Sounds of Love Chpt 40: A Taste of What's to Come

By Knightmare Elite

OMFG! This is the final chapter! YES YES YES. Okay, with that out of the way, please enjoy. As always, I know I won't be able to please everyone with how the main story ends. A HUGE thank you to everyone that has supported this story all these years. You're all awesome.

"You're not look…ing!" Sumi yelled.

Marissa reached into the water; angling her floating chair toward the diving board.—"Go ahead."—she unzipped a sandwich bag, carefully removing her smart phone."

Using the rails for guidance, Sumi walked along the diving board and stood at the tip. She smiled at Marissa while recovering her umpteenth dive.—"Here I go!"—Sumi jumped on her tip toes and splashed deep into the water. She focused on the distorted chair, mimicking a mermaid to the best of her ability.

Marissa stopped filming and took her peach smoothie from the cup holder. "It's amazing how time flies."

Sumi popped up to a quick breath of air. "I love swimm…ing."

"Rightfully so, you've come a long way since our first trip to the beach last year."—Marissa helped Sumi into the chair, silently hoping that was her last dive.

"You we…re a great tea…cher," Sumi complimented.

"And now you're my cute fishy," Marissa, kissing Sumi's moist forehead, praised.

Taking advantage of their seclusion, Sumi straddled Marissa as they floated aimlessly in the community pool. "I love you."

"I love you too," Marissa whispered back. She lightly held Sumi's bikini clad body, squinting as the morning sun broke through the skylights.

"Isn't this we…ird?" Sumi asked.

"It might come off a little weird to the uninitiated," Marissa agreed.

"We've only physi…cally been toge…ther for two years tho…ugh," Sumi reminded.

"Well yes, but technically, today is our three year anniversary."—Marissa secured her arms around Sumi's slick back.—"Exactly three years ago today, my sweet Sumichan asked me if I wanted to be exclusive. I said yes, and four months later—we finally met face to face."

"But, shouldn't that be our official begin…ning?" Sumi, guiding Marissa's hands to her bikini bottom, asked.

Marissa stretched her arms in the midst of an inescapable yawn.—"And yet, you had no issue with a late night pre celebration. I swear, you'll use any excuse to have s-"

Sumi held a finger against her lips and reached for Marissa's smoothie. She reveled in their spontaneous actives. Three years in, and Sumi hadn't scratched the surface of what their love was capable.

"Since you dragged me out here so early, how should we celebrate our anniversary?" Marissa asked.

Sumi replaced the empty cup in the holder. "Are we still hav…ing dinner toni…ght?"

"Are you sure you want to? There's still time to cancel, no hard feelings," Marissa assured.

Sumi pouted as she looked into Marissa's eyes. "I have to."

"Okay then, we're having dinner with Lindsey and Tiesa—on our anniversary," Marissa, with uncertainty, confirmed.

"Thank you," Sumi, with a soft kiss to Marissa's lips, said. She laid her head on Marissa's chest, effectively ending all conversation.

"Maybe she's right; we have to make peace with the past to enjoy the future." Marissa dangled one leg in the water, pushing the chair further in. She held Sumi, yawning as a nap suddenly felt ideal.

"You've really been together for three whole years?" Tina asked.

Marissa drew the change room door and let down the pink mini dress. "Why'd you say it like that?"

"I'm just surprised."—Tina opened a stick of gum as the dress fell around Marissa's legs.—"Three years of dating a deaf woman and you're more in love than ever. You have to expect people to be a little curious."

"We found ways to overcome nearly all of the communication barriers." Marissa pushed open the door and modeled another dress.

"Is it me or are these dresses getting shorter? I'm liking this side of the good doctor, showing off your stems and all," Tina teased.

Standing forever slender and leggy, Marissa awkwardly ran a hand through her wavy hair. Barely scratching mid-thigh, the gold and silver beaded strapless mini dress was anything but modest. "Before you say anything-"

With hands clasped beneath her chin, Tina studied the tiny dress on her friend's sun kissed frame. "You've been doing a lot of swimming lately—you don't have any tan lines. Is there something I should know?"

Marissa looked away with rosy cheeks. "First, I need your opinion on something ethical."

Tina arched and eyebrow, hands clasping behind her head in a curious stretch.—"And the plot thickens."—She crossed her legs, giving Marissa her undivided attention.

"Do you think…"—Marissa found herself distracted by the creeping hem of Tina's skirt. She focused on the expanse of thigh, soft and imperfect.—"it's, selfish of me, to want to see my ex again?"

"So that explains your sudden impulse for trampy dresses." Seeing the intensity in Marissa's eyes, Tina patted neighboring empty chair.

"Sumi's going to be there this time."—Marissa gracefully walked over to Tina and sat with legs similarly crossed.—"I really want to see Lindsey again."—she sighed, staring at her pedicure, a treat with Sumi two days prior."

"Well are you in love with Lindsey?" Tina impulsively asked.

Startled, Marissa looked into her friend's eyes with utmost surety. "How could you even ask that?"

Tina touched Marissa's forehead with the back of her hand. "Sweetie, you just confided to me that you want to see your ex again. The real question is why."

"During our lunch we reconnected. It reminded me that, despite everything, she was my best friend once. We left that afternoon on good terms, and I want to keep it that way. But, she's still my ex and we're both in healthy—mostly healthy relationships, know what I mean?"

"I think, as long as you're honest with Sumi about your intentions and feelings toward Lindsey-"

"I don't have feelings for her, I just want to remain close friends now that there's a chance for that," Marissa corrected.

"Yeah, keep in close contact with your ex because that always ends well," Tina drearily stated.

"I know, and I have to tread carefully with that around Sumi. It's nothing sexual with Lindsey. All I want is to be able to call her once in a while and just talk. We had three deep years together, and there are parts of my life that she understands far better than Sumi," Marissa explained.

"Either way, you have to be careful with that. Cheating isn't regulated to be being physical. There's no law that prevents you from having female friends, but an ex can't be a normal friend because you've crossed that threshold once before. Think of it from Sumi's perspective. No matter how much of a smile she puts on, she knows that Lindsey's the girl you used to have sex with. Everything that she's experienced with you is old hat to Lindsey. Worst case scenario, she feels like sloppy seconds. Don't make Sumi cry." Tina pouted as she thought of Sumi's quivering lips.

"Why does this have to be so needlessly complicated?" Marissa sighed.

"Because you're Sumi's world, and from what I've seen, she's a very fragile woman. Just be careful, okay?" Tina, with weary eyes on Marissa, said.

Marissa, after a moment, nodded. "I will, and thank you."

"Now I feel bad for Sumi. I trust you—but she's so sweet, and the thought of-"

"Jesus, if people only understood that Sum's no candy coated saint. The woman's a deviant, and she's taken me out of my sexual comfort zone more than once."—Marissa's squeezed on her knees, staring at the ground.—"I guess enjoying it all weakens my argument."

