by green papaya
Holly took one last look at herself in the mirror and groaned in despair. She was giving up. There was no point in doing this.
The thing was, she liked the outfit. She hated to admit it, but Elle had a talent for fashion. She’d taken Holly’s usual style and upgraded it. The blouse’s puffy sleeves, ridiculous as they’d looked on the rack, were just the right amount of girly; and though she was self conscious of her bare midriff, she enjoyed the daring touch it added. The denim skirt and platform heels that Elle had dug through the bargain bin to find completed the whole ensemble. Holly looked cute and sexy. She’d even painted her nails with Essie’s Confection Affection.
The problem was who she wanted to look cute for. Would he notice? Would he care? They’d been just friends for so long that Holly wasn’t sure it would ever change.
Her phone buzzed. It was a text message from the person in question: Be careful when you drive over!! It’s Saturday night so there are a lot of drunk drivers on the road. See you soon.
Holly clutched her phone. Elle was right. Even if tonight ended badly, she would know for once and for all whether her feelings were reciprocated. That was better than the pathetic limbo that she’d been in for years. She texted back a promise to be careful, then grabbed her purse and ran out the door to meet Key.
Holly had met Key when she was a freshman in university and he was a junior. Newly freed from her mom’s overbearing scrutiny, she was eager to start living her life as an out lesbian. Still, it had taken her several weeks to work up the courage to go to the campus’ LGBT Center, and when she walked in the first person she saw was Key.
He was sitting at the front desk reading Tipping the Velvet. The name badge he wore said, in neat, blocky writing: “KEY. HE/HIS. Lesbian!!” Holly stared. She’d never seen someone who was so obviously butch. He had a sensible crew cut and horn-rimmed glasses. A denim jacket hung over the back of his chair, and when he stood up and walked around the desk, Holly saw that he was wearing steel-toed boots.
Most strikingly of all, he was Asian, just like her. His brown eyes crinkled as he smiled and said, “Hi, welcome to the LGBT Center. I’m Key. Make yourself at home. The printers are over there and the library’s through that door. Do you want some water? It’s really hot outside.”
“Um, hi,” Holly said. “I’m Holly. I’m a lesbian.”
She wanted to slap herself. What was she doing, introducing herself as a contestant on a reality TV show?
Key’s smile remained firmly in place. “Oh. Me too!” He pointed to the name badge. “It’s really nice to meet you, Holly. How about that water?”
She accepted a plastic cup from him and sat on the sofa, leafing through a lesbian lifestyle magazine without really taking in any of the words or pictures. She kept glancing up at Key, who had gone back to his book. He occasionally stopped to greet other people who walked into the Center, or to scribble something in a Moleskine notebook. Holly wondered if it was notes for a school assignment or ideas for his own novel. Whatever it was, it made him look very responsible, unlike Holly, who still hadn’t figured out how to motivate herself to write her essays until the night before.
After fifteen minutes, she devised a plan to start a proper conversation with Key. She walked up to his desk and took a deep breath before saying, “I actually had a question.”
Key looked up immediately and put his whole focus on her. “Sure, what is it?”
Usually, when people looked at her so directly, it was to say something mean or critical: her mom telling her she needed to lose weight, her teachers explaining that no, she didn’t need to voice her every single opinion in the class, her classmates asking her snide questions that implied they already knew she was a lesbian. Key’s gaze wasn’t anything like that. It was kind and attentive, like he really wanted to help her with whatever she needed. It warmed Holly up like a piping hot latte from the university coffee shop.
She said, “I was wondering if you had any recommendations for the books in the library. I’m interested in reading more LGBTQ literature, but I don’t know where to start.”
“You’ve come to the right person. I think I’ve read every book in there. What kind of books do you like?”
The warm feeling remained, but Holly didn’t know how to keep it going. She hadn’t thought this out very well. “Um. Just…anything with lesbians?”
Key’s eyes crinkled again. “Okay, you’re going to have to be a little more specific here. Do you like fantasy? Sci fi? Or maybe nonfiction?”
“Uh…” Truthfully, Holly didn’t like to read. It always seemed nice in theory, but whenever she picked up a book she found herself getting bored before the first chapter even ended. She tried to think of the TV shows she watched whenever she was procrastinating on homework. What kind of genre did shows like Nikita and Luther fall into? “Thriller?”
Key hummed. “I spoke too soon. I can’t think of any thrillers off the top of my head.”
