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last night

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Last night

                  our lover’s quarrel

 

I was thinkin’ about you

 

                  hurts more than I can say

 

And it was, kinda dirty

       


 

One lonely night, Shelby found herself aimlessly walking the callous streets of Los Angeles. Unlike the lively pedestrians buzzing around her, she was cold and thirsty. Mind and bones exhausted. Slipping into the nearest dive bar she could find without being noticed, she crawled up onto a torn leather barstool. Keeping her head down, she gave the bartender the slightest nod, indicating she’d have her usual.

 

She hated how often she came here. Hated that she had a “usual” drink and the bartender knew her by name. She’d become someone she hardly recognized. Running from her once perfect life. A life stolen.

 

With each passing day, it became painfully clear that she and Matt would never get back what they once had. They fought about everything, constantly at each other’s throats, bickering over what kind of detergent to buy, whose turn it was to pay the bills, how much sex they weren’t having. Just being around him, trying to make things work, became a full-time job she was just about ready to quit. 

 

So about once a week, she uncharacteristically fell into this same routine of walking out on him, getting hammered at her now “usual spot”, and calling an Uber to take her back home where she’d sleep on their stiff couch. Alone. Lonely. Always lonely.

 

As she knocked back the last of her whiskey and motioned for another, she pinched the bridge of her nose, thinking about the shitstorm that tomorrow would bring. Paleyfest. Why the fuck did they agree to go? Knowing their marriage was hanging on by a thread? Despite herself, a chuckle erupted in her throat and out her nose through a light snort. She’d be embarrassed by the men at the end of the bar staring, if she could bring herself to give a fuck at this particular moment in time.

 

Watching the bartender—Dave?—pour her second glass, she mouthed the words “thank you”, just as a rowdy group entered the bar behind her. Typically unbothered by other patrons while drowning in her own sorrows, Shelby wouldn’t bat an eye at such an obnoxious band of drunken women. Until she noticed a distinct voice. An accent. British, if she had to guess.

 

Squinting her bloodshot eyes, she peered up at the mirror behind the bar and cleared her throat nervously as her entire mouth went numb. Monet and Audrey, the actresses who played her and her sister-in-law in the reenactment that subsequently ended her marriage, were now in Shelby’s safe space. Stumbling to the bar, headed right towards her.

 

She could already smell the distinct scent of Audrey’s floral scented perfume infused with the smell of vodka that seemed to permeate her skin. It was interesting to see her this way. Wearing tight burgundy leather pants and what could only be described as “fuck me” heels. For a brief moment, Shelby subtly glanced over her shoulder to get a better look, noticing her deep red lipstick and perfectly applied smokey eye. An altogether intriguing, more provocative creature than she’d seen in the past.

 

She was standing close, grazing her arm against the sleeve of Shelby’s sweater without even noticing her presence. Of course. Why did that notion even surprise her. Smirking to herself, Shelby tossed back the rest of her drink, left some cash and went to leave unscathed, before a shrill voice called out to her.

 

“Shelby! Is that you? Oh my god. Monet! Look who it is!”

 

Shelby could feel her insides recoil as she gritted her teeth through every word that Audrey slurred out. 

 

Perfect. Just fucking perfect.

 

“Shelby fuckin’ Miller!” Monet screeched as she cackled uncontrollably.

 

Shelby squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that when she opened them, the two irritating women in front of her would be gone.

 

Despite her best efforts, that wasn’t the case.

 

“Don't worry, I was just leaving…”

 

“Oh nonsense! Come here,” Audrey stepped forward to grasp Shelby’s forearm, softly running her fingers down to her wrist. “Let us buy you a drink.”

 

Swallowing hard, Shelby felt the hairs on her arm stand up, as the warmth of the alcohol already in her system was now amplified by Audrey’s unexpected gesture.

 

“I um...I really should get back.”

 

Shooting a coy look over at Monet, like she held a secret she was devilishly withholding, Audrey leaned one elbow on the bar top and ordered three shots of tequila. Shelby’s ears grew hot, as she suddenly felt the need to strip off at least two layers of clothing. Audrey wasn’t taking no for an answer, and after months of dealing with a man who couldn’t decide what the fuck he wanted, she found it surprisingly refreshing. And maybe a little sexy.