"A little, but now you've got me curious about your fiancée's quirks. Hold up, you never explained the lack of tan lines." Tina crossed her arms, staring down her flustered friend.

Marissa stood and smoothed down the dress. "I should change out of this first. It's surprisingly comfortable for being so short."

"That dress is so unlike you, just like the Mord-Sith costume. I'm not used to seeing you in anything tight. Is that for Lindsey or Sumi?" Tina assumingly asked.

"Hello, three year anniversary today! It's for tonight's double date with Lindsey and her girlfriend. Sumi wants me to wear something sexy to presumably show me off. I don't do sexy well, but I try," Marissa admitted.

"You just need more confidence in your femininity. Trust me; you're plenty sexy in your dress shirts and slacks. Don't be afraid to work it once in a while. I've seen people check you out," Tina said.

"I always felt that sexiness is something you're born with. You can learn it, but it'll never have the same fineness. Now to answer your lingering question, I've been self tanning at a salon. It's private, so you can do it nude. It's one of Sumi's things. Turns out, seeing me bronze, sans tan lines really turns her on. She said it makes me like um…can't remember the term," Marissa said.

"I've got to hand it to Sumi, she's definitely mastered the art of getting you to try new things," Tina, with a wink, said.

"I'm not even a fan of fish; and she gets me to eat it every time, often with seconds. Sumi's changed my perspective on so many things, even video games." Marissa smiled, thinking about their last co-op adventure. "I guess that's one of the nerdy things."

"Sumi's an awesome chick with oodles of nerd cred. Too many bimbos in drug store glasses, skimpy comic book underwear, holding a controller to a system that's not even plugged in are stealing our glory!" Tina huffed.

"Calm down, tiger," Marissa smirked.

"Why can't I meet a male version of Sumi—that isn't a goddamn pervert?"

"You're a straight nerdy girl with huge breasts. Most guys are drawn to that type of thing. And as you've so passionately stated, it's become an over sexualized stigma. I'm perfectly happy with my gay, nerdy girlfriend, with teeny boobies, that cosplays in bed," Marissa teased.

"Ugh, I want your life!" Tina groaned.

"My life? Once the glitz and glamour wears off, you're a homosexual. Is that something you're willing to endure for the rest of your life?" Marissa seriously questioned.

"Given the right circumstances"—Tina winked.—"We did some fun in the hot tub at AnimeCon."

"Regardless of your enthusiasm, letting my fiancée graciously grope your breasts hardly constitutes a lesbian experience. You'll find love; you just have to be patient. You're young; take the time to really learn about yourself," Marissa suggested.

Tina rolled her eyes. "You're only two years older than me."

"It's all about perspective. I really appreciate you coming out with me today. I needed someone to talk to, and I feel a lot better now." Marissa closed the change room door and let down her future dress.

"In all seriousness, knowing that you've found someone like Sumi and you're getting married. It gives me hope that my special guy really is out there. Maybe he's in some shitty relationship right now, and that'll be what leads him to me. Who knows, life is just crazy like that you know?" Tina thought aloud.

"It is. We go through all these circumstances, and we have no idea what we're ultimately being led to. That's why I'm grateful for the experiences I had with Lindsey. If not for them, I would never have met Sumi, and I wouldn't be as happy as I am right now. Life is filled with twists and turns. We have to endure and adapt in order to reach our happy place," Marissa, while opening the door, said.

"Want to grab some lunch, my treat?" Tina offered.

"I could really go for a grande latte. Sumi completely wore me out last night pre celebrating," Marissa yawned.

"Quit throwing your colorful sex life in my face," Tina grumbled.

Marissa draped the dress over her forearm and began walking toward the register—"For your information, we were up late playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl"—Her face stiffened in Tina's relief—"…then we had sex."

"Guess I shouldn't be surprised. Sumi gets what she wants." Tina playfully jabbed Marissa in the side.

"I wouldn't have been so tired if she hadn't woken up at four to go swimming. I'm running on three hours of sleep, and it's our anniversary. Sumi just so happens to be off today, so she's snuggly in bed right now. That poop head." Marissa rolled her eyes and set her dress on the counter.

"You'll be fine, but I'd avoid the caffeine. You don't want to crash during your double date. Why don't you take a nap after lunch? I'm sure they'll page you if anything comes up. With this new round of interns, we've been getting a break this month. Too bad it only happens once a year," Tina said.

"Sounds like a plan."—Marissa held Tina's hand as she cashier rang up her dress.—"I don't have many friends, and I consider you one of them. Thanks for listening to me endlessly vent about my problems."

"You were the first person that was nice to me at the hospital. Our friendship was pretty much destined. Just remember what's important and you'll be okay," Tina assured.

Marissa nodded. "I feel so much lighter now that I've talked about the Lindsey situation. No need to worry; I only have eyes for my Sumichan."

Peacefully sleeping away most of her morning, Sumi awoke in the brightest of spirits. Sitting up with a soft pitched yawn, her thoughts scattered across the past three years. Sumi turned on the bedside digital picture frame. She giggled at a materializing picture from Denna's baby shower; a candid of Martha on Connie's lap, stuffing a cupcake in her mouth.

"I get to meet Lind…sey today," Sumi announced.

She stood over Marissa's bed and grasped the disheveled sheets. The scent was faint, compromised of the three P's.—"Per…fume, perspira…tion, and pus"—Sumi gasped, seeing flashing LED on her communicator, vibrating on the table.

Hope I didn't wake you. Just letting you know I picked up a dress for tonight with Tina's help. We're having lunch at a little bistro. Anyway, I'm attaching a picture. It's cute isn't it? See you later, love you.

"Aw, I lo…ve you too," Sumi whispered. She replied with a smiley face and heart.

The simplicity brought Sumi back two years. It was the most petrifying afternoon for the then 24yr old virgin. She could still feel the dryness in her mouth, sweaty palms and rapid heartbeats. Finally meeting her online girlfriend of one year was an important milestone. That meeting hedged their entire future, and with a single truth it could dissolve into nothingness.

The memories brought Sumi near tears, even as she touched her engagement ring. She folded the bedspread, remembering the excitement of her purple dress. It was hand stitched by Azumi just for the occasion. Their meeting was tirelessly rehearsed with deaf friends, all in the effort to quell Sumi's legitimate fears.

"We're getting mar…ried," Sumi, in brighter spirits whispered. She fluffed the pillows and walked over to the closet. Sumi gained her own section in Marissa's closet, complete with work outfits and casual wear. She even had two undergarment drawers. Vegetarian stock overtook the pantry, and a jumbo bottle of honey chocolate bubble bath commiserated amongst the shampoo and razors.

As Sumi took a red mini dress from the rack, her hand shook in the revitalized thoughts. She was back in her bedroom, an hour before they were to finally meet. Unzipping her purple dress, Sumi noticed a blinking icon on her laptop task bar. She clicked and gasped out of sheer panic. Marissa, for the first time, left a voice message.

