, massaging in firm, tight circles.
Eve was already so close to coming, she had to remind herself to breathe. It had been so long, and Eve had the worst case of blue balls in history.
“Did you see any good clothing?” Villanelle inquired.
“Clothing. Shirts, shorts, dresses? Anything good?”
“W-well, Yves Saint Laurent had a dress, fuck yes ,” Eve moaned as Villanelle slid a single digit inside of her cunt. Slowly .
“ Yes .”
Another finger entered her. “Tell me about it.”
Ah , so that was what she wanted; Eve caught on quickly. Villanelle knew Eve; it was beginning to feel like she knew Eve better than anyone she’d ever met. Fashion was her one true passion, and Villanelle wanted to use that to get Eve off. Not that she had to. Villanelle left Eve very satisfied without it.
“Floor length. See-through. Exaggerated sleeves. Pussybow--ohh god yes.” More fingers filled her tight channel and then Villanelle began a slow, sensual rhythm. She kissed Eve’s neck, nipping at the soft skin.
Eve’s hips began to move on their own accord, rising upwards, trying to take more of Villanelle inside of her.
“Valentino print twill dress.”
“Mhm. Short? Long?”
“Short. Button cuffs. High collar.”
“Oh, god it was.”
“You deserve to have it, Eve.” Villanelle murmured into her ear. “You deserve to have everything you desire.”
Villanelle skilled fingers increased the speed with which they dipped in and out of Eve. And if there was any doubt in her mind that Eve didn’t like what she was doing, it was fast out the moment Eve’s moans escalated in fervor and pitch.
“If you come for me, I’ll give you all the pretty things, Eve.” Villanelle maneuvered her right hand down to quickly stroke Eve’s clit. “But only if you come.”
Eve’s hips moved at a faster pace, the trickling sound of the warm water sloshing to and fro. Eve cried out, her eyes squeezed shut, and her fingers curled around the lip of the bathtub as she came. The sheer force of her orgasm made breathing impossible and when Villanelle’s digits slipped out of her that she remembered how to inhale and exhale. Her legs jerked as she tried to stop the throbbing in her pussy, but it was to no avail. Villanelle had started a fire that would not be extinguished for quite some time.
Hands still on Eve’s body, Villanelle nuzzled into her neck. “I don’t want to fuck you anymore.”
Eve was confused. Villanelle could practically hear her thoughts spinning like cogs in a machine.
“I want you in bed now. I want to make love to you.”
“Okay,” was pretty much the extent of Eve’s vocabulary.
Five hours earlier…
Kings Cross, London, 6:22PM
Niko sat nervously at a small coffee shop. He had ordered a cafe au lait that he drank in four large gulps despite its temperature. The biscotti he’d purchased remained untouched.
“Niko.” A confident male voice greeted. Niko looked up and watched as the man before him held out a free hand. The other held a MacBook, and a pair of round, wire glasses. He strangely looked exactly how Niko had pictured him. When Niko looked up a private investigator online, his was the only profile without any pictures. Probably best, Niko assumed. Easier to remain inconspicuous on certain cases.
Politely, Niko stood, shook his hand and gestured to the empty seat across from him.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Niko offered.
“Sorry that they’re under these circumstances.”
Niko gave him a nervous smile, nodding in agreement. “Yes, well, so am I.”
“Alright, let's get down to business, shall we?” The gentleman placed his glasses onto his face and opened up the computer. “So, you believe your wife is cheating on you.”
“Well,” Niko sighed, “yes, Mr. Peel, I do.”
“Then, you’ve come to the right person. I can find out anything about anyone.”
The younger man turned the computer around so that Niko could see the screen.
“That is the death certificate for your great-great-great grandfather. He, too, was a teacher, although a bit scary as he was a bit of a racist.” He reached around and clicked a key function on the computer. “That’s your family tree, I’ll send you a copy in case there are some people you’d like to get to know from your father’s first marriage.”
“My father was only married once.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night. The point is: I am the bloodhound you want when you want to find things that people buried so deep that they were lost. So, if anyone can find out if your wife is cheating on you, it’s me.”
“Mr. Peel, I—.”
“Please, call me Aaron.”
“Aaron, I’m not sure I can afford you just yet, but from what you’ve shown me, I would say you’re worth it. Let me move some funds around and I’ll get back to you.”
“No need.” Aaron swiveled the computer back to himself. He typed a few things, clicked a couple of links and then he shut the lid, satisfied.
A moment later, Niko’s phone chimed.
1 new text from American Express: $1581.32 was electronically transferred to an account ending in XXXX0102. If you did not authorize this, please reply with NO.
Niko looked up at Aaron, who smiled.
“Discounted rate.” Aaron told him.
Terrified, but also extremely impressed, Niko hesitantly held out a hand.
No sooner had Aaron Peel shook it, Niko felt like he’d made a pact with the devil.
smut shall continue where it left off next chapter. so maybe that will stop the torches and pitchforks? *chuckles nervously* right?
“Through drought and famine,
My baby has been around for me.”
-Daniel Caesar (& Kali Uchis), “Get You”
“I want you in bed now. I want to make love to you.”
“Okay,” was pretty much the extent of Eve’s vocabulary.
Villanelle, silk robe clinging to her damp skin, watched from across the room as Eve climbed into her enormous bed. Nude, Eve centered herself in the bed and got comfortable, one arm behind her head. Candlelight flickered across her olive skin and she smiled when she caught Villanelle’s gaze.
“You look absolutely beautiful.”
“I bet you say that to all of the naked women that have been in your bed.”
Villanelle crossed the room and stood at the foot of the bed.
“No.” Villanelle shook her head and hopped onto the bed, crawling up Eve’s body, resting her weight atop the older woman. She pushed damp curls from Eve’s face, her eyes taking in every inch of her face. “Only you.” Sitting up, Villanelle straddled the brunette and leaned over to retrieve a small bottle from the vintage bedside table. She poured a generous amount into her open palm and set it down. Rubbing her hands together, Villanelle warmed the massage oil and without another word, she began to apply it to Eve’s skin.
She started at Eve’s shoulders, massaging them firmly and worked her way down her arms before returning to Eve’s breasts. Round and round, Villanelle stimulated the prickling areolas, before pinching Eve’s already hardened nipples.
Down she went. And the more skin she reached, the more oil she used. Eve’s eyes closed and she relaxed. Truly relaxed. It had been a long time since she’d gotten a massage and this was so much better than any spa.
Eve moaned when Villanelle reached her pussy. The blonde used both thumbs to massage her outer labia. And the inner.
She pressed both thumbs down against Eve’s clit and smirked as Eve’s hips bucked upwards. Up and down she stroked, giving Eve just enough to become aroused, but not enough to get off completely.
“Turn over.” Villanelle commanded. She lifted herself up slightly to give Eve enough room to turn onto her stomach. Folding her arms under her head, Eve closed her eyes once more as the massage continued.
Villanelle was quite skilled, her hands working out all of the tension knots that Eve had built up. Down her spine, across the expanse of her back. Slowly, soundly, Villanelle made her way to Eve’s ass. She drizzled massage oil down onto it and then rubbed it in. She watched Eve’s face as she dipped her fingers between the cheeks of her ass and probed her thumb inside.
“ Yes .” Eve whispered, raising her ass just so. Villanelle grinned. She pressed inward until the second knuckle on her thumb had disappeared from her view. Swivelling her hand, Villanelle was absolutely pleased when Eve cried out.
“ More, please. ”
So, with her thumb still up Eve’s ass, Villanelle easily slid two fingers from the same hand into her sopping pussy.
“Well, you are just made to be loved by me, yes?”
“God, yes .”
Villanelle smiled and pressed forward, filling Eve completely in both holes.
And as Villanelle loved Eve steadily, she whispered how much she loved her into Eve’s ear, followed by the filthiest desires that Eve had ever heard.
It was overwhelming. The things that Villanelle did to Eve and the things she wanted to do to her. Between the words and the actions, Eve was almost at her peak but something was missing.
Just a little more…
Villanelle snuck her free hand between Eve’s body and the sheets and used her fingers to strum Eve’s clit like a fucking guitar. She could feel Eve’s hips moving on their own accord, trying to both take her fingers deeper and get closer to her strumming fingers. She couldn’t hold out much longer. Villanelle was all-consuming and when Eve felt her tongue dip into her ear, she exploded.
Villanelle didn’t give her time to come down from her high. She wanted Eve right there. Turning the stunning Asian woman onto her back once more, Villanelle kissed her passionately.
“I love you.”
“I love you.” Eve responded just before Villanelle’s tongue mingled with hers. She felt her right leg being lifted onto Villanelle’s shoulder and Villanelle’s right leg slipping over her hips.
Villanelle’s wet cunt collided hers and Eve nearly saw stars.
“ Ah! Shit! Yes! ”
Villanelle looked down at Eve, impressed with herself. “Did you just come again?”
“Yes, but, fuck, don’t stop.” Eve panted. She unbelted Villanelle’s robe and pushed it as far away as she could. Villanelle finished the task for her, pulling off the material and tossing it somewhere. Taking hold of Villanelle’s waist, Eve urged her to move. So she did.
Villanelle rolled her hips, creating a lovely sensation for both of them. Eve circled her own hips, meeting VIllanelle’s movements.
She watched the way Villanelle’s tits bounced. The way the warm light from the dozens of flickering candles got caught in her shiny blonde hair. The way Villanelle’s beautiful body fit so perfectly with her own.
“ I can never get enough of you .” Eve told her. And she watched the way Villanelle’s lips quirked.
“Tell me again.”
Villanelle loved it.
“ You feel so good . Always so good .” Eve breathed.
Their hips moved faster. They were getting closer.
“ I’m gonna come .” Villanelle whispered. “ Fuck, I’m gonna come .” Her movements became frenzied and she brought Eve along with her.
Her mouth dropped open in a silent scream, her breathing stilled and the blonde just felt every little sensation. The prickling of her damp skin. The complete and total euphoria.
“ Eve !” Villanelle called out.
And Eve followed her into the abyss.
Fashion Week had always been Eve’s favorite time of the year. It was like her birthday and Christmas rolled into one, and this year blew her mind. Not just for the fashion. For four whole days she and Villanelle lived in domestic bliss. On Saturday morning, Eve roused Villanelle out of her sleep with kisses. Soft kisses. Against her bare shoulder, up to her neck, across her cheek.
And when Villanelle’s lips tweaked upwards and Eve was sure she was awake, she straddled her and soft kisses turned into silly ones. She kissed all over Villanelle’s face until the young blonde started laughing uncontrollably.
“Okay, okay! I’m awake.” Her eyes finally opened and she looked at Eve who smiled down at her.
“Morning.” Eve replied, her voice just a little hoarse from the previous night’s events.
“Good morning.” Villanelle’s hands magnetized to Eve’s hair. “You look beautiful in the morning.”
Eve’s chest flushed. “So are you.” She pressed her lips against Villanelle’s. “Are you hungry?”
“No. Let’s go out.”
The surprise on the Villanelle’s face was priceless. “Really?”
“I’ll get dressed.”
“Everyone is staring at us.” Villanelle murmured, sipping her tea.
“Aren’t I supposed to be the paranoid one?” Eve asked around a bite of her croissant.
“Yes, so why aren’t you?”
Eve swallowed her food and looked around. One blonde girl was staring at Villanelle. She had a laptop open and a camera sitting beside her. “Babe, no one is staring at us.”
“She’s probably wants to take your picture for her fashion blog or something.” Eve shrugged it off and picked up her coffee. “Relax.”
Eve reached across the table and caressed her arm. Villanelle looked at her arm and then at Eve.
“It’s okay.” Eve reassured her.
Comforted, Villanelle sat back in her chair, teacup still in hand. “Why aren’t you just the slightest bit terrified?”
“Why would I be? Just a professor and her teaching assistant out at breakfast.”
Well, when she put it that way…
“It’s not like I’m going to crawl under the table and eat your pussy right here.”
Villanelle nearly choked on her tea.
“Oh, yeah, now I see it.”
“Jesus, Eve. See what?” The blonde grabbed her napkin and coughed into it a few times, clearing wayward tea from her throat.
“That look. You know? The one where you can’t decide if you’re horrified or aroused.”
That made Villanelle laugh loudly. “You got me. That’s good.”
Eve’s phone vibrated on the table and as she reached for it, Villanelle scolded her for having it out in the first place.
“It’s Pheng.” She said, ignoring Villanelle’s protest against having phones at the table. “He wants to know if I’ll be at the his after party tonight.”
“Do you want me to go?”
“Do you want to go?”
“I won’t if you want me home.”
“I do not want to stifle your creativity, Eve. If you want to go, you should go.”
“You should come with me.”
“No, I am not a partier.”
“You won’t actually be partying. You go to network. Like what your classmates are doing.”
Villanelle gave her a look. “I am not my classmates.”
“That’s for sure.” Eve snorted, still texting.
“What does that mean?”
“And that is bad?” Villanelle leaned forward now, brows furrowed. “Your tone is saying that is bad.”
“What tone? I don’t have a tone.”
“Are we fighting?”
Eve finally looked up from her phone. The blonde looked a bit distressed. “No. Of course not.”
“It feels like we are fighting.”
“I promise you, we are not fighting.” Eve sighed. “I want to go to Pheng’s after party. I want you to meet him, but if you don’t want to go, you don’t have to.”
“Y-you want me to meet your friend?”
“Of course I do.”
Villanelle considered this for a moment. “Okay.”
“Yes, I will come to the party and meet your friend.”
“Good.” Eve nodded once, satisfied. “He’s going to love you.”
Eve spent the entire day running around events, bumping into her students occasionally. Majority of the time, however, she simply enjoyed the fashion. In a custom, Philip Lim tuxedo jumpsuit and Balenciaga sneakers, Eve headed to Lim’s afterparty with Villanelle in tow. In a room full of people wearing Philip Lim’s famous black-and-white pairings, Villanelle made a statement in her vibrant red Prada ensemble. The top was made to look entirely like a wrapped bow, complete with exaggerated sleeves and collar. She showed a bit of skin along her midriff before the red skirt started at her waist and continued to her thighs where it cascaded downward in a sea of blood read chiffon.
Jaws dropped. Heads turned. Eyes ballooned.
And Eve simply smirked.
Pheng, also known as Philip Lim couldn’t get enough of the young blonde, telling her multiple times over that she was always welcome in his atelier. They exchanged numbers and by the time they returned to Villanelle’s flat, she was still buzzing with excitement.
“He said he loved me.” Villanelle grinned.
“I told you he would.” Eve said, letting them inside with her key.
“You did.” Once the door was shut, Villanelle whirled Eve around and pushed her against it, kissing her neck. “And I should thank you properly for encouraging me to go.”
Well, Eve certainly wouldn’t argue with that…
Villanelle pulled back and tilted her head. “How do you feel about toys?”
bro, the next chapter is nothing but utter fucking filth. also, if any of you are against strap-on sex, sorry (not sorry) in advance.
Chapter 21: Limitless
NSFW, cause I’m a depressed bitch after watching the Euphoria finale for the fourth time (keep your judge-y eyes away from me!)!
anyway, I would like to make it clear that I am Team Villanelle Is A Top before you read on. you’ll see why.
“Bitch, I'm tellin' you,
This shit edible
It's like caramel, kiss my genital.”
-Doja Cat, “Go To Town”
Villanelle pulled back and tilted her head. “How do you feel about toys?”
Turns out, Eve felt pretty fucking good about toys. Especially when Villanelle squeezed a hand around her throat and thrust inside of her with reckless abandon.
It hadn’t started quite so rough, but Eve had no one to blame but herself.
She’d watched Villanelle disrobe and then slip into the harness and had practically salivated at the sight. And when Villanelle stood directly in between her spread legs, fully erect as it were, Eve could already tell the blonde would have absolutely no trouble sliding inside of her drenched channel.
Still, she couldn’t help but tease the cocky blonde before her.
“Like what you see?” Villanelle had asked, cocky smirk on her face.
Eve shrugged, nonchalantly telling her, “I’ve seen bigger.”
Villanelle had laughed and gripped either of Eve’s thighs. “You are certainly not talking about your precious Niko? Unless,” she pulled Eve to the edge of the bed suddenly, “his penis is the only reason you’re still with him.”
“You might be right.”
So Villanelle had made it her personal mission to show Eve exactly why she could give her everything that Niko could… except better.
Not that it was competition…
...but if it was, Villanelle won by a landslide.
Especially when she lifted Eve’s legs, pushed them together and maneuvered her onto her side, all the while never leaving Eve’s tight cunt.
“You are so good.” Villanelle praised and Eve clenched around her cock. “You take it so well.”
“Oh god.” Eve moaned, her orgasm approaching quickly. She prayed to god Villanelle hadn’t tapped into some repressed mommy kink that Eve had because honestly, she’d already found too many of Eve’s weaknesses. Neither Eve’s mind, nor body needed any more reasons to get wet the moment Villanelle walked into a room.
Reading her body like a goddamned book, Villanelle pulled out and smiled at Eve’s stuttered, whiny protest. Instead of giving her what she wanted, Villanelle rolled onto her back, and trailed a hand down Eve’s back before laying a light smack onto her ass.
“Be a good girl, Eve,” fingers dipped inside of Eve’s saturated pussy, “and sit on my cock.”
Eve’s brain only processed two thoughts after that: How dare she? followed rapidly by Okay!
Ever the willing participant, Eve straddled Villanelle, lining up the faux phallus with her center.
“Look at me.” Villanelle commanded. And as Eve sank down and let Villanelle fill her completely, Villanelle watched as her face went from desire to absolute ecstasy.
No prompting necessary, Eve rose up and then back down until she found the perfect balance of rhythm and friction that was sure to send her sailing towards the stars in no time. Even with her head tossed back, hair tickling the small of her back, Eve’s hands found Villanelle breasts and she squeezed them the way she new Villanelle liked. The feeling caused Villanelle’s hips to jerk upward and Eve moaned louder.
She bowed forward and her lips met Villanelle’s. Villanelle’s hands slipped up her thighs, past her hips and up her back, holding her close. Kissing Eve, Villanelle pushed upwards, giving her every single inch.
The blonde thrust upwards again. Once. Twice. Thrice. Until Eve’s body became taut and all noise from her mouth ceased and Eve came with a shuddered wail into Villanelle’s neck.
“Can I ask you something?” Eve asked a little while later.
“Anything.” Villanelle twirled a finger around one of Eve’s curls.
“Can I fuck you now?”
Villanelle chuckle came through her nose as a small breath. “You don’t have to ask.”
“I may be a professor, but I’m still learning.”
“Like what, sweet Eve?”
“Like what you like.”
“I do not understand.”
“I like you, sexually. Whatever you want to give me, I will take. Willingly.”
“So, there are no limits for you.”
Villanelle shrugged. “I’m Russian. We don’t really have limits.”
Eve smiled, her mood seemingly lightened.
“There is nothing I will not share with you, Eve. I am yours just as much as you are mine.”
“Eve!” Villanelle cried out.
It was almost sickening how powerful Eve felt with a fistful of Villanelle’s hair and her free hand on one of Villanelle’s hips, Eve thrust into her, swift and deep.
Now, she could understand the appeal of being a top. The power was just slightly addicting, but the way Villanelle moaned for her… she could get high on it.
One yank on silky, blonde hair and Villanelle’s back arched towards Eve’s front until they were both upright. The back of her head resting on Eve’s shoulder, Villanelle had no choice but to listen to Eve’s delightfully sinful words in her ear as she took her deeper into her pussy.
Eve’s free hand slipped down Villanelle’s waist to stroke her clit so perfectly in sync with her thrusts. Villanelle shouted helplessly as she pushed back to take more of Eve’s cock. Their bodies met with determined, violent slaps.
And then Eve said the magic words. Not even Villanelle could have known the extent to which she craved them.
“ I love you. ” Eve panted into her ear. With her cervix being grazed, the hollow of her ear being tickled with Eve’s warm breaths, and her heart exploding with love and affection, Villanelle’s orgasm took her to the moon.
The next morning, Villanelle awoke to Eve in the kitchen, frying sausages for breakfast, talking on her cell phone. She watched as Eve drizzled raw honey on them and then turned to reach for her glass of orange juice.
Her eyes widened and she put a hand to her heart, thoroughly surprised to see the blonde out of bed. Villanelle picked up the glass and drank from it before handing it off to Eve.
“I don’t know. Some photographer at Pheng’s party probably took it.” She paused. “Thank you. It was just something I threw together.”
Her eyes reached Villanelle’s once more and she rolled them. “I will tell Billie you thought she looked lovely as well.”
Villanelle smirked, mouthing, “ Niko ?” To which Eve nodded.
She retrieved the glass from Eve and set it back down before crossing the small divide between them. She surprised Eve by picking up the shorter woman and sitting her on the cold steel counter.
Eve gasped. And Niko must have asked what was wrong because she stuttered a quick “N-nothing, I nearly dropped the phone,'' as she watched Villanelle drop to her knees.
Villanelle took the honey dipper from the glass jar, not caring that she was making a mess. She drizzled some of the raw honey along Eve’s inner thighs and licked it up, thinking just how much it tasted like Eve.
“...no, there’s only one thing I really want to see today.” Eve told Niko.
Hooking her forearms under Eve’s thighs, she pulled her to the edge of the counter.
Honey was drizzled onto her pussy and Eve’s jaw dropped.
“Niko, I-I have to ah! I have to go.”
And just before she could end the call, Villanelle’s tongue lapped up the sweet honey and she mewled loudly before her phone read:
Chapter 22: Law & Order
tw: mention of attempted suicide
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Your skin is so lovely,
It moves me when you touch me.
I know that you got my back.”
-Joss Stone, “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now”
Eve and Villanelle spent the last two days of London Fashion Week in a sex-filled haze. Eve attended the morning and afternoon events only to return to Villanelle’s flat and be seduced moments after she walked through the door. Eve had been on her back and knees so much, she was beginning to expect there to be a stack of cash when she woke up in the mornings.
The final day of Fashion Week, Villanelle had awaken Eve with French classics playing softly in the background as she worked on a new design. She sat on an ottoman before her work mannequin, sewing lace onto the hem of a pair of pants. She hummed quietly along to the music and wasn’t startled when Eve draped herself against her back.
“Good morning, beautiful.”
“Good morning. How long have you been awake?” Eve inquired, nestling her face into blonde hair.
“A while. Did I wake you?” Villanelle pushed the needle through the material one last time and finally gave Eve her undivided attention. Turning her head, she kissed Eve twice and then once more for good measure.
“No.” Truth was, her full bladder had woken her up and when she stretched in bed, she found the empty spot beside her was disheartening.
“Today is our last day together.” Villanelle told her. Eve dropped her forehead against Villanelle’s shoulder, sighing heavily.
“Back to reality.”
“Only for a little while.”
Turning fully, Villanelle’s cute pout turned into adorable confusion.
“I do not understand.”
“I’m going to tell Niko that I want a divorce.”
Brows raised. “Really?”
“Really. I was going to wait until after the degree fashion shows, but I don’t think I could wait that long even if I tried.”
Villanelle smiled and rested both hands on Eve’s face, kissing her softly. “I meant what I said.”
“You say a lot of things.”
“I mean when I said that you don’t have to go through the heartbreak alone. If you need me, I will be here for you.”
Eve’s hands rose and she held either of Villanelle’s against her own face.
The closing ceremonies of any good fashion week usually consisted of amazing swag bags, exclusive tickets to secret fashion parties and a shit-ton of sneak peeks from iconic designers. There were upwards of five half-hour long catwalks throughout the day and by nine p.m., parties were in full swing.
Nadia and Diego found Eve and Villanelle in a dark VIP section of Fire, an industrial-style railway arch nightclub, complete with three neon-lit rooms full of dancing drunks and fashion geeks.
Shots were had by all except Villanelle who peered curiously at Nadia, wondering what she was doing with a macho asshole like Diego. Diego had draped an arm around the back of the couch and man-spread, his leg touching hers. While looking slightly uncomfortable, Nadia managed to find her voice when Diego finally stopped talking about his Fashion Week successes.
“An atelier house of Jean-Paul Gaultier asked me to intern with them after graduation.” Nadia told Eve. Genuinely excited for her student, Eve and Nadia started an enthusiastic conversation about Nadia’s future in fashion.