 

 But that could be the whiskey talking.

 

Either way, Shelby ended up taking off her sweater, rolling her sleeves up, and clinking glasses with the last two people she ever imagined would lift her spirits on a night like this. As the silver liquid coursed down her throat, the aches and pains in her head and heart began to fade. Temporary relief, as it were. But she wasn’t complaining. Not when Audrey’s normally regal countenance turned hazy and playful. After a bout of surprisingly light, casual conversation, Audrey cleared her throat, gracefully tossing her bangs as she turned to face Shelby.

 

“So...what’s a gal like you doing in a place like this?”

 

Her eyes were hooded but intentional. She knew exactly what she was doing.

 

Crossing her legs, Shelby looked down at the melting ice cubes in her glass before matching Audrey’s gaze.

 

“I could ask you the same.”

 

Huffing an incredulous sigh, Audrey looked over at Monet, as if to summon backup, but she just put her hands up in surrender and mumbled something about needing a smoke before promptly heading outside.

 

As a crooked grin spread across Shelby’s face, Audrey scoffed again, signaling to the bartender for another round.

 

“Please, it’s not a big deal or anything. Rory’s away on a night shoot, so I’m catching up with Monet before Paleyfest…”

 

Shelby felt her eyebrow go up, and wasn’t quite sure why.

 

“But he’s meeting us at the panel tomorrow.”

 

“Okay…”

 

A peculiar tension buzzed between them as they both sat with one arm on the bar, shoulders slightly angled to face one another. Shelby could sense all kinds of unease in Audrey’s body language, but didn’t feel the need to press into the current state of her relationship. It was none of her concern. At least, that’s what she told herself to make whatever they were doing seem more justified. Two married women. Sharing a drink or two, knees and elbows brushing only occasionally. Intentional contact? Perhaps. She was too drained and bordering on tipsy to question anything at the moment.

 

As silence continued to brutally pulse between them, Audrey couldn’t help but notice Shelby’s left hand curled around her glass. Bare. No wedding band. 

 

Interesting.

 

The night before, Audrey spent most of the time talking Rory’s ear off about how desperate and pathetic Shelby was, rolling her eyes as she checked her emails in bed, sipping her bedtime tea with repulsion. 

 

Rory just nodded and yawned, unwilling to tell his wife just how tired he was of hearing her talk about Shelby Miller, day in and day out.

 

“We only have to see her for a couple of hours at Paleyfest, babe. Then she’ll be out of our lives. All of those losers will be…”

 

“God, that day can’t come soon enough,” Audrey huffed. 

 

But as Rory rolled over to click off the lamp and go to sleep, Audrey’s mind began to wander. 

 

Wander to that infuriating blonde that danced through her psyche more than she’d ever like to admit. 

 

The thought of her being home alone. 

 

No Matt. Just her, in what Audrey could only assume was a modest queen-sized bed, with a flowy canopy topper and a fluffy down comforter. Because she knew Shelby so well. Almost hated how well she knew her. But what came with getting into her head, learning what made her tick; the kind of perfume she wore, her daily wellness routine, the fact that she preferred coffee over tea. All of it had her irritated and fascinated all at once.

 

 She wanted to despise this woman to her shallow core. Her idiotic yoga practice, sweating and breathing hard in those tight, tight clothes.

 

Then Audrey sunk back into her pillow, burrowing her body into the mattress as her eyes rolled back, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth as she succumbed to the thoughts she could no longer fight. Sighing painfully, she glanced over at Rory. Passed out.

 

Like clockwork, she slowly slid her hand down into her silk underwear as her mind went to pink lips, impossibly sexy dimples and yankable dirty blonde hair. Sinking her teeth into milky skin, diving her tongue into that fiery mouth. She came alarmingly fast, with her sleeping husband drowning in oblivion next to her.