For twenty minutes, Sumi sat on her bedroom floor, crying as she repeatedly pressed play. She watched the status bar move across the box, carrying her girlfriend's incomprehensible voice. Anxiety took hold and Sumi grabbed the nearby trashcan, vomiting as she bawled heavily. In less than sixty minutes, Sumi would meet her dearest Marissa. Face to face, she would have no choice but to reveal the largest barrier between them was never distance.

Ten minutes into an emergency video call with her mother allayed Sumi's fears. She had to give Marissa the benefit of the doubt; they were after all in love. With the dress finally on, Sumi ordered a taxi online. In her pocketbook was the set of communicators, and pack of tissues.

Sumi dried her eyes as she now looked at her demure reflection, clutching the skimpy red dress. She was as ever nervous to meet Lindsey, the woman who once held Marissa's heart. It was an important step not only furthering Sumi's autonomy, but cementing herself as an integral piece of Marissa's life.

"I'm am…azing, I'm wo…rth it," Sumi softly chanted to her reflection. She flapped the dress and unboxed her black platform pumps. The 5.75 inch heel allowed Sumi to comfortably stand eye level with her fiancée. Her day was suddenly brighter.

With many hours before Marissa was due home, Sumi resumed a pet project. Her personal blog, Sounds of Love, had a healthy following. After five years of diligence, Sumi found she needed a less restrictive platform. On the night stand sat her Website Building for Dummies bible, bookmark somewhere in chapter seven.

Sumi fluffed a pillow and powered on her laptop. She was in the middle of rebuilding her photo section. Partially out of dedication and partially out of pride, there were over a thousand chronological pictures. Any moment of relevance was passionately immortalized, especially dates with Marissa.

"I sho…uld make a place ho…lder for our wed…ding," Sumi thought aloud.

She created a blank webpage, simply titled 'Wedding' and kept if offline. Already having countless posts about her engagement and pending wedding, Sumi wanted to focus on less discussed aspects of her life. Her attention was directed toward an incoming email:

Good Morning Ms. Hagiwara.

I hope this email catches you in good spirits. This is Waverly Garrison, scheduling manager at Photo Majesty. Upon review of your request for a custom adult oriented calendar, we are happy to announce that your terms are acceptable.

We would like to schedule your consultation for this Tuesday at 3pm. There, we will finalize the terms of your shoot. To address your foremost concern, we will bring in a female interpreter during the shoot. As per your request, we can prep a studio to depict the natural scenarios of your chosen anime and science fiction media. Due to legal reasons, we cannot use the copyrighted names or logos of the source material in your photos. These will be digitally removed or recreated as closely as possible without infringing.

For these specific requests, we ask that you provide your own outfits. I am afraid we do not have many outfits in the extra petite size. It would be a tremendous undertaking to stock such a wide variety for our increasingly creative clientele.

I will give you a brief overview of the premiere package your requested. Standard is two days of professional shooting, with three hours of reshoots at no extra charge. Your package includes three large high resolution calendars glossy or matte; a single set of high resolution prints and a set of high resolution digital prints. We will discuss your accommodations during the consultation. Feel free to email me with any further questions. I'm looking forward to making your acquaintance, Ms. Hagiwara.

Waverly Garrison

Scheduling Manager

Sumi wasted no time in confirming her consultation. She had carefully chosen nine outfits, each themed to a special moment in their relationship. It was still a risky gamble; full appreciation of the calendar heavily weighed on Marissa's growing knowledge of all things nerdy.

She returned to the massive photo dump. A particular photo was left highlighted. Sumi touched the screen in a heartfelt smile; it was from a transitional period. Already a notorious bookworm, Sumi was introduced to another deaf friendly media. As a fourteenth birthday gift, Sumi received a package of subtitled anime VHS tapes from her cousin Miko.

After devouring the tapes in their aging VCR, Sumi drug her parents to the mall, beginning her epic anime collection. She christened the family's newly purchased DVD player, with her first anime Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection 0:1. Sumi skipped ten pictures ahead. It was six months later, her first ever cosplay. The school's anime club went to their first convention, chaperoned by Azumi and Hideki.

With her finger held on the mouse, a flurry of pictures passed before she released, randomly landing on a picture titled OMG Total Fangirl. Deep in her sailor lolita phase at a budding sixteen, Sumi experienced her first family vacation to Japan. It was euphoric, touring anime studios and getting signed releases, to the envy of her friends back in the states. Sumi, for the first time, reveled in her Japanese heritage, taking in every bit of culture her mind could absorb. Joyful as those images were, there was always an underlying tension. Sumi held her hand before the screen, fingers spread as her engagement ring came to focus.

Sumi gathered her thoughts inside a deep breath.—"Think hap…py thoughts."—She saved her progress and closed out the webpage editor, and released the breath to no avail.

She looked at the closet door, little red dress hanging neatly. It served a purpose beyond making the diminutive Sumi a nymphet. Sumi clasped her hands, eyes closing as she was intimately reunited with a once vanquished foe. The recollections were subtle at first; the tearful spring afternoon when Inuyasha broke his paw in the backyard, the harrowing moment she came out to her parents, and the moment Marissa's home lost power, moments before she was to lose her virginity.

They were little things which all felt so spiteful. Sumi waved a hand through a small envelop of printed pictures. It was of Marissa, seductively modeling a cherry red bikini in red heels. The picture often comforted Sumi in moments of doubt. As she lifted the picture, tear drop falling upon her static beloved, all she could think of was…

"Lindsey," Marissa gingerly answered.

"Yes," Sumi, while unfastening her seatbelt, agreed.

"I know this isn't the ideal way to spend our anniversary, and I really appreciate you allowing this double date with my ex. I won't pretend it's fair to you, and I would completely understand any resentment toward her. All I ask is that you give them a chance. To be fair, it's also my first time meeting Lindsey's girlfriend," Marissa explained.


"One more thing. Tiesa's a recovering self injurer and is dealing with severe depression. Please be weary of that, and yes they're both aware that you're deaf," Marissa clarified.

Sumi felt a little better after knowing of Tiesa's own struggles. She opened the door, sharply turning back to Marissa.—"I hope they don't make fun of how I ta…lk!"

"Baby, no one makes fun of-"

Sumi cut her eyes to Marissa.

"I said I was sorry about that! If you're not comfortable speaking, you don't have to. For what it's worth, you have an adorable voice. Admittedly, it can be hard to understand what you're saying sometimes, especially when you're excited. Just try to enunciate everything as best you can, you know, like how you did with my parents," Marissa advised.

"My mommy—mom, said the more I talk, the be…tter my vo…ice will get," Sumi said.

"Well, to an extent, yes," Marissa agreed.

"But you like my voice," Sumi cautiously reminded.

Marissa lifted Sumi's fingers and gave them a kiss. "That I do."

"You sure?" Sumi softly asked.

"Want to know something funny?"

"Sure," Sumi said.