“What about you, Billie?” Diego asked, jutting his chin in her direction.
Barely-masked disgust on her face, Villanelle shrug a shoulder and discreetly rubbed Eve’s lower back. “What about me?”
Villanelle smiled. “That is cute. Prospects. I don’t need them.”
“Because, Diego,” Villanelle explained, carefully as if she were talking to a child, “I will be winning the internship from the fashion show this spring.”
“Cocky, don’t you think?” He asked, leaning forward, forearms on his knees.
Villanelle matched his posture. “This has nothing to do with ego, but if it did just know,” she crooked a finger towards him as if she were going to tell him a secret, “mine is bigger than yours.”
Momentarily shocked, Diego gave a wry chuckle as he sat back against the leather couch. A hand slipped onto Nadia’s knee and Villanelle’s eyes flicked down to watch the motion before they whipped back to Diego’s face.
Eve leaned into Villanelle’s ear and Diego stared at them, his eyes squinting.
“Play nice with the other children.”
“Or what?” Villanelle inquired into Eve’s ear. “You will spank me? My ass is still raw from this morning, thank you.”
Eve thanked the heavens that the thumping bass overpowered the blonde’s remark. So, she pulled away and raised her hand at a random waitress for another round.
“Eve, does your husband not come to these events?” Diego asked.
“Oh, no. He could care less about fashion.”
“I suppose it’s a good thing you have Billie then, yes?”
If looks could kill, Villanelle would have pulled the vintage hairpin from her own locks and shoved it directly into Diego’s eye.
“I suppose it is nice to have a student teaching assistant who enjoys design just as much as I do.” Eve responded, bringing Villanelle out of such violent thoughts.
“Sure.” He said, squeezing Nadia’s knee. “Shall we go, pumpkin.”
Pumpkin? Seriously? Villanelle’s scoff was drowned out by the music, but she managed a faux smile and waved goodbye to Nadia. Diego held his hand out to Villanelle and she shook it.
“May the biggest ego win.” Diego told her.
“I plan to.”
When Eve returned home in the morning, Niko smiled at her from his seat at the kitchen table. The only light on was the one above the table, and a manila folder was set before him. He drank from a beer beside him and rolled his shoulders as if he was preparing for a title fight.
“Thanks.” She dropped her bags on the floor and looked at him curiously. “Why do I feel like I just walked into an episode of Law & Order? ”
“Don’t be silly. You’re not a criminal.”
Eve made herself busy finding a wine glass and pouring white wine nearly to the brim.
“How was your week?”
“Interesting, to say the least. How was yours?”
“Eventful. I’m exhausted.”
“Did you get to enjoy the events between wrangling up your students?”
“Actually, this year, I barely saw them. Most of them are very mature compared to the last few years.”
“Ah, yes. I remember the bar top dancing incident of 2014 and the DJ fellatio incident of 2017.” Niko said.
Eve laughed. “Exactly. Thankfully, this year, the most memorable thing that happened was that Nadia got an internship offer with Jean Paul Gaultier.”
“That is exciting. I’m sure that made Villanelle a bit envious, what with her self-admiration.”
“She didn’t really attend enough events to network. She said it wasn’t her thing.”
“Ah, so you didn’t see much of her?”
Well, I saw plenty of her. From the front. The back. Sideways. Upside down. On the kitchen counter. On the floor. In the shower , thought Eve.
“After parties and all that.”
Niko nodded. “I didn’t take her as a party girl.”
“Look, I know that she’s not your favorite person on the planet, but she’s been through a lot. That’s why she has such a tough exterior.”
“Yes, I know.”
Eve sipped from the wine and slid the glass to Niko, who shook his head.
“What do you mean you know? You know what?”
“That she’s been through a lot. She’s put others through a lot as well.”
Confused and beginning to understand that this conversation was not going to end well, Eve tried to steer it into a more positive place.
But Niko wasn’t having it.
Aaron Peel had come round earlier in the day with a file of intriguing information on Villanelle Astankova. While she wasn’t the main subject of his investigation, what he’d uncovered was significant as well. Niko slid the folder over to Eve.
“I just want you to be careful with her.”
“Why? Did she kill someone?” Eve chuckled sounded nervous, even to herself as she reached for the file.
Opening the folder, Eve found a dozen or more papers before her, most of them stamped with Villanelle’s name on the top. She found the forged adoption papers, newspaper clippings of her socialite mother, and even Villanelle’s high school transcripts.
“What the hell is this?”
“While you were away, I had some free time on my hands.”
“So you stalked my student?”
“I wanted you to have all of the information on your girlfriend before you made the decision to ruin both of our lives.”
Eve’s eyes shot up to Niko’s face. Her heart beat faster than a hunting cheetah and she became aware that her pits were suddenly perspiring.
She really had walked into an episode of Law & Order .
Niko reached over and moved a few pieces of paper aside before he found the one he was looking for. A beautiful older brunette woman smiled at a younger one as they ran in the street under large umbrellas. When she looked closer, Eve realized that the younger woman was Villanelle. She look like a teenager. And she was brunette. But it was definitely Villanelle.
“That,” Niko tapped the picture, “is Anna Aanmokoba. She was Villanelle’s languages teacher in Russia.”
“Okay? Why is she important?”
“She is the first teacher that Villanelle seduced. Happily married to Maxi Leonova, or at least she was, until she met Oksana Astankova.”
“She let herself be seduced by Villanelle. The school found out. Her life was left in ruins. Villanelle, charmed her way out of being tossed in a boarding school in Switzerland for wayward girls. Anna tried to kill herself as a result. Slit both wrists and still managed to fight off the attending paramedics.”
Eve tried as hard as she could to process what she was being told. This was too much. And now she had so many questions.
Did she tell Anna all of the things she told Eve? Had she been in love with Anna? Was Eve just another pawn on the chessboard of Villanelle’s life?
“The rest of the information here tells you the whole story. So,” Niko finished, “I suggest you take a good, hard long look at what your life could be like if you continue your relationship with Villanelle.”
He stood from his chair with an awkward scraping noise and left Eve with her thoughts.
Eve stared at the photograph of a smiling Anna and Villanelle until her vision blurred and a tear rolled down her cheek.
more details to come.
Chapter 23: Not-So-Private Eye
“All I got is these
I ain’t got no time.
Just burnin’ daylight.”
-SZA, “Broken Clocks”
Central Saint Martins, Wednesday, 11:03AM
Villanelle couldn’t tell what was more adorable: Eve trying not to make eye contact with her or that she’d text her before class asking to meet with her that evening. Villanelle suggested their shared office, but wasn’t turned off when Eve asked to meet at Villanelle’s flat.
Some things are better talked about in bed , Villanelle had thought.
Now, though, they were halfway through class. Eve had barely glanced at her and when she did, Villanelle found that she was hard pressed to understand the expression on her girlfriend’s face. Something was amiss. Her heart sank.
Did she decide to stay with Niko? Or had she told Niko about their relationship and he took it horribly? What had changed in the 36 hours since Villanelle last saw her?
Whatever had occurred, Villanelle meant what she said to Eve. She would be there to help Eve through everything that was thrown her way. Even if that meant things got too hard and Eve decided she didn’t want Villanelle after all.
What truly mattered was that Eve had an awakening. Whether she liked it or not, Eve had been reminded that she didn’t have to put herself in a box and label it. She once told Villanelle that one of the reasons why she married Niko was because it seemed like the next step in life. Eve believed that there was a step-by-step plan for her life that she had to follow, and check off every milestone like a list. Meeting Villanelle had not only thrown a wrench in whatever that plan may have been, but it had created a blueprint for an entirely new list of milestones to hit that were chaotic and exciting and everything that Eve never knew she needed.
Villanelle’s flat was quiet when Eve let herself in with her key. The lights were dim, there was candlelight. Eve reached the final landing and saw Villanelle stand from the small, vintage dining table. The blonde’s normal confident exterior appeared to crumble ever so slightly, her hands balling into fists before she unclenched them and unnecessarily smoothed down her dress.
“I made dinner.” She said in explanation. Eve’s eyes dropped to the table complete with two white candles, fresh white roses, and covered dinner plates.
“Thanks, but I already ate.”
“Oh. Okay.” Villanelle replied, once again unsure what to do with her hands. “Wine?”
“Do you have any vodka?”
Villanelle smirked. “I’m Russian. What do you think?”
The blonde didn’t particularly enjoy drinking, but Eve was grateful nonetheless. She was going to need the liquid courage. Crossing the flat, Eve plopped down on Villanelle’s bed, dropping her handbag on the bed beside her. Villanelle made her a drink, waiting for her to remove her coat before handing it to her.
“You said you wanted to talk?”
Eve completely drained the glass of vodka. Villanelle, surprised, took the glass back and made her way back to the kitchen pour another drink.
“Tell me about Anna.”
Glass shattered. Eve’s head shot up. Villanelle cursed in Russian, and Eve realized it was the first and only time she’d ever heard her speak in her native language.
“What about her?” Villanelle inquired as she found a dish towel and began to scoop up the larger shards of glass.
“Were you in love with her?”
Glass slammed into the trash can. “Maybe.”
“What do you mean ‘maybe’?”
“Exactly as it sounds. Maybe I was in love with her. I don’t know. I was sixteen.”
“Did you tell her that you loved her?”
“So you were in love with her.”
“Loving someone and being in love with someone are two different things, Eve.”
That was a fair point, well made. But Eve had already decided that hurt and anger was how she was starting this conversation, and if she wasn’t careful, it would quickly snowball into resentment.
“Did you seduce her for entertainment? You said you were a little shit who would do anything to piss off your adoptive parents.”
“Ask me what you really want to ask me, Eve.”
“Did you seduce me for your entertainment? Am I just another way to piss off your disapproving parents?”
“How do I know that?”
“I just told you. I have not said or done anything to you that I did with Anna.”
“It should be. Eve, I really am in love with you. I would not do anything to hurt you.”
“Except destroy my marriage. Like you did with Anna’s.”
Villanelle looked as if Eve had smacked her across the face.
“ Really ?”
Eve had never seen Villanelle truly furious before, but there was a first time for everything. Her eyes glazed over and her cheek twitched with disgust. “Eve, every time I’ve given you the opportunity to end this, you came to me . The very first time I begged you to tell me to stop, and you didn’t. I was not in this alone. You are just as much guilty as I am, and I am sorry if that makes you feel bad, but I told you that I will never lie to you.”
“You practically handed me a self-fulfilling prophecy with all of that ‘ I’m very good at knowing what people want’ bullshit.”
“A self-f--. All you had to do was not let it happen, but you did. You wanted this as much as I did. You needed this. Eve, you’re a creative being stifled in a marriage that doesn’t complete you. Your life is supposed to be filled with love and lace and colors so vivid that you find inspiration in everything. Before you met me, you had been living in black and white for so long.”
Villanelle was right, and Eve hated it. She was the Technicolor. The Sartorial Sorbet that Eve had created her first collection. When she was working on that collection, Eve had truly been at her prime. That had been at a time in her life that she wanted so much more for herself. If it were up to her, she would have travelled the world over at least eight times by now. She would have seen the fashions of every culture and been filled with so much inspiration that she would have been able to design collections every year for the rest of her life.
“We have to stop what we’re doing.”
Villanelle placed a hand on her chest and took a step back as if all of the wind had been knocked out of her
“What?” She breathed. It had always been a possibility, sure, and she’d even practiced an entire speech if Eve had made such a ludicrous declaration. But in the moment, all she could feel was hurt. “Why, Eve?”
“If the school finds out, I could lose my job. You could lose any chance of winning the internship. It’s the smartest thing for both of our futures. I can’t lose everything.”
“Like Anna.” Villanelle whispered.
“Anna lost everything because of me. The school fired her. Her husband left her. He’s remarried with two kids now, but Anna just couldn’t move on.”
“Because she was in love with you.”
A tear fell from Villanelle’s left eye and she nodded. “She tried to tell me, but I was already in so much trouble with my parents. They were trying to send me away to this horrible group home with girls who’d done worse than I had. I was so focused on trying to stay out of trouble that I just kept my head down and avoided all contact with her.”
“She tried to kill herself.”
“I know.” Villanelle sniffled. “I visited her in the hospital and then the psych ward. Almost every day.”
“Of course. I’m not heartless.” Villanelle crossed the room and sat on the bed beside Eve. “Before I left for London, I visited her once more in her home. I wanted to genuinely apologize. She told me she forgave me, but I can never go back to Russia and live there knowing I caused so much pain.”
Eve reached into her bag and pulled out the file that Niko had composed, passing it over to Villanelle. Reluctantly, the blonde opened the file and skimmed its contents. Eve watched her face for any reaction, and was shocked when--.
Villanelle started laughing. Heartily.
“What the hell is so funny?”
“This explains so much.”
“The strange man that’s been following me since Fashion Week.”
“ What ?” Eve nearly shouted.
“Eve, quiet. We have neighbors.” Villanelle scolded her theatrically.
“Fuck the neighbors. How do you know someone has been following you?”
“Well,” Villanelle said, getting comfortable on the bed, “I first noticed him when…”
“But I'm looking for
I know I hope that you
come for me.”
-Hare Squead, “Flowers”*
“Well,” Villanelle said, getting comfortable on the bed, “I first noticed him when I went out to get carry out. He reminded me of those disreputable paparazzi they used to follow my mother around Moscow. I understand wanting to just gaze at the absolute beauty of a person.” Her eyes moved across Eve’s face so lovingly before she continued, “I understand the complete desire to reach out and touch someone.” Her slender fingers twitched against her lap and Eve’s eyes flickered down to watch the movement. “But I will never understand the need to invade one’s privacy.”
“How did you know he was following you?”
“I tested him. Like my mother used to test the men following her. I went to get my carry out and saw him staring at me.”
“Men stare at you all the time.”
Villanelle smiled. “Yes, but none follow me to get Chinese food and then to the cleaners and then to the pharmacy.”
Clever girl , Eve mused.
“I accidentally bumped into him and dropped tampons. I did enjoy watching him sputter and pick them up for me.” Villanelle chuckled. Eve looked away, stifling a smile. “Anyway, I saw him a few more times while shopping, running errands. I assumed he worked for my parents.”
Abruptly, Villanelle sat up and hopped off of the bed. “I thought they wanted to know how I was doing without their money.”
In the midst of everything going on in her own life, Eve suddenly realized she had been selfish. Villanelle’s parents had threatened to cut her off if she did not return to Russia for good by the holidays. As steadfast as ever, Villanelle had refused.
“H-how are you getting by?”
“Getting by?” The blonde pulled a thick dossier from a large Birkin bag and made her way back to the bed.
“Paying for everything, I mean.”
Villanelle smiled. “Being cut off when you are rich is not like in the movies, Eve. Just because I can’t use daddy’s credit card, does not mean I’m poor. My Uncle Konstantin is the overseer of my trust fund. I get monthly allowances that are nothing to laugh at.”
“Oh.” Eve said, somehow still impressed. The rich really were something else.
“‘Oh’, she says. Did you think I’d go from Givenchy to GAP?”
“No, I—. I actually hadn’t really thought about it. Either way, I’m sure you could pull off anything.”
“It’s true. I could.” Villanelle shrugged and slid the folder towards Eve.
“What’s this?” Eve asked, opening it.
“His name is Aaron Peel. He’s a private investigator. Actually, he is more than that. He does something incredibly boring in technology, but the point is, he is very good at what he does. But,” Villanelle leaned against the mirrored headboard, “I am better.”
Eve looked through the file: surveillance photos of Aaron Peel, information on him and his company. And then there were a few glossy photographs in the back of the file.
Palm spread, the ring Villanelle gave her shining in the candlelight, she searched through the pictures.
Dinner with Gemma. Drinks with Gemma. Laughing with Gemma in the Royal Gardens. They looked… happy.
There were no money shots. No lewd photos of them fucking or kissing or even hugging. It looked so innocent and friendly. And maybe that’s what Niko needed. Someone who could appreciate the things that he did, laugh at his god-awful teacher jokes, maybe give him the child that his parents so desperately wanted for him.
“I know it would make it easier for you if Niko was physically cheating on you, too.” Villanelle told her as she stared at the pictures. “But, I think it it just emotional for now.”
Somehow that was worse. It wasn’t comforting. In fact, it was pretty fucking uncomfortable to know that her husband had found someone new. But, it was her karma. What went around came right back around and she was reaping what she’d sown.
“I used to think he was a good man. Just not the one for me. But now,” Eve couldn’t believe she even had to say it, “now, I think he’s blackmailing me.”
“What does he want?”
“I don’t know.” She placed a hand on her forehead, eyes closed before pushing it backwards through her hair.
“If he is like most men, he just wants to protect his ego.”
Eve, eyes still closed, sighed but said nothing. Villanelle hated to see Eve so pained. She crawled down the bed, papers crinkled under her hands and knees, until she reached Eve.
“I did not stick with Anna through scandal and her many losses but,” she placed both hands on Eve’s face, “you are everything to me. I will handle it. Everything will work out.”
She kissed Eve until she felt her respond. Eve’s hands reached up to hold Villanelle’s against her own face. Eve kissed her back, truly believing what Villanelle said. And the more passionate Villanelle’s kisses became, the more Eve felt that familiar stirring between her thighs.
“We can’t. I have to go.” Eve whispered into her lover’s mouth.
“Stay.” Villanelle panted as she pushed Eve’s cardigan from her shoulders. “The world will not end because you are here.”
Eve gave in, kissing Villanelle with renewed fervor. They fell into bed and their clothes fell away from it.
When Villanelle’s long, adept fingers slipped inside of her, her worries flew away. For hours, their warm bodies pressed against each other so tightly, covering one another in sweat and saliva and cum. They moved together, in perfect sync, forging forward in a quest to make the other unfold. Eve prayed that Villanelle was right; the world wouldn’t end because of their love. Villanelle silently pleaded with the gods that if they gave her nothing else, she could at least have this . Have Eve.
It was in the center of the bed, Eve’s legs wrapped around Villanelle’s waist, both knuckle-deep within the other, that they found absolution in their euphoria.
And when Eve awoke in the early hours of the morning, the sun barely on the horizon, Villanelle was gone.
“Hello, Niko.” Villanelle greeted from her seat at his breakfast table.
She held up Eve’s house keys, jingling them between her thumb and pointer finger.
“Am I doing here?” She stood and made her way into the kitchen, busying herself with making a cup of tea. Rudely, she didn’t ask Niko if he’d like a cup. “I just thought we could have a little conversation about our favorite mutual topic: me.”
“You are my least favorite subject.”
“That is just not true, is it?” Sipping from the hot liquid, Villanelle sat back down, gesturing for him to sit as well. “If it were, Mr. Peel wouldn’t have been following me around like a nerdy little stalker.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Villanelle smiled into her mug of tea. “Of course you don’t. I just came to tell you that I also have friends in high places. Some of them even in government. Who knows? Maybe you haven’t been paying your taxes. Naughty boy, Niko.” She leaned back in the sturdy chair and sighed, thoughtfully. “Ooh! Perhaps you have been taking money from parents to pass their shitty little brats along.”
She stood suddenly and rounded the table, fingers running along the back of Niko’s chair. She bent at the waist, whispering in his ear. “Or maybe you’re fucking a student.”
“How dare you? I would never.” He craned away from her in disgust.
“Half a million dollars in the right set of hands would say you have.” She told him.
“What the fuck do you want? You already have Eve.”
“Do I? I do not have her completely yet. There is always you, dear Niko.”
Niko, knowing that he would lose the battle, decided conceding was a better form of defeat.
“What do you want?” He asked again.
“Leave Eve alone. Live what little, generic life you have left with Gemma and allow Eve to be just as happy as you are.”
Niko was silent. And Villanelle was inpatient.
“Do we have a deal?”
More quiet before Niko nodded.
And with that, she was gone.
Villanelle returned to her flat, breakfast in tow. Eve was frantic, the contents of her handbag emptied on the bed.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, setting down the to-go cup holder with their coffees on it.
“I can’t find my keys. Niko will probably be awake right now and I—.”
Villanelle pulled the keys from her pocket and held them up. Eve recognized her own keys and she shook her head.
“I told you. I handled it.”
“What did you do?”
“What needed to be done.”
“That sounds a lot like murder.”
Villanelle laughed. “Relax, your husband is in one piece. I just reminded him that blackmail can work both ways. An eye for an eye and all that.”
“Makes the whole world blind.”
“Hm?” Villanelle inquired, digging through the bag for her food.
“ That’s the entire quote. ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. It means two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Eve, if there can be no clear winner in a war, at least a tense treaty can be signed.”
Eve huffed and began to shove her things back into her bag. Villanelle sat her croissant down as Eve crossed the room and snatched her keys off of the table.
“Where are you going?”
“To make this situation less… tense .”
*one of my all-time favorite songs right now.
Chapter 25: Sorry, Baby x
NSFW. follow etherealmvmi on tumblr to see the fashion in ‘Of Love & La Villanelle’.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Don’t fight the feelings
That you feel.
I can tell
That it’s real.”
-Mario, “Just A Friend”
“I want a divorce.”
It was said in unison and with absolute conviction. Eve and Niko stared each other down for a few moments, neither really knowing what to say.
“Look,” Eve broke the silence, “now, I-I don’t know what Villanelle said to you and I don’t really care. I didn’t ask her to come here and speak to you. All I care about is getting through this without any more pain and suffering than necessary.”
“Without any more pain and suffering? Eve, that’s all this will be is pain and suffering. At least for me.”
“It’s not just about you, Niko! It hurts me too! Do you think I wanted this to happen? I didn’t expect to fall out of love with you and in love with—.” She shook her head, trying to remind herself of her point. “What I’m trying to say is, I’d really rather we remain civil through all of this. I don’t want us to have an ugly divorce. I don’t want this to come to a burning end until we’re both just a pile of ashes.”
Niko sighed. “I’m exhausted. You are exhausting.”
“Yeah, well you’re no cup of coffee yourself.” Eve retorted. “Can we just… I don’t know, call a truce?”
“Yes. A truce. Or at least whatever lets us both get something out of all of this chaos.”
There were many things that Niko was not. But there was so much more that he was. And he had always been fair, especially when it came to change. He was open to giving something a chance, deciding for himself if it was something he could accept.
And this was no different.
He loved Eve so much that he was willing to let her go. All he wanted was for both of them to be happy. But if she wasn’t happy with him, he had to understand that.
Not that it mattered because Eve was learning to march to the sound of her own drum. She was finally realizing who she was and what she truly wanted.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t him.
“Fine. Truce.” He replied.
Afternoon Tea at The Savoy, Valentine’s Day, 4:10PM
Polka dots. Polka dots had never looked so fucking… hot ! And really, it wasn’t so much the pattern itself as what was between it.
Villanelle cleared her throat and Eve’s eyes shot to hers. A slight smirk made one corner of her lips curl before she turned her attention back to the beautiful milk chocolate woman that was speaking.
“...most important thing for us to remember is to stay on task. If we get distracted for even a moment, this whole thing could turn to shit.” Elena was saying. “I know that’s easier said than done for our teaching assistants here, but, we believe in you guys.”
Eve glanced around at the table at her colleagues and their student TAs. They were a good group of people and, to Eve, everyone seemed to have their shit together. Soft smiles on their faces. Eagerness radiated off of each of them in sonic waves. Even Villanelle seemed more amused than pissed off that she was currently subject to sitting at an elegant tea room with people she probably felt were beneath her.
Or maybe she was a really good actress. She and Eve were still on the outs, after all. Ever since Villanelle threatened Niko three days prior, things had been tense between them. And Eve would be lying if she said she wasn’t still angry with both Villanelle and Niko. They had both behaved like absolute fucking children fighting over a toy. That notion pissed Eve off: the thought of being a play thing.
Testosterone got the best of Niko, not wanting to lose his wife to someone whose ego was so overwhelming that it was actually impolite. And Villanelle… well, she just wanted Niko to know that her dick was bigger.
“Eve?” Elena’s voice floated down the table, pulling Eve from her thoughts. “Did you have anything you wanted to add?”
Villanelle’s kohl-lined eyes shot to Eve and she sat up straighter, full breasts sitting perfectly in her low-cut shirt.