 

Snapping out of her daydream, Audrey looked up to find Shelby staring back at her, in a way that almost seemed like she was watching her thoughts. Her eyes were dark and hooded, lips recently dampened by the swipe of a warm tongue just seconds before she could catch a glimpse. Suddenly, finally, Shelby could detect a hint of nervousness in Audrey, watching her avert her eyes and tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. The bar seemed to fall still. Clinks of glasses, the buzzing of a broken overhead light, murmuring voices over at the pool tables—all faded into the background as Shelby waited for Audrey to speak again. She hoped she would say something off-putting, so these unwelcome feelings (attraction?) would dissipate soon.

 

“You know…” Audrey began before tossing back her shot, and gesturing for Shelby to do the same, “You could do better.”

 

Right on cue.

 

Shelby felt the deep burn of the alcohol in her throat as she choked. “What?” 

 

“You heard me.”

 

“You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” Shelby hissed, fire blazing in her irises. 

 

The bar came to a noticeable halt, just as Monet was walking back over.

 

Audrey would attempt to act offended, if the alcohol weren’t giving her every ounce of liquid courage it took to continue to prod the beast.

 

“Don’t get so bent out of shape. It’s a compliment for Heaven’s sake.”

 

Shelby formulated a snarky response but the bright lights of the bar flickering on distracted her as she squinted at the harsh fluorescence. 

 

“Last call,” Dave yelled into the crowd.

 

How was it already 2:30am?

 

Shoving her hand into her purse, Shelby fished out her phone and clicked the power button several times to no avail.

 

“Shit,” she huffed under her breath.

 

“What is it?” Audrey questioned with an uncharacteristic amount of concern in her voice.

 

Hesitating, Shelby finally responded. “Phone’s dead.” Looking up, she caught the twinkle in Audrey’s eye. “It’s fine, I’ll just walk home it’s only…”

 

“Nonsense. You’re coming with us.”

 

“What? No, really I’m—”

 

Before she could form a sentence, Audrey was standing in front of her, a serious, almost sympathetic look in her eyes. The way she blinked, slow and sultry, indicated she’d had plenty to drink before walking into this bar. Shelby silently bit the inside of her cheek, wishing she had one shred of inhibition left inside of her.

 

“I know you don’t want to go home. Come with me. I have a spare room...and vodka.”

 

Shelby didn’t remember agreeing, but in the Uber she could distinctly feel hot heat rising from the pit of her stomach, a foreign sensation of excitement and anticipation. Somehow Monet had ended up in the front seat, with Shelby and Audrey sharing the back of the sedan, vibrating with a swarm of tension she couldn’t quite pin down. Audrey pissed her off in so many ways. Knew every way to push her buttons successfully. She was also stunningly, irritatingly beautiful, remarkably suave, and kept giving her coquettish glances punctuated with a smirk and subtle lip bite each time Shelby nervously glanced in her direction. The way her head was swimming, coupled with the wide array of emotions she’d been inundated with over the last few hours, she was in no condition to interrupt or even deflect the energy radiating from the woman sitting just inches to her left.

 

Shelby told herself she would go in, charge her phone, have a glass of water, and be on her way.

 

About an hour later—phone still dead and several ounces of vodka freshly pulsing through her bloodstream—Shelby leaned against the frame of the apartment’s floor to ceiling windows. Audrey’s penthouse was stupidly lavish, each piece of decor probably retailing for more than Shelby’s entire wardrobe was worth. A lazy smile painted her face as she took in the L.A. skyline, head fuzzy and warm as she hummed along to the tune of light jazz thrumming through the speakers of a slim sound bar.

 

 At this point she was considerably inebriated, unbothered by the implications of being alone with Audrey at nearly 4am. Because if she were honest with herself, she’d rather be anywhere but home right now. 

 

She vaguely remembered Monet leaving at some point, mumbling something to Audrey on her way out about “leaving you two alone”, punctuated by a sly wink. Maybe if she had a firmer grasp on lucidity, Shelby would have thought to read more into that. 

 

Instead, she breezily moved across the dimly lit room, floating her fingers across the spines of leather bound books neatly organized in a bookcase.

 

“Are these all yours?”

 

Walking over to meet her where she stood, gin and tonic in hand, Audrey purred, “Mmm, yes. Most of them. Many belonged to my grandmother. She was quite the collector.”

