Yes, really. You may see this is Part 18 of a series that’s not on this site – that’s because it’s not mine, it’s Stephan’s. Read the series at this link if you’re not familiar with it. I adopted a baby! This baby. And I tried not to drop it on its head or hover it near choking hazards.
There’s another part after this one. And thanks to Steph for feedback and guidance on how the story would go.
“I don’t want you with anyone else.”
It was as if Tiffany didn’t want to hear what Taeyeon might say to that, so she gave her no chance. She kissed her soundly to prevent an answer.
Maybe she was still drunk.
Maybe Taeyeon was drunk, somehow, because her head was spinning. If Tiffany’s words hadn’t been enough to disrupt the sleepy feeling, the kiss sure was.
And then the words were far away. Tiffany’s body was moving – naked. She can’t have been all that cold anymore, because her skin felt hot to the touch, and Taeyeon touched her. Oh, she touched. The feeling again of Tiffany’s bare chest pressed to Taeyeon’s shirt jolted her, the finest muscles of her hands tightening in response.
Her back was so soft and smooth. The palms of Taeyeon’s hands stroked all the way up together. She gripped Tiffany’s shoulder blades, and stroked all the way down again to the very bottom; Tiffany twitched, and bit the tip of Taeyeon’s tongue. Was that the slightest inkling of a moan?
Tiffany broke the kiss for a split second before restarting with vigour; it was the energy coiled in her body, which had made her tremble. Her own hand shifted, sliding up under Taeyeon’s shirt to cover her upper abdomen, just beneath her breast. She surely felt Taeyeon holding her breath at the contact, because she gently pressed onto Taeyeon’s skin and kneaded her body.
Taeyeon felt what she wanted to do – inch over every part of Tiffany’s skin and touch her chest – and her mind raced through to what she really wanted, where this was going. She wanted everything, all of Tiffany, slowly and thoroughly over and over.
“Tiffany,” she breathed, but she couldn’t pull away because she was on her back, pressed into the bed by Tiffany’s body, glorious body, “Tiffany, wait.”
The clarity in Tiffany’s eyes when she paused answered the question about sobriety.
“What you just said…. Don’t you think we should talk about that?”
Tiffany huffed in annoyance, sitting up on Taeyeon’s hips – again.
“What is it about having me naked, on top of your body, kissing you, that always makes you so desperate to talk?”
“Because,” Taeyeon said, frowning, “I want to know this means something to you. Don’t make me use the word ‘friends’ again…”
And yet, even referencing it made Tiffany shut down immediately. Taeyeon could see it on her face. Even though Tiffany instigated it with her statement earlier, her indication of wanting more from this, she still tried to cover it up with sex, for what? So that she could keep pretending they were just friends later?
Taeyeon wanted to say all of that and more, but she pressed her lips together so hard they quivered. Tiffany looked away.
God, Taeyeon thought. Tiffany is stark naked. She’s so beautiful.
I want to mean something to you – the words were there, on the tip of her tongue which was tender from Tiffany’s bite.
But Taeyeon said nothing, and Tiffany moved all the way off.
The darkness of the night flicked back over Taeyeon’s eyes just like that.
“I don’t want you with anyone else.” Was it a dream?
Taeyeon was angry. It was one thing for Tiffany to lie to herself and call them just ‘friends’, hide from her feelings even if she just wanted to protect herself from whatever it was that she was afraid of – but to think that Taeyeon would cheat on her – even though they weren’t committed to each other – even though it wouldn’t be cheating –
Taeyeon didn’t know what she considered their relationship to be, but it was enough to keep her from anyone else. As if she would even have eyes for anyone else; Tiffany was more than enough. From the moment they first met in the bar, Tiffany’s first step into Taeyeon’s personal space, Taeyeon was chasing after her single-mindedly, doggedly.
She thought about Tiffany, small and vulnerable and looking for warmth. The closer she got to understanding what went on in Tiffany’s head, the more rapidly her own emotions cycled between frustration and compassion. She was learning, slowly and step by tortured step, that Tiffany was going through an internal conflict of her own.
It was hard to be patient.
Just thinking of it made her fired up, her muscles twitching and aching.
Tiffany lay on the other side of the bed, curled up in a ball, her bare back to Taeyeon. She had wanted to be so close, inseparable, touching.
Maybe after all this time, it was Taeyeon’s turn to be a coward.
Did any of it mean anything to Tiffany? Or, was it enough yet? It seemed like it was. Almost. Always almost. Taeyeon’s heart fluttered and cracked and swelled as it went on.