Fucking polka dots .
Eve cleared her throat. “Not really. I just want to remind everyone that no matter how hard the work is, the final goal will make everything worthwhile. If you guys have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to talk to us or Headmistress Martens.”
“Yes, and each other.” Bill interjected. “Regardless of your positions as competitors, when it comes to the logistics behind the show, help one another out. Just be mindful of what you reveal about your works. There’s no reason for us all not to get along.”
Eve felt a small nudge against her leg. Ignoring it, she turned her head to listen to Carolyn begin her annual speech about comradery and how great of an honor it was to be apart of something so monumental.
Another bump against her leg. This time, it didn’t move. Instead, it rubbed against her calf and slowly made its way upward.
Eve looked to Villanelle who looked absolutely enthralled with what Carolyn was saying. Higher and higher the foot went up Eve’s legs until reached her thigh. Eve leaned back in her chair and chanced s glance under the table. Sure enough, Villanelle’s long leg was slipping into the small gap between Eve’s legs.
Eve grabbed her ankle with one hand and Villanelle finally gave Eve her attention.
Stop it , Eve mouthed to her. Villanelle pouted, but was not deterred. The brunette watched as she dipped her finger into the clotted cream and jam mixture on her scone and brought it to her lips. Eve’s open lips parted as Villanelle sucked it off of her finger.
Eve’s grasp on Villanelle’s ankle tightened and the blonde pushed forward just a little more until her foot was pressed firmly against Eve’s cunt. Eve’s eyes closed briefly and when they flickered open, Villanelle was delighted to see that desire had replaced frustration.
It was Valentines Day, after all. Their first one together Villanelle didn’t want Eve to spend the day mad at her. She had so many treats in store for Eve.
But first, she had to make things right. That started with apologizing.
And not just to Eve.
In the lobby of the Savoy, after everyone had bid each other adieu, Villanelle grabbed the crook of Eve’s arms.
“Eve.” Villanelle breathed her name as if it were a prayer.
“Don’t use that voice.” Eve told her.
Never one to do as she was told, Villanelle said it again. “I got a room upstairs.”
Eve’s eyes widened. “I’m not sleeping with you. I’m pissed off with you right now.”
“I don’t expect you to sleep with me. I just want to talk with you. Maybe get a massage. Have a little dinner.”
Eve eyed her suspiciously. She held an accusing finger up. “If you try anything—.”
Villanelle held both hands up in surrender. “I promise I won’t try anything.”
In the end, Eve knew she wouldn’t resist. Yes, she was angry. Sure, she wanted to give Villanelle a piece of her mind.
But it was the one day of the year where love was supposed to be feel… staggering.
The royal suite was luxurious. A true home away from home. The moment Eve stepped into the room, the electric fireplace roared to life. Villanelle looked on as Eve made her way around the suite, taking in the stunning view of the River Thames. A decadent spread of fruits and sweets had been set up to the side of the dining room and white and red rose petals were scattered throughout.
Arriving back to the suite alone would have been a god-awful experience for Villanelle. She made herself comfortable on the couch, flicking her bangs away from her face.
“I am sorry.”
Eve turned away from the window to look at her. “What?”
Villanelle repeated herself, gauging her reaction.
“Why are you sorry?”
“I shouldn’t have gone to Niko without speaking with you first.”
“And I am sorry for making things more difficult for you. I said I would be there to help you through these things, and instead I made it worse.”
“And I will apologize to Niko and promise not to do it again.”
Eve made her way over to the couch and sat beside her lover.
Villanelle smiled. “So?”
“What do you want to do?” She asked coyly. One hand reached over, fingers toying with Eve’s. Villanelle’s eyes flicked downward and then back up, taking in Eve’s blue strappy dress and silver pumps. She smiled at Eve, brows raising slightly.
Eve rolled her eyes, and straddled Villanelle’s waist. “I’m still mad at you.” Eve reminded her.
“Sometimes, that makes it better.” The blonde’s hands gravitated to Eve’s hips and pulled her flush down onto her lap. “The heels stay on.”
“ Yes yes yes !” Eve moaned in sync to every thrust Villanelle slammed into her. One leg hitched over Villanelle’s shoulder and the other being held against her waist, Eve’s only choice was to take every inch of pleasure Villanelle filled her with.
Tilting forward, Villanelle bent Eve’s legs in a way Eve wasn’t sure she could. She kissed Eve and didn’t stop as she slowed her rhythm, fucking Eve firm and deep.
“I’m sorry, baby.” Villanelle whispered. “I love you.”
Eve’s eyes nearly rolled back as she felt the storm of her orgasm quickly approaching.
“I love you,” Eve groaned. “Please don’t stop. Please don’t stop!”
Harness banging against her clit as Eve’s pussy squeezed her cock in a vice-like grip, Villanelle wasn’t sure she could last much longer.
“Come with me.” Villanelle urged. Her legs started to tremble and her pussy contracted. The delicious sound of Eve’s wet cunt and heavy breathing was like music to Villanelle’s ears.
Together, their orgasms overpowered them, making them see nothing but stars and each other.
When they’d caught their breath, Eve laughed in her euphoria.
“What is so funny?” Villanelle inquired, lifting her head from Eve’s chest.
“I can’t believe the heels actually stayed on after that .”
Villanelle chuckled. “I am very good at getting what I want.”
“Is that so?”
“What do you want now?”
“Now, I want to eat fruit and drink champagne.” Villanelle sat up, faux cock slipping out of Eve. “Off of your body.”
Eve shivered. Villanelle hopped out of bed and slipped out of the harness, letting it drop to the floor. Naked, she disappeared out of the room, returning moments later with a platter of fresh fruit, a bottle of Armand de Brignac and whipped cream.
Eve had propped a few pillows under her head, making herself comfortable. Heels still on, she raised her legs and spread them, running her hands down her own thighs.
“You are a succubus.”
“Oh no.” Eve laughed. “I believe that is what you are. Seducing me every chance you get.”
“It is not my fault.” Villanelle protested, placing their snack on the bed. “You are entirely too sexy.”
“Maybe you’re just a gerontophile.”
Villanelle’s jaw dropped, shocked momentarily before she threw her head back and laughed. When she sobered, Villanelle shook her head, removing the top of the whipped cream. “You are not old, Eve.”
“I’m certainly not young anymore.”
“Age is nothing but a number. It is how you feel that counts.” She shook the can up and squirted a dollop of the canned confection around both of Eve’s nipples. Forward she leaned until her lips wrapped around one and Villanelle sucked the cream right off of Eve’s tits. Eve’s eyes closed and her hips undulated on their own accord.
More cream made a trail from her chest to her tummy and Villanelle licked it up, leaving kisses and tiny bites along the way. She picked up a slice of pineapple and bit half, offering the other half up to Eve. Villanelle picked up a strawberry and squeezed it in her palm before mashing it against Eve’s labia and covering it in more cream.
And then she went to work.
By the time finished, Eve didn’t think she could take anymore. But then Villanelle opened the bottle of champagne, let the foam fall into Eve’s mouth. She held a thumb over the top, shook it up, sprayed it against Eve’s mons and sucked it out with gusto.
Eve shrieked to the high heavens and when Villanelle finally gave her a break, every muscle in Eve’s body felt like jelly.
“Can’t. Move.” She huffed. Beckoning Villanelle forward with a lazy hand gesture, Eve commanded, “My face.”
Nodding, Eve made one request: “Sit on it.”
Villanelle straddled Eve, crawling her way upward until her cunt was in direct correlation with Eve’s mouth.
Villanelle sat. And it was probably the greatest decision she’d ever made in her entire life. Eve moved her head up and down, licking and sucking along the entirely of the blonde’s slit. Villanelle’s head lolled backward.
Eve’s arms lifted and wrapped around her thighs. Villanelle ground against her face, moaning loudly and dug her fingernails into the headboard. Eve’s attention turned to her clit and she felt adventurous. Villanelle always got off on it, so Eve figured she’d try it.
She reached down and used her own natural lubricant to oil up her thumb and slipped it into Villanelle’s ass.
And Villanelle convulsed, her orgasm instantaneous, shocking both of them.
But Eve wouldn’t let her go. She continued to devour Villanelle, lapping up every drop of her honey as she possibly could.
It was her way of really accepting Villanelle’s apology. There were sure to be more fights in their journey. More ups and downs. But Eve wanted Villanelle to know that she believed her when she said they would get through them together. She was certain of it.
Wrapping her lips over Villanelle’s clit, Eve sucked softly, her head bobbing to and fro as much as she could. But it was enough for Villanelle who cried out and went rigid as she rode out her orgasm before pulling away from Eve’s mouth, wheezing out her inability to take anymore.
okay, this should hold y’all over for the next couple of chapters, right? 😈
Chapter 26: Knowledge is Power
I was on vacation last week, so this week was a shit-ton of overtime for me. sorry this is late.
“I'm alone but I'm not lonely
And trying to get to know me
I'm just an outline of what I used to be.”
-Sabrina Claudio, “Confidently Lost”
“Move in with me.”
It was random.
And completely unexpected. And asked so casually, that Villanelle could’ve been asking what time it was or what the weather was like.
Eve stared blankly at the blonde before her, in total disbelief. “Did you really just ask me that?”
Villanelle, the very picture of confused, looked around the empty studio. “Yeah. Did I say something wrong?”
“Yes. I mean, no, but sort of!”
“I don’t know.”
“You can’t just ask me to move in with you. I’m not even divorced yet.”
“Well, where else will you live?”
“In my house!” Eve replied, just slightly on the side of hysterical.
She hadn’t actually thought that far along. If she was honest with herself, she assumed that she and Niko would do their best to cohabitate, avoiding one another as much as possible as they traipsed around the house in utter tension. It wasn’t the smartest idea she’d had… ever… but she and Niko hadn’t spoken since they called a truce.
“I haven’t thought that far ahead.”
Villanelle said nothing. She didn’t need to. Her raised eyebrow said plenty.
“We’ll… figure it out.”
“Fine.” Villanelle shrugged and turned back to the sketches she was grading.
“Look, I don’t want to move so fast that we can’t enjoy what we have. Besides, I’m not even divorced yet and I just think that even if we didn’t start the right way, we can at least, I don’t know—.”
“ End the right way?” Villanelle looked appalled at the idea.
“No! God no. Restart our relationship.” Eve finally expressed.
“Oh.” Villanelle perked up. “Okay. Well, you should have just said so, Eve.” Her head dropped and she went back to her work.
“It’s that easy for you to just take my word for it?”
“Well, did you mean it?”
“Then it is that easy for me.”
When Eve didn’t say anything else, Villanelle glanced at her.
“There is this thing called ‘trust’, Eve.”
Eve couldn’t believe her ears. Here Villanelle was, just barely into her twenties and she was already teaching Eve more wisdom than she’d ever known in her forty-plus years. She had her faults, as everyone did, but she was willing to try no matter how hard things got. And no matter how much Eve tried to resist the inevitable, Villanelle stood beside her, gently pushing her towards it anyway. She allowed Eve to go through the recent changes at her own pace.
Eve started at Villanelle, eyes searching her soft face.
What did I do to deserve her? , wondered Eve.
“I do, you know.”
“You do what?”
Villanelle leaned over the desk, lips puckered. Eve grinned and met her halfway.
“You look cute today, by the way.” Villanelle murmured, giving Eve a dreamy look.
“So do you.” Eve replied, mockingly giving Villanelle the same lovesick expression. They broke into a fit of laughter.
“Is this what it’s like being in a lesbian relationship? Constant reassurance and compliments?”
“Yes, and double the PMS symptoms.”
Someone cleared their throat and rapped twice against the door to the classroom. Eve and Villanelle jumped apart as they looked towards the door.
“Shit.” Eve whispered to herself.
“Eve, I was actually wondering if I could run some things by you for my final designs.”
“Diego, I’m already grading the sketches.”
“Yes, but I was just inspired by something completely different and I just want to know if you’ll take a look at my new designs. Please. I promise you these are so much better.” He stepped towards her desk, portfolio in his hands.
“Leave them with me.” Villanelle put her hand out and Diego pivoted, refusing to hand his work over to her.
“Think again, Masha Andrianova. No way am I letting you get your hands on my work. We’re competitors.”
Villanelle laughed. “Believe me, little Diego, there is no competition.”
“Enough, you two.” Eve took the leather-bound portfolio from her student and turned back to the work in front of her desk. “The next time, you’ll make an appointment during office hours, are we clear?”
“Crystal.” Diego beamed. “Thank you, Eve. I’ll let you get back to grading .”
When he made his exit, Eve exhaled dramatically before dropping her head onto the desk, dark curls cascading over her shoulders and shrouding her face from Villanelle’s eyes.
“What?” Came the muffled reply.
He knows , Villanelle wanted to say. He knows and now we’ll probably have to kill him.
“It will be alright. I will help you grade them. I know you have more important things to worry about.”
“No, I should do it.” She lifted her head. “He’s right. You two are the top competitors in the Womenswear department.”
CSM, Wednesday, 11:55AM
“...so, yes, Kenny, provocation is expected in design. You want people to be shocked. It’s like I always say, you want people to feel . Shock and awe is great. Encouraged, even.” As Eve talked, she walked around the classroom, through the aisles, hands gesticulating wildly. “But, provocation is not the most important factor. Got it?”
Murmurs and head nods of acknowledgement followed Eve as she stepped towards the front of the studio. “Now, I know you all have been waiting anxiously for certain results.” Eve pulled a piece of paper from underneath her laptop. “And I just so happen to have them here.” She made a show of fanning herself with the flimsy slip of paper.
Finally, Kenny exclaimed, “Come on, Eve! We’re dying here!”
Chuckling, Eve read off of the sheet, “I am proud to inform you all that the participant whose work shows enough promise to end the fashion show is Villanelle Astankova.”
Scattered applause and congratulations followed. Villanelle couldn’t have looked more proud if she tried. Her posture realigned and, inwardly, she felt something reaffirm her true passion for fashion. Sure, designing was innate and came as simply as breathing for her, but being rewarded for something that she was passionate about was even better.
“On that note, we’re out of time for today. Go. Conquer the fashion world.”
Most of her peers stopped by Villanelle’s desk to congratulate her again and urge her to bring home a win for their Womenswear department. Most of them.
Diego was the only exception. He eyeballed Nadia who had stopped by Villanelle’s desk to hug her.
“Diego.” Eve called. She waved him to her desk and placed both of his portfolios into his hands. “You were right. Your second set of designs are much better, but still extremely outlandish. Are you sure you don’t want to tone down the material?”
He shook his head, staring her dead in the eye. “Shock and awe right?”
Eve nodded hesitantly and wondered if he was trying to tell her something with his fixed gaze. “Shock and awe,” she agreed.
“See you next week, Eve.”
He knows . Eve thought and dread filled her stomach. He knows and now he’ll have the power to ruin our futures here.
Eve’s eyes were closed, but her mouth was hanging open. Her hands were splayed flat against the headboard and Villanelle’s head bobbed between her thighs, licking and slurping at her pussy like it was her last meal. It felt so good.
But she’d been trying to focus on coming for twenty minutes with no end in sight. Every time she got close, she just felt… guilty.
“Stop. Stop. Stop.” She huffed and put her hands on either side of Villanelle’s face, pulling her up. Villanelle did as she was commanded, lying her full weight onto Eve. She kissed the brunette sweetly before rotating her jaw and wiping her mouth.
“Well, there is a first.”
“Me eating a girl out and she does not come.”
Eve looked annoyed and turned on; Villanelle’s favorite expression.
“What is wrong?” Villanelle pushed her blonde hair away from her face, eyes searching Eve’s face.
“I don’t know.”
“Does this have anything to do with Diego?”
“I— no.” Villanelle pulled a face and Eve sighed. “Maybe.”
Sighing, Villanelle rolled onto her back, placing a hand on her forehead. “Do you want me to figure out exactly what he saw?”
“No. I don’t want you to handle this like you handled Niko.”
“Eve, how lovely to see you.” Headmistress Martens greeted.
“Well, this is my office.”
Carolyn considered this. “Still, we don’t catch up enough. Don’t you think?”
Eve hadn’t really given it much thought, but it wouldn’t be polite to say so. “Sure.”
“I’m sorry I don’t keep tabs on the entire staff. Most of you I simply trust that you will get the job done to the school board’s satisfaction. Not much room for fuss.”
Eve clasped her hands in front of her desk and watched Carolyn make a lap around her office, taking in the sketches along the wall and the two unfinished designs in the corner.
“So what brings you here today?”
“I’m afraid there’s just a bit of fuss surrounding you lately. A complaint from a student, believe it or not?”
Despite her heart pounding through her ears, Eve managed an indifferent, “Oh?”
Standing in all of her Helmut Lang glory, Carolyn slipped her hands into her pants pockets and met Eve’s eyes. “Eve?”
“Are you fucking your TA?”
Chapter 27: High Tea
“But you will see
It’s just a matter of time
My love will surely
Make you mine.”
-En Vogue, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”
“Are you fucking your TA?”
Eve looked taken aback. “ Excuse me? ”
“Are you fucking your TA?” Carolyn asked slower, truly concerned that Eve hadn’t heard her the first time.
“Why the hell would you ask me something like that? I’m sure whatever student you’ve heard that from is upset by something I’ve said to him.”
“What makes you think it was a male student?”
Eve shut her laptop and folded her hands against the lid. “Because there’s only one student whose ego supersedes his talent and that is Diego.”
“And I assume you’ve told him as much.”
“Not in so many words, but I’m sure he can tell he is not my favorite student.”
Carolyn nodded and turned on her heels, taking a lap around the small office. “So, there is without a doubt nothing going on between you and Villanelle Astankova?”
“She’s my TA.” Eve replied and leaned back against her chair coolly.
It wasn’t a lie.
“And you understand that means teaching assistant and not your personal tits and ass Please Touch Museum, yes?”
What the fuck ?
“What the fuck?” Eve couldn’t stop herself from blurting out. “Yes, Carolyn. I know that.”
“You understand that while not illegal, it is a bit frowned upon for professors to have relations with students, especially those in their class?”
“I understand that.”
“The conflict of interest is particularly relevant because of what is to be gained by said student. If Villanelle were your… lover, she would have to be pulled from the running for the internship contract. She could never reap the benefits of winning the end of year fashion show.”
“Believe me, Carolyn, Villanelle is the one student who is most applicable to win. She has done nothing wrong.”
“Understand that, for now, this is just your word against this particular student’s, your class will be monitored for the remainder of the spring semester.”
Not like I’m gonna fuck her on my desk, Eve thought, although that would be so fucking hot.
Carolyn simply looked at Eve for a few moments before nodding. “You never did explain to me why it had to be her.”
“I never asked, but you also never offered an explanation. What was it about her that made you decide you wanted a student teaching assistant after more than a decade of refusing every candidate who applied?”
It was a fair question. One that Eve had thought about many times since she’d asked Villanelle to fill the role.
“Honestly, Carolyn, she reminded me of me when I was her age. She doesn’t just have a passion for design. She’s in love with design and everything that comes with it. The good, the bad, the ugly. She stands by fashion; eats, sleeps and breathes couture. She’s open to learning new sus to reinvent not only her clothing, but the way she views people. Villanelle is exactly the kind of woman we need running a major design house one day. That is why I chose her.”
Carolyn inhaled deeply and gave Eve a satisfied, “Very well.”
And then she was gone.
Eve exhaled the breath she had been holding in and dropped her head onto her desk.
“She said that it’s my word against a student’s for now.”
“That means they don’t have shit.” Villanelle confirmed, stroking Eve’s hair.
“And my class will be monitored for the rest of the semester.”
“Which is ridiculous. It’s not as if I am going to jump your bones in the middle of class.”
“Exactly!” Eve huffed and intertwined her hand with Villanelle’s empty one.
“Did she say for certain it was Diego?”
Eve shook her head against Villanelle’s chest. “No. Not that she had to. He’s the only one who really witnessed any sort of intimacy between us.”
“Niko?” Eve pulled away to look into Villanelle’s face. “But… Carolyn said it was a student.”
“Yeah,” Villanelle said as if it were the most obvious answer in her world, “and it would be easy as shit to ring Carolyn’s office and pretend to be a student at CSM.”
When she put it that way, it was another possibility.
“We were supposed to have a deal.”
“Yes. So were we.” Villanelle added. She sounded as if she was on the verge of plotting Niko’s demise even as she lie in bed with his future ex-wife, stroking her hair.
“Don’t go and do anything crazy. We have to lay low until the semester is over. We don’t want to draw any unwanted attention.”
“Fine.” The blonde sighed.
“Promise me you won’t be naughty.”
Hazel eyes wide with faux innocence, Villanelle agreed. “I promise I won’t be naughty.”
Eve held up her pinkie and Villanelle linked hers with it. In sync, they leaned towards their connected hands and kissed them, sealing the promise.
“You can’t take back a pinkie promise.”
They lay in silence for awhile before Villanelle’s phone buzzed against her nightstand. She sighed, annoyed.
“For fuck’s sake.”
“What’s wrong? Who’s calling?”
“Oh. And you still don’t want to talk to them?”
Eve didn’t push the topic. She knew it was a touchy one for Villanelle.
“Konstantin says they bought plane tickets for London.”
“To try to convince you in person? Didn’t they already try that in Russia?”
“No, to celebrate my birthday in a few weeks. It would not look good for their society pages if there was not at least one picture for the gossip rags.”
“How will the paparazzi know they’ll be in town to celebrate your birthday?”
“One of their assistants or housekeepers will call with an ‘ anonymous ’ tip.”
“Wow. That is,” Eve couldn’t even decide on the right word, “just wow.”
“Tell me about it.” Villanelle pressed a kiss to the top of Eve’s head. “They will want to meet you.”
“Is that what you want. It’s your day after all. What do you want for your birthday?”
“You. Naked. Dripping in diamonds, and cum.”
Eve laughed, trying to push away the spark of arousal that Villanelle’s words ignited. “I think that can be arranged.”
The Gilbert Scott, London, Sunday, 5:10PM
Villanelle sat at the posh restaurant, looking through the menu wondering what exactly she had a taste for when a gust of wind flew past her and Niko appeared. He stood behind the chair opposite hers, looking particularly put out.
“Niko, you made it!” She exclaimed as if they were old friends.
“You can’t summon me like this. I’m not some school-aged boy who you can make you do whatever you want with a snap of your finger.”
“And yet here you stand, as petulant as a school-aged boy.” She commented, gesturing towards the chair. “Please, sit.”
“No. I won’t be staying long.”
“Sit.” The blonde commanded this time.
Good boy .
“What do you want, Villanelle?”
“I just needed to look into your face when I asked one question.”
“Did you have anything to do with Carolyn Martens cornering Eve in her office?”
“What? No. About what?”
“Me, of course.”
“No. Of course I didn’t.”
“Swear on Eve’s life.”
Putting one hand up, Niko swore on their precious Eve’s life that he had nothing to do with it.
More importantly, Villanelle believed him.
“Okay? That’s what you called me here for?”
“Well, it is high tea time. You are more than welcome to stay for a bite. My treat.”
Niko rolled his eyes and stood. “Enjoy.”
Villanelle watched him depart and shrugged. “Well, that was rude.”
Niko hadn’t stayed in their home since the truce was called. Eve didn’t mind. It was refreshing to go to bed without his snoring in her ear and to wake up without the TV blaring from downstairs with sports news. The first week or two were absolutely lovely. But then, Eve realized just how bored she became with the constant silence.
It was good for her work; she was able to complete every task she needed.
But bad for her sanity. There were no spontaneous interruptions and constant encouragement to finish one task before she began another. And for god’s sake, if she ate anymore bad takeout, she would quite literally vomit.
It was not that she missed Niko, himself. It was that she missed there always being someone around. Someone to bounce ideas off of. To have a random dance party in the late hours to let off some steam. She was beginning to think that maybe Villanelle was right about moving in together.
They couldn’t really connect in class anymore because of the school’s mediator sitting in the back, watching their every move. With the degree fashion show so close, office hours were spent actually working on important things instead of a secret rendezvous to break up a stressful day. When they finished, well into the evening, both were too tired to do anything except sleep
By the week of Villanelle’s birthday, Eve realized that they hadn’t made love in nineteen days. And that would just not do. It was clear they were both frustrated. Villanelle was snippy with her peers and Eve was especially harsh in her critiques of their final design sketches.