Holly waved her hands. “Don’t feel on the spot or anything. I just wanted to ask.”
“It’s okay! I like a challenge. How about you come back tomorrow and I’ll have some titles for you? Or feel free to browse through the library and see what catches your eye.”
“Oh, yeah, that sounds good.”
Holly tried to think of some way to extend the conversation. Her eyes fell on the book he was reading, and she was about to ask him about it when another girl walked into the Center and said, “Guess who’s here to see you!”
She was a little older than Holly, and glamorous in a way that made Holly both envious and admiring. Pink, jeweled cat-eye sunglasses perched effortlessly on top of her curled hair, which had gleaming reddish brown highlights to complement the natural black. Despite the rolling hills that their campus sat on, she wore open-toed boots with heels that gave her a good three inches. Holly fell in love with her blouse, which had a sweeping V-neck and an adorable peplum waist. She wondered if she could ask her where she’d gotten it, but the girl blew right past her and threw her arms around Key.
“Hi, Elle,” Key said, tilting his face up to receive the long, deep kiss she bestowed on him. There was a little more tongue than Holly thought was strictly necessary. All of a sudden, she felt like she was intruding.
When they pulled apart, Key’s face a deep pink, Elle finally looked over at Holly and said, “Oh, hi. I hope I didn’t interrupt anything.” The way she said it, it sounded more like she really did hope she’d interrupted something.
Key cleared his throat. “Uh, Elle, this is Holly. Holly, this is Elle, my girlfriend.”
“I gathered,” Holly said. It wasn’t the most polite response, but Elle was clearly marking her territory. “I’ll give you two some privacy.”
“You can stay as long as you like. This is a public space,” Key said. He frowned at Elle, who pouted a little.
Still, her posture relaxed into something less defensive and she stroked Key’s hair in a way that was all soft affection. “Okay, okay. I’m sorry about being a bitch. I know you’re just being your usual self and welcoming the baby gays.” She extended a hand to Holly. “Truce?”
Holly had to admit that she admired Elle’s forwardness. She took her hand and said, “Truce.”
When they’d shaken hands, Elle looked back down at Key and said, “Anyway, guess what? I brought lunch for you! You totally forgot to bring anything to eat, huh?”
Key scratched his chin, sheepish. “How’d you know?”
“Because I’ve been dating you for two years and you’ve only remembered to bring your lunch to work like, five times.” She looked at Holly. “He has a planner where he writes down every single thing except when to eat his meals. Can you believe? Anyway, I didn’t bring anything fancy, but it’s a lot of food. Want to eat with us?”
She held up the plastic bag of Tiger Express takeout in her hand. Holly tried to read some malicious intent into her invitation, but Elle’s expression was open. It seemed like she just wanted to make up for her earlier aggression, and Holly was hungry, so she said, “If that’s okay. I don’t want you to have to give up your food.”
“Oh, no worries. I always buy enough for five people. It’s a habit I got from my parents. You know how Asian parents are.”
They sat down together on the sofas and dug into the rice, bulgogi, dak galbi, japchae, and twice-fried chicken wings. The food was greasy and a little too sweet, but that was exactly what Holly needed after weeks of the university’s bland dining hall food. She watched Key and Elle, the latter of whom had softened up even more after finding out that Holly was also Vietnamese, and marveled at how easily they talked about things like what female celebrities they liked and whether the current gay storyline in a TV show was really that progressive. They asked Holly for her opinions too, and little by little she began to feel like this was the kind of place where she’d always belonged.
Even if she was a little disappointed that Key was taken, it was okay. She hadn’t gained a girlfriend, but she’d made two whole friends, and it made her feel a little less lonely than she’d started out that day.
Key lived in the suburbs right outside Los Angeles, close to the high school where he taught English literature. The rent there was slightly more affordable than downtown L.A., where Holly lived, so as a result he had a studio apartment all to himself. It was why they met there every Saturday night for their weekly dinners. They had the whole space to themselves; Key’s only roommate was his Jack Russell terrier mix, Oates.
The weekly dinners had started shortly after Elle and Key broke up for the last time, while Elle was at Harvard Law School and Key was getting his teaching accreditation. It had been a strangely quiet and polite breakup.
“We both saw it coming a mile away,” Key told Holly over the phone. “We’ve never been that compatible, and now that she’s all the way on the East Coast for school, it seemed like a good time to be honest about where we wanted this relationship to go.”