 

Shelby didn’t find her actual words inherently sexy, but the way they rasped out of her throat, falling passed her lips with effortless poignancy, had her fidgeting where she stood. Then her eyes fluttered from the books to linger at Audrey’s mouth as she continued to describe her grandmother’s love for literature. Thoughtlessly she licked her lips before tearing her gaze back to focus on Audrey’s eyes, but by then, it was too late. Her fixation had clearly been noticed, no thanks to her body’s current delayed response to her brain’s requests. Audrey’s spine lit up with tiny pricks of goosebumps trailing down to her tailbone. She knew very well what had been going on in her own mind all night—the cerebral fantasies aching to be brought to life—but this was the first time she caught the smallest glimpse of possible reciprocation.

 

 In any other circumstance, she’d show her the door. Pay for her ride and secure the deadbolt behind her. Because the notion of this going beyond the point of no return—tasting her skin, touching her where she knew she needed to be touched—was extraordinarily reckless. Rory could come in at any moment. The shoot could have ended early. He could come home to shower and sleep in his own bed. And even though Audrey knew deep down that had never happened before (he always chose to stay out late with the boys, doing God knows what) there were hundreds of reasons why this night needed to come to an uneventful end. 

 

And then a simple question, something otherwise typical and harmless when visiting someone’s home for the first time, changed the atmosphere altogether.

 

“Can I see your bedroom?”

 

Audrey swallowed the lump in her throat, blinking rapidly at the loaded request. Simply nodding, she grazed her hand over the back of her neck as she led the way down the corridor to her room at the end of the hall. She could feel the wild embers churning in Shelby’s eyes—innocent and intrigued, anticipatory but pensive. 

 

As they stepped over the threshold, Audrey silently clicked on a small lamp, casting a warm orange glow over the master bedroom. The bedding was a pure white with grey and purple accents. The windows were big and wide, same as the ones Shelby admired in the living room. It smelled like cinnamon and sandalwood. A perfect mix of masculine and feminine energy. Setting her drink down, Audrey cleared her throat and leaned against the door frame, silently studying Shelby as she moved through the room. Her fingertips grazed the soft comforter, before she abruptly sat down, eyes glued to her fingers as she fiddled with her rings. 

 

Audrey opened her mouth to speak, but genuinely couldn’t come up with a subject to venture into with the woman now sitting at the foot of her bed. She was contemplating something, with an almost morose expression on her face. 

 

After several more excruciating seconds of silence, Shelby looked up slightly, focusing her eyes on the dresser several feet in front of her.

 

“What did you mean…” she whispered, words trailing off.

 

“About what?” Audrey responded as her brain fought to catch up with her words.

 

“You said I could do better. What would ever make you say that…” Shelby chuckled, shoulders bouncing as she smirked at herself. 

 

Audrey smiled lazily, thankful for a small break in the tension clenching the room. Kicking off her heels, she moved to sit next to Shelby on the bed, closing her eyes and slowly rolling her head in a circle, attempting to relax. Shelby watched as the muscles in her neck contracted, then quickly averted her gaze to the ceiling.

 

You’re not thinking clearly, Miller.

 

Inhaling deeply, she let out a slow, meditative breath in an attempt to calibrate her wandering mind, before Audrey’s low voice severed her concentration.

 

“I think you know exactly what I meant.”

 

Shelby’s eyes widened briefly, before glancing over to find Audrey staring back with a serious, penetrating gaze. Swallowing hard, Shelby could feel the hot breath escape her lungs, as Audrey’s eyes flickered to her lips, then back up to her darkened irises. She could feel her pulse thumping loudly in her ears, as she tried desperately to conjure a rational response to the vibrations of raw sexual energy pulsing between their warm bodies. This was absolutely not happening.

 

And as her brain told her that, her hands rebelliously made their way to Audrey’s soft jawline, swiping away a strand of hair. The older woman exhaled nearly all of the remaining oxygen in her lungs, swallowing her inhibitions as she frantically tried to think through all of the reasons she shouldn’t do this. All the reasons this was a really fucking terrible idea that she was bound to regret in the morning. And just as she closed her eyes to pull away, words of pure velvet and honey tore through her reservations once again.