"Tiesa was at Animecon, and she actually saw us. She was telling Lindsey how adorable you were, and that I was totally sexy in my skin tight costume."—Noticing Sumi's bashful posture, Marissa further titillated.—"She's also a huge anime fan…"

Sumi gasped and hurried out of the car.—"Now I re…ally have to me…et her!"—She walked around; fingers' slipping within Marissa's en route to the entrance.

"This place is SO expen…sive!" Sumi noted.

"Be thankful Tiesa is footing the bill. Thirty five dollar appetizers—no way in hell," Marissa admitted.

"I heard their spicy seitan buff…alo wings are really good. This place is sur…prisingly veg…etarian friendly," Sumi said.

"Good afternoon," Marissa greeted to the overworked host.

A stylus wobbled between lax fingers as he glanced up from a tablet, flatly smiling at the cheery couple. He drew a hard breath, shoulders tensing as he released. "Welcome, to Samarie, how many?"

Marissa looked to her immediate right and took Sumi's hand. She followed his eyes to the empty space of her immediate left.—"It's just us. We're meeting up with the Lymm party. I believe its Tiesa Lymm."

He scrolled through the seated parties, and indeed found Tiesa's name.—"Apparently, Ms. Lymm has cancelled her table. The seating wait is forty five minutes."—He motioned to the cramped waiting lobby.

"Oh this is bullshit!" Marissa set down her pocketbook and grasped her phone. The notification light steadily flashed. She unlocked the phone, and saw three missed calls, and two voice mails. Marissa quickly took Sumi's hand and moved out of line.

"What's wrong?" Sumi, in the hasty exit, asked.

Marissa pressed a finger to her ear, listening to the voice mail on the bustling sidewalk:

Hey Marissa, I'm really sorry, but we can't make it out to Samarie. Tiesa had a brutal fall playing with her kitten. It required emergency dental work, and I'm sure she needs a new pantry door handle. She feels really bad for cancelling, and wants to know if you'll come over for dinner? I sent you a GPS text of the directions. Call me back when you get this.

"Well?" Sumi impatiently asked.

"They had to cancel. Tiesa broke a tooth or something, and they want us to come over for dinner instead. Want to?" Marissa asked.

"Okay," Sumi agreed.

"You sure? Technically, this is a pass, and we can actually do something for ourselves on our anniversary," Marissa suggested.

Sumi eased her hand over Marissa's lower back, and took great care to caress her bottom within the tight fitting dress. "We'll ha…ve time…later."

"You're such a damn tease."—Marissa taped on the text and dialed Lindsey.—"Think it will be awkward still wearing these dresses for a private dinner?"

Sumi did a twirl, and crossed her arms. "I look cute in this. It st…ays."

"I guess you're right. No point in putting these dresses to waste. It would have been better if—oh, hello Lindsey."—Marissa adjusted the phone as they walked back to her car.

Sumi checked her email, and wondered what Tiesa would be like. She had never met a Lithuanian before. Ever since they began dating, Marissa introduced a new aspect of people Sumi never pondered. What did Tiesa sound like? Did people from Lithuania have accents, did Marissa have an accent? Sumi knew her parents had accents only from hearsay. She related accents to unicorns. They were mystical, related beautiful and existed in fantasy. Sumi very much wanted to hear her girlfriend's voice. Just once.

""What's wrong?" Marissa turned Sumi's face to hers, wiping away a tear.

"Nothing," Sumi sniffled.

"I'm not moving this car until you tell me."

Another tear was kissed away as Sumi met Marissa's eyes. "I was just thin…king—on our we…dding day, I won't hear your vows. I want to. I wa…nt to hear you say I do. I wa…nt to hear me say it."

"I'm sorry," was all Marissa could say.

"It's not your fault," Sumi assured.

"It doesn't bother me. You know that. Right?"

Sumi buried her face in Marissa's shoulder. "It bo…thers me."

"Turn left on Prichard Avenue'. Marissa glanced at her GPS as it finally caught a satellite. "I want you to be happy. This might cheer you up." Marissa changed the destination to Cake Berry. "And away we go!" She nudged Sumi, who promptly sat up, and fastened her seatbelt.

"You're so sweet to me," Sumi, with her hand Marissa's thigh, said.

"I love you too sweetheart. We're making a quick stop before Tiesa's house," Marissa announced.

Sumi looked at the navigation screen, and gasped at the cherished destination. She slackened her seatbelt, and leaned over to kiss Marissa on the cheek. "I love Cake Berry!"

"Those smell so good," Marissa said.

Sumi securely held the box of vegan pineapple upside down cupcakes on her lap. After much deliberation, and chatter, she settled on bringing a favored dessert. Fresh out of the oven, they served as a tentative goodwill gesture. Any effort to lessen the anxiety of meeting Marissa's ex was appreciated. In the same light, Sumi fidgeted in her seat in anticipation of meeting an actual supermodel.

"Ah, Beverly Hills"—Marissa breathed in the congested air as they bashfully drove along Rodeo Drive.—"When I was ten, I imagined myself as a spirited 18yr old and being proposed to by my busty, and very blonde, supermodel girlfriend in front of the Prada store."—Marissa looked over at her blushing fiancée.—"Our proposal was far sweeter."

"But I'm not a big boob model," Sumi pointed out.

"Big boobs would look ridiculous on your petite body. I love my itty bitty titty Sumichan just the way she is," Marissa assured.

Sumi looked down at her chest giggled.

"God you're weird," Marissa blurted.

"We're here!" Sumi pointed to the star on the GPS screen. She let down the window, and looked up at the high rise apartment building. "Wow!"

"And here I thought being a doctor would afford me a comfortable lifestyle. These places start at $1,500 a month for a one bedroom. Maybe I should look into modeling," Marissa joked.

Sumi's eyes widened at the prospect. "That wo…uld be awe…some!"

"I guess I do have the body for it, but it takes more than being skinny to model. I mean, look at Martha and Connie. You can tell they're dancers. They have that natural grace, and unrelenting confidence. I'll stick to my white lab coat," Marissa explained.

"Suit your…self," Sumi, with a shrug, answered.

Marissa pulled up to the security gate, and they waited as the guard walked out of his booth.

"Good afternoon ma'am. How may I help you?" the guard asked.

"My name is Marissa Washington. We're here to see Tiesa Lymm. She's expecting us," Marissa said.

"One moment." He went into the booth and leaned into a console. A few seconds later, the gate lifted. "Have a great afternoon."

"That was painless enough," Marissa said. She drove around the vast parking lot, weary of the luxury sedans and exotic sports cars. They parked between two moderately expensive sedans. It lessened the intimidation.

Sumi opened her door and carefully held the box of cupcakes. She walked around the car, breathlessly watching Marissa stretch a leg out, then another. "That dress…" Sumi bit her lip, suddenly uneasy within the private parking lot. She made it a point to close out their anniversary in a very intimate manner. For the time being, Sumi exhaled and released the tension.

"Why are you staring at me like that?" Marissa curiously asked.

"I'll tell you la…ter, co…me on," Sumi urged.

"They're on the tenth floor. I'm still about three years from being able to afford a place like this. Ugh, models have it made," Marissa grumbled.