“Let’s be real: I’m too much for him to handle,” Elle said during a video chat. “I think he just stayed with me because he needs someone he can dote on and I liked the attention. It’s okay, though. I think we’re going to be better friends than we were girlfriends.”
They did end up staying friends, which Holly was relieved about. But she could tell that Key was lonely, so she’d invited him to go to dinner with her one night. They went to a newly-opened Asian fusion place in West L.A. that ended up being mediocre, and Key declared he could do better.
He’d said, “Come over to my place next weekend and I’ll make us something really delicious.”
Holly had, and ever since then, she’d gone over to his place on most Saturday nights. Elle joined them when she moved back to LA—“The East Coast sucks, and I missed Out N’ In.”—but her job at a family and estate planning law firm kept her busy even on weekends, so her presence was sporadic. By some freak stroke of fate, however, she’d ended up renting an apartment in the same building as Holly, so Key always gave Holly tupperware full of food for her.
Holly grabbed last week’s tupperware, now empty and clean, from the back of her car after she parked, along with the book that she’d promised to lend to Key. It was a space opera about a young princess determined to free her planet from imperialist forces and the smuggler who helped after discovering her as a stowaway on her ship. Holly liked that the princess and the smuggler were both butch; it was a nice touch.
Key buzzed her in, and unlike other times, she dragged her feet as she crossed the courtyard with its plethora of flowering bushes and a fountain much too big for the cramped space. She felt self conscious showing up in an outfit that was obviously for a date. What if Key asked her about it? Would it feel like she’d just sprung this on him out of nowhere?
But when he opened the door, he just took her outfit in with one look and said, “The blouse is cute. The sleeves add a nice touch.”
He looked as he always did on these occasions: casual and handsome in chino shorts and a black polo, smiling in the same open way he had when she’d first met him. His hair was a little fuzzy in the back because he hadn’t had time to shave it for a few weeks and there were bags under his eyes, but he still took the bag of tupperware from her and made her sit down instead of helping him get the rest of dinner ready.
“You brought the book!” he exclaimed, taking that from her as well. “Perfect. I finished mine last night. Want to trade?”
“Sure,” Holly said.
She sat at the table, an overeager Oates dancing at her feet, and tried to sort through her conflicting feelings. On the one hand, she was relieved because Key hadn’t made a big deal out of the fact that she’d suddenly dressed up for such a casual hangout. On the other hand, she was a little miffed. Was he so uninterested in her that the outfit change didn’t even register as something significant?
“How’s work been?” Key asked as he stood at the sink rinsing noodles.
Holly grimaced, thinking about the conversation she’d had with her boss earlier that day. “It’s okay. You know how the museum is doing that exhibit on Asian American comics creators? I told Renee that it’s really straight and male, and she was like, ‘Oh Holly, I’d love to include women and LGBTQ artists but there just aren’t that many!’ Like I didn’t give her an entire list back when we first started planning this!”
“What the hell? You mean she just ignored it?”
“I brought up the list again, but then it was, ‘Well it’s too late now, maybe we can do something special for Pride Month.’” Holly rolled her eyes. “Like we’re not going to just put up a rainbow flag at the front desk and have a little sign talking about how proud we are to be allies like we did last year.”
“That sucks. It kind of seems like you’re always having the same problems with Renee.”
“Well, that’s because I am. If I found a better paying job I’d leave, but it’s probably going to be more of the same, you know?”
Key sighed. “Don’t I know it.”
Holly wondered whether something had happened at his job, too. Sometimes he talked about how he regretted his decision to not tell the students and other teachers about his pronouns, or how certain staff members always delicately avoided saying words like “lesbian” or “girlfriend” when they talked to him, but he didn’t like to dwell on it for long. He was secretive and self conscious about his own feelings, stubborn about upholding the image others held of him, and Holly decided that she wouldn’t stand for that tonight.
“You can complain to me too, you know,” she said. “I want to listen to your woes. I’m sure you have a lot.”
He looked startled. “Why did you say that all of a sudden?”
“Because! You’re always asking me how I am, and you listen even if it’s just a lot of whining, but if it’s about yourself you always try to be all reasoned and mature. It’s okay to not be sometimes.”
He was quiet as he plated food and brought it to the table. Holly could tell that he was thinking hard—she’d learned that he often did, and that his Moleskine notebooks were full of his thoughts and feelings about every topic under the sun. What convoluted thought process he went through, she wasn’t sure, but the end result was that he said, “You’re sweet. I guess I’m just bad at talking about my own problems.”