So, Eve decided, Villanelle deserved an amazing birthday, complete with a healthy mix of fun and relaxation.
She just hadn’t planned for Villanelle’s parents to be as... interesting as Villanelle has explained.
Chapter 28: Stripes vs Spots
a fluffy fun chapter. for now.
“Would you love me in a Bentley?
Would you love me on the bus?”
-50 Cent, “21 Questions”
In the two weeks leading up to her birthday, Villanelle became increasingly agitated. When she wasn’t in class, she isolated herself for hours at a time in a storage unit she rented. Ten of the twelve finished pieces from her collection were stored safely there. She went over them with a fine tooth comb, making sure everything was perfect down to the final stitch. If there was anything she felt would lose points with a panel of judges, she changed.
The line ranged from couture to ready-to-wear. She was honest with Eve when she said pant suits were going to be the primary focus in her collection, but what she had created were next level from the patterns to the colors she’d chosen. The last two pieces that she had to work on were still in the pages of her sketchbook. She had time. Not much, but Villanelle was determined to finish her work in time for the fashion show. She’d heard of some designers making last minute changes to ensembles moments before a model hit the catwalk, and it wasn’t frowned upon or illegal, but Villanelle was a perfectionist. Everything had to have its own place when it came to her designs. This was literally the most important of her life’s work, so far.
Her frustration wasn’t helped at all by the fact that her parents were three days away from flying into London from Russia. The last time the three of them had been in the same room wasn’t pleasant. This time, however, Eve promised her that she would at least be a buffer between Villanelle and her parents. It mattered to Villanelle, but she was sure her parents would neither approve of Eve, nor accept the fact that Villanelle was with yet another teacher.
“ Fucking Irina,” Villanelle huffed as she stabbed the sewing needle through the cuff of a tuxedo-esque blazer. Her mother was certain to bring up Anna in an attempt to disarm Eve, and Villanelle would be powerless to stop it.
But, she had faith in their relationship and that she and Eve would take whatever was coming their way in stride.
March, Friday, London 8:08PM
“Will you stop? You look fine.”
“I know.” Villanelle told Eve, matter-of-factly.
It wasn’t her appearance she was worried about. Nor was it Eve’s. The stunning Asian woman had even dressed up for the occasion. The camel jumpsuit she wore, cinched at the waist with a brown leather cumberbund belt and was held up by one twisted strap made of same brown leather. Her hair was slicked back into an elegant bun and she’d paired it with strappy mustard heels, light makeup, and delicate jewelry. She’d loved the look so much that when Eve met Villanelle outside of her flat, the blonde had tried to entice her upstairs for a quickie before dinner. To no avail.
Now, they sat at the restaurant, and Eve couldn’t help but think that she should have considered the offer. Maybe if they’d had a few private moments to themselves beforehand, she wouldn’t be as nervous and neither would Villanelle.
“You should have a drink.”
Eve signaled for a waitress anyway. She ordered them each a Negroni and then turned back to Villanelle who was tapping her nail against the salad fork. Eve placed her own hand atop her girlfriend’s to stop the bad habit.
“Look,” Eve told her, “I’m the only one in my family without a masters degree in anything . To my parents, that was a slap in the face, but once they saw how successful I became regardless, they were so proud of me. It’ll be the same with your parents. You’ll see.”
“I hope so. You know the fucked up part is that I don’t even know why I want them to be proud of me.”
“They’re your parents. Everyone wants to make their parents happy, make them proud. Despite how they treat us. It’s our only Achilles heels as daughters.” Eve shrugged and perked up when she saw the drinks approaching.
Villanelle looked at the drink placed in front of her, skeptically.
“We are getting drunk tonight. If nothing else, it will make everything your parents say hysterical.”
Villanelle didn’t like the sound of that at all, but if it would calm her nerves, she would trust Eve. So, she picked up the glass, clinked it against Eve’s and drank it, grimacing at the taste.
Twenty minutes later, they were three drinks in and Villanelle was starting to feel warm. She was giggling at something Eve had told her when someone cleared their throat. The couple looked up. Out of the corner of her eye, Eve saw Villanelle’s posture straighten.
These were her parents.
They both stood and Villanelle introduced Eve to them as her girlfriend.
As they sat, Irina questioned, “ Girlfriend ? That’s different for you, Villanelle. We always assumed you were afraid of commitment.”
Villanelle shot Eve a look that read: And they just got here.
“Things are different with Eve. We are not temporary.”
Eve squeezed her hand reassuringly.
“That is good to hear.” Viktor commented.
“Hm.” Was all Irina said.
Each of them looked over the menu, preparing themselves for the waitress who flounced over and took their orders. When they were done, Irina clasped her hands and eagerly asked, “So, what do you do for a living, Eve?”
Eve had figured the question would come up eventually. “I teach fashion design at Central Saint Martins.”
Irina and Viktor looked at one another.
“Another teacher.” Irina said to him. “How surprising.”
“Villanelle told me all about Anna and the unfortunate events that happened.” Eve said. Three shocked expressions gaped back at her. Eve had never been the type of person to willingly ignore the elephant in the room and she wouldn’t start now. It was better to get it out in the open, otherwise, she knew Villanelle’s parents would try to lord it over them like some kind of looming threat. “It sucks that things happened the way that did, but I’m sure everyone learned valuable lessons from it.”
“Yes.” Viktor said and sipped from his water glass. “I’m sure they did.”
Irina nodded as well. “Let’s hope so.”
Food was served less than twenty minutes later, and they ate the majority of the meal in silence with Viktor asking Eve a few questions here and there. Irina seemed to try to figure Eve out by her answers, tilting her head occasionally and squinting her eyes in consideration.
“How old are you, Eve? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Robbing the cradle a bit, aren’t you?”
Villanelle gripped her knife harder, dropped her fork and picked up her Negroni, draining the contents.
“Probably, but can you blame me? She’s stunning. And so mature for her age. Don’t even get me started on how brilliant she is.” Eve replied and pushed Villanelle’s romance curls behind her ear. Villanelle tried to ignore the shiver that ran down her spine.
What the fuck was in that drink?
“She’s always been smart, you know. And so damned mischievous.” Viktor chimed in. He and Eve began a long-winded conversation, singing Villanelle’s praises. He told Eve a few stories about the troubles that Villanelle got into and somehow talked her way out of on multiple occasions. As they laughed, Eve even caught Irina smiling nostalgically at some of the unbelievable tales.
“So, you see, Eve, it is not that I worry that Villanelle is not good enough for the fashion industry, I just wonder if she is wasting her talent and genius on an industry that just will not appreciate all that she is.” Viktor said as his laughs subsided. “She could make an excellent lawyer with her ability to argue.”
“But, shouldn’t that be her choice? Shouldn’t her happiness overrule anything else?” Eve genuinely wondered.
“Her happiness is all that I want. What if she wakes up in ten years and is no longer happy with fashion and she has wasted so much time on something that does not truly make her happy?”
“Then she’ll find the next thing that makes her happy. That’s what life is about: experimenting and experiencing and enjoying.”
Viktor didn’t have a rebuttal, but Eve saw that his mind was working to find one. She raised her eyebrows at Irina who had been on the finer side of quiet for most of the evening. “Just come and witness for yourself how absolutely incredible Villanelle is at fashion design. Meet a few of my friends who have been in the business for a long time. Come and see that this world is more than just about the physical clothing. It’s about the art .”
Villanelle loved to see Eve so passionate about fashion design. It always ignited a fire within her and inspired her to create something new.
Irina sighed audibly and sat back in her chair, hands folded in her lap. “Very well. We will come to the show.”
An hour after that, Eve and Villanelle sat in the back of a taxi grinning at each other like idiots.
“I do not know how you did that, Eve, but my dad loves you.”
“Yes. He does.” Eve laughed. “I’m still working on your mom, though.”
“At least she does not hate you. I think she even likes you a little. I can’t wait to see what they say when they find out you’re still married.” Villanelle teased. Eve’s jaw dropped before she waggled an accusing finger at Villanelle playfully.
“Tiger doesn’t change his spots overnight.”
“Tigers have stripes.” Villanelle told her and they giggled. “I think you might just be a little drunk.”
“You,” Eve poked Villanelle in the chest, “should be thanking me.”
“For helping me get through dinner with my parents?”
“No, because when I’m drunk, I’m so much easier to get naked.”
Villanelle laughed and pulled Eve towards her, kissing her soundly. “Thank you.”
“For all future nudity?”
“No,” Villanelle smiled into the next kiss, “for helping me with my parents. You do not know how much it means to me.”
“That’s just birthday gift number one. There are so many more to come before your actual birthday on Sunday.”
Villanelle smiled. “I never really enjoyed birthdays until now.”
“Stick with me, baby. I’ll help you enjoy a lot of things you never have.”
Chapter 29: Let’s Party & Bullshit
“I heard sirens in my head
From the first time that we met.”
-Becky Hill & Matoma, “False Alarm”
Birthdays were never on Villanelle’s top priority list. Apart from surprising her Uncle Konstantin on his, Villanelle never made her own a big deal. As far as her parents, well, she only saw their birthdays as yet another excuse for her to buy new clothes and show up to a party only to wreak havoc and sass her mother’s condescending friends. This year, however, for her own birthday, Villanelle was beginning to realize that, in the past, she hadn’t been a fan of birthdays because she really had no one to share it with. There was nothing in her life that she really enjoyed except fashion. And now, she had Eve. She was the happiest she’d been in so long, and it caused her to do the most unexpected thing: she invited people to celebrate with her.
On Saturday, after a few mind-blowing orgasms and breakfast in bed, she took Eve’s advice and sent out a few texts to the people she would consider friends. It wasn’t a sure thing, but Villanelle knew that as long as Eve was there, she would have the perfect birthday.
She made herself scarce on Saturday afternoon to work on her collection. Eve popped down to the shops to get things for Villanelle’s actual birthday on Sunday. It was like Christmas all over again. Eve wasn’t sure what to get Villanelle but she knew it would be cherished all the same. She bought flowers, wine, Villanelle’s favorite sweets and she was just about to give up and head to a different shopping district when something caught her eye. Eve slipped into the small shop and two hours later, she was leaving with an enormous smile on her face.
Sunday morning, Villanelle awoke to dim light, the rain beating against her frosted industrial windows, and Eve softly singing happy birthday to her. She held a plate of banana pancakes with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a single little candle in the center as she walked slowly towards the bed, careful not to blow the candle out prematurely. Villanelle smiled sleepily and sat up in bed, watching as Eve came closer and closer, finishing her off-key rendition of the classic birthday theme song.
“Make a wish.”
She didn’t believe in it. The magic of wishes. Villanelle had always believed that time and hard work are what made people’s wildest dreams come true. But suddenly, as she looked at her life and where she was now, Villanelle wasn’t so sure. Maybe there was a little magic involved.
So, she put a finger to her chin, theatrically and then squeezed her eyes shut. And when she opened them, she blew the candles out grinning as Eve cheered her on, softly.
“What did you wish for?”
“It won’t come true if I tell you.”
“Fair enough.” She handed Villanelle the plate and climbed back into bed with her. Together, they devoured the sweet breakfast and snuggled back into the warmth of the covers.
“It’s your birthday. What do you want to do?” Eve asked.
“Can we spend all day in bed?” Villanelle asked, throwing an arm and a leg over Eve and nuzzling her neck.
“We could, but your parents want to see you, and I have a surprise for you.”
Villanelle’s eyes lit up. “A surprise?”
“Mhm.” Eve confirmed. “Do you want it now or later?”
Eve jumped out of bed, disappearing from sight, only to return moments later, holding a thick white envelope.
“What is this?”
“Won’t know until you open it.”
Villanelle took the envelope and an innocent kiss from Eve. She tore it open and unfolded the documents, scanning its contents. “Eve—.”
Eve brought her knee up, resting her head on it and smiled. “This is an application for an apprenticeship at Ralph and Russo.”
“London’s only couture atelier. Look, I know you want the end of year apprenticeship, and I believe that you’ll get it, but I want you to know that your talent goes far beyond CSM. They saw your virtual portfolio, only the copyright designs, and were practically begging me to tell them who you were.”
“This is amazing. Thank you for always believing in me. This is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.” She kissed Eve over and over. “I love you.”
“I love you .”
Nightjar, Sunday, Soho, London, UK, 10:10PM
In an Eve Polastri original, vintage suspender dress that Eve had gifted her for Christmas, Villanelle felt her hips swaying to the music in the Prohibition-style speakeasy bar. She beamed as the people in the circle around her held up their drinks in a toast to her.
“...and while we haven’t known each other for very long,” Kenny admitted, “I’m glad to know someone who is so incredibly talented, painstakingly honest and absolutely stunning. Happy birthday, Villanelle.”
“Yes!” Hugo agreed. “Even though you won’t give me the time of day, cue the eye rolls,” Villanelle, Kenny and Nadia rolled their eyes in perfect synchronicity and then laughed, “I just hope this birthday is the start of a year that brings you the success you want, the wisdom you need and the happiness you deserve. Happy birthday.”
“If I can,” Eve interjected, “I just add that youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty in every- and anything. Franz Kafka said ‘anyone who who keeps the capacity to see beauty never grows old’, so Villanelle, here’s to never truly growing old, just growing up.”
That was the perfect way to end the toasts. Everyone tapped their glasses together in a symphony of clinks and tossed back their shots.
Villanelle grabbed both Kenny and Eve’s hands and started towards the dance floor, Hugo, Diego and Nadia following closely behind.
“Thanks for inviting me, Villanelle, but I should go!” Eve shouted over the bass. “I’ll let you kids have some fun.”
“Oh, come on, Eve! You’re the cool teacher! Dance with us! Have a little fun!” Hugo yelled back.
“Yeah, Eve! Have a little fun!”
Nadia, pulled closely against Diego’s gyrating body watched with peaked interest as Eve danced with her students. She laughed and sang to familiar songs with Hugo and allowed herself to be spun around by Villanelle. She was so comfortable with her students, but Nadia noticed that whenever she could, Eve’s gaze always fell back to her blonde, Russian counterpart.
The buzzer sounded at Villanelle’s door. At first, they didn’t hear it; Eve’s ears were covered by Villanelle’s thighs and Villanelle could only hear the blood rushing to her head as she climaxed while holding Eve’s head between her legs and humping her face.
And then it sounded again.
“Who’s at your door at two in the morning?” Eve asked. “Is it your other girlfriend?”
“Oh shit. I forgot she was coming.” Villanelle teased back. Eve slapped the inside of her thigh and slid two fingers back inside of her abruptly. Villanelle cried out, her sensitive pussy fluttering around Eve’s fingers.
Once more, the buzzer sounded and Villanelle swore loudly. Eve pulled away. “I don’t think they’re leaving anytime soon.”
Villanelle dragged herself out of bed, found her robe and quickly tied it around the waist as she made her way to the security screen that revealed her late night visitor.
“It is Nadia.” Villanelle said over her shoulder. Eve’s brows went up.
“Is she okay?”
The blonde shrugged. “I will find out.”
Barefoot, she padded down the stairs to her front door, opening it.
“Hi. What are you doing here? Are you alright?”
“Yes. Well, no.”
Villanelle raised an eyebrow. “What is wrong?”
“It is your birthday and I didn’t want you to be alone.”
“That is so sweet, but—.” Villanelle glanced over her shoulder at the staircase.
“But you are not alone.” Nadia actually appeared dejected.
“No. I am not.” Another thought crossed Villanelle’s mind. “Wait. I thought you were,” she slipped into Russian, “fucking that idiot, Diego.”
Nadia looked taken aback. She had never heard Villanelle speak Russian before. Even during their holiday break, Villanelle had somehow managed to find some of the only English-speaking places in town to visit. “He is not an idiot.”
“He is not a genius either.”
“I was using him.”
Villanelle looked genuinely confused. It didn’t seem like Diego came from money, and Nadia couldn’t possibly have used him for conversation because all he talked about was himself. “For what?”
“To get over you.”
“When were you,” she searched for the right words, finally ending with, “ under me?”
Nadia shook her head once as if trying to clear a thought from her head. “It does not matter now. You should go back upstairs.”
She watched as Nadia turned to walk away before stopping herself. “Just answer one question. Please.”
Villanelle nodded. “Do you see yourself marrying Professor Polastri?”
“Do you see yourself marrying Eve?”
“I heard you the first time. I just wanted you to hear how crazy you sounded. What would make you think Eve is upstairs?”
“I am not crazy. It is so obvious. The way you two look at one another. The way you talk to each other as if you have known one another all your lives. I mean, fuck, she was at the bar tonight for your birthday!”
“Because she knows I do not have many friends here! She was being nice!”
“She was being a girlfriend.” Nadia corrected her and shrugged. “I just hope you are happy.”
“Did Diego put you up to this? Is he trying to stop me from winning the apprenticeship?”
Villanelle’s mind started to work a mile a minute before she landed on one major thought. “Was Diego the student who went to Carolyn?”
“Was it you?”
Nadia looked away, watching as the rain danced off of the streetlights before hitting the pavement. She turned back to Villanelle, tears in her eyes. “Yes, but, Billie I—.”
If looks could kill, Nadia would have gotten hit by a Mack truck right then and there.
“Wow.” Villanelle cut her off. “Nadia, what I have to say to you right now will not be kind. So, I am going to shut this door, but when I calm down, we are going to have a nice, long conversation. Understood?”
Nadia looked both terrified and apologetic at the same time. She nodded once and opened her mouth to speak only to be silenced by the sound of Villanelle’s flat door slamming closed.
Villanelle leaned against it, eyes closing. “Fuck.”
Chapter 30: No Means No
In the past two weeks I have gotten emergency oral surgery, failed my first forensics exam, planned a surprise gender reveal and written absolutely nothing, so forgive me. ALSO, I do plan on posting the 12 pieces of Villanelle's collection over on tumblr so follow: etherealmvmi or melvcholymvmi if you wanna see it!
TW: mention of sexual harassment
“I’ve never seen anybody
Do the things
You do before.”
-Tones & I, “Dance Monkey”
“Wait, what?” Eve asked, disbelief dripping from her words as she made them each a cup of tea. “So, Nadia is the one who told Carolyn about us?”
“Yup.” Villanelle confirmed, sitting at the table, feet up under her bum. She took the mug that Eve offered her and held it in both hands, warming them.
“Why would she even--?” A look of realization crossed Eve’s face. “Oh.” A grin. “She’s in love with you.”
Villanelle froze, cup mere inches from her lips. “What?”
“She’s in love with you.”
“Don’t be silly, Eve. We went on one date. One and a half if you count the carnival.”
“And we all know how that ended.”
Villanelle smirked, cheekily remarking, “Yes. We do.”
“I would have never guessed it was Nadia. I mean, she seems so mousy and so not--.”
“Like a Disney villain?”
“At all.” Eve leaned her hip against the island and blew into the steaming liquid. “You fucked her.”
Villanelle sipped tea instead of responding.
“Wow. You must have some tricks I’ve never seen before.”
“Eve, I have done things with you that would make a porn star blush.”
“Sex with Nadia was vanilla. So, I really do not know what she could be so hung up on.”
Eve rolled her eyes. “You know, for someone who is so confident to the point that it’s irritating, you really have no clue how loveable you are.”
“Well, I am cute.”
Eve laughed. “Yes, you are cute, but that’s not all. It’s not all about your appearance, you know. You have a genuinely good heart, even though you don’t like to show anyone else but me.”
“People take kindness for weakness. It is better they think I am a bitch. Besides, it adds an element of surprise when I am nice.” Villanelle wiggled her shoulders a bit, and Eve shook her head, smiling.
“Yeah, it also adds an element of suspicion.” Pushing off of the counter, Eve crossed the small divide between them, tugging Villanelle’s hair as she went. “On a serious note,” she sat in the chair opposite her girlfriend, “how are we going to handle this? What are we going to do about Nadia?”
“I will handle Nadia.”
“Forgive me, but the last time you handled something, you were almost charged with housebreaking.”
“Yes, but is it still housebreaking if I had a key?”
“A stolen key.”
“A key, nonetheless.”
“Nadia.” Eve said, steering the conversation back to the topic at hand. “What are we going to do about her?”
Villanelle sighed deeply, stretching her neck from one side to the other. “I have to, I don’t know, break up with her or something.”
“In her head, whatever we had is more than what it was. I have to let her know that it wasn’t.”
“But you’ll be nice?”
“I will try my hardest.”
Eve finished her tea and stood from the chair, kissing the top of Villanelle’s head on her way to deposit her mug in the sink. “Come on, let’s get some sleep.”
“We can get back in bed, but we are not sleeping.” Villanelle got up as well, a predatory look in her eyes.
Eve pointed at her, accusingly. “Don’t you dare.” Her laughter turned into a shriek when Villanelle ran towards her and picked her up by the waist. Eve’s legs instinctively wrapped around Villanelle and moments later, her back hit the soft mattress.
Notes Coffee, Kings Cross, London, Tuesday, Noon
“Billie.” A nervous Nadia stood from her chair when she saw Villanelle approach her table.
Nadia sat. As did Villanelle.
“You are a pain in my ass, Nadia.”
“I am so sorry, Billie. I—.”
“Do not interrupt me.” Villanelle picked up the small menu, pretending to scan its contents. “You have put me in a tough spot and if I lose my chance at winning the end of the year competition, I will have nothing, Nadia. Do you understand?”
“I do. I just… I want to know why her?”
“Why her? Why Eve?”
“I am not—.”
“Please do not lie. I can see that you are in love with her. I just want to know if I did something wrong?”
Brown eyes glossed over and Villanelle watched as Nadia tried not to start crying at the table. She refrained from rolling her eyes. This was all too much, really. They’d only been out a couple of times, and Villanelle hadn’t actually seen it going anywhere.
“You did nothing wrong, Nadia. We had fun, but I was not interested in more. I am sorry if you wanted more.”
“You still did not answer my question.” Nadia replied. “Why her?”
Villanelle sighed. “She represents everything that I did not know I could be or want or need. I was trapped in my past, stuck in a revolving door of regret and resentment until I met her. That is why her.”
Nadia nodded, but didn’t speak for a long while.
“I am sorry about going to Headmistress Martens.”
“You should be.”
“I am!” Nadia reaffirmed. “I know I put your future in jeopardy and I am sorry. I know you will not trust me for a long time and I understand that, but I still want us to be friends. What can I do to make it right?”
Villanelle smiled. “Now you are asking the right questions.”
Annex B Convention Lecture Hall, CSM, Tuesday, 12:30PM
Monday morning, while uneventful, there was a buzz around school. Flyers were posted on the doors and bulletin boards of nearly every hallway and emails were sent to students and staff alike. There would be a mandatory meeting on sexual harassment and fraternization. Any Tuesday classes during the lunch block were to be canceled. Everyone was to report to the Convention Lecture Hall in Annex B which was able to hold every person on campus comfortably.
Eve sat in an aisle seat closest to the front exit beside Elena and Bill who were joking about sneaking out to hit the bar across the street. Eve bit her thumbnail anxiously as excited chatter filled the hall.
Eve’s phone buzzed in her pocket. She fished it from the pocket of her cardigan.
New Message: V
You’re cute when you’re nervous.
Eve scoffed in an attempt to hide a smile. Covertly, she looked around the large room to see where Villanelle may be sitting. Just over her left shoulder, one aisle over, the blonde sat in a red peplum blouse and wool-crepe pants, eyes solely on Eve.
Carolyn Martens took center stage, commanding everyone’s attention without saying a word. Eve had to give it to her, she knew how to work a room.
“Why does she always look like she’s in a competition with Anna Wintour?” Elena leaned over to whisper to Eve.
Eve snorted her laughter. “I have a sneaking suspicion that she is.”
“Good morning, everyone. First thing’s first: thank you for sacrificing your lunch hours to be here. I know you could be working on your degree projects, but I felt that it was important to speak on this topic. While there is no rule against fraternization between students and faculty or between faculty members, themselves, we should make it known that favoritism as a result of said relationships are absolutely frowned upon.” As Carolyn spoke, she paced across the stage, hands steepled together in front of her abdomen. “Professors in relationships with students, it is extremely unprofessional to base grades off of the status of your relations with said student, and vice versa. Students shall not use their relationship to obtain higher grades or special privileges. That brings me to the darker side of this issue.”