The elevator closed and Sumi leaned against the wall. Various anime intros played in her head, and images of what Tiesa looked like interplayed. It disappointed her that an internet search of Lithuanian woman showed no discernible differences.

The elevator finally binged on the tenth floor. Dramatically slow the doors opened to a simple hallway. A burgundy carpet stretched a path of asymmetrical off white doors. Each framed in gold trim amongst silver ceramic tiled walls; and parted enough to show the exclusivity of the residency.

"Its room 1003," Marissa, while reading the doors, said.

Sumi secured the box and gently knocked on the door. She leaned forward as the knob turned, and door slowly opened. A breath of vanilla spread into the hall, overtaking the sweet pineapple of her cupcakes. She was met with black and white striped stockings, a front facing red heart on the bands. Pale thighs filled the open gap to tiny black boy shorts, a caricature of Princess Peach posed on the left hip. A green PlumBob dangled against an expectedly flat stomach, and it stretched up to a tiny plain white tank top with painfully visible nipples. Sumi stepped back in total view.

Tiesa brushed away the thick raven veil covering half her face, and shone alarmingly distraught blue eyes on Sumi. Her right cheek was noticeably swollen. She leaned forward and extended a hand to Sumi.

"If you don't mind me saying, you are far cuter in person, Sumi. It is a pleasure to meet you," Tiesa eloquently greeted with a strong Lithuanian accent.

Sumi blushed as her hand was caressed and kissed by the svelte beauty.—"You're so pale…"—As her fingers left Tiesa's, Sumi was drawn to the scars of varying lengths up and down the pale forearm.

Marissa gently pressed on Sumi's shoulder; guiding her back, and in the process failed to maintain integral eye contact with Tisa. She as quickly found her eyes not on Tiesa's polarizing scars, but the intricate sleeve tattoo comprising her opposite arm.

Tiesa fully opened the door and stepped to one side. "Please, come in."

Sumi tried to follow Tiesa's lips, confused at their irregular movement.—"I can't."—Her head tilted ever so slightly, studying Tiesa's puffy cheek and partially numb lips.—"I can't under…stand you."

"I apologize."—Tiesa lightly touched her puffed cheek.—"I had to replace two broken teeth, and the operation left me quite numb. They gave me lots of painkillers. I tried to refuse."

"Why would you refuse painkillers? The pain would get unbearable once the numbing wears off," Marissa advised.

Tiesa rubbed her wrist as she looked away. "I have a history of substance abuse. I take it day by day."

"So I've heard."—Marissa gasped as she thought aloud. It was more distressing her gaze had refocused on Tiesa's numerous scars.—"I'm sorry, that was rude of me."

"It's okay; I'm used to people staring."—Tisea smiled back at her ever content girlfriend.—" I'm in better place now."

Lindsey walked into the living room, fastening the waist tie of her red sleeveless silk wrap dress. "Normally, I'd say that's expected being you're a supermodel, but that would make me a callous bitch. Truthfully, I love your scars. They're real, they're your flaws, and they make you human. I like humans, especially the female variety."

Sumi inched the bright pink box toward Tiesa, and noticed a curious ball of black fur inching across the carpet. "I bought you these." Careful, as ever was Sumi's enunciation to her potential friend.

"Peace offering," Lindsey laughed. She walked before Sumi, genially smiling as she lifted open the box.—"Oh god, those look delicious."—She tilted the box to Tiesa, frowning at her unwillingness to partake.—"Just one, come on."

"They're one hundred percent organic, and baked from scratch. Vegan, if you will," Marissa, while lifting out a cupcake, and presenting it to Tiesa, explained.

"Thank you."—Tiesa rubbed her cheek and took the cupcake; she pinched off a piece and eased into the left side of her mouth. "And you say this is completely vegan?"

"Yes," Marissa giggled.

Tiesa blushed, and quickly took a seat on the peach leather sectional. She quietly nibbled on her cupcake, and glanced ever so shyly over at Sumi, still standing by Marissa's side.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. It's just, your accent and swollen jaw make you sound like Sumi. I've never heard a Lithuanian accent before, so I didn't know what to expect," Marissa admitted.

"This sucks. I really wanted to have a proper meeting with you, and Luna tripped me up, quite literally," Tiesa said.

"Don't I get an introduction to your cute fiancée?"—Lindsey gently eased the box out of Sumi's grasp, and set it on the coffee table, facing Tiesa. She lifted Sumi's hand, and gave it a nimble kiss before inspecting the diamond ring.

Sumi mentally coached herself for this moment. For nearly thirty minutes prior, even naked, she stood before the mirror, confidently introducing herself as the future Mrs. Sumi Washington, or Hagiwara-Washington. Even with the certainty of Marissa's all encompassing love, Sumi's eyes feebly stared at her hand, still within Lindsey's. "It's nice to me…et you."

"Your voice—it's so pure, delicate. It suits you," Lindsey complimented. She released Sumi's hand, and turned her focus back to Marissa.

"Lindsey, this is Sumi Hagiwara, my lovely fiancée. I feel a little silly, being dressed so formally," Marissa admitted.

"Hey, I still have on my dress." Lindsey gave Sumi a firm handshake, and motioned to the couch.

"I think they numbed more of the area than they should have." Tiesa continually rubbed her cheek, staring at the open box of cupcakes. "I hope you are both hungry, I'm making my favorite dish."

Sumi reached into her pocketbook and brought out her communicators. "Can you please use this? …I can't under…stand you," she shyly requested.

Tiesa looked up at Marissa, receiving a solemn nod. "Okay, but you'll have to show me how to use it."

"Sure." Sumi sat next to Tiesa and turned on the communicators. A tiny kitten climbed onto the sofa and scurried into Sumi's lap.

"Luna!" Tiesa sharp called.

Luna walked across Sumi's lap and dove off the sofa arm, racing to Lindsey. She was promptly scooped up. "Marissa, do you have a second?"

Marissa looked back at Sumi showing Tiesa how to use the communicator. "Sure. What's up?" She followed Marissa into a kitchen built of convenience.

"Well, Tiesa and I have been dating for nine months now. Two weeks ago, she brought up moving in together. Do you think it's soon? Be honest," Lindsey sincerely asked.

Marissa ran her hand along the polished marble counter top, forever cool to the touch. "There's really no right answer for that. From what you've told me, you're taking a very mature approach to this relationship. Obviously, if Tiesa wants,—you to move in with her?"

"Yeah, my apartment isn't even a third the size of this. It would be an extreme disservice having her go from this $4,000/m, two bedrooms and two bathrooms slice of heaven, to my shitty studio apartment," Lindsey admitted.

Marissa pushed off the counter, and took controlled steps toward her ex.—"Would living in your tiny apartment really bother Tiesa?"

"You still think I'm an asshole, don't you?"

"No. I saw that little sparkle in Tiesa's eyes when you walked in. She's happy, and that's what matters," Marissa said.