“That’s why I’m here to make you.”
He laughed and ruffled her hair. “You’ve gotten really bossy, haven’t you?”
She scowled, batting his hand away. “Excuse you, I’ve always been bossy. Maybe you just never noticed. Now tell me what’s bothering you!”
“Okay, okay. You sure you’re ready for this? So there’s this new teacher at school…”
Holly dug into her soba noodle salad and chicken katsu as Key told her about Catherine, the new U.S. History teacher, and how she’d somehow latched onto the idea that Key was flirting with her.
“I just ask her how her day’s been—like I do with everyone else—and sometimes I’ll tell her I like her blouse or eyeshadow or whatever—like I do with everyone else—and now she keeps saying I’m her work wife! She even told Jessica that she thinks I have a crush on her.” He shuddered. “Honestly. Just because she’s having issues with her husband and craves attention doesn’t mean that anyone giving it to her is actually interested in her.”
Holly burst out laughing. “Key, what the hell. That was kind of mean to say, even if she’s being inappropriate.”
He smiled sheepishly and shrugged. “I’m just saying!”
“I didn’t say you being mean is a bad thing. I like getting to see the side of you that isn’t always perfect.”
His smile turned pleased. “Yeah? That makes me happy.”
He busied himself cutting his katsu into bite-sized pieces, like he needed to buy himself some time, and Holly’s heavy heart lifted. Seeing this side of him was a victory, even if it was small. She found new resolve to tell him about her feelings tonight—and she had an inkling that it might end better than she’d led herself herself to believe it would.
After dinner, Holly insisted on doing the dishes. Key sat on the sofa with Oates and chatted with her about the latest episode of Enthusiasm and the book that she’d finished reading. When Holly put the last dish on the drying rack, he asked, “Do you need to leave soon? Because I was thinking that we could walk Oates together.” His words came out bunched together, like he was rushing through them.
Holly blinked. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him nervous. It was cute, and it made her heart beat faster when she considered what could have brought this on. Was she not the only one with something on her mind tonight?
“Sure,” she said as casually as she could. “I don’t need to get up early tomorrow, and I could use some fresh air.”
“Great. Do you want to borrow a pair of my sneakers?”
Holly glanced at the narrow entrance hall, where her cute but very impractical heels were lined up neatly on the shoe rack next to Key’s sneakers and steel-toed boots. “That would be a good idea, wouldn’t it?”
Oates danced around them as they got ready, and Key scolded her half-heartedly before hugging her to him and declaring her the cutest dog in the world.
“This is why she’s spoiled,” Holly said as Oates dragged Key out the door. “You can never stay mad at her.”
“I can’t help it! She’s got those big, melting eyes. Tell me you can resist them.”
Holly rolled her eyes. “I think you’re just soft.”
“Nothing wrong with that.”
He looked relaxed and at ease in the warm summer night. Talking about his troubles at school seemed to have lifted the perpetual slump of his shoulders, at least for now. Though he was often withdrawn to the point of isolating the people around him, Holly knew that at its heart his reticence was about a desire to shield the tenderness that he refused to let go of. She loved him for that.
They passed by a house where a lime tree overhung the garden walls. Fairy lights threaded through its branches and leaves; the arching wood and soft yellow light created an impromptu bubble of wonder, separate from the rest of the neighborhood. Holly stopped there and said,
“Key, I need to tell you something.”
He turned around, tugging Oates back to him. “What is it?”
However this ended, Holly knew that this was the right moment to tell him. She didn’t want to hide her feelings any longer. “I’m in love with you. I have been for a long time, but you were dating Elle and then I was dating other people and—well, it doesn’t matter. The point is that I want to be with you, as your girlfriend. If you want.”
In the end, she couldn’t keep up the bravado. She stood there with her heart laid bare, waiting for the words that she’d wanted to hear for years.
Of all the reactions that she’d expected or hoped for, it was not for Key to turn so red that she could see the color even in the dim lighting. Oates whined and tugged on her leash to no avail. Key stood there and stared at Holly, his eyes wide and his own heart plain to read on his face.
“Oh my god,” Holly breathed. “Do you feel the same way?”