Eve stole a glance at Villanelle who looked incredibly amused at this development. This was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard, and Villanelle was actually smirking.
“If any student feels that they are being coerced into intimacy with a professor here in exchange for special favors or grades, you do not have to be afraid to come forward. We take sexual harassment very seriously and we will launch a full investigation. On the opposite end, if any professors feel that a student is offering them anything intimate or personal in exchange for better grades or special privileges, we expect you to report him or her to me directly.”
We can do that? -V
Ask for special favors in exchange for sex? -V
Eve sent back a string of laughing emojis followed by a very eloquent: You’re an ass.
“Now, I will open the floor to questions.”
Quite a few hands went up immediately. For the next twenty minutes, Carolyn answered as many questions as she could with absolute clarity.
“I’ll take one more question and then we’ll wrap this up. I’m sure you all have lives to get back to.” She pointed to a hand in the back. “You.”
“How can you be sure that special favors are not being given? Is there some sort of ask-and-tell policy?” Someone asked.
“Well, we at Central Saint Martins like to believe you all are capable of using your best judgement. Be honorable, hold yourselves and your peers accountable.”
“What if someone is incorrectly singled out as a result of this honorable accountability ? I am sure you can recognize that this is an extremely competitive program and with so much at stake. Anyone can single out a student or professor of unprofessional conduct in order to gain an advantage.” Villanelle called out. Eve sunk deeper into her seat.
Carolyn’s brows raised and she appeared to be at a loss for words. “As I stated, we will launch a full investigation into each inquiry we receive.”
Villanelle’s amused grin reappeared. She gave a condescending nod of acknowledgement.
“As always, my door is open to any and everyone. Dismissed.”
A flurry of activity surrounded them as students and faculty headed back to their daily activities. Eve shot Villanelle a text.
My office. Ten minutes.
And ten minutes later when Villanelle entered Eve’s office, Eve looked on the verge of a mental breakdown.
“What the hell was that about? There’s already enough attention being thrown our way by Carolyn and her precious School Board.”
Villanelle sat on her desk, legs crossed and she let Eve rant at her for a few moments before she finally took a breath.
“Are you done?”
“Good. Because now you need to calm down. There will not be much more attention our way.”
“How do you know that?”
“Well, a small seed of doubt has just been planted in Carolyn’s mind. That, along with Nadia recanting her previous statement about us, we will be in the clear until the end of the year.”
“And what about next year?”
“Well, you won’t be my professor next year.”
“I told you I would handle it. Carolyn just gave me the perfect opportunity to do it without backing over Nadia with a car.” Villanelle joked.
Relief flooded through Eve. Her tense shoulders relaxed just a bit and she actually smiled. “You’re a little scary sometimes.”
“Oh, it was a joke. I wouldn’t actually run anyone over. I think.” She shrugged and hopped off of her desk. “Now, I expect a proper thank you tonight.”
“Oh, I can’t tonight.”
“I’m meeting with a divorce lawyer.”
“I want to kiss you right now.”
Eve looked at the open door of her office and then back to Villanelle. She crossed the room and pulled Villanelle out of view of the hallway, kissing her quickly. Villanelle laughed into the second kiss and wrapped an arm around Eve’s waist.
“Why, Professor Polastri, this is awfully inappropriate.” Villanelle flirted.
“Oh, I’ll show you ina--.”
Someone clearing their throat made Eve and Villanelle jump apart. Bill stood at the door, a grin on his face and his hands slipping into his pants pockets.
“I was just coming to see if you wanted to take me and Elena up on our offer to hit the bar.” Bill turned to leave the room, stopping to mention, “Your girlfriend is more than welcome to join us as well.”
Once he was out of earshot, Eve turned back to Villanelle. “That did not just happen. Did that just happen?”
“And after a sexual harassment seminar, no less.”
“That’s not funny.”
“Come on. It was a little funny. Bill is your friend and he loves me. He won’t tell anyone.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Then we should go to drinks and find out.”
Eve ran both hands through her hair. “Are you trying to kill me?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Eve. You are the only person I need alive. Come on. It is rude to keep your friends waiting.”
Chapter 31: Revelations: Part I
so, funny story: when I first posted this, I was drunk as a skunk and it was horrible. I've edited, added, and split it in two. next chapter will be from Bill and Villanelle's POV.
“I’ve been waiting for you
For the whole week
I’ve been praying for you
You’re my Sunday candy.”
-Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment,
The Parcel Yard, Tuesday, 1:22PM
Seated in a light-filled atrium just inside of the Kings Cross Railway Station, Elena And Bill were already halfway through their first drink when Eve and Villanelle arrived.
“There they are!” Bill exclaimed. “We’re having gin and tonics. What are you having?”
“Same.” Eve agreed, climbing onto a barstool.
“Club soda, thank you.” Villanelle added, choosing to lean against the bar instead of sitting.
“So?” Elena started. “What did you guys think about that little seminar?”
“It was interesting, to say the least.” Eve replied.
“Not sure what Carolyn’s intentions were, but I feel thoroughly spanked and sent to my room.” Bill quipped.
“Ah, so like an average Tuesday for you, then?” Elena teased.
Eve sputtered into her drink. “Jesus! A little warning before we start talking BDSM.”
“Who was talking BDSM, Eve? Mind out of the gutter. There are children around.” Bill nodded his head towards Villanelle.
“Something tells me Billie is anything but a child.” Elena said.
Offhandedly, and in a completely distracted manner, Eve gazed at Villanelle whose hazel eyes were burning holes into her, confirming, “Anything but.”
Bill and Elena exchanged a look, both holding in their laughter.
“Bill,” Villanelle tore her eyes from Eve, “why do you feel reprimanded? Are you sleeping with a student?”
“Technically, not anymore.” Eve interjected.
“You remember Keiko from the Christmas party, yeah?” Bill inquired.
Bill waggled his brows in response.
A look of pure enlightenment crossed her face, followed quickly by disbelief. “She was your student?”
“She graduated five years ago.” Elena explained “He’s been fucking her since she was senior.”
“Are you judging me? That sounded a bit judgy.” Bill grinned.
“Mm mm.” Eve said, swallowing the last of her gin and tonic. “This is a judgement-free zone.” She signaled for the bartender to bring her another.
“Exactly.” Elena told Bill, matter-of-factly.
“So,” started Bill, “that being said, is there anything you want to tell us.”
The two of them looked at Eve, expectantly. Sipping from her refreshed drink, Eve stared at them as she what the fuck they were truly asking. Realization caused her heart to pound as if she’d just run a marathon.
“Oh, for the love of--. How long have you two known?” Eve asked.
“Since the Christmas party. What with the long, heated looks and subtle innuendos. Oh god, and the ass-kiss-a-thon. I mean, honestly.” Bill laughed.
“Pretty much since that time I caught you two in your studio.” Elena admitted.
Eve’s jaw dropped and she cried, “You said she didn’t see anything!”
“I was trying to keep you from freaking out. You know how you get.” Villanelle replied, nonchalantly.
Bill laughed. “She does tend to get a bit twisted out of shape, doesn’t she?”
“You have no idea.” Villanelle’s eyes reached the heavens and she scoffed. “It takes a miracle to calm her down, really.”
Eve watched as Bill played musical chairs to be closer to Villanelle and the two began an animated conversation about Eve’s character flaws, and how they, as Eve’s intimate circle, had to help her. She felt as if she was in an episode of The Twilight Zone . She turned to Elena who smiled and slid her own gin and tonic over to her fellow professor.
“It’s okay, Eve. It really is. You’ve been alone in your suffering for so long. It’s time you don’t share the burden alone.”
Physically, Eve’s entire body relaxed before Elena’s eyes. She looked as if the weight of the world fell away from her shoulders. From her mind. From her spirit .
“I-I want to be clear.” She told Elena. “I don’t look at my relationship with Villanelle as a burden.”
“Of course you don’t! I just meant that it’s a secret that you’ve held in for such a long time, that I’m surprised your head hasn’t exploded already.”
Eve finished the remnants of her good friend’s drink and sighed. “It has been hard.”
Elena glanced over at Villanelle and Bill, finding them in deep conversation. She ducked her head and her voice lowered when she asked, “Does Niko know?”
Eve nodded. “I filed for divorce.”
Eyes ballooning in size, “Wow. So, it’s serious?”
“Elena, I… For so long, I thought Niko was the love of my life, but then I met her.”
“And you realized that maybe you hadn’t charted all lands?”
Eve laughed. “ That , and I realized that maybe I moved too quickly. I mean, you knew me when I first met Niko. I felt like the next step of life was to get married.”
“Yeah, but things change. You also thought you’d be a mother by now, but look where you are.”
Dark brown orbs searched olive skin. “Are you happy, Eve?”
“Then that’s all that matters. Fuck everything else.”
“Fuck everything else,” agreed Eve. “I just don’t know if I like the two of them being best buds.”
Elena laughed. “I’m sure Villanelle is harmless.”
“Yeah, she’s not the one I’m worried about.” Eve teased.
“Oi!” Bill proclaimed, attracting the attention of Eve and Elena, “we’re getting a table for lunch.”
The four of them were led to a small table by the hostess that Villanelle had found. When they were seated before a window that overlooked the stunning train station and all of the people who temporarily inhabited it, Eve and Elena continued their conversation.
“How did this all happen? Start from the beginning.”
Eve, completely devoid of guilt, found herself regaling Elena of how her relationship with Villanelle first began. Every now and again, Elena commented on certain parts, trying to find the same clarity that Eve had attempted to find once upon a time.
“I bloody knew it! There was a moment between the end of the carnival and clean-up that I wondered where you both had gotten off to. Carolyn asked me about the photo booth, of course, but I told her that you’d gone home sick and had asked me to help.”
“Yeah. So, naturally, her next question was about your TA.”
“And what did you say?”
“Quite frankly, I’d witnessed her strolling along the carnival with the dark-haired girl from your class.”
“Yep.” Elena shrugged. “In any case, I suppose I owe Billie an apology.”
“I thought she’d gone off with Nadia and blew off the photo booth.”
“Ah,” replied Eve, “that brings us full circle back to Carolyn’s little mandatory sexual harassment seminar today.”
Elena sat back in her seat, fingers drumming against her condensating glass. “Do tell.”
“Well, apparently Nadia told Carolyn her suspicions about the relationship.”
“I think she’s in love with Villanelle.”
“Holy fuck. Well, that certainly complicates things.”
“Yes and no. Villanelle said she’d handle it, so, I’m trying to trust her to handle it.”
“And what about Carolyn? Is it just a matter of making it to the end of the year without her knowing?”
“Partly. I mean, she basically told me that if Villanelle and I are together, there’s no chance of Villanelle winning the degree showcase.”
“That’s not fair.”
“I know. Villanelle has put in so much time and energy into her collection. She should at the very least be able to compete. Part of me feels like this relationship might hold her back.”
“No, Eve. You can’t think that way.”
“Even if she does win the showcase, what if it takes her to Milan or the States? I want her heart to be in it one hundred percent and it won’t if she feels like she’s leaving me behind.”
Elena looked at Bill and Villanelle who were in their own world, chattering away. Returning her attention to Eve, Elena reached out and placed a hand on Eve’s.
“Stop reaching the finish line before the gun has even gone off.”
“Yes, thank you, Sigmund Freud. I’ll keep that in mind.”
Chapter 32: Revelations: Part II
okay, my widdle baby assassins, between school and both of my jobs, I'm exhausting myself, so I will only be posting on Sundays (with the occasional Wednesday) from now on. don't hate me, k?
So give me a run for my money
Sipping bubbly, feeling lovely
Just love me
-Kendrick Lamar, “LOVE.”
When Villanelle and Eve arrived at The Parcel, the blonde could feel waves of anxiety radiating off of Eve. Normally, it wouldn’t affect her, but at that moment she was the cliché girlfriend, nervous about meeting her girlfriend’s friends. While it wasn’t the first time she’d been in the same room with them, it was the first time now that Bill had found out about their relationship. In the beginning, it had been a seduction and neither of them could be sure where things would lead.
Yet, here they were.
They made their way to Eve’s friends where Bill offered them drinks. Villanelle smiled when Eve ordered a gin and tonic. She clearly needed something to take the edge off. As for Villanelle, she did better navigating through intense social situations without impaired judgment.
And as luck would have it, she was glad she did. Otherwise, she probably wouldn’t have made such quick friends with Bill. The first thing they’d bonded over was Eve, of course. Or rather, they bonded over Eve’s lack of coping mechanisms for her flourishing anxiety. Anxiety, that Villanelle was proud to announce, was most likely all her doing.
Bill laughed. “She does tend to get a bit twisted out of shape, doesn’t she?”
“You have no idea.” Villanelle’s eyes reached the heavens and she scoffed. “It takes a miracle to calm her down, really.”
“Exactly! She hasn’t always been that way, mind you, but lately.” Bill made a tching noise, dismissing his next thought.
“Say it.” Villanelle challenged.
“Ah, it’s nothing.”
Smirking, Villanelle drummed her perfectly manicured fingers along the wooden bar. “You think Eve’s sudden skittishness is all my doing.”
“Well, not all your doing, per say.”
The blonde shrugged a shoulder. “Well, you are not wrong. It is a fair assessment. I like to think that I have a lot to do with her over-alert mannerisms.”
“You do have her on her toes. Hopefully, just not walking on eggshells.”
“No. No, my intention is not to frighten sweet Eve.”
“What are your intentions with our fair Eve, then?”
Now, we are getting somewhere , mused Villanelle. Bill had shown his paternal hand. He wanted to make sure Eve, whom he’d taken under his wing and had become more family than friend to him, was being taken care of.
“Simply to make her… aware again. Wake her up from the humdrum of tradition and routines. I want her to be alive again.” Villanelle’s brows twitched, mischievously and Bill watched as a telltale glint flickered in her eyes. “Eve is capable of forcing this world on its knees, and I just want her to know that.”
Bill grinned and said into his drink. “And in the meantime, she’s doing a wondrous job at bringing you to yours ?”
Oh, Villanelle liked him. She really liked him.
“Yes, this is true.” She put a finger to her chin, pretending to think. “Although, come to think of it, she does enjoy being on hers, too.”
The pleasantly surprised look on Bill’s face was absolutely priceless . He raised his glass to her. Villanelle lifted her seltzer water and they tapped then together. “I’ll drink to that.”
“Two drinks in and I’m already past tipsy.” He admitted. Villanelle scanned the establishment and signaled for the hostess towards the front of the restaurant.
“We should get some food into you.”
“Now, you’re talking.”
The hostess with blunt auburn bangs made her way to them, swiftly. Mesmerized, she couldn’t stop herself from gawking at Villanelle as she spoke.
“Just four today?” She asked, dreamily, as if she was hoping Villanelle might ask her to lunch.
“Right this way.”
“Oi!” Bill proclaimed, attracting the attention of Eve and Elena, “we’re taking a table for lunch.”
They were led to a table, and as they awaited the arrival of a server, Bill and Villanelle settled on a new topic.
“Carolyn is no nitwit, by any means. She will find out. Eventually.”
“Hopefully by then, I’ll have won the degree showcase and Eve will no longer be one of my professors.”
Bill sat back in his chair and tilted his glass on the table, ice clinking sweetly.
“I like you, Villanelle.”
“You are not so bad yourself, Bill.”
“Just be careful.”
“I meant with Eve. Be careful with her. She’s tough, but this is new for her. And you have your whole life ahead of you. If you win the apprenticeship and it takes you away from her, just let her down sooner, rather than later.”
“I never plan on leaving Eve. She is mine, and I am hers.”
“Never say never, my dear. Just remember what I said.”
“I hear what you are saying, but I do not think you are hearing me . I’ve done it all, and seen much more than that. Eve is who I want. A life with her is all I crave. It is all I need. It will be her decision to end this, but believe me, I will leave claw marks from fighting for this relationship before I ever let it go.”
Bill looked stunned. He had only met one other woman with such a passionate determination as Villanelle. And she was sitting right across from.
CSM, Wednesday, 11:45AM
“Eve, can we just have a transparent moment?” Kenny asked.
Eve hopped up on her desk and crossing her legs, Native-American-style. “Sure. What’s on your mind?”
“Okay, maybe I’m the only one, but is anyone else freaking out? I mean, the closer we get to the degree shows, the more unsteady my hands get.”
“That’s normal.” Eve replied. “It’s a huge event.”
“Yeah, not to mention we’re putting ourselves and our work out there to be critiqued by some of the most important people we’ll ever meet.” Hugo added.
“Yes, it’s going to be a vulnerable time for you all, but on the flip side of things, this is your time to shine. To show everyone the brilliant and talented designers that I’ve seen all year.” Eve told them. “This moment shouldn’t be about how you will be judged by your peers or teachers. It should be about proving to yourselves that you are capable of greatness.”
Eve could tell by the nervous expressions on her students’ faces that they didn’t believe one hundred percent of what she said. Still, it was her job as a professor to make sure they knew their strengths.
“Kenny, you can cross-stitch like nobody I’ve never met, including myself. Hugo, you’re lace-work would make Victorian-era seamstresses weap. Nadia, I have never seen leather-work like yours before; it’s unique and electrifying.”
She went up the left row of students, and down the right aisle, building each and every one of them up by reminding them of what they were capable of. When she made it to her final student, Eve’s lashes fluttered.
“And Villanelle,” Eve sighed, “you defy every fashion law ever made, and even while pushing the boundaries, your clothes are ready-to-wear perfection.”
Taking a second to gaze into the faces of each of the designers before her, Eve realized that she’d been an integral part of their journey. It astounded her that up until now, every year she went through the months believing that she only taught her students the basics of Womenswear design. Now, it was apparent that she was more than a design professor. Eve had become a friend, a confidant and a therapist to the budding designers before her. The four walls that created her studio had become a safe space where her students felt comfortable enough to share a moment of pure openness with her.
“Thank you guys. I mean it.”
Reluctantly, Hugo looked at his watch. “Eve, I hate to say it, but it looks like we’re out of time for today.”
Eve unfolded her legs and hopped off of her desk. “Remember on the first day of class when I said you guys were probably going to hate me by the end of the year?”
A few nods went around the classroom.
“Well, this is your fair warning. These next few weeks, I will be just as stressed as you are, so I will probably be the biggest bitch any of you have ever encountered. That being said, it’s because I expect absolute greatness from you guys.”
“We promise not to hold it against you, Eve.”
Eve smiled. “Good. Now, go. Be great. Conquer the fashion world.”
Chapter 33: Stages of Grief
angsty. idk where this came from.
“I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it
I had hoped you'd see my face
And that you'd be reminded that for me, it isn't over.”
-Adele, “Someone Like You”
Eve didn’t know how to feel when Niko told her he was moving out. She didn’t have time to feel anything, if she was honest. The moment he told her, she’d walked up to the open front door of the home they shared for the entirety of their marriage, and he was helping a mover pull his favorite chair out to a moving van.
“Do you need help?” Was the only thing she could think to ask. Niko didn’t even look at her as he mumbled some negating answer and kept moving.
She stepped into the house and was surprised to see that mostly everything was still there. Turning in a half-circle, Eve tried to see what was still there, but she found that she suddenly couldn’t see anything but tears. She didn’t know why she was crying.
Perhaps it was the loss. She’d never done well with loss. Most times she just worked through it, but this time, her work was the reason she was losing something. Some one .
Eve’s handbag fell out of her hand, and she fell down onto the third step of the staircase and she cried. Silently at first. And through her tears, she watched as Niko was walked to and fro, collecting small odds and ends and walking them back to the truck.
It seemed like an eternity passed before he walked past her and muttered, “I’ll be at Gemma’s if you need me.”
And then the door closed.
And her tears of sadness became tears of anger. Gemma ? Of all people ? Suddenly, Eve was angry with Niko, Gemma, Villanelle… but most importantly, herself. She had so much to answer for, and the hardest parts of this entire ordeal had yet to happen.
How was she going to tell her parents? What were Niko’s parents going to think?
Truthfully, Eve had thought she’d gone through all the stages of grief when it came to her marriage. But perhaps Villanelle was the reason she shot straight through to acceptance. They had spent the last month in a comfortable bubble of Villanelle’s industrial flat, only leaving out for food or fashion. Eve with her classes and office hours, and Villanelle with her collection and classes.
They were happy.
But the lives of so many people would unravel because of their happiness.
Eve wiped her tears and reached for her handbag, finding her mobile phone. She tapped at the home screen and put the phone to her ear.
She knew it was a long shot. Villanelle never kept her phone on while she was in her storage unit, working on her designs.
A beep sounded and Eve sniffled again.
“It’s me, uh, I-I know you’re busy right now but—.” Eve closed her eyes and placed a hand on her forehead, trying to ground herself and find her thoughts. “Are we being selfish?” It was only a whisper, but the question alone held every emotion that Eve felt. “Should we be doing this? Everyone loses. Niko loses a home and a wife. You could lose a chance at an incredible future. I don’t—.” No matter how hard she tried, Eve couldn’t stop the uncontrollable sobs that wracked her her small frame. So, she hung up and dropped the phone, not caring if it shattered. Eve couldn’t bring herself to care about anything else in that moment except what she was about to do.
Hours later, Eve sat on the couch in the TV room. Something senseless was blaring on the screen before her, but she had no idea what it was.
Earlier, she sat in a bath for nearly an hour and just cried. She cried as she brushed out wet curls. She cried as she redressed in warm, comfy clothes. And she cried as she down half a bottle of wine.
Now, she didn’t have anymore tears left. So, Eve hugged her knees to her chest and simply stared blankly at the television screen, completely oblivious to its content.
She jumped a bit when the doorbell rang, followed by a few frantic knocks. Twice more it happened before she heard the door open.
“Eve? Eve, are you here?” Villanelle’s voice called.
Eve opened her mouth to answer, but no sound came out.
“Eve?” Villanelle’s voice was closer now, as if she’d followed the sounds of the television to the den. “There you are. I got your message and was so concerned. I have been calling you for hours. I went to the flat but you were not there. Or in the studio. Where is your phone? Eve?”
Villanelle looked at the TV and then back to Eve who had yet to acknowledge her presence. She rounded the couch and stood before Eve, wiggling her fingers in front of Eve’s face.
Still no response.
So the blonde crouched down until she was eye-level with her girlfriend and rubbed the sides of Eve’s legs in an attempt to comfort the older woman. Eve’s watery eyes finally reached Villanelle’s face. Hazel searched dark chocolate and realization crept slowly across Villanelle’s face.
“You are leaving me?” She asked.
Only a single tear that fell down Eve’s left cheek.
“Eve.” Villanelle whispered and her voice shook. “Eve, please.”
Eve unwrapped one arm from around her knees and placed a hand against Villanelle’s face, her thumb stroking lightly.
Emotions flitted through Villanelle’s heart so quickly that she didn’t have time to process them all. She stood to her full height and Eve watched as she took off her jacket and shoes and sat beside her on the couch. She pulled the throw blanket from the back of it and wrapped it around them before pulling Eve close.
“I meant what I said, Eve.” Villanelle kissed the top of Eve’s head. “Even if you do not want me the way I want you, I will be here to see you through this.”
That only made Eve cry harder. Villanelle squeezed her tightly, rested her cheek against Eve’s still-damp hair and cried silently with her.
Chapter 34: Newsflash, Babe
Fun fact, the beginning of this chapter started as a one-shot, but it worked so perfectly in this story, I threw it in here instead.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“The ground may shake us.
One day the sky will take us.
Despite what we go through
You can't run you can't hide
You can't run, baby, you can't hide
From my love.”
-Jude Demorest, “My Love”
King’s Cross, London
Tears. So many tears. And for the love of god , she was getting sick of it.
She had been crying for days . It came and went. In random spurts. Some days she was fine. On other days, she felt like the fault planes in her body shifted and an earthquake of emotions poured out, her body shaking with the sheer force of her sobbing. There was one constant in her life, however.
She didn’t sleep over, of course. Eve needed her space. Villanelle was sure of that. To cry. To scream. To curse the Universe for lighting this path that she was now on.