 

“Convince me...” Shelby whispered.

 

The moment their lips met was one of fire and reckless passion, a swarm of pent up lust. The air that passed between them was enveloped into each moan-filled kiss, each laced with whimpered desire and crushing urgency. Audrey wanted to slow down, pull back and really taste her properly, but each time she attempted to scale back their pace, Shelby’s hand fisted tighter in her hair, increasing the intensity of each searing kiss. Shelby could feel herself growing more and more feral, grasping for the hem of Audrey’s shirt before quickly pulling it over her head, only briefly severing their contact before sealing their hungry lips together again.

 

Audrey felt wild and unhinged, could feel her nipples growing painfully hard through her bra as she gave into her deepest desires. Shelby was so fucking annoying, but her mouth and her skin and her touch were more delicious than she ever could have conjured up in any sex dream. 

 

“Take your pants off,” Audrey demanded through labored breaths as she stood to remove her own. “Now.”

 

Shelby’s eyes were wild with want, raw with need. She needed this. Needed to feel something other than disdain and resentment and obligation. Needed to feel unbridled passion for the first time in so fucking long. Audrey was like sexual catnip. She tasted so divine, so new and so satisfying. She couldn’t get enough. So she wasted no time stripping off her jeans and sweater, hungry for more of her. Hungry to finally feel her skin to skin.

 

Audrey stood at the foot of the bed, clad in a pair of matching deep blue bra and panties, chest throbbing, aching to touch and be touched. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this way—so intensely desired. It made her skin light up with a fervent anticipation, a virile appetite churning inside of her to make this experience as mind blowing as possible for both of them. Because somehow she knew they both weren’t getting what they needed. Not by their men. Not by a mile.

 

Slowly approaching the bed, Audrey stood between Shelby’s open legs, silently running her hands through her hair. Gently at first, then aggressively, pulling her head back as she tugged on her long wavy locks. Whimpering, Shelby did not expect that, but could feel herself growing considerably wetter by the second. 

 

Matt was such a fucking fairy in the bedroom. Rarely on top, never taking charge. Shelby smiled seductively, running her hands up Audrey’s thighs before digging her nails into the flesh of her ass. Audrey hissed with sheer pleasure, swimming in the tantalizing euphoria she so deeply yearned for. 

 

Keeping her hands tangled in Shelby’s hair, Audrey moved to straddle her where she sat. Shelby guided her, keeping her hands firmly planted on her ass, toying with the hem of her underwear. Audrey smiled down at her, before dipping her head down to take her bottom lip between her teeth, biting down with candor before pulling the skin taut and letting it release back, playfully grinning as she watched Shelby’s eyes light up with pleasure.

 

Shelby was sure she was losing her goddamn mind.

 

But that didn’t stop her from continuing to push boundaries, because she wasn’t altogether certain how much of this was real and how much of it was just some deep seeded fantasy finally coming to fruition in her imagination. Either way, she wasn’t stopping. Not now. Not when this aggravatingly sexy woman was in her lap. Feeding into all of her unspoken needs. Vibrating on a different plane of existence while the rest of the city was sleeping. Every rational thought that crept into her mind was pleading with her to stop now. Turn around before this goes too far.

 

But truthfully, she was done being the victim of her own safe, suffocating life choices. This felt good. Audrey felt good. and that’s all the motivation she needed.

 

As they continued to exchange bruising kisses, tongues teasingly battling for dominance, Shelby’s hands took on a life of their own. Lightly dragging her fingertips up to the clasp of Audrey’s bra, she wasted no time unhooking the latch easily with one hand, managing to keep the intensity of their kiss while relieving Audrey’s chest of the restrictive material. Leaning back to help rid the garment completely, her chest heaved with ragged pants, lungs desperately trying to recover from the lack of oxygen. Shelby mirrored her pace. She wanted to slow down anyway. Because as much as this was a frantic, spontaneous act of lust-filled passion, she wanted to remember how it felt. The burn of the flames they were swimming in. She wanted it seared in her mind for a later date, because as fate would have it, this was forbidden. Never to be mentioned or replicated again. Deep down they both knew this couldn’t leave this room. So she did what she could to take in the mental images. Remember the smells and sounds and emotions buzzing through her veins, permeating her mind.