"So you think it's a good idea for us to move in together? Realistically, there's no way in hell I could even afford half the rent of this place. Thankfully, Tiesa paid up the full year in advance. I feel like such a freeloader. I've worked so hard to become more than that, and here I am," Lindsey vented.

Marissa closed the space between them with a sincere embrace. "You are more than that. Tiesa needs you as much as you need her. You're her rock, and she's doing okay right now. Keep her that way. Promise me."

"Okay." Lindsey wiped her eyes, overcome with emotion from the unexpected gesture. "Thank you for being my friend. It's nice to know there's someone I can come to with my problems."

"I chose not to be bitter, and I'm a better person for that. Everyone deserves happiness. If I can help you, I will, but please don't think I'm a 24/7 helpline. Sumi is the main woman in my life now," Marissa reaffirmed.

"I know, as Tiesa is mine. Anyhow, I know today is your three year anniversary. To spend it with your ex and her girlfriend really shows how settled you are. I forever admire your strength," Lindsey said.

"What was that you were saying about being an asshole?"

"Let's not argue. Today is about you and Sumi after all. I do appreciate you making a pit stop for us. I'll try to make this as duty free as possible. It'll be over before you know it, and you and Sumi can go snuggle, or whatever it is adorable women like her do," Lindsey suggested.

"I'll just leave it at snuggling," Marissa agreed.

Lindsey shrugged her shoulders and headed back to the living room. Not even out of the kitchen, her body tensed out of sheer surprise. Her neck craned to Marissa with uncertainty.—"You see that too, right?" Lindsey leaned forward, as if not to be seen in the open space.

"Yes, but I'm having as hard a time believing it," Marissa, distractedly answered.

Both women stood in confusion, watching Sumi sitting contently on Tiesa's lap, as they watched captioned anime on the big screen. A freshly opened delivery package, and opened Blu-ray case half leaned against the cupcake box.

Noticing her girlfriend's mystified expression, Tiesa merely waved as she casually typed a message on the communicator. Sumi erupted in a giggle fit as she looked back.

Lindsey listened to the high pitched laughter, so charmingly innocent, and it came from the tiny woman in a suggestively tight red dress. "That laugh."

"Criminally adorable. If only she didn't look as it sounded. You know, when we're out and about, it's not even that we're gay. People either think I'm fondling my daughter, or a pedophile. It does get to me at times. Sumi laughs it off, but I know it annoys her too," Marissa said.

"Should we go over there, or chance and see how this plays out?" Lindsey cautiously asked.

"Sumi gets pretty intense when she's watching anime, especially a new episode. Then again, I've never seen her watch anime with anyone other than me before," Marissa admitted.

"And she sits on your lap, during?" Lindsey asked.

"Not at first. We were still in that awkward stage of our relationship."—Marissa reached back, taking Lindsey's hand and leading her to the couch. She sat next to Tiesa, gently tapping Sumi's shoulder.—"Once Sumi became more comfortable."—Marissa blushed as Sumi inched over into her lap, closing herself in idle arms.—"It's just something we do together now. We make out during the intros and outros."

Lindsey sat next to Tiesa, and rested her head on her shoulder, watching a sideways view of the show. "Lucky you. I walked past the TV once when Tiesa was playing a game. The look she gave me would have frosted over the seven pits of hell. Didn't know shit was that serious."

"It was an important and unpausable cut scene after an extremely hard boss!" Tiesa, never taking her eyes off the screen, emphasized.

"But, I was modeling my sexy new lingerie. I busted my ass doing this extreme workout program for two months, and ate clean. Can't I be proud enough of my figure to show it off for my girlfriend?" Lindsey asked.

Tiesa paused the anime. Sumi gasped as she looked over at Lindsey.

"What happened?" Sumi asked, now engrossed in their discussion.

Lindsey rolled her eyes, yet again explaining her plight. "What's the big deal? I walked in front of the TV, while Tiesa was playing some game."'

"Was it a boss fight?" Sumi asked.

"What's that?" Lindsey asked.

"Yes Sumi. Seconds, after I had defeated a mid-game boss, an important and unskippable cut scene started. She blocked the screen," Tiesa calmly stated. She transcribed the blasphemous act on the communicator.

Sumi gasped, painfully remembering a similar incident with her father. She pointed an accused finger at Lindsey, and steadily shook her head. "You NE…VER bother a gamer dur…ing a boss fight, or impor…tant cut scene. It sucks."

"Funny thing; first time I ever heard Sumi curse, was when I walked past the screen with a laundry basket. She was playing Kingdom Hearts Two, and fighting this guy named Sephiroth, and was on the verge of beating him. Let's just say, I know what sleeping on the couch feels like," Marissa related.

"We're seriously dating teenage boys in the guise of cute lesbians," Lindsey groaned.

"I am proudly a geek. That is how you say it, right?" Tiesa asked.

Sumi read the question and nodded. She then turned to Tiesa with enlarging eyes. "I'm go…ing to tell her now."

"Okay," Tiesa, while looking directly at a flustered Marissa, agreed.

"Tell me what?" Marissa asked.

Sumi drew a deep breath and pushed it out. "Tiesa wants me to go to Ohio Scifi con next month. She's mo…del…ing there, and she wants me to cos…play with her. She's going to ask her man…ager if it's okay. Should I?"

"You do not have to worry. If I can receive the okay, all of her expenses will be taken care of. It is only two days. I've seen Sumi's web blog, and she has done extensive cosplaying. Her portrayals are nothing short of amazing. I meant to ask, where does she buy her costumes? They are inspiring," Tiesa complimented.

"Actually, her mother is a seamstress, and made just about all of those costumes. She made the ones we wore to Animecon. Mine is valued at two thousand dollars. I'm grateful," Marissa admitted.

"Can she make me such a detailed costume?" Tiesa excitedly asked.

"You'd have to ask Sumi. I don't think Azumi likes working with leather, if that's a problem," Marissa said.

Tiesa nodded as she typed up a message. "I would be very appreciative to have a costume was amazing as yours. It would really help at the convention."

"My mo…mmy can make any…thing, as long as you can afford it. But, you have to go to her to be mea…sured and fitted. She doesn't like to tra…vel," Sumi explained.

"Yes, that's true. And she lives on the other side of the country. So, I'd suggest make sure you have your costume nailed down, and prepare to make at least two visits. Unless you plan on staying for a few weeks," Marissa added.

Tiesa reached over Marissa's lap for Lindsey's hand. "I don't like being away from Lindsey for so long. But work makes me travel a lot."

"We've discussed this, sweetie. You're a super model, traveling the world and doing shoots is your job. Well, that and doing various projects for the gay community. I like that about the Broken Dolls. You never forget where you came from," Lindsey said.

"I still wish that you could always come with me," Tiesa sighed.

"Sweetheart, you know I'd love to. But, I need to keep myself grounded."—Lindsey looked directly at Marissa, eyes stiffly finding Tiesa.—"Our relationship works because we trust, and motivate each other to be better people. I need to keep this job, even if it's crappy. I have to keep proving to myself that I can be independent, despite"—Lindsey looked around the lavish apartment.—"all of this."