She was there when Eve woke up. Ready to greet the brunette with food, a kiss to the forehead and an encouraging word.
On Monday, there was a spinach and pepper omelet. Tuesday, there were pancakes. Wednesday and Thursday, Eve was stuffed with fresh asiago bagels and sausage links and washed them down with the largest coffee that London had to offer. On Friday, Villanelle cooked a small spread of cream of wheat, cheesy eggs, beans, toast and fried ham.
Everyday, Eve asked the same question.
“Why are you being so nice to me? I broke up with you.”
And everyday Villanelle replied, “Because I love you.”
And she would push Eve out of the house, using Eve’s own catchphrase against her: “Go. Conquer the fashion world.”
Saturday, however, brought Eve an entirely new mess of problems. Her mother called.
Villanelle answered with a curt, “Polastri residence. No, sorry, she is in the shower. May I take a message? Oh! Wait, just one moment, Mrs. Yoon. I will go and get her for you.”
Eyes bulging out of her socket, Villanelle ran up the stairs and into the bathroom, hand over the receiver on the phone. She pulled back the shower curtain causing Eve to yelp. Villanelle’s eyes travelled down Eve’s soaking wet body and her right brow twitched once.
“What?” Eve snapped her fingers and Villanelle jumped out of her trance.
She held the phone up and whispered, “It is your mother?”
“What?!” Eve turned off the water and hopped out of the shower, scurrying to cover herself with a towel as if her mother could see her through the phone.
“ Annyeong eomma .” Eve greeted her mom in Korean. Villanelle watched in awe as Eve held an entire conversation in Korean. Somewhere between Eve’s frantic pacing and Villanelle’s desperate attempt to keep up with the dialogue, she found herself sitting on the lip of the tub watching Eve.
Her expression went from frantic to resigned within a matter of moments and Villanelle realized that something even more challenging was headed Eve’s way.
By the end of the conversation, Eve’s resignation had somehow turned into absolute exhaustion. She threw her phone into the empty sink and leaned against it, hands holding up her weight as she felt like she would collapse at any moment.
Villanelle waited patiently. Silently. Based on Eve’s body language alone, there were sure to be tears, she assumed.
But she was wrong.
Eve took a deep breath in, her sunken head raising to meet Villanelle’s eyes in the mirror. “My parents are visiting.”
“Oh?” Villanelle replied, trying gauge Eve’s exact reaction to the news.
“Yes. My father has a biochemistry conference in Cambridge.”
“One week.” Eve sighed heavily and turned around, crossing her arms over her chest. “I’m already stressed enough. I don’t need this too.”
Villanelle made her way to Eve, rubbing her hands up and down the shorter woman’s wet arms. “You do not have to do it alone. I’ll be here if you need me.”
“I can’t ask you to do that. You’ve already done enough.”
“You are not asking. I am offering.”
Eve considered this. She felt guilty using Villanelle as a crutch, especially because she had been the one to break things off. But it would be a lie if she said it helped having her around.
“Well, she did ask if I hired a maid to answer the phone.” Eve smiles despite her current emotional situation.
“Oh! I think I have a French maid costume somewhere.”
Eve’s brows went up and her mind went in so many different directions, none of which would be rated G.
“I’m not even going to ask.” Eve replied, pushing Villanelle out of the bathroom so she could finish her shower.
“It was a Halloween costume, Eve!” Villanelle shouted through the door. “That is my story and I am sticking to it!”
Tuesday, Eve’s home, 8:08PM
“Yeah, tell me about it.”
“That was more like a ‘Jesus, Eve, you’re an idiot’.”
“Hey, what happened to ‘a no-judgement zone’?”
“That was before I realized what an idiot you’re being.” Bill replied. He reached over and took Eve’s empty tumbler from her grasp. He got up from the couch and Eve followed behind him into the kitchen where he poured them both another drink.
“Look, you are the least selfish person I’ve ever met. You spend everyday pushing your students to be the best versions of themselves, and somehow you still have time to keep up with the soap opera that is the lives of your friends. You deserve a little happiness of your own, don’t you think?”
Eve didn’t respond. Bill shook his head and tried a different tactic.
“You are many things, Eve Polastri, but I never pegged you for a pussy.”
Eve’s jaw dropped and she could only laugh. “Did you just call me a pussy? Are you Brits even allowed to say things like that?”
“This Brit can because it’s true. You’re taking the easy way out. You can’t just give up on your relationship with Billie because it’s hard. If we all did that, everyone would be alone and miserable.”
“I’m not miserable without Villanelle, I’m just—.”
Eve’s fingers tapped against the island countertop. “Not happy.” She confirmed.
“So what do you think will happen? You will have some life-altering revelation that Villanelle is the one ? What, you’ll receive some sign from the Universe?” He asked, rhetorically. “News flash, babe, that happened the day you stormed into your studio and she was sitting from and center.”
“You say it, and I think it, but I just don’t feel it.”
“So what are you feeling?”
“Just like everything I’ve done in the past few months has ruined someone else’s life.”
“It happens. Doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Sometimes, the hardest thing is to do what’s best for us because we’re afraid of how it will affect others.”
“Deep down, I know you’re right. I just need to feel it for myself.”
“And in the meantime? You’re just going to feel miserable? And what about Billie? Have you asked how she is feeling?”
“I—.” Eve closed her mouth. Truth was, she hadn’t. She had made her another decision that affected someone else and hadn’t even had the decency to ask how Villanelle was handling their breakup. She probably hadn’t even had a chance to truly sit and think about it because she had thrown herself into making sure Eve was okay.
“I hate that you make me think.”
Bill laughed and pulled Eve close, rubbing her hair affectionately. “If not me, who?”
The next few days found Eve in a tangled web of work and suppressed emotions. The closer it got to the degree showcase, she became more stressed and less capable of dealing with her personal issues.
For one month, the school added a new element of the show’s stage in the center of the campus where the fundraising carnival had been held. Each Monday, the students would stand in the quad in complete awe as the enormous stage was erected piece by piece until it came completely together the night of the show. It was partially to build up the excitement and friendly spirit of competition between the students, but also to ease the stress of setting everything up the day of.
First up were the incredibly high tents that would keep the stage safe from any of the elements that their fair country was sure to deliver unto them. Eve and Elena worked together with the company’s builders on the exact placement of each of the two stage tents.
“Eve, there has been a mix-up with the chairs.” Nadia
“What kind of mix-up?”
“They are here.”
“What? They’re supposed to be delivered two weeks from now.”
“That is what I told the delivery guy.”
“And? His response?”
“That it is ‘not his problem’ and we should ‘take them or leave them’.”
“Tell him exactly where he can shove those ch—.”
“Eve! I don’t want to freak you out but…” Hugo pointed over his shoulder. Eve followed his finger to see a worker’s leg wrapped in the heavy-duty canvas of the tent.
“For fuck’s sakes. Get Kenny and help him out.”
“Not now!” Eve snapped.
“Oh. Okay. I will just go fuck myself then.”
It was then that Eve recognized the voice. She whipped around to see Villanelle walking away, clipboard in her hand and a cell phone to her ear.
“Eve! The chairs?” Nadia asked, still awaiting an answer.
“Deal with it. Have them sent to storage. Elena will know where it is.”
She ran after Villanelle, crossing in front of her to stop her. Villanelle turned away from her, clearly exasperated.
“No! Zhang, please understand if I do not get those swag bags forty-eight hours before the showcase, I will personally apply a vice to your balls and keep twisting even after you scream frühstück , got it?” Villanelle shouted into the phone before disconnecting the call and turning her attention to Eve. “What?”
“I—… was that the designer Zhang Wu?”
“Yeah. He owes me one. Something to do with a BDSM club and his mistress.” Villanelle gave a little smirk, pleased with herself. “The less you know, the better.”
Eve looked disgusted, followed closely by impressed before her expression turned worried. “I’m sorry for earlier. Yelling at you and all. I’m just a bit frazzled.”
“We all are, Eve. Anything else?”
“No. No, I suppose that’s all. But—.”
“Good. I’ve got more fires to put out then.” Villanelle tapped her screen and then put it to her ear, stalking off.
“But I wanted to see how you were doing.” Eve finished her thought to Villanelle’s retreating form.
It appeared that Villanelle was dealing in the best way she knew how: putting up a wall to protect herself against the things and people that hurt her.
And Eve felt like she had knocked Villanelle back to square one.
send me nice words of encouragement because I’m pretty sure I bombed my criminal psychology midterm 😭
Chapter 35: A Mother’s Advice
I’m drawing this out. Sorry. 😩
“If this isn’t heaven,
I don’t want to go….
Whenever I feel you,
I fill up my lungs and get high off your love.”
-Monica Laire (& Brett Patterson), “Helium”
Friday, 3:00PM, CSM
“In the end, the only thing that really matters is that you are happy with your work and that you feel accomplished. You can do this.” Villanelle encouraged Kenny. She placed a hand on Kenny’s forearm and rubbed reassuringly. Eve watched the touch from behind the screen of her laptop at her desk. Her fingers twitched on her keyboard and her jaw clenched tightly, teeth grinding together.
Villanelle smiled. One shoulder lifted and fell, nonchalantly. “Anytime. Anything else I can help you with before our time is up?”
Kenny glanced over at Eve, who cocked an eyebrow instead of looking away. “No. That’s all. Thank you.”
“You are welcome.”
They both stood from Villanelle’s desk. Once they said their goodbyes, Eve watched as he and Villanelle said their goodbyes and she walked him to the door, shutting it behind him. Villanelle sat down at her desk and sighed, opening her computer. Eve cleared her throat and sat back in her own chair. Villanelle refused to acknowledge it.
“Eve?” The blonde replied, not looking up from her screen.
“We should talk.”
“How are you doing?”
The room got quiet; Villanelle no longer clacking away at her keyboard.
“How am I… doing?”
“School. Your designing? Us?”
Hazel eyes finally finally flickered up to glance at Eve, gauging how serious she was about the conversation.
“You heard me.”
“Eve.” Villanelle looked exasperated. She ran a hand down her face and sighed, deeper this time. “Do you really even care? Has this breakup been about what you want and how you feel?”
“I—. I mean, I guess it has. I didn’t really—.”
“Think about how I would feel?” Villanelle finished for her. “If it helps, I have whiplash, Eve. I do not know what you want anymore. You want me, then you don’t. It is like a tennis match, except my feelings are the ball. I am… tired, Eve. Exhausted, really, but I said I will be here for you, no matter what because I love you and that is what you do for people you love. You do whatever it takes to make them happy, even if you have to suffer.” She turned back to her computer and started to type again. There was a brief moment before she spoke again. “When are your parents arriving?”
It was Eve’s turn to experience whiplash. “What?”
“Your mother and father? When do they arrive?”
“Fine. What is the plan? Dinner? Do you need me to pick up a bottle of wine? Maybe one for each of us.”
“No. I can pick up the wine.”
“Fine. I’ll get a bottle of vodka.”
“Villanelle, you don’t—.” Eve wanted to scream. So many thoughts ran through her mind, overwhelming her at the worst possible time. Eve wanted to tell Villanelle that she didn’t want her to suffer just to make her feel better. She wanted to remind Villanelle that and she wanted to be with her, but maybe the right time for them to be together was after the end of the school year. Most importantly, Eve wanted to remind Villanelle that she truly loved her.
“You don’t have to come tonight. If you don’t want to.” Was what she said instead.
Villanelle shook her head slightly. “You still do not get it, Eve. Even if we are not together, I still want to be around you. Always. Even if I cannot have you the way I want. I will take what you give me.”
Eve didn’t say anything. She couldn’t.
She was too busy trying to keep her tears from falling.
Dinner started as an awkward affair. Eve introduced Villanelle as her TA-turned-friend. Her mother eyed Villanelle’s expensive threads and well-kempt hair and nails. Her poise and manners attracted Eve’s father to her. But they ate the appetizers that Eve made in almost complete silence.
Once the alcohol started to flow, they enjoyed Villanelle’s playful banter and charming demeanor, and Eve’s mother told her as much. By the time dessert rolled around, Eve’s parents had reached the point in the evening where they were teaching Villanelle Korean, which she picked up with ease much to Eve’s surprise.
“Very good!” Mrs. Yoon praised Villanelle, patting her hand before clasping her own together. “You are a natural!”
“Languages come easy to me.” Villanelle admitted. “Thankfully, since my family and I travelled a lot when I was younger.”
“Oh? What other languages do you speak?” She inquired.
“Russian, French, German, Spanish, and a little Mandarin.”
“Well, now you will know a little Korean as well. I’m sorry our Eve has not taught you more by now.”
“Yes. Pity she has not.” Villanelle agreed with Eve’s father. “It is such a beautiful language.”
Mrs. Yoon all but swooned at the young student. “It is, isn’t it?”
Eve refrained from rolling her eyes. She knew her parents would love Villanelle. Who didn’t? Truth was, it made things even harder for Eve; she wanted Villanelle so desperately, but she just wasn’t quite able to turn off the parts of her brain that kept asking ‘what if’.
What if Carolyn found out and punished them both? What if Villanelle missed out on an amazing opportunity because of Eve? What if Eve was holding her back? What if she left?
And that’s what it really boiled down to; self-preservation. Because the way Villanelle came into her life might be the same way she left.
What if she found another Eve ?
“Well, that’s alright.” Mrs. Yoon said. “I’m sure she’s taught you other things.”
“She has.” Villanelle agreed. “She has made me a better designer, and a better person.”
Eve’s mother looked at the blonde, searching her face. A warm smile passed across her face and she looked at her daughter.
She knew .
Eve could tell. Her mother saved that smile for special occasions. Usually when she knew something that no one else knew.
“Life is all about balance. Eve,” she said, turning to Eve, “what has Villanelle taught you , I wonder.”
She definitely knew .
“A—.” Eve nearly took the easy road. A lot , was on the tip of her tongue, but she knew she had to say something that would let Villanelle know that she was such an important piece of the puzzle that was Eve Polastri. She sighed, not so much in relief, moreso with acceptance. Acceptance that Villanelle was her future. Despite what she’d done in her past, and how it would no doubt affect the present. But more importantly, she accepted that some things she could not control, no matter how hard she tried.
“Villanelle has taught me things that can’t even be put in words. But if I had to, I’d say she’s taught me who I really am.” Eve laughed, her head shaking in disbelief. As if what she said was the most absurd thing she’d ever heard. “It only took me forty-something years to meet the person who could help me realize that.”
“Better late than never.” Her mother leaned over to pat her hand. A tear slipped down Eve’s cheek and she placed her hand atop her mother’s, squeezing gently.
“What did I miss?” Mr. Yoon inquired.
“They’re lovers, dear.” Mrs. Yoon stood from her seat and gestured for her husband to follow. “Come on. I think they need to talk.”
“ Jun-su !” She scolded and raised her brows.
Villanelle suppresses a giggle as Eve’s mother quickly rose from his chair and followed his wife out of the room.
“Will you boss me around like that when we’re old and gray?”
“Yes, except I’ll be the only one old and gray.”
“And still beautiful.”
Eve shook her head, slowly, gazing into Villanelle’s eyes. “Are you sure about this?”
“You are probably the only thing I’ve ever been sure of in my entire life.”
There was so much to talk about, but this was a start.
Chapter 36: Be Naked
and we’re BACK! sorry, I had an uncontrollable hyperfixation on the next two parts of the Watch Me series. couldn’t stop writing that. but I missed my baby (this story). so here we are!
“And all the ways,
I got to know
Your pretty face
and electric soul.”
-Lana Del Rey, “Young and Beautiful”
“You are like satin, Eve.” Villanelle told her. “I have to be delicate with you. I cannot pull too hard or you will unravel.”
It wasn’t a comparison that Eve was used to.
Too often, she thought of herself as linen: durable because her feelings were woven ever so tightly.
She sighed at Villanelle’s assessment and looked her in the eyes. “I’m just cautious. This is so different from everything I’ve ever known.”
“Well, I am not exactly a veteran myself. Before you, there was Anna, and even that relationship can not compare to what we have now. I don’t manipulate you. Even if I try, you call bullshit immediately. There is no pretending with you, Eve. We are who we are meant to be when we are together. Fuck everything else.”
Eve’s brows raised and she smiled slightly. As always, Villanelle had a crude, yet effective way to cut through the fog of Eve’s thoughts. “There are so many things that could go wrong.”
“But so many things that could go right . Stop skipping to the end. There is so much more to enjoy along the way.” Villanelle shrugged one shoulder. “Who knows? We may never even get to see the end.”
“Because there will never be one.”
“You’re very sure for a twenty-something college student.”
“I cannot help it that I’m brilliant.”
“And humble.” Eve joked. “And possibly clairvoyant.”
Villanelle grinned cheekily. “I do have many talents.”
“Oh, I know.” Eve replied. She hadn’t meant for it to sound dirty, but that’s precisely the way Villanelle took it. Her smile turned cocky and she leaned forward, forearms on the table.
“I still have a few hidden talents, though.” One brow jerked upwards. “Want to see?”
Eve shook her head, smile broadening. “Are we in this? I mean, completely in this? No matter what happens?”
“I am. I have always been. What about you?”
The older woman thought for a moment. Not that she needed to. Before, Eve simply wanted to be with Villanelle. She had built an idealistic world in her head where everything was perfect and nothing ever went wrong. But that wasn’t reality.
The notion that this was their situation. This was their relationship. In the real world, shit got rocky. People didn’t always agree, and sometimes there would be rocky roads that they would have to travel, but smooth coasting was also part of the deal.
“Yes. One hundred percent.” Eve replied. And she meant it.
“Good.” Villanelle looked visibly relieved as she reached across the table and took Eve’s hand in her own. “I want to kiss you now.”
“So kiss me.”
“Your parents are here. I want them to think good things about me.”
“They already think good things about you.”
“Yes, but I don’t want them to think that I am corrupting you.”
Eve laughed. “Well, they wouldn’t be wrong.”
Villanelle feigned shock. “I am the innocent one here.”
That really made Eve laugh. She stood from her chair and leaned over the table. Villanelle met her halfway, pressing her lips against Eve’s.
“I love you.”
“I love you .” Villanelle murmured into her mouth.
Eve was back in high school again. For three whole days, she and Villanelle stole away each chance they got to make out like horny teenagers. By Monday, they were so worked up that Eve had nearly forgotten their “no sex at school” rule. So, Villanelle came up with the naughtiest plan to have sex in her car during Eve’s lunch break.
“I can’t wait for them to leave.” Eve whispered into a kiss as she frantically unbuttoned Villanelle’s pants. “I want to fuck you in a bed .”
Villanelle silenced her with more kisses, panting as Eve’s hand slipped into her trousers. And just as Eve’s fingers snuck under the elastic of her thong, Eve’s phone rang.
“No. No, don’t answer it.” Villanelle begged, hands on Eve’s face. With her free hand, Eve dug into her handbag for her cell phone.
“Lucky for you, I can multitask.” She finally reached the phone and groaned. Pressing it to her ear, Eve answered her mother in Korean at the same time as she slid two fingers inside of Villanelle. The blonde’s eyes closed and her head tilted backwards in the small confines of the backseat.
Eve rushed through a conversation with her mother, praying Villanelle would be able to keep from making a sound until she got off of the phone.
“Uh huh… no… yes… okay, I will see you later.”
Eve wiggled her fingers in a come hither motion and a strangled sob shot from Villanelle’s throat before she could stop it.
“ Eomma , right now, I have so much to do and so little time. I love you. Goodbye.” Eve disconnected the call and her mouth immediately went for Villanelle’s neck, sucking gently as her fingers slipped out of the blonde’s wetness and circled her clit. She strummed quickly, but softly. They way Villanelle’s hips were circling on their own accord, Eve knew she loved the feeling. So she kept going…
...until her phone rang again.
“ Fuck !” Eve huffed.
It was her father’s turn to interrupt.
She kissed Villanelle and rested her forehead against hers, utterly frustrated with how their lunchtime rendezvous turned out.
“It’s okay.” Villanelle reassured her. “It will only be better the longer we wait.”
“Yeah, well, I am dropping them off at the airport in the morning. So we won’t be waiting much longer.”
“Oh, thank god.” Villanelle laughed and Eve joined her. Eve’s phone stopped ringing and then started again. “Answer it. He’s only going to keep calling if you don’t.”
Eve groaned and sat up. With an eye roll, she greeted, “ Annyeong abeoji .”
No matter what, Eve loved her parents. So, it was always an emotional farewell when she left them at the airport for their flight. Her father was always looking for inexpensive snacks and the nearest bar while her mother fussed over her. Mrs. Yoon always wanted to make sure her daughter was well-taken care of.
“ Umma , how did you know that Daddy was the one?”
Her mother smiled fondly as she looked over at her husband. “I got butterflies. I still do. He made me laugh like no other person has ever made me laugh before. And he was the first person I felt no coercion to love. With family, we are told we love them because they are all we know from the time we’re born, but when you meet the one you will love forever, you just know. You feel it. You don’t have to be told.”
“I’m sorry that Niko was not the one.”
“I’m sorry for him , I think. He’s a good man. Just not the man for me.”
“It seems to me that the man for you is not a man at all.”
Eve looked at her mom. “It’s not traditional. I know you and Daddy are all about tradition. I’m sorry if this disappoints you.”
Mrs. Yoon frowned. “You have not disappointed us. We are proud of you. For being who you are without apology. That is how we raised you.”
Tears welled in Eve’s eyes and for the first time in weeks, they were ones of joy.
“Do you know why we called you Eve?”
“Daddy says it’s because you all went through a very religious period before I was born.”
“We could have chosen dozens of other names from the Bible, but we chose Eve because she was given the gift of freethought. We didn’t want you to base your life off of authority or tradition. We wanted you to be your own person and make your own decisions. You’ve done that marvelously. So, no, Eve, you have not disappointed us. You are our every hope and dream.”
Eve wrapped her arms around her mother. “Thank you.”
Not long after their conversation, their flight was called for boarding. Eve hugged her parents tightly and then headed back to her car.
She felt freer and as she drove home, Eve realized that what truly mattered to everyone, including herself, was that she was happy. And Villanelle Astankova made her the happiest she’d ever been. So, at a stop light, mere minutes from Villanelle’s flat, Eve sent her a text:
Home in 5. Be naked.
Chapter 37: Epiphanies
I was dealing with wicked writers block for this chapter/story, but now I know where I want to end this story and where I want it to go.
“We took it in baby
From the start
We chased the light
And forgot the dark.”
-Jessie J, “Alive”
“Home in 5. Be naked.”
She wasn’t naked. What Villanelle was , however, had suddenly awakened some repressed desire that Eve didn’t even know she had until she walked into Villanelle’s flat.
“Holy Clueless .” Eve whispered, dropping her keys and handbag onto the closest surface to her.
Villanelle stood in the center of the room, dressed in the iconic Cher Horowitz yellow plaid schoolgirl outfit. In her hand were two of her sketchbooks and a yellow pen with a fluffy end.
“Hello, Professor Polastri.” Villanelle purred. “I know your office hours have not started yet, but I was hoping you could help me.”
Role playing. It was definitely something that Eve could get behind. Especially if Villanelle called her Professor Polastri.
As Eve shed her jacket, she walked closer to the blonde.
“What is it that I can help you with, Villanelle?”
“I am just a little stressed about my designs for the showcase. Maybe you could help ease my mind a bit.”
“Of course. Anything for my favorite student.”
Visible excitement lit up Villanelle’s beautiful face and it was contagious. Eve smiled and gestured towards Villanelle’s workstation. Together, they made their way over to the desk and Villanelle opened her sketchbook. Eve sat down and looked at the familiar sketches and Villanelle leaned over her right shoulder, purposefully, brushing her tits against Eve’s arm. Pointing to the dress, Villanelle tapped it and asked, “What do you think of the sleeves on this one? Are they too much?”
“Everything you do is too much, Villanelle. That’s what sets you apart. You’re daring. Extravagant. That’s what makes you so special.” Eve complimented.
“Really? You mean that?” Villanelle asked, looking down at Eve with earnest brown eyes.
“I do.” It was almost impossible for Eve not to reach out, grab her face and kiss her senseless. But, she remained composed, enjoying this little game enough to want to find out how it ended.