 

As her eyes focused on the vision in front of her, Shelby instantly began to salivate, taking in the sight of Audrey’s bare chest inches from the tip of her nose. She had to squeeze her legs together to give herself some relief, her arousal was overflowing at this point, throbbing between her legs. Then she swiftly flipped them, so she was now nestled between Audrey’s legs in the middle of the bed. Gasping, Audrey was painfully turned on by the move, clawing at Shelby’s back as she wrapped her legs around her hips. 

 

 Shelby hissed through her teeth at the nails raking down her back, running her hands up Audrey’s arms to firmly pin her hands above her head. Back arching several inches off the bed, Audrey was certain she’d never been so aroused in her life. Shelby’s eyes were glowing with desire, as she dipped her head down to take the delicate skin of Audrey’s neck between her teeth, biting down with the perfect amount of pressure, toeing the line between inflicting pain and soothing the skin with her lips and tongue. Low groans of pleasure escaped Audrey’s throat, eyes rolling to the back of her head as her panties soaked with more arousal than she knew her body was capable of producing. She felt like she was being devoured, offering up her body as a sacrifice, and trusting she’d come out alive. 

 

Soft, hot lips trailed down to drag across her clavicle, pressing open-mouthed kisses to her sternum before hovering over her breasts. Glancing up, Shelby made sure to lock eyes with the squirming woman under her, bowing her head down to slowly flick her tongue back and forth over a nipple.

 

“Fuck,” Audrey panted, unable to tear her eyes away and they threatened to squeeze shut. Then her other nipple received the same teasing attention. She bucked her hips, digging her heels into the bed as leverage to send a message. A message that she couldn’t take much more of this. The brutal, delicious anticipation. The rings on Shelby’s fingers were digging into her wrists, leaving marks behind, indentations of her lust.

 

Shelby reveled in the scent, the flavor of her soft skin, and impatiently wanted more. Tossing her hair back, she sat up on her knees, clutched Audrey’s hips and pulled her down to the edge of the bed. Letting out a tiny shriek, Audrey’s jaw fell open, watching Shelby easily have her way with her. Leaning up on her elbows, she looked down to find wild eyes hovering over her aching sex. Kneeling down on the floor at the end of the bed, Shelby hooked her fingers into the waistband of Audrey’s underwear, pulling them down with purpose, as Audrey lifted her hips to assist. Then she settled between her legs, maintaining eye contact while placing Audrey’s trembling legs over her shoulders. She could feel the heat radiating from where she could see just how soaking wet she was. Licking her lips hungrily, she wrapped her arms around her thighs, nudging her nose lightly over her clit and kissed her lips with a firm open mouth, languidly dragging her tongue through her labia. 

 

“Oh my god…” Audrey whimpered, throwing her head back on the mattress. 

 

Shelby smiled briefly, pulling Audrey a little further down, so her ass was nearly hanging off the edge of the bed. Lavishly she licked and tasted and teased her. Devoured, enjoyed and ate her like an ice cream melting in the summer sun. Urgent and indulgent. Audrey writhed uncontrollably, scraping her nails over Shelby’s scalp as she tugged on her hair, which only made Shelby apply more pressure, pushing her face further into her as Audrey’s torso continued to tremble and undulate. Shelby’s tongue and teeth and mouth were skilled and relentless. Audrey could feel how wet she continued to get, and would almost be embarrassed by how it coated Shelby’s chin and cheeks, if she could bring herself to feel anything but rousing ecstasy. Unhinged euphoria like nothing she’s ever experienced before. No one had ever come close to pleasing her this well. Other women tried, Rory gave a valiant effort, but this was other fucking worldly. Like Shelby’s tongue was laced with something previously undiscovered, talented and intuitive as she found all the right crevices at the precise moment they needed attention. 