“I—well—” Key cleared his throat and glanced up at the lime tree. His face was still red. It was strange and adorable at the same time. “I guess it’s better to just say it directly. Yes, I do.” He looked back at Holly, and though he still looked flustered, there was his old familiar smile. “I feel kind of silly now for not telling you sooner. Or rather, I feel cowardly. This must have been on your mind for a long time, and it didn’t have to be. I’m sorry.”
Holly’s heart was beating unbelievably fast. It was her turn to be rooted in place as Key came closer to her. She couldn’t quite believe that this was happening, but Key’s hand was very real and warm as he placed it on her cheek and asked, “Holly, are you all right? You look frozen all of a sudden.”
Holly felt like she was eighteen and meeting Key for the first time all over again, so of course the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “Holy shit, how long have you felt this way? Have we just been wasting all this time?”
He laughed. “Wow, way to rub it in.”
“I was just wondering!”
“I know, I know.” He hummed, his hand still warm on her cheek. “I guess it was after my breakup with Elle. I always thought you were funny and smart, but when we started to spend more time together, my feelings started changing into something different than before.
“You were the person I wanted to see the most. If I was sad, it was because seeing you would cheer me up; if I was happy, it was because I wanted to share it with you. I wanted to be that person for you, too, but you were dating other people, and even when you weren’t I was scared of our relationship changing. Then you showed up tonight looking really cute, like it was for a date, and I thought…” His blush resurfaced. “But then I thought it was kind of presumptuous of me to assume that.”
Holly wondered how she hadn’t noticed the way he stared at her until now, shy and appreciative and adoring at the same time. It made her stomach swoop and her own face warm up. “You’re really cute, you know that? Will you tell me you love me? I want to hear the words.”
He licked his lips. He had such full lips, always pink and a little dry. There was only certainty in his voice now as he said, “I love you, Holly. I’m in love with you.”
Everything inside Holly warmed up. She put her hand over Key’s and leaned up to kiss him. She savored every detail, from the way his lips were chapped to the faint taste of cherry lip balm. She was so caught up in the headiness of it all that she didn’t care who saw them kissing like desperate teenagers in the middle of the sidewalk, but when Key started running his hands up and down her bare arms hungrily, like he was searching for something more, she pulled apart and said, “I think we should take this inside.”
“Oh. Yes. Definitely.”
“And we need to do something about Oates.” She looked down at the Jack Russell Terrier, who was sitting and staring sulkily out into the street.
“She can go in the bathroom.”
“Hmm, yes, but lucky me.”
“Wow, was that you being a pervert?”
“I’m not accepting any criticisms right now,” Key said, and took her hand in his.
They walked back to his apartment like that, hands clasped tightly together and excitement thrumming in the air between them.
Holly had seen Key’s bed many times before, tucked into the corner of his studio and always neatly made. She was familiar with the sea-green bedsheets, the deep blue pillowcases, and the black-and-white-plaid fleece blanket that he kept folded at the foot of the bed even during the summer. She’d never had occasion to use it though, so everything felt brand new as she lay down on her back in nothing but her bra and panties.
“These are cute,” Key said, running his hands over the pink lace. He hadn’t stopped staring ever since Holly unbuttoned her blouse. It embarrassed her at the same time that it gave her a significant confidence boost.
“I wasn’t planning on having sex tonight, if that’s what you’re wondering. I mean, I want to now! But mostly I just wore these to feel pretty.”
Key chuckled and planted his hands on either side of her head, leaning down to kiss her neck. “You’re always pretty.”
Holly shivered. Key’s rough lips felt good against her sensitive skin, and she could smell a hint of the oud and bergamot cologne he always wore. He didn’t put it on for their dinners, but it always clung to him like it had sunk into his very skin. She’d always liked it. It was masculine and mature, and in that moment, as he kissed down her neck and the column of her throat, it was also incredibly sexy.
Key licked the juncture between her neck and shoulder, and his hand came up to squeeze one of her breasts. Holly gasped, heat shooting right down to her cunt.
“Is this okay?” he asked, looking up at her.
“Y-Yes. Just. How exactly do you want to do this?”
“Well, I’d like to touch you and make you feel good, and then, if you’re okay with it, I want to fuck you with my cock.”
“Oh god,” Holly moaned. His touch remained gentle and his expression open, but there was a definite hunger in his words. She wanted to feel that hunger on her body. “Yes! I want it. I want it so badly, Key.”