They went through a couple more sketches until Villanelle’s ‘accident’. A few fly away sheets of paper somehow scattered onto the floor.
“Let me.” Villanelle offered. Gracefully, almost like a cat, she was on the floor before Eve had a chance to blink. Cute little ass in the air, long legs covered with white thigh-highs and the most sensual dip in the arch of her back, Villanelle was the epitome of a naughty schoolgirl.
There was a moment when Villanelle knew what Eve was going to do before she did it, and as it happened, she couldn’t stop the cheeky grin from crossing her face. Eve reached down and ran her fingers softly down the few inches of exposed skin. Villanelle shivered.
“Bold of you to try and seduce me, don’t you think?”
“I know you are my professor and that you are still married, but I—.” She was silenced when her skirt was flipped up over her ass accompanied by a small gust of wind.
Eve half-expected to find that her girlfriend wasn’t wearing panties at all, but she was pleasantly surprised to find white lace that barely covered each cheek.
“I could be fired.”
“I could lose my internship.”
Eve smirked. Even during role play, Villanelle was cocky enough to assume she’d get the internship. She sank to her knees on the floor behind Villanelle. Sliding her hands against the waistband of the lace, the brunette pulled them down and then bent over and shoved her tongue into the blonde’s pussy.
Villanelle cried out at the unexpected, yet welcome intrusion. Her hand reached around and held Eve’s head there as she reveled in the sensations she was feeling. Eve smacked Villanelle’s inner thighs, forcing them further apart. And in a shocking turn of events, she turned to lie flat on her back and wiggles her way under Villanelle. The blonde looked pleasantly surprised, but wasted no time in taking a complete seat on Eve’s face. Holding the plaid skirt against her pelvis to watch Eve’s face, Villanelle rode her girlfriend’s tongue.
“ Yes! So fucking yes! ” Villanelle groaned when Eve wrapped her mouth around her clit and sucked softly. “ Just like that ! Don’t stop, don’t stop !”
Eve didn’t. She moved her head side to side, taking Villanelle to a new height of pleasure.
“ Fuck, I’m going to come .” She ground downwards and Eve wrapped her arms around Villanelle’s thighs to hold her there. Her moans hit a crescendo and as she came, the blonde tried her hardest to pull away. But Eve held her down, tongue-fucking her through one orgasm and right towards another.
When it was said and done, Villanelle’s legs were like jelly and she felt like she could sleep for hours, but Eve had other plans.
“Oh no. Get up. We have a lot of catching up to do.” Eve purred.
Three hours later…
A small eruption of giggles escaped Eve. When she stopped, Villanelle started. And no sooner had Villanelle composed herself, they both laughed at the same time. It felt so freeing, for both women, to laugh after everything they’d done through in the past few months.
“Well,” Eve started, “that was new.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
“I think you know that I definitely enjoyed it.” She said, rolling onto her side and stroking Villanelle’s face. “I like when you call me Professor Polastri.”
“Really? I could not tell.” Villanelle said, grinning. She wrapped an arm around Eve’s waist and pulled her closer. “Do you have anywhere to be soon, Professor Polastri?”
“I have absolutely nowhere to be except right here with you.” The soft tip of her finger tapped Villanelle’s nose and she leaned in for a kiss. Innocent, at first, and then it deepened, until Villanelle pushed herself off of the bed and rolled Eve onto her back.
“Good, because I want to eat your pussy until you cry.”
Eve’s eyes closed as Villanelle made her way under the crumpled sheets.
Countdown to Degree Showcase: 3 weeks
Wednesday, CSM, 8:50PM
“Where the hell are you taking me?” Eve asked. She had been blindfolded and clasped Villanelle’s hand as if her life depended on it.
“Surprise. It is a word with two syllables and only one meaning. You should learn it.” Villanelle quipped.
“Are we almost there?”
“Can I guess where we are?”
“You can shut your pretty little mouth.” Villanelle sing-songed. “We are here.” She came to a halt and Eve knocked into her side. Eve heard a door open and she was led inside. Villanelle took her blindfold off but she opened her eyes to see nothing. It was pitch-black.
Until someone, somewhere, flicked a switch and her entire class yelled, “SURPRISE!” at her. A few people blew party horns and a handful of confetti was sprinkling overtop of Eve’s head by Villanelle.
Genuinely shocked, Eve looked around at the food, decorations and party hats.
“What on Earth is this for?”
“You.” Nadia said.
“Yeah, we just want to thank you for everything you’ve done this year, Eve.” Kenny added.
“Yeah, you’ve made us better designers. Some of us graduate this year and we just wanted you to know that we will never forget you.”
Eve could feel tears prickling behind her eyes and her throat was so tight that it hurt. Voice cracking, Eve thanked each and every one of them for putting the party together for her.
“Lastly,” she ended her speech, “I just want to say it was my pleasure to teach you all and I cannot wait to see you all conquer the fashion world.”
For two hours, they ate, drank and laughed. Eve connected with her students in the best way possible. They were unapologetically themselves with her and she felt extremely honored. Ever since Eve made the decision to stop creating her own designs and focused on teaching the younger generations about fashion design, she felt happier. Freer.
And then came Villanelle. She turned Eve’s world upside, made her realize that she was stifling her own creativity. It was beautiful being a teacher and seeing her students become everything she knew they could. But she hadn’t created a full design collection since she’d begun teaching. She had so many ideas and they were just trapped in the vault of her mind.
For so long, she’d done things because it was how they were supposed to be. Now, though, her spirit that had lie dormant until she met Villanelle was awakened again. She knew what she had to do.
“Hey, you.” Villanelle said, sidling you to Eve and interrupting her thoughts. “You okay?”
Eve smiled and nodded. “Better than okay?”
Villanelle looked at her, then. Really looked at her. “Leaving CSM to go and conquer the fashion world?”
The older woman looked incredulous. “Did you sell your soul for the ability to read minds or something?”
Villanelle hummed and shrugged her shoulders.
“That wasn’t a no.” Eve noted.
“I just know you, Eve. I know you need more. I was just waiting for you to realize it.”
Eve sighed and rested her palms against the desk she leaned on. “I’m going to miss this place.”
“It will always be here if you ever decide to come back.”
“If they want me back.”
“CSM, much like myself, will always want you, Eve.”
And with that, Villanelle pushed off of the desk and headed back to the small huddle that included Nadia, Kenny and Hugo.
“Yeah.” Eve agreed, with blooming hope in her heart.
Chapter 38: Yes, I Know
“I wanna be the one
To walk in the sun.
Oh girls, just wanna have fun.”
-Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
Central Saint Martins, London
Degree Showcase Countdown: 10 days
Building a grand stage was something Eve never took pleasure in, but the ending result was absolutely breathtaking. Not that she did the actual construction work, but delegating was just as exhausting. Everything had to be perfect; not for the showcase, itself, but because Eve knew it was what her students deserved. They worked hard on their collections and finding the perfect models to wear them. The least she could do was make sure the stage, lights and sound was perfect for displaying their talent.
“Eve, this is coming along quite nicely.” Headmistress Martens praised.
“Thank you. It’s beginning to look exactly the way I envisioned it.”
“Good. I trust your judgment. Mostly.”
It was a half-insult, and Eve was sure it meant that Carolyn was still suspicious of her relationship with Villanelle. But she couldn’t prove anything and Eve was happy enough to ignore it. There were only a couple weeks left until Villanelle graduated and Eve put in her resignation papers. Nothing was stopping her happiness.
“Thanks.” Eve said and headed towards the construction foreman, leaving Carolyn to wonder why Eve didn’t give her the reaction she so desperately hoped for.
“Eve, it’s going to rain for the next two days, do we want the tents up now to protect the stage or forget them and dry the stage off when it stops?” Diego asked, sipping from an iced coffee.
It seemed like a small problem, but even the slightest bit of water on the glass stage could cause any of the models to slip.
“No, there are temporary tents in storage. Get the keys from Headmistress Marten’s assistant. I think it’s on Wick Lane. She’ll have the exact address. Tell the men on duty you’re with CSM, and they’ll help you haul them. On your way back,” Eve shifted her clipboard to her left arm and pulled cash out of her pocket, handing it to Diego, “stop at the coffee shop and buy them tea or coffee.”
“Eve, can we talk to you about stage lights?”
“Absolutely not. Find Professor Felton, she’s handling the electronics.” Eve said as she walked past Nadia.
Eve heard her name shouted in five different directions before she’d even walked fifteen feet, but there was one in particular that made her stop in her tracks.
Eve froze. She turned to her see Villanelle strolling confidently toward her, hands in the pockets of yet another tailored suit.
The blonde looked around and Eve’s squinted at her suspiciously.
“You are very sexy when you are in charge, Eve.”
Eve shifted her weight from one foot to the other and cleared her throat as she looked around too.
“No one is listening.” The blonde assured her.
“Doesn’t matter if they were.”
Villanelle’s amusement played across her features. “Who are you and what have you done with my Eve?”
“Your Eve is right here, just… changing, I think.”
To Villanelle, Eve did look different. Even with the spring breeze whipping her wild curls across her face, Villanelle could see the twinkle in her eyes and the subtle smile that had been there since she admitted she wanted to quit teaching.
“I like it.” Villanelle reached out and pushed a few tendrils of hair behind Eve’s ear. They gazed at each other for a few moments, before Eve heard her name being called once again. “Can you steal away for a few moments this evening?”
“I’m all yours.”
“Good. I want to show you something.”
“Villanelle.” Eve gasped. She took a few steps forward before turning to look at her girlfriend. “This is incredible.”
“Yes. It is, isn’t it?” The blonde responded, leaning against the doorway.
Villanelle had brought Eve to her storage unit that she’d converted into a beautiful design studio. She’d made it homely with small pieces of furniture, throw blankets and a second set of designing tools. In the center of the room, stood twelve mannequins dressed in all twelve pieces of Villanelle’s collection. Complete, and ready to be worn by Villanelle’s hand-picked models. Eve felt many things at that moment, but the most prominent was pride. She was so proud of Villanelle’s talent and dedication to her craft.
“You’re amazing, you know that?” Eve asked as she rounded one mannequin and ran her hand down the arm of one design.
From the patterns to the color choices, Villanelle had taken the subject of duality and flipped it on its head. She had created both ready-to-wear and couture pieces that would shock the audience while simultaneously making them envious and curious of her mind.
“Yes.” Villanelle teased. Truth be told, she was nervous. The blonde had worked so hard on the ensembles, and she knew her peers would respond well to them. But Eve’s opinion was the only one that she cared about. Even if Eve hadn’t been the love of her life, she was one hell of a professor and Eve had taught her so much as a designer. All Villanelle ever wanted to do was become a better person, better designer, and to please Eve Polastri. And it appeared that she had, at the very least, done the latter.
Eve crossed the room back to Villanelle and placed both hands on her face. “You will conquer the fashion world, Villanelle Astankova.”
Villanelle could only smile into the kiss that Eve placed on her lips.
Bond Street, London
Degree Showcase Countdown: 7 Days
“We have been to Knightsbridge, Covent Garden, Westfield and Jermyn, Villanelle. I’m beginning to think you’re not going to find what you’re looking for in London at all.” Hugo complained, attempting to stretch his back while holding an armful of shopping bags.
“I have to.”
“Why?” Kenny inquired. It was the only question the entire group of friends had been wondering since Villanelle had suggested the impromptu shopping trip.
“I just--.” Villanelle bit the straw of her iced coffee and looked around like a deer in headlights. “I just have to.”
“What is so important that you absolutely must find today.”
VIllanelle didn’t answer, though. She was too busy heading towards yet another shop. Kenny and Hugo looked at each other and shrugged before following quickly behind her.
Into the large shop, they ventured, watching as Villanelle searched meticulously for what she’d come for. She stopped in front of an case and turned towards her two friends and deposited her own shopping bags into their hands. Crouching before the glass display, Villanelle smiled.
“Welcome to Cartier. How may I help you?”
“I’ll take this one.” Villanelle tapped the glass, excitedly.
“That one is nearly ten-thousand euros.”
Villanelle stood to her full head and cocked an eyebrow. “Do you take American Express?”
The man could only blink. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Villanelle,” Kenny asked, in an incredulous whisper, “what are you doing?”
“What do you mean?”
“V, babe,” Hugo replied, placing a hand on her shoulder, “that’s an engagement ring.”
“Yes,” Villanelle said, watching as the jeweler unlocked the case, “I know.”
Chapter 39: Yes
The next three chapters are going to be pretty long. There’s so much detail I want to write! So be patient with me!
“Feelin' bossy in my city
'Cause I run it like a girl
Run it, run it like a girl.”
-Lizzo, “Like A Girl”
“This. Looks. Flawless.” Bill said, nudging his best friend with his shoulder. “Great job, as always, Eve.”
To be fair, Eve had been doing this for years and her eye for detail was always spot on. So, it was no different this year despite Villanelle constantly distracting her with sex every five minutes.
It will calm your nerves was how the pretty blonde had put it.
In reality, Eve was certain that it was to calm Villanelle’s nerves. She saw it every year. Her students would run themselves ragged trying to perfect every aspect of the showcase that it left them in a constant state of anxiety. It was rare that they ever stopped and truly enjoyed themselves until the shows were over.
Villanelle Astankova, despite her outward appearance, was no different. She’d taken up the nasty habit of chewing on her fingernails, destroying her perfect manicures. When Eve noticed, she would tug her hand away from her mouth, but would say nothing. That’s when Villanelle would sidle up to her with the promise of a quickie that somehow always turned into hours-long lovemaking sessions. They would cuddle for a few moments and then Villanelle would be suddenly struck with a new inspiration and she was off to her storage unit or on the phone with one of her models.
Eve was proud of her, really, although she felt admittedly used for inspiration. She shrugged it off, believing it to just be nerves, especially when Villanelle had taken to calling Eve ‘my muse’. It was a sweet little secret of theirs whenever her peers asked Villanelle how she was so calm when the show was a mere forty-eight hours away.
True enough, being the creative genius that she was, Eve had transformed the quad of Central Saint Martins into a runway fit for London Fashion Week.
Upon entrance, one could only see the gigantic white tent that housed the runway and seating for the show. Once inside, however, it was a completely different world. A DJ booth sat off to the west wall on a platform stage. Stage lights lined both sides of the runway. An enormous spotlight, fitted for different colors, stood at the end of the runway, hidden from the audience by the same enormous flower arrangements that stood at each of the four corners of the tent. The birds of paradise flowers had been chosen for the ability to look both feminine and masculine; its duality the perfect pick for such a show.
Eve stood on the catwalk beside Bill, hands in the pockets of her comfiest pants and looked around, eyes scanning everything to make sure she hadn’t missed something.
“This will be perfect.” She said, more to herself than to him.
Bill hummed in approval and smiled at her.
“This will be different. New. But so very beautiful.” He paused for a moment, taking in her calm, yet happy face. “Like your life after this showcase.”
She turned to look at him, brows furrowed in confusion. He chuckled, not giving her any hint as to what he was talking about. He tossed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her back down the runway. Through the curtains, they went, leading them into a smaller tent, designed for hair, makeup and quick changes for the models. It was like a small maze and in the center stood multiple tri-fold mirrors for each model to check their final look before hitting the runway.
They went over each department, making sure the electric to each outlet functioned properly, there were ample auxiliary supplies for each makeup artist and hair stylist, most of whom would bring their own things to work with.
And when Eve has checked everything off of her list, they left the tent and decided on an early dinner at a restaurant across from the school.
Degree Showcase Countdown: 12 hours
Eve’s house, 6:15AM
Villanelle awoke to the most delicious sensation between her legs. A warm, soft tongue glided up and down her already-wet pussy. Lips closed over her clit and sucked softly. She moaned quietly and her legs spread on their own accord. Her eyes finally opened completely to see a head bobbing up and down under the sheets. She reached under, her hands finding Eve’s head. She’s pinned her curls up into a bun, clearly with the intent of being down there for awhile. Villanelle gently encouraged the movement, her hips rising to meet Eve’s mouth. Now that she was awake, and very receptive to Eve’s ministrations, she felt Eve’s hands under her knees, pushing her legs up and open. Her pussy was on full display now for Eve to enjoy completely.
And enjoy it, she did.
She alternated between sucking on Villanelle’s clit and flicking her tongue around it before dipping it inside of the blonde and tongue-fucking her. Villanelle’s moans increased with each coil of tension that wound inside the pit of her stomach. She already knew that when that tension snapped, she was going to free fall into the most amazing orgasm.
For now, tension kept building and building. And it reached it peak when Eve slid two fingers inside of her, curled them just so while sucking on her clit. Villanelle’s mouth opened, a choked sob escaping.
“ Oh god! Don’t stop! ” Her hands tightened in Eve’s hair, no doubt loosening the bun that sat there. She called out Eve’s name, each time begging her not to stop. She was so fucking close ! If Eve could just—.
“ Oohhh fuck! Yes! ”
She did it! She slid one more finger inside and corkscrewed them in and out all the while making quick ‘come here’ motions.
The tension finally broke.
Villanelle clenched around Eve’s fingers. Her hands held Eve’s head steadfast as she pumped her hips, effectively fucking Eve’s face as she rode out her orgasm. Eve’s fingers slowed and she eventually pulled out of Villanelle, enjoying the small jolts of pleasure left over as she left soft, open-mouthed kisses against her pussy. Her inner thighs. Her stomach.
As Eve kissed up Villanelle’s naked body, Villanelle pulled back the sheet, revealing her gorgeous face and messy hair. Eve raised her hand from between their bodies and pressed two of her wet fingers against Villanelle’s lips. Without a single thought, Villanelle opened up and sucked them into her mouth, moaning as Eve kissed her way up to her tits, sucking gently on each. She removed her fingers from Villanelle’s mouth and replaced them with her mouth, kissing her firmly. Her tongue slipped inside and Villanelle wrapped her arms tightly around Eve’s waist.
“You make me feel so many things when I am with you.” She whispered against Eve’s mouth.
Marry me? She wanted to say. But was it rude to ask someone so soon after receiving a coma-inducing orgasm?
Villanelle’s hands dropped down to Eve’s naked ass, squeezing firmly.
“Mm mm.” Eve negated, pulling her hands back up to settle against Eve’s back. Villanelle whined into the next kiss. “It’s time to get up. We both have a lot to do today.”
“But I want to touch you.” Villanelle said. Eve placated her with another kiss. And then another one.
“You can touch me all you want. Later.” She kissed Villanelle once more. “ After you win the showcase.”
Villanelle made a frustrated noise. “Eve, it is like you are trying to turn me on again.”
Eve laughed and it was music to Villanelle’s ears.
“After tonight,” Villanelle said, massaging Eve’s back and shoulders, “we should go away for a few days. Just you and me.”
Eve liked the sound of that. Loved it actually.
“What do you say?”
“I say yes.” Eve said. “The answer is always yes to you.”
Eve had no idea just how true Villanelle hoped that was.
Turn to the left
Turn to the right
We are the goon squad and we're coming to town.”
“...so, today, we are design students, but by tonight, we will be able to call ourselves true fashion designers. As we start this journey towards our first public show, I just want to tell you all that I have seen how hard you all have worked and I am so impressed. Mostly because I thought the lot of you were, well, fuck ups.” A round of laughter went around the tent. “ But , you all have proved me so wrong. It has been an honor and privilege being your peer, your TA, and most importantly, your friend.”
Villanelle‘s speech was impromptu, she’d just felt compelled to make it. In a waist-length pink wig, teal printed Peony Brand kimono, and Lou Lou flared jeans, she stood on a chair at the only empty hair and makeup cubicle and commanded the group of designers and models so easily, Villanelle finished, “In the words of the incomparable Eve Polastri, let us ‘go and conquer the fashion world’.”
Applause and whistles broke out and Villanelle grinned as Hugo helped her off of the chair. “Good job, babe. Everyone still hates you because you’re going to win.”
Villanelle nudged his shoulder with her own. “As long as you love me.”
Hugo linked his pinky finger with hers, briefly, before rolling his eyes at one of his models. “Honey, no, that’s meant to be draped ! Oh, for fuck’s sake, let me do it.” He stalked off to fix the mistake just as Eve found Villanelle in the crowd.
“Well, this is a new look for you.” Eve greeted her. She reached out and gently touched the soft pink hair, letting it fall through her fingertips.
“Yeah? This does it for you?” She caught Eve’s hand before it fell back to her side, squeezed gently and then let it go.
“ You do it for me.”
Villanelle inhaled sharply and looked around, making sure no one was watching them. She took a step forward, towering over her older counterpart. “I would love to sit you naked on the runway and eat—.”
“Billie! I need you!” Kenny shouted across the tent.
Villanelle sighed and looked over to see him waving her over.
“As much as I want to hear what you want to do to me,” Eve said, “you’d better go.”
“You’ll see me after the show,” Eve assured her.
“I promise.” Eve smiled. “Now go!”
They looked at each other for a few more moments, both wanting to kiss the other, but there were too many people around. Eve promised herself that she would find Villanelle just before her collection was called to give her a good luck kiss.
In the meantime, both she and Villanelle were pulled in a hundred different directions for the next few hours. Eve helped with everything from finishing touches to words of encouragement. She was in her element. And the excitement only served as a reminder that her resignation to Central Saint Martins was not an ending but the beginning of something new and wonderful. Eve hadn’t even talked about her future plans to Villanelle because she didn’t want to jinx it, but she had decided that she would try her hand at creating her own fashion label.
She didn’t want to make high-end clothes like Villanelle. No, she wanted her label to be for the everyday person with a focus on oversized pieces that could be dressed up or down. Eve still had numerous steps to tend to before her fantasy became a reality, but she was sure with Villanelle’s love and support, she would be able to make it happen.
That’s really who had given Eve the idea to even consider starting her own label. There wasn’t a single student that she’d ever had that made Eve feel so alive again. Villanelle had stoked the dying fire of Eve’s very soul and, in the process, managed to remind Eve exactly why she got into fashion and design in the first place. The blonde was different in so many ways, yet at the very core, she and Eve were a lot alike in more ways than one. They were both driven by their passion and dedication to be something more than their circumstances. And if god forbid, either of them was forced to live in a mundane existence for any longer, they would lose themselves.
For the most part, Carolyn was happy to leave everything to Eve and the other teachers. All of the credit and none of the work was her motto when it came to large events such as the degree showcase. The students’ hard work and dedication made her look good in front of the School Board and the donors and that was all that really mattered to her.
Eve actually preferred for her to be less hands-on, particularly this year during the showcase. She had already made it clear to Eve that she was still keeping an eye on her and Villanelle, and the last thing Eve wanted was Villanelle’s hard work to go down the drain.
But just as Eve was about to step away to get ready for the opening ceremony, Carolyn stopped Eve in her tracks and asked to speak to her in private.
“Eve, the judges have arrived and I’d like for you to see them to their seats.”
“I was about to get changed. Is Bill available?”
“No, he’s handling something else for me and he doesn’t have the same finesse when it comes to important people like you do. It will only take a moment.”
In other words, he can’t kiss ass as well as I can , Eve thought. She stared blankly at Carolyn for a moment, wondering what the hell she was up to. As usual, Carolyn’s stoic expression gave nothing away. Sighing, Eve nodded her head.
“Excellent.” Carolyn’s face brightened immediately upon getting her way. Eve gave her a tight smile in response and started towards the show tent.
Three extremely dressed coaches stood near the stage surrounded by a bustling crowd, taking in the decorations and seating. Two of the three, a handsome darker-skinned gentleman and a mousy Asian woman with her hair pulled back into a low ponytail, looked fairly impressed while the third, a middle-aged blonde who clearly came from money, just looked… bored. Eve did not have time for a diva today. She sighed, rolled her shoulders to ease some of the tension and walked towards them with a smile on her face.
“Good evening. I’m—.”
“Eve Polastri, yes. I was a fan of your collaboration with Pheng Lim. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Max Sanford.” He shook Eve’s hand enthusiastically. “These are my colleagues, Jin Sun with Casper Design Management and Carla de Mann, editor for—.”
“British Vogue , yes I’m aware of who she is.” Eve wasn’t pleased in the least. Carla de Mann, while she certainly wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, had clawed her way to the top, but had done absolutely nothing to further the fashion industry by choosing to sing the praises of designers who held gimmicks over design. She rarely looked for new talent to fill the pages of her magazines, instead of using designers who recycled the same looks constantly and it was infuriating to Eve.