Taeyeon sat up suddenly. She needed – something she wasn’t sure she had.
Her pants were on her legs, a jacket over her body, her feet landed in shoes and took her outside into the night. After months of action, chasing Tiffany, pushing when she pulled and pulling when she pushed, her mind reeled a little too much.
At dawn, she received a message from Tiffany.
Where are you?
Taeyeon couldn’t go back.
Out. I’ll see you later. Pick you up after your class.
It took several minutes for a response, and even then, it was a clipped Ok.
Taeyeon rested her back against the brick wall of the bar that was turning into a second home.
Too early in the morning but she could do with a drink.
She flipped herself over, pressed her face to the glass of the bar’s window. It was dark inside, of course, empty, and still. In her mind’s eye, she saw it how it was the first night – every night – that she went to see Tiffany DJing. The colours, the lights, the smoky air thick with tension. Her eyes through all of that, piercing and fierce, calling to Taeyeon, promising exhilaration.
Taeyeon’s finger twitched against the surface of the window. What would it take to break through Tiffany’s glass box and capture that feeling forever?
It was shaky, now, whatever they had with each other. Turbulent as they were, the near-admittance of what Taeyeon thought Tiffany was feeling seemed to leave them hovering on the precipice of an ultimatum.
She thought about it as she drank. The previously vivid and vibrant sounds of the bar around her felt muted now. Taeyeon felt like she was before she met Tiffany; lost, shuffling along. Uninterested.
Another week had gone by, and it would go by again. She sighed, disappointed in herself for remaining stuck in this situation forever.
Her phone beeped. Done with group meeting. Ready when you are. Waiting just outside – watch out for the storm.
Right, the storm. She couldn’t hear it over the music and the people around her, but it had hit when she was on her way here, water lashing against the windscreen of Tiffany’s truck and making it harder to see. Now it was time to head out in that mess again and pick up Tiffany.
She dropped some cash for the drink and it mostly stayed on the hard surface of the counter except for a few coins that rolled away. She moved to stand and nodded at Jaeseok, stumbled a little but surely it was nothing. She’d had less than a bottle of beer. She shook it off.
The storm hadn’t let up at all. It ripped at the air above her, slashing down at the truck she was in. She peered up at the thundering clouds, dark and writhing, and shivered.
Taeyeon eyed a wall that ran along the side of the road as she pulled up to a red light. Last time she was in this truck and tried to talk to Tiffany about their issues, Tiffany hissed something about driving them right into wall.
She pictured Tiffany now, huddled outside a building on campus under cover, maybe watching the storm around her, maybe playing with her phone. What would she be thinking about? Maybe some rain got on the tip of her nose, maybe there was the snap of cold wind along her cheeks. Maybe she’d think of Taeyeon.
The traffic light went some shade of green and she lifted her foot off the brake. Her shoes were a bit wet on the soles and they squeaked along the surface of the gas pedal.
She hoped Tiffany was wearing a jacket.
Her foot pressed heavier on the pedal and she imagined Tiffany tapping her toes against the ground with impatience or to keep warm.
She imagined Tiffany checking the time on her phone.
Tiffany frowned. It had been ten minutes already but it felt like longer.
Her hands slid along the steering wheel as she took a turn, maybe a bit close to the edge.
Tiffany clenched one hand into a fist, shoved it in her pocket. She squinted out towards the road, looking for her pickup truck.
The truck straightened out heavily as the turn finished. Taeyeon huffed, impatient, made tense by the storm and thoughts of Tiffany.
Tiffany shuddered, curled her shoulders under the jacket. It was cold. Where was Taeyeon?
Taeyeon blinked. There was meant to be another turn but through sheets of rain she –
Tiffany’s phone lit up when it rang and she felt relief. Forty minutes had passed as she stood in the centre of a storm. She hoped this was Taeyeon calling to say she finally made it.
But it wasn’t.
“Hello? Sunny? What’s up?”
Sunny seemed to pause on the other end of the line, and she sniffed.
“Don’t panic,” Sunny started. “Taeyeon’s been in an accident.”
“Look, I’m going to come pick you up right now and take you to the hospital. Okay? Where are you, at your place?”
“No, I’m – I’m on campus, I just had a meeting, Taeyeon was going to… pick me up… Is she, all right? How bad is it?”
“Don’t panic,” Sunny said again, “I’ll be there in a few. I’ve got to hang up to drive. She’s…. She’s alive.”
And the call ended.