"I understand that." Tiesa outstretched her left arm, turning to showcase the multitude of scars. "I didn't want to fall in love with you, and I did. I didn't think I could ever stop hurting myself, and I did. I didn't think I could ever be this happy, and I am." Tiesa crawled across Marissa and Sumi to slowly kiss Lindsey.

Forever flustered, Marissa stared at the tight, pale backside arched inches from her face. "Do you want us to leave?"

"Your underwear is cute," Sumi complimented.

Tiesa detached her lips long enough to bashfully thank the little voice. "I bought them at Animecon."

Sumi tried her hardest to follow the misaligned lips to no avail. She shook her head and shrugged. "What?"

Lindsey touched her still tingling lips, and pushed herself off the couch. "I'm going to check on dinner. Be right back."

"That was some intense kiss," Marissa noted.

"I adore kissing. I was fortunate to learn at an early age," Tiesa admitted.

Sumi read the simultaneous message. "How old were you?"

Tiesa thought back to that autumn afternoon. "I was nine and my babysitter, Emilija, was fourteen. Or maybe it was fifteen, this I am not certain."—Tiesa took her second cupcake from the box, and crossed her ankles on the table as she began pinch eating the fluffy treat.

"You kissed a fourteen year old, when you were nine? Isn't that a little creepy?" Marissa asked.

Lindsey sat on the couch arm, catching the tail end of the discussion. "I had a crush on Morris Grayson when I was nine. I wanted to marry him and have all his babies."

"Did y…ou go out with him?" Sumi curiously asked.

Giving in to temptation, Lindsey took a cupcake, partaking in the vegan goodness.—"We became best friends, and finally kissed at thirteen. I don't know what I was expecting, because I just shut down. It was like I stepped barefoot in some slimy goo."

"That is like the awakening of you mutant super powers," Tiesa laughed.

"If only homosexuality was a legitimate super power. The closest we as women have is the all mighty vagina. It's been known to bring even the most powerful men to their knees, quite literally," Marissa said.

"Oh yeah, you have a def…initely have a su…per va…gina," Sumi agreed.

"OH MY GOD! Sumi be quiet!" Marissa gasped.

"Hey now, you started it," Lindsey laughed.

"I wasn't talking about my vagina—can we get back to Tiesa making out with her babysitter!" Marissa hurriedly took a cupcake and nibbled on the cherry.

"Well." Tiesa began. "I sort of came out to Emilija, without even knowing what homosexuality was. We were sitting on the couch after school. I was doing my homework, and she was watching music videos. I began talking about how pretty the girls in my class were, and how I wanted to start dating when I got older. Then, I asked her to teach me how to kiss. We did."

"Just like that? No pretense, hesitation on her part?" Marissa skeptically asked.

"Yes," Tiesa simply answered.

"Hell, that sounds like a porn set up if I've ever heard one," Lindsey said.

"Emilija, was how you say, a floozy, yes?" Tiesa, with uncertainty, clarified.

Marissa sighed as she finished her muffin. "Promiscuity at such a young age never leads to anything positive."

"No, that is not true. Emilija, married her boyfriend when she turned sixteen. They have five wonderful children now. We are still great friends, but she has decided to only have relations with men. I am forever grateful for our experiences," Tiesa said.

"We've been going to couples counseling for the better part of a year, and this is the first time I'm hearing any of this. I—I thought you trusted me." Lindsey looked over at her girlfriend's endless legs, distraught at such an admission.

"I am truly sorry. What happened with Emilija, I do not regret. It did cause me great depression and stress, but I have learned to accept the good which it has brought. You included." Tiesa pulled Lindsey down into her lap. "Please, do not be angry." They kissed indiscriminately.

"I can definitely see the effects of counseling. The trust is there, and it shows that you're both growing. Its cute how legitimately hurt you were over that. In a way, Tiesa reminds of this woman I met a few months back. She's a bartender, named Martha. Former stripper, and like Tiesa, has zero problems walking around in her underwear," Marissa said.

Tiesa took another cupcake and pinched out a sizable chunk. "I like to be comfortable at home. And besides, I spend most of my days in bikinis and much less. Are you asking me to change?"

"Like you said, this is your home. I'm hardly ever bothered by a woman in her underwear, then again, it depends on the definition of bothered," Marissa, with uncertainty, said.

Sumi lifted Tiesa's right arm and slowly turned it. She followed the intricate tattoo down to the wrist, seeing an odd familiarity. "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right B, A." Sumi gasped and looked at Marissa. "She's awe…some!"

"People rarely notice that." Tiesa reached over for the communicator typing: "You definitely have to give me your email. I go to lots of conventions around the world; I can definitely pick you up anything you want."

"Listening to you speak, I have to say, your English is really good. If Lindsey hadn't told me you were Lithuanian, I'd have sworn you were Russian. I've never heard that accent before," Marissa said.

"This is a common mistake. During my first modeling shoot, the photographer asked me what part of Russia I was from. I hear Russia is beautiful this time of year, I will visit sometime," Tiesa promised.

"I've always wanted to visit Ireland," Lindsey admitted.

"So, have you decided on where you will spend your honeymoon?" Tiesa curiously asked.

Marissa gave an exhausted shrug as Sumi read the message. "We haven't settled on any specific place yet. We're still sorting the details on where the actual ceremony will take place. It's slowly morphing into cultural affair; with Sumi's family being Japanese and mine half Brazilian.

"Our par…ents argue on the phone all the ti…me," Sumi, wide-eyed, admitted.

"Um, have your parents actually met each other?" Lindsey asked.

Marissa's shoulders fell as she awkwardly shook her head. "Added to the list of dead end discussions, Sumi and I have been trying to find a way to get them into the same room. Maybe a luncheon or a dinner could work."

"The longer you let animosity build, the more difficult the wedding will become. You have to remember, this wedding is about you and your lovely fiancée, and not of fulfilling your parents' wishes," Tiesa said.

"While I agree, I do want my parents to have some input. They are after all, contributing financially, as are Sumi's parents. Compromises will have to be made somewhere down the line," Marissa said.

Sumi nodded. "I get the pick the cake!"

"Well, we settled on something," Marissa agreed. She jumped at a loud ding-dong. "Is that the door bell?"

"Yeah, scared the hell out of me during a nap once," Lindsey, while walking to the door, said.

"Expecting something?" Tiesa asked.

"I ordered a vegan buffalo cheese pizza to go along with dinner. Didn't know if Sumi would have wanted any of the tofu meatloaf," Lindsey said.

"Didn't even know you could make tofu meatloaf," Marissa said.

"I had that before. It's yummy," Sumi admitted.

"My recipe calls for two pounds of extra lean ground turkey. When I cook, I like to have enough for the next day's lunch," Tiesa said.

"Oh, yeah, Sumi can't eat that," Marissa agreed.