“We’re doing an op-Ed piece on your little fashion show here and our best photojournalist was unavailable, so,” she gestured to herself, “here I am.”
“Hm,” Eve said and turned her attention back to Max and Jin. “You three will be seated in the center, front row. None of the designers are aware that you are here so they won’t be intimidated into thinking this will make or break them.”
“Noted.” Max replied as he followed Eve to three chairs in the front row marked with pieces of laminated papers, marked ‘ Reserved ’.
“Please, enjoy our little show.”
Max and Jin looked amused.
Carla did not.
With four major classes that were showcasing their work, Eve and her colleagues had worked overtime to make sure the entire show went smoothly. The jewelry design class went first followed by Design with Knitwear, both were presented by Bill and Jess.
There had been a small warm-up auction and raffles for a half-hour before the show where guests were permitted to bid on mystery clothing from the collections of student designers that were willing to part with pieces from the upcoming runway show. The winners and their prizes would be announced at the end of the showcase. Exactly on time, the lights were cut and bright, white stage lights lit up the catwalk.
By 9:40, Eve and Elena were finishing up in the hair and makeup chairs. Eve’s hair had been straightened and then styled in volumized wave curls. In ivory pants, Eve waited until she was completely finished to slip on the thigh-length asymmetrical blazer that matched. She met up with Elena moments before they were supposed to take the stage. Two students from the Fashion Communication and Promotion class handed them microphones and led them to the heavy white drapes that separated them from the audience. On their descending count, the students pulled back the curtains and they were cued to walk onto the stage just as the music changed, and Eve and Elena were introduced by the DJ from his platform.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Womenswear portion of the 30th annual degree fashion showcase for Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design,” Eve announced. Thunderous applause broke out and was only overshadowed by a bunch of cheering coming from backstage.
“Clearly our designers are as excited as you all are.” Elena joked, earning a laugh from her audience. “And they have every right to be. These are students who have worked incredibly hard and have put their blood, sweat, and tears into producing the looks that you all will see tonight.”
“She’s not joking,” Eve laughed, “seriously, we should add an extra grand for band-aids in their tuition bill.” More laughter followed as Elena rolled her eyes in jest at Eve.
“Well, Eve,” Elena said turning to her co-host, “since we can’t do that, we can only offer them the best opportunity and safe environment to express their creative minds.”
“Fair enough. Tonight’s womenswear collections are based on duality. So, without further ado, we give you the first collection of the evening, Hugo Bleumel’s Hombre that he, himself, considers ‘country club chic’.”
Eve and Elena’s spotlight was shut off and the audience turned their attention to the runway where the first of Hugo’s models started down the runway. Hugo’s collection was a fun take on the classic preppy style with flair. There were colorful oxfords and chino pants and each model had a colorful cardigan tied around their shoulders. They all carried a piece of country club sports equipment like a tennis racket, polo mallet, or golf club. Once all twelve pieces had made their debut, there was a round of applause and Eve raised her microphone to read off of her cue card, “Next, we have Stowton by K. Stowton, a collection that ‘can be dressed down for a night of gaming, or dressed up for a night on the town’.”
Gamer chic was the best way to describe Kenny’s collection. Hair piled high in messy buns, Kenny’s female models all donned round or square-framed tortoiseshell glasses in different colors. Some wore oversized t-shirts and biker shorts, each with an embroidered Stowton by K. Stowton logo that matched their glasses. Others were in graphic tees with cargo pants or skinny jeans and a hoodie. All of them carried either a limited edition printed game controller and laptop as they strolled with a disinterested expression on their faces. Kenny had clearly used his infamous computer skills to create his own logos and Eve could tell that the judges were dazzled by the display.
Four other students from Eve’s class followed Kenny’s debut and when Nadia’s Delicate collection graced the stage, Carla de Mann sat at attention. That hadn’t surprised Eve, who could tell that Nadia had drawn her inspiration from a designer most famous for his drab, homeless-style label. Olive, tan, chocolate, gray and kyanite blues were the only colors she’d used. The aesthetic, while beautiful, had already been done before and Eve had expected more from Nadia. There were gray sports bras underneath distressed olive shirts and oversized tan sweatpants and skin-tight kyanite biker shorts with olive green bodysuits and sheer tan tights. Still, with the fashion industry where it was now, Eve wouldn’t be surprised if Nadia still did very well in her career as a designer.
Diego by Diego was as interesting as he was. Fierce, animal print patterns took shape into asymmetrical dresses and pants that overpowered the muted colorful accessories like scarves, hats, and sunglasses. It hadn’t been Eve’s favorite collection, but the animal print was classic and would never go out of style, especially when worn properly.
For Eve, her favorite part of showcasing each designer’s work was after the final model, every student designer walked the runway with their models following behind in a single line, clapping along with the audience. It was a chance for them to gauge the viewer’s reactions while also receiving praise for their hard work.
As Diego and his models left the illuminated catwalk, Eve’s heart began to pound.
“Our final designer in the womenswear division,” Elena began, “is more than a student here at CSM. According to both her teachers and her peers, she is CSM’s resident fashionista. She embodies duality in all that she does, ladies and gentlemen, here is Villanelle Astankova’s collection entitled,” together Elena and Eve said, “ La Villanelle !”
A collective gasp took hold of the crowd and Eve’s heart soared as she watched the first of Villanelle’s models enter. In a navy blue tailored pantsuit with a gold pattern, the tall blonde model smoothly unbuttoned her suit jacket to reveal a wine-colored lace top with a pussy-bow neck. With one hand half-tucked into the pocket of her pants, her expressionless face turned into a cocky smirk the moment she got to the end of the runway. She turned and the moment she was halfway to the exit, the second model headed down. This one turned heads in gumball pink satin pants and a matching sheer top with an overstated bib neck.
What shocked Eve was how diverse each and everyone one of Villanelle’s models were. She remembered a conversation she’d had with Villanelle so many months ago.
“You have to design things that everyday people who are all shapes and sizes can put on and feel good about themselves.”
“You think I make clothes for thin people.”
“I think you make clothes for models.”
Well, Villanelle had certainly proved Eve wrong. She had managed to find models who looked like everyday people and designed her clothes to fit them beautifully. Eve had never been so incredibly proud of a student before. Most chose men or women that were considered classically beautiful by European standards, but Villanelle was anything but average. Eve’s emotions overwhelmed her and she discreetly wiped a tear from her eye, careful not to ruin her makeup.
A student hopped onto the stage and took Eve’s mic from her.
“The designer has asked you to walk the stage with her after her final model.” Eve was told. Confused, she nodded and followed him off of the stage to the back tent that still bustled with models and designers, alike.
“Eve! Come.” Villanelle said, pushing through the crowd, hand outreached. She’d changed into a black top and black leather leggings. A thin scarf tied like a loose tie around her neck with a dark salmon faux fur coat, Villanelle grabbed Eve’s hand.
“What are you doing?” Eve hissed.
“You have taught me so much. This is your moment as much as it is mine.” Villanelle told her and her ring-laden hand squeezed Eve’s. The brunette smiled at her and Villanelle grinned back as they were ushered to the small set of steps they would walk up. Villanelle’s models lined up behind them, ready for their encore while she and her girlfriend gazed into each other’s eyes.
“I’m so proud of you.” Eve said. “All of your dreams will come true.”
“ You are my wildest dream. It’s already come true.”
Back in the performance tent, despite every single piece of Villanelle’s collection being utterly fabulous, it was the final model that drew Carla de Mann’s attention. In tan nylon pants with a white embroidered pattern, it was the top that shocked the audience. Braless, and completely proud of it, the model wore a shirt that resembled a dinner jacket in the sleeves with a deep V neckline that reached her navel and flared out to reach the floor with a small train. When she reached the end of the runway, the model turned and held out one arm as if welcoming someone onto the stage. No sooner had she done so, Villanelle and Eve stepped onto the runway together. The audience jumped to their feet and gave Villanelle a roaring standing ovation. The pink-haired pixie waved to the crowd, a brilliant smile on her face. At the end of the runway, Eve and Villanelle pulled their hands away and Eve directed her applause to Villanelle at the same time that Villanelle gestured to Eve and clapped for her .
That was their dynamic really, each always rooting for the other’s success. Eve drank in the people praising Villanelle. She turned in a semicircle, watching as they refused to stop clapping for the young designer. But then, something happened:
Another audible group inhale from the audience grasped Eve’s attention. She tried to follow their gaze only for it to land on Villanelle Astankova...
On one knee.
With an engagement ring in the palm of her hand.
A/N: 100 points to Gryffindor if you caught The Ghost reference. Also, I couldn’t explain every single piece of Villanelle’s collection, so please follow etherealmvmi on twitter or Tumblr so see La Villanelle!
“If you want to say something
Say it now,
‘Cause I ain’t got the time
To be waitin’ ‘round.
Come on tell me what you’re feelin’
Use your mouth.”
-Karen Harding, “Say Something (Zac Samuel Remix)
Another audible group inhale from the audience grasped Eve’s attention. She tried to follow their gaze only for it to land on Villanelle Astankova...
On one knee.
With an engagement ring in the palm of her hand.
Eve’s hand flew to her chest, her voice coming out frantic and confused. “Villanelle? Villanelle! What are you doing? What are you doing ?!”
There was nothing but silence around them, and a few whispers of surprise and intrigue. Eve could hear the shuffling of feet behind her and she was certain that everyone, models, and designers alike, that were behind the curtains had made their way onto the stage and were silently spectating.
“Eve, everything I do when you are around is impulsive and inspired, but still done with love in my heart because that’s how you make me feel. Everyday. You have made me want to be anything but normal. I want to watch movies with you forever, kiss you always, and do,” Villanelle grinned cheekily and Eve couldn’t stop the blush if she wanted to, “well, other things too. But most importantly, I want to create with you. I see things in a kaleidoscope of colors when I’m with you, and that’s the way I want to see everything that life has to offer. With you. Will you marry me?” Villanelle shrugged. “After your divorce is finalized, of course, I am not a polygamist.”
Eve laughed through the tears that had fallen and the tight knot in her throat. “What about the internship? You’ve worked so hard. You deserve this and so much more.” She practically whispered. “You deserve every award for putting up with me. You can’t lose now.”
“You are my award.”
Eve shook her head, cheeks beginning to hurt from smiling so much. “Of course, I’ll marry you, you silly girl.”
“I say yes,” Eve said. “The answer is always yes to you.”
Villanelle had hoped beyond hope that Eve meant it when she said it, especially because she’d known for a while that this was what she wanted. What she needed really because a life without Eve was not a real life at all. And despite Eve’s doubts that she would find someone younger, Villanelle knew that this was it for her.
The grin that took over Villanelle’s face was wide enough to split her face in half. She placed the ring on Eve’s finger and stood up to wrap her arms around Eve’s waist tightly. The crowd erupted again and only seemed to get louder when Villanelle took Eve’s face in her hands and kissed her soundly. The love Eve had won over the shock and logic that told her that there would surely be consequences for this little public display of affection.
But, fuck it. Eve had done everything she was supposed to do for her entire life. This was what she needed. What she wanted.
Eventually, they’d made it backstage because the show had to go on and they were swarmed with cont
“Well, I bloody knew it,” Hugo replied, conversationally, crossing his arms over his chest. “Kenny, didn’t I say? Didn’t I call it?”
“He did,” Kenny replied, pulling Eve into a hug and then wrapped an arm around Villanelle’s waist. “There was beer and pizza and a long conversation after Billie practically forced us to help find that ring.”
Elena interjected, “It didn’t help that you all have had sexual tension since day one.”
Eve scoffed. “I thought she was a dickswab.”
“A fashionable one, I hope.” Villanelle grinned.
“Yes, dear.” Eve laughed and kissed her cheek.
A wave of “aww” flowed from Hugo and ended with an eye roll from both Eve and Villanelle.
“Well, well, well.” Diego made his presence known by pushing between Hugo and Kenny and clapped his hands together in a condescending manner. “I guess congratulations are in order. For the engagement, not for the internship. No,” he inhaled deeply and placed one hand on Villanelle’s shoulder, “you are sure to lose now that your tawdry little affair has been exposed.”
Villanelle wasted no time in bending back two of his fingers as far as they could possibly go. “You should really ask before you touch a person.”
He yanked his hand from her grasp and applied pressure to his throbbing fingers much to the amusement of Eve, Villanelle, and their small circle of friends.
“Good luck. You will need it.” Diego disappeared with a theatrical spin.
“Don’t worry, Villanelle. I’m sure they’ll see that you deserve this.” Hugo told her with a squeeze to her forearm.
“It does not matter either way,” Villanelle replied, taking Eve’s hand in her own. “I have everything I need.”
When the adrenaline rush had worn off and Eve and Villanelle were no longer swarmed by dozens of their peers ripe with congratulations, they sat in two director’s chairs that had been used for hair and makeup, smiling at one another. Eve had changed into an all-black ensemble she was to close the show in and as she fussed with the sheer puff sleeves, she asked Villanelle, “You risked so much for this. Why?”
“Because there are more important things in life than this school. I could not risk my future happiness because we are all but being blackmailed by Carolyn. As long as I graduate, I don’t care what else happens.”
Eve couldn’t believe her ears. “Who are you and what have you done with Villanelle Astankova?”
Villanelle laughed and it was such a carefree sound that Eve knew she would do everything in her power to hear that sound as often as she could for the rest of their lives.
“This is crazy. I mean, this is crazy right?” Eve asked her.
Villanelle simply shrugged. “Yes, but a good kind of crazy.”
A good kind of crazy, indeed.
Phone buzzing in her pocket, Eve pulled it out and her brows furrowed.
Come to the welcome tent ASAP.
“Well, we certainly cannot allow Miss Astankova to win now, can we?” Carolyn asked.
A few members of the faculty, all three judges, and two representatives of the fashion label where the internship would be had huddled together. They had a few moments between the raffle and announcement of the winner to decide on their next course of action.
“Why now? Her collection was clearly the superior collection.” Max Sanford responded.
“She is what we are looking for.”
“And her work would look incredible in British Vogue .” Carla de Mann added.
“There have to be consequences to her actions.”
“And what about Professor Polastri? Who’s to say she never boosted Villanelle’s grades without her deserving them? Not to mention, she had ample opportunity to reveal their relationship before today.” Carolyn mentioned.
“How little you must think of me as a teacher and an individual, Carolyn, to think that I would ever give a student a grade they didn’t deserve.” Eve interrupted. It was Bill who had surreptitiously texted her about the little team huddle. “And certainly, Villanelle’s work speaks for itself. Even if I wanted to, there would be no need to. Look, we didn’t expect any of this to happen. My life has been ripped apart and sewn back together in the course of a few months. Do I think it’s crazy? Hell yes. But I love Villanelle Astankova, and it was even crazier for her to do something that could potentially make or break her future. But she did it because she really loves me too.” Eve turned her attention to the judges, “I can only ask that you consider Villanelle’s professional work and not judge her personal life. This is her passion, her life, and anyone can tell that just by looking at her. If in the end, you decide that her work isn’t life-altering, by all means, give the internship to whoever you think is the better designer.”
Finally, Eve turned to Carolyn. “And my letter of resignation is typed and sitting in my drafts folder. I will email it to your assistant after the show.”
Eve stalked off, leaving every person in the room with a lot to think about, and a huge decision to make.
“If I may,” one of the label owners stepped up, “I think we can come to some sort of agreement so that all parties are happy.”
“Well, tonight certainly has been one for the books,” Elena said into the microphone, looking at her co-host.
“I guess you could say that.” Eve laughed. “It has definitely been a night to remember. Tonight, Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design has shown you exactly what it is capable of: incredible artists, something that this world could use a little more of.”
“You’re so right about that. Every year, we nurture the talent of new artists by teaching them to not only incorporate their own views of art, but also those of the fashion pioneers before them.”
“Exactly.” Eve agreed. “And today, we just so happen to have two icons from one of the oldest fashion houses in France. Please welcome Clare Keller and Renaud de Lesquen of the house of Givenchy.”
Eve had to cover her ears from the noise the room made. The welcome was certainly warm enough and as the two icons took their places on the deserted catwalk, they smiled politely, waving at the audience.
“Tonight,” Clare said, Renaud and I are here to announce the winner of tonight’s fashion show. The winner will be given a one-year paid internship with Givenchy in Paris, France.” She handed the mic to Renaud.
French-born Renaud told the audience, “We, the French, do not believe in delayed gratification, so,” he reached into the left breast-pocket of his tailored suit and pulled out a stiff index card, “without further ado, the winner is--.”
He leaned over so that Clare could read the card as well. Together, they announced, “Villanelle Astankova and Nadia Kadomtseya!”
Both the audience before them, and the ones who were watching from behind the curtains, looked around confused.
Backstage, Villanelle looked at Eve. “What?”
Eve shook her head, just as bewildered. “I don’t know.
“We have decided to allow these two incredible designers to share this year’s internship because they both showed phenomenal talent and extraordinary potential in their crafts,” Clare explained. “So, please give a round of applause for Villanelle and Nadia.” She and Renaud led the audience in clapping for the two young designers as they were pushed onto the runway by their peers. Villanelle’s hand slipped from Eve’s, but she continued to look back at her until the curtains separated them.
“This is unexpected.” Villanelle murmured to Nadia. She put on a polite smile and waved at the crowd as she and Nadia walked down the runway.
“I know it is not what we wanted, but maybe it can be a fresh start,” Nadia replied. Villanelle would consider it.
They met Clare and Renaud at the end of the runway where all four took turns hugging one another.
No, it wasn’t the outcome that she’d wanted, but if Villanelle had learned anything in the last eight months it was that life had a mystifying way of turning out to be exactly what she needed in her life.
When it was all said and done, Villanelle found her way back to Eve, her fiancé.
“Are you happy?”
Villanelle nodded and wrapped her arms around Eve’s waist. “So happy.”
Eve pressed her lips against Villanelle’s. “Let’s go celebrate.”
“Mm.” Villanelle hummed into the next kiss. “What do you have in mind?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” Eve shrugged, wrapping her arms around Villanelle’s neck. “Something… naked .”
second to last chapter. I—... wanna cry?
Chapter 42: To Love... & La Villanelle
WHO TF IS CHOPPING ONIONS?!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“What’s the feeling that I get
Every single time I look deep in your eyes?
What’s tingle that I feel
At the touch of your hand up and down my spine?”
-Chrisette Michele, “Is This The Way Love Feels?”
One year later…
Paris, France, June
Let it never be said that Villanelle did anything half-assed. Passionate impulse is how she made her choices and Eve loved her for it. Except when it came to wedding planning because she had been a monster . City Hall would have done quite nicely for Eve, but Villanelle scoffed at the idea.
“Eve, your face deserves to be bathed in the light of the soft sunset with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop with all of our friends and family around.” She had said.
That was how Eve figured out that Villanelle wanted to get married in Paris.
It was perfect really since that was where Villanelle’s internship was.
If Villanelle had accepted it. No, instead she’d taken up the offer for an apprenticeship at Ralph & Russo, the London-based designer that Eve had arranged for her.
“But, you love Paris.” Eve had mentioned.
“Yes, but I love my dignity more. Besides, I am not willing to see Nadia’s stupid face or stupid designs every day for the next year.”
And even without any Nadia drama, the couple had been a rollercoaster of emotions in the last year. Niko hadn’t made it easy on Eve during the divorce process. But eventually, their divorce was granted and the two wasted no time on sending out invites for their destination wedding.
So, finally, there they were on a terrace of a lavish hotel in Paris, holding hands as the sun set across the sky.
“I now pronounce you Mrs. and Mrs. Astankova.”
Villanelle’s eyes reached the heavens and she gave a dramatic bend backward as she groaned, “ Finally !”
A wave of laughter floated around through the congregation of witnesses to their holy union ending with Eve who shook her head.
“You both may now kiss your bride.” Villanelle wrapped one arm around Eve’s waist and pulled her flush against her own body, and kissed her to the sounds of their friends and family applauding. Fresh white and red rose petals were tossed their way while the two-headed back down the aisle, hand-in-hand. Out of the warm sunset terrace and into the stunning ballroom that held their reception, Eve and Villanelle stole a moment to themselves in the small corridor from which they would be announced. Pressing Eve against the wall, Villanelle kissed her properly, making the brunette’s knees wobble just a bit. One hand on the wall beside Eve’s head and the other tucked into the pocket of her couture pants, Villanelle allowed her eyes to drop for a moment.
“I cannot wait to get you naked.”
“We could’ve done that immediately after the ceremony but you wanted a reception.”
Villanelle groaned again. “I don’t understand why you let me have my way all the time.”
“Because I love you. And because you let me have mine.”
Pouting, Villanelle remarked, “You know, this is quite a private hallway. I am sure I could—.”
“There you two are!” Elena interrupted. “They’re announcing you now.”
“Elena, please, I am trying to get Eve to have a quickie.”
Elena’s brows rose and she looked to Eve who gaped at Villanelle. Both shocked and turned on, just the way Villanelle liked.
“I can’t believe I’m stuck with you now.” Eve laughed. Villanelle squeezed her hand and kissed her cheek. “‘Til death do us part.”
“Oh, so murder’s always an option, good to know.”
Villanelle scoffed. “Eve, please, save the dirty talk for the honeymoon.”
Villanelle took her wife’s hand and followed Elena into the reception hall to mingle with their guests.
A tipsy Villanelle pulled a drunken Eve through the doorway to the honeymoon suite, laughing in between kisses as they went.
“You’re so happy here in Paris,” noted Eve, plopping down on the foot of the bed. She watched as Villanelle bent over to take her own shoes off before pulling Eve’s off as well.
“Do you regret not taking the internship?”
“Of course not. I have learned much from Tamara and Michael.”
It was true. The owners of Ralph & Russo had been the topic of most conversations. Something about how they ran their company gave Villanelle a renewed passion for design. They’d even bought her collection, asked her to revamp them with the tools she’d learned while under their wing and they were presented in the ready-to-wear line during London’s Fall-Winter Fashion Week. And much to her delight, Villanelle had made a killing . The money was still rolling in and widely enough, she spent most of it on creating a new line and trademarking her own brand for when she finished her apprenticeship.
Eve, also more inspired as ever, had spent the first six months working vehemently on her own collection. Villanelle had turned her London flat into a design studio and would force Eve to use the space because she believed in Eve’s dream. Little did Eve know that as a wedding gift, Villanelle had also bought a stunning shop where Eve would be able to open her first store after her re-entry in the fashion world and secondary debut at London’s Spring-Summer Fashion Week. Genesis, Eve’s collection would be called. The beginning. The moment that Eve’s namesake began to think for herself.
“Would you,” Eve shrugged nonchalantly, “want to live here? Eventually, I mean?”
Villanelle tilted her head. “Maybe. Eventually. Would you?”
“Of course.” Eve tossed her hands up as if to say ‘look at this place’. “It’s Paris!”
And she had a point. Villanelle turned her head to the opened French doors. The night sky held brightly blazing stars and they could see the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. The warm night breeze carried the scent of freshly baked goods and the sounds of Parisians enjoying their nightlife. It was intoxicating.
And being here with Villanelle, it was like a fairytale.
“I think we can arrange to have a home here, too.” As she spoke, Villanelle walked over to the chilled champagne bucket that room service had set out for them.
“Too?” Eve wondered.
“Of course. We'll have one in every major fashion city in the world.” She poured them each a glass of the bubbly liquid and crossed the room once more, handing a glass to her wife.
Eve shook her head. “Is that so?”
The blonde nodded. “Yes, because everyone will know our names. To Genesis. To love and to La Villanelle.”
Eve sipped the champagne as did Villanelle, each eyeing the other over the rim of the glass.
“Now,” Villanelle smirked, “can I fuck you on the balcony for all of Paris to see?”
Eve tossed her head back and laughed as Villanelle pulled her up and over to the bay window.
There is an Of Love & La Villanelle playlist on Spotify that includes the songs from this story. Enjoy it during a re-read of my first baby.
thank you guys so much for all the constant support and love and constructive criticism. I appreciate each and every one of you!