 

She tasted her, kissed her, lapped her up like she was equally experiencing the same amount of pleasure. Audrey could hear her moans, feel them vibrate over her clit with each movement of her jaw. She was so close to the edge. Aching to take that deep dive into nirvana while never wanting it to end. Then Shelby palmed her stomach, effectively holding her hips down as she slid two fingers inside of her so fucking easily. 

 

She heard Shelby gasp as she penetrated her, going knuckle deep before pulling them all the way out. 

 

Audrey went to beg, plead for her to finish her off, but the only sounds she could make where whimpered pants, labored breaths. 

 

And Shelby has never been more pleased with herself. Wielding this power over her, fully responsible for her undoing. 

 

If she were truly evil, she’d stand up and walk away right now. Leave Audrey Tindall aching and needy, satisfied with unraveling her pompous exterior.

 

But she knew she wouldn’t be satisfied by that triumph, even if it would be sweet revenge. No, right now, the only route to her satisfaction would be watching her topple over the edge, shuddering with waves of pleasure elicited by her and her alone.

 

So that’s exactly what she did. Flattening her tongue over Audrey’s aching clit, she bore down with searing pressure, sucking it into her mouth while finger fucking her into oblivion. 

 

Audrey squeezed her thighs tightly around Shelby’s head as she worked over her, celestial noises escaping her throat as her back arched off the bed, head digging into the mattress as she watched stars dance across the ceiling. Fisting handfuls of the comforter, she finally felt oxygen flowing back into her lungs, bringing her brain back down to earth through a fog of mind blowing bliss.

 

“What the fuck…” Audrey murmured, still desperately trying to catch her breath.

 

Shelby smiled, pressing a kiss to her sensitive clit. “Good?”

 

“How are you so good at that.”

 

She could give a number of responses, but she wasn’t in the mood to chat. Smugly shrugging her shoulders, she stood, inching closer to settle between Audrey’s legs as she sat up to meet her. 

 

And while there was plenty of justification for this to be awkward, for one or both of them to feel that inevitable sense of regret post adulterous orgasm, they silently tangled their fingers together. Because the truth was, as much as they should regret it, a mutual air between them said the opposite. 

 

After several moments of muted conversation, their gazes finally met, seeking that mutual confirmation. That this wasn’t over. Not quite. Not while Shelby’s fingers lightly feathered over the bruises on Audrey’s neck, communications her apologies with her eyes, as Audrey’s response was only to shake her head and bite her lip, before running her hand between Shelby’s warm thighs. 

 

Clenching her jaw, Shelby could feel a new wave of arousal. Her hands were delicate but firm, caressing her skin, using the knuckle of her thumb to confirm that, yes, she was really fucking wet. And as soon as Audrey’s other hand grasped her hip, Shelby was bending down to take her face into her hands, examining her wanton gaze before enveloping their lips together again, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth. 

 

She found it kind of terrifying how easy, how normal and right this felt. What the fuck were they doing? These were the questions she should be asking, but the way Audrey was tasting herself off her tongue, humming at the taste, kept those questions buried at the back of Shelby’s mind for the time being.

 

“Follow me,” Audrey whispered into her mouth as she stood, taking her hand and leading her into the bathroom.

 

The tile was cool under her toes, the air filling with steam as Audrey turned the knobs to their hottest setting. Her conscience told her that maybe it was because she wanted to cleanse herself of her transgressions, step out of this shower and forget about how wrong this was. Fucking Shelby Miller against this shower wall, the same shower she shared with her husband. That one time. When he lasted all of three minutes. And she had to finish herself off.

 

Shaking those thoughts from her mind, she stepped closer, reaching around and unhooking Shelby’s bra, letting it fall to the floor. Something told her that tonight, that wouldn’t be the case.

 

Stepping into the hot shower as Shelby removed her underwear, Audrey sighed audibly, tilting her head back to let the water soak her hair. Closing the shower door, Shelby approached her from behind, kissing the back of neck, running her hands up to cup her breasts.

 

Fuck. This shouldn’t feel so good.