He went back to squeezing her breasts, more insistent now. Holly felt hot all over. She couldn’t believe that Key—polite, mild-mannered Key—was bouncing her tits in his hands and saying that he wanted to fuck her with his cock. She knew, in a hypothetical kind of way, that he had sex, but somehow she’d expected him to be shy in bed. She decided she liked the reality much better.
She liked the way he stared at her breasts and licked his lips. She liked the ease with which he unhooked her bra. She liked how he moaned when he slipped the bra off, and how he immediately lowered his head to suck on her nipples. Most of all, she liked how he would stop often to ask her if she felt good, if she wanted to keep going, or if she wanted him to do something different.
“This is perfect,” she sighed, head falling back on the pillows as he flicked his tongue over her hardened nipple. She carded her fingers through his hair and pushed his head down more, encouraging him to rub his face against her tits. When he took her nipple back into his mouth and sucked, she cried out, her cunt aching.
“Key, Key, please—I want to be fucked now.”
He pulled off and kneeled between her legs. Her panties soon joined her bra on the floor, and she blushed furiously when he spread her legs apart and stared at her cunt.
“You’re really wet,” he said, voice awed.
“Of course I am! You made me feel good.”
He ran his finger up her slit and she cried out. “Let me get you off first. It’ll be easier—”
“I want it now. Please.” She spread her legs wider and made her eyes pleading. The intense want that struck his face gratified her. “You can play with my clit a little, but I want to come while you’re inside me.”
“Fuck, Holly—okay. Whatever you want.”
He rubbed her clit, and Holly did her best to guide him so he could find the spot that worked best for her, but her words were punctuated by little moans and sighs as the ache in her cunt built. Key didn’t seem to have any difficulty on his own, though. He found the spot and worked it until Holly’s clit was swollen and the sheets beneath her were damp with cum.
It felt so good, but Holly was still on edge, still wanting. She grabbed Key’s wrist and said, “I want you inside me. Now.”
Key didn’t protest this time. “Okay,” he said, and got off the bed.
It was Holly’s turn to stare as he undressed. He took off his polo first, leaving on the undershirt beneath, and Holly could see how his nipples were peaked through the thin white cotton. The shorts and boxers went next. His pubic hair was dark and curly, already damp with cum. Holly wondered what he would taste like if she went down on him.
She sat up so she could watch him walk over to his dresser. It felt good to know that she would be taken care of. All she had to do was wait and let her anticipation build up until she could barely stop herself from humping the mattress to get some friction against her aching pussy.
When Key came back to the bed, he was wearing a boxer harness and holding a dildo, bullet vibrator, and a small bottle of lube. He sat on the bed next to her and asked, “Is this size okay with you?”
Holly couldn’t help giggling. She felt giddy to be sharing a moment like this with Key, and to be at the center of his attention. “Are you telling me you have a lot of different dildos?”
For the first time since they’d started having sex, Key flushed. “Well, yes. I don’t think it’s that weird? It’s for different needs.”
She kissed his cheek. “I don’t think it’s weird. I was just teasing you a little. And this size is okay. It’s perfect.” She stroked the dildo. It was about the length and girth of dildos that her previous partners had used with her, and the tip was slightly bulbous. She grasped the dildo and squeezed; the heft of it felt good against her hands.
“Fuck,” Key breathed. “Can you touch it like that after I put it on?”
Holly moaned. “Oh, yes. Please.”
She helped him fit the dildo into the O-ring. She didn’t think he really needed the assistance, but if his rapt stare was any indication, he enjoyed it. She enjoyed it, too. There was an intimacy in helping each other get ready that was as intense as the moment of having sex, so she took her time as she poured the lube into her hands and started stroking his cock.
“Key,” she groaned. “Fuck, Key. You look so good with your cock out like this.”
He really did. With only his undershirt and the boxer harness on, his hair rumpled and the dildo jutting out from his pelvis, he looked messy and every bit as eager as she felt. Holly jerked him off, drinking in the sounds he made. He’d slipped the bullet vibrator into a hidden pouch above the O-ring, and Holly could hear it buzzing away as Key’s eyes glazed over and his mouth grew slack.
“Your cock is so big and hard,” she said, thumb rubbing over the tip. She wanted to watch him like this forever, but she also wanted her own pleasure. “Will you fuck me with it now, please?”
“I’ll do whatever you want.”
He lowered her onto her back gently and lifted her legs, encouraging her to wrap them around his waist. “This is okay, right? I want to see your face.”