"No worries. Since we had to cancel our dinner, I really took this as an excuse to try this recipe I saw online. It's vegan 'chicken' buffalo hot wings, curiously was eating at me. Tiesa made some bread and mash potatoes. I figure that should be a varied meal, right?" Lindsey suggested.

"Oh, I love hot wi…ngs," Sumi excitedly said.

"Guess this is a buffalo kind of night. That stuff stains," Marissa sighed.

Lindsey closed the door and brought the pizza into the dining room. "What do you say we make this a classic girl's night? Got plenty of wine and beer."

Marissa raised an eyebrow. "You don't mean…"

"Eh, not that relaxed. Tiesa would be cool, but I don't think Sumi would be comfortable eating naked. Those were good times," Lindsey laughed.

Marissa thought back to sharing the hot tub with Tina. "Respectfully, no nudity, I'm engaged after all. Plus, I just met your girlfriend, and it would be extremely tacky. Though, I really don't want to mess up my nice dress." Marissa turned to Sumi. "Sweetie, would it be weird if we took off our dresses, and had dinner in our underwear?"

"I don't see a big deal," Tiesa chimed in.

"For the thousandth time, you work in underwear," Lindsey grumbled.

Marissa suppressed her laughter, and carefully chose her next words. "Lindsey and I had this…understanding. On really stressful days, especially during my residency, I'd call Lindsey and ask if she wanted a 'girl's night'."

"Does not a girl's night consist of sitting around chatting, eating lots of junk food, and poorly judged cosmetics?" Tiesa asked.

"Your traditional girl's night, probably," Lindsey, half heartedly agreed. "Ours was a wee bit different. For us, it was a free pass for 'fuck it'. Marissa would either pick up a movie on the way over, or I'd rent something off pay per view."

"We had a rule never to keep alcohol in the apartment. So, whoever initiated the girl's night would pick up a six pack of beer, and order Chinese. The other person would pick up the pizza and rent a movie," Marissa continued.

"Yes, and once we were home with all the supplies, we'd get take a quick shower together. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon naked on the couch, getting plastered on cheap beer, and stuffing ourselves while cracking up to a usually terrible movie."

"Woah, that's sounds cool," Sumi gasped.

"Seriously?" Lindsey skeptically asked.

"Yeah, I mean, looking back that was pretty irresponsible. Strangely, those nights rarely ever ended in sex. We'd wake up with terrible hangovers, and a coffee table that looked something out of a frat house," Marissa admitted.

"Ugh, so wasteful. That indeed sounds like a wonderful time, but way too many carbs. I seem to be the only one in their underwear." Tiesa observed.

"Want to?" Lindsey asked Marissa. She reached back for her zipper, inching it down in Marissa's half hearted nod. "You don't have to. I just feel overdressed for hanging out, which is what this night has come to. Like I said, don't let us hold up any anniversary plans." Lindsey winked at Sumi.

Never taking her eyes of Lindsey's dress, inching downward, Sumi lazily pointed at the paused movie. "Can I finish wat…ching the anime?"

"Clear off the table and we can eat out here, if you want." Lindsey's dress fell to her ankles, and she stepped out in a lacy black bra and black panties.

"For what it's worth, all that exercise and clean eating paid off," Marissa complimented.

"Thanks, but eating clean is too much work. I'm naturally thin, so that does most of the work," Lindsey admitted.

Sumi reached back and inched down her zipper as well. She stood and wiggled it down, neatly folding it across the chair arm. "Okay."

"Oh my, and I thought you couldn't possibly look any younger. Your belly ring is cute," Tiesa complimented.

"Guess I'm the odd girl out." Marissa stood and took off her dress. The room suddenly felt three degrees cooler across her exposed skin. In the same moment, the temperature rose as Marissa remembered pink garter belt and thong. It was a tease to culminate their night. She blushed, slowly sitting cross legged.

"Well, I have to say, we're definitely perpetuating the male lesbian fantasy, aren't we," Lindsey smirked.

Tiesa looked around at the scantily clad bodies and shook her head. "No, all of our breasts combined could not form a D cup. Nor do have we instantly mastered the mythical ability of simultaneous orgasm. Can we not just watch anime, drink wine and talk as friends, without there being sexual overtones?"

Marissa leaned over and tightly hugged Tiesa.

"What was that for?" Tiesa asked.

"For normalizing this situation." Marissa felt her stomach growl. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving."

"Same here. I'll bring the food over. We definitely need to discuss your wedding plans. Lesbian weddings are the greatest," Lindsey said.

"I will get the wine!" Tiesa announced.

Sumi took another cupcake from the box, and put the remote in her lap. "I'm gonna get drunk!" She began clearing the coffee table.

Marissa cringed, remembering Sumi's generous sharing of their relationship at Gosalyn's bar. "Not if I can help it," she grumbled.

Lindsey pushed over a small cart. She first set down the tofu meatloaf, then the freshly made bread and mash potatoes. She reached onto the bottom shelf, producing a tray of buffalo wings. On the corner, was the pizza and Tiesa brought over a bottle of wine and four glasses.

Sumi snuggled next to Marissa, kissing on her bare stomach. "I'm happy."

Marissa smirked as the small lips tickled her skin. "I'm sitting in the apartment of my ex girlfriend in my underwear, next to my fiancée, on my anniversary. But, I'm happy. Weird."

"No. Not weird, it's called love," Tiesa said.

Lindsey put her arms around Tiesa and kissed on her ear. "I'm happy and I'm in love."

"And I love you," Tiesa whispered.

"Aww," Sumi cooed. She knelt up and kissed Marissa on the cheek. "I'll love you forever ever and ever, my future wife." She as quickly began making herself a plate.

"Yes, my future wife," Marissa whispered. She blushed, watching Sumi load up her plate with pizza and wings. "It's going to be an amazing wedding."

"Can I come to your wedding?" Tiesa asked.

"Oh sure," Marissa casually answered.

"WHAT! You just let her go, but I get an 'I'll think about it?" Lindsey stammered.

"Yes, and I'm still thinking. So, Tiesa, what was your life in Lithuania like before becoming a super model?" Lindsey asked.

It was Lindsey's turn to blush as they were about to be led down a dark, and exploratory path of the young model's life.

"Can I unpause the movie now?" Sumi asked.

"Yes! No!" Lindsey and Marissa answered respectively.

Before Sumi could respond, she received an urgent text on her communicator. It was from Azumi: Sumichan, I think your father and I should meet with Marissa's parents. We're at a standstill. Have you told Marissa about your idea for the bachelorette party?

"BACHELORETTE PARTY?" Marissa loudly read.

Sumi quickly closed the message, "Um…I was going to tell you…"

The End

Please leave a REVIEW. Now that Sounds of Love is complete, you have absolutely no excuse not to leave a review, even if you're on of those holdouts that only review completed stories. As promised, the wedding will come as a separate 'special' I'll work my hardest to get it out before the end of the year. Nanowrimo is going to effectively eliminate a November release. At least now I can get back to work on Falling for Summer.