 

Shuddering at her touch, Audrey’s head fell back to rest on her shoulder, exposing her neck for Shelby’s lips to cover. Turning around in her arms, Audrey pressed her firmly against the shower wall. Things were getting tender, and she convinced herself if they kept it carnal, primal, this would feel less like cheating. Because as long as it wasn’t an emotional affair, she could chalk it up as strictly physical. A small, forgivable blip.

 

So she kissed her hard, bit down on her lip almost rough enough to draw blood. Shelby hissed, but followed suit by digging her nails deeply into her back, causing Audrey to gasp into her mouth, smiling at the galvanizing sensation. The marks would be clearly visible tomorrow (and she wondered what Rory would say. If he even noticed). 

 

She needed to fuck her. Not tenderly, not lovingly.

 

Sealing her lips back onto hers, clashing teeth, Shelby’s head hit the tile with a thud. Despite herself, Audrey looked up to find her eyes, making sure she was okay. That this was okay.

 

 Shelby smiled, secretly loving the brief look of concern in her eyes. But she felt it, too. That need to keep this as emotionless as possible. So maybe they could convince themselves this was nothing more than a meaningless hookup.

 

“Are you gonna fuck me or what?”

 

Swallowing hard, Audrey exhaled harshly, trying to ignore how arousing that was. Placing her hand on the wall next to Shelby’s head, she ran her hand down her abs, before sliding a finger through her slick heat, before effortlessly plunging one, then two fingers inside of her. Shelby whimpered into her mouth, pulling her closer by the back of her neck, tasting her tongue as she tilted her head to deepen the kiss. 

 

Audrey couldn’t breathe, but only increased her intensity, unwilling to stop until Shelby was coming all over her hand, filling the bathroom with her orgasmic moans. Reaching around the back of Shelby’s thigh, she wrapped her leg around her hips, pressing her palm onto her clit as she increased her pressure and pace. Then Shelby was tensing up, singing beautiful moans of release and joy into Audrey’s ear, sealing their wet bodies together tightly as she rode out her climax. Audrey watched as a myriad of curses fell from her gorgeous lips, took the opportunity to lean in and nip her earlobe, whispering sweet words of encouragement as she continued to contract around her fingers.

 

After several seconds of descending from what could only be described as an out of body experience, Shelby opened her eyes, finding a sparkling gaze of elation staring back at her, hazy and hooded and deeply pleased with herself. Audrey wanted to make a joke, ask her when’s the last time Matt fucked her like that, but she bit her tongue.

 

Because at some point, probably very soon, Shelby was going to have to go home. To her husband. No matter had bad things were, they still had to keep up appearances for the show. As long as they were in the spotlight, any sign of discord within their marriage would be uninvited tabloid fuel.

 

As they silently stepped out of the shower (having forgone the suds and shampoo), Shelby found her clothes, and headed for the door.

 

Audrey watched her, ignoring the tension, ignoring the words left unsaid, the gaping hole she wished didn’t exist, growing wider as Shelby reached for the door handle. She knew, the rational part of her knew, that this was goodbye in many ways. They’d see each other later today at Paleyfest, and resume their prior relationship as mere acquaintances. Audrey would poke and prod her insecurities, remind her that she was the Shelby people loved. That her life was the one that was well put together and Shelby’s was in ruins. She told herself she was okay with that existence, okay with pretending she felt nothing and this was just an act of desperation, spurred on by loneliness and missing her husband. But deep down she knew that was very far from the truth.

 

So she took a deep breath, threw on her plush robe and prepared her morning tea, clenching her jaw as she reconstructed her poise, refusing to watch her leave.

 

Shelby opened the door, pausing briefly before shutting it again.

 

“You know..." Shelby began, eyes tearing away from the floor to look up at her one last time. "You could do better, too.”

 

Audrey stopped what she was doing, closing her eyes for a second before finally glancing over Shelby. Her gaze was solemn. Knowing.

 

She didn’t know what to say.

 

Pursing her lips together, Shelby bowed her head, and walked out the door.

 

Standing in the quiet of her kitchen, Audrey sipped her tea, silently hoping that maybe, in another life, they could be something more than a fleeting moment of perfection. That they’d find their way to the peace and happiness they deserved, someday.