Holly squeezed her thighs around him and yanked him down for a kiss. “Yes. I want to see yours, too, when you’re pounding my cunt.”
“Dirty,” Key murmured, but he kissed her with open-mouthed hunger and guided the tip of his cock to her cunt.
Holly cried out as he started pushing inside. The lube and cum had prepared her well, so it didn’t hurt, but there was still a dull, pleasurable burn as Key’s cock stretched her open and filled her up. “Key, Key, Key,” she panted, clutching at his shoulders. “Fuck!”
He started out slowly, burying the length of his cock inside her and waiting for her to adjust before pulling out and thrusting back in, harder this time. Holly’s mouth fell open and she clung onto Key, unable to do anything except let the white hot pleasure wash over her. Even though she wasn’t conscious of trying to say anything, she could hear her own voice whimpering Key’s name.
He kissed her forehead. His grip on her waist was warm, his hips thrusting in a steady rhythm that left her cunt aching—not with the same emptiness that she’d felt before, but with the satisfaction of being filled up. And it was Key who was doing that for her, Key whom she had always loved. Holly sobbed, and Key held her close, kissing her forehead as her orgasm overtook her in a wave.
He held her as she came down, too. He pulled out carefully and took the harness off, then lay down next to her, holding his arms out for her to lay down in. She listened to his heartbeat and slowed her breathing down to match its rhythm.
When she’d caught her breath a little, she asked, “Do you want me to touch you, too?”
“Mm, no. I’m okay. It felt good enough to take care of you.”
Holly frowned. “Are you sure?”
It felt almost unfair to not reciprocate when he’d made her feel so good. But Key smiled, affectionate and adoring. “Really sure. I want you to touch me too, sometime. But right now I just want to lie here with you.”
Holly couldn’t really argue with the appeal in that proposition. She closed her eyes and lay there, content to wait for the future that he’d promised.
“No,” Holly said. “Absolutely not. You already have ten different types of cookies in the basket.”
Key’s shoulders slumped. “Come on. Just one more. I’m going through a difficult time right now.”
“That’s what you said last time and then you regretted it and told me not to let you do it again! So here I am, not letting you do it again.”
Holly crossed her arms and frowned at Key until he put the bag of cookies back on the shelf. It was 11 PM on a Friday night and they were at Objectives, the local all-purpose retail store, because Key was overwhelmed by the amount of papers he had to grade and needed to console himself with snacks. Apparently, this was something that he did often, judging by the amount of mostly-eaten bags of cookies that Holly had found when she rummaged through his drawers.
As they walked to the self check-out with a basket full of Key’s cookies, he said, “You know, I kind of miss the time when you thought I was infallible.”
“You mean you miss the time when I let you do whatever you want!”
He grinned. “Maybe.”
“This is just payback for all the times you bossed me around. Remember when you froze my credit cards?”
“Okay, first of all, you agreed to it. Second of all, it improved your credit score, didn’t it? What is it now, 745?”
“Yes,” Holly said mournfully. “But I miss them so much.”
“We can unthaw both of our credit cards when we get over 750.”
She perked up. “Really?”
“Yeah. It’s a promise.”
Holly watched Key carefully as he scanned the cookies to make sure that he hadn’t slipped any extra in when she wasn’t looking. Instead of extra cookies, however, he pulled out several tubes of lipstick that she’d been admiring earlier.
“Wait, what’s that for?” she exclaimed.
“You, obviously,” he said, paying for everything. He handed her the lipstick while she was still gaping.
Holly sputtered, but Key just grabbed her hand and started walking out of the store. “Why?” she finally managed.
He smiled at her. “Because you were looking at them so longingly, and I couldn’t help it. I wanted to get my girlfriend something nice.”
At that, warmth bubbled up in Holly’s chest. His girlfriend. It was still startling to hear that, like the first burst of sourness from a tamarind candy before it mellowed into something sweeter. She clasped Key’s hand tightly as they walked back to his car, and he leaned down to kiss her forehead.
“Do you want to stay over tonight?”
“Only if you’re going to actually grade the papers.”
“I will, I will. You can keep me on track.”
“Okay then. And maybe tomorrow morning we can get breakfast at Dani’s Diner!”
“Of course we can.”
He kissed her again, this time on the mouth. The roughness of his lips was becoming as familiar and dear as the other bits of him that Holly had known for so long—she held onto the feeling of it as they drove off together, into the dark blue of the night.