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“You’re an idiot.”
“Thank you, Court,” Alex responded as she picked up her bourbon from the coffee table in front of her.
When she asked Courtney to have a drink with her after her friend’s Saturday night show, she purposefully made sure to keep it at her apartment. She didn’t want any of the awkward run-ins that inevitably happened in the theater district.
“Sorry, but it’s true,” Courtney responded, taking a sip of her own red wine.
Alex threw her head back onto the couch dramatically and sighed. “I don’t know what to do.”
“For starts, I think you need to apologize for being an asshole.”
“I texted her,” Alex said helplessly.
“Texted her what?”
“That I was sorry things ended like that and that I hoped her meeting was going well.”
“Her fake meeting, you mean. Did she text you back?”
“No,” Alex replied sullenly.
Courtney looked at her friend for a moment.
“Let’s review the main points again. You asked her not to sleep with anyone else. You brought her back here and had sex. And then the next morning when she made a throwaway comment about you being a player, you snapped back in the usual, Alex Anders way. Did I cover everything?”
“That sums it up.”
“Alex, she wasn’t wrong. You are a player.”
“You know why,” Alex said back, but not in a biting tone.
She felt so defeated that she didn’t have the energy to be that offended by Courtney’s harsh tone.
“But she doesn’t know why. Part of dating people is intimacy. You have to open up. It’s not fair to ask her to be exclusive just to push her away when she tries to get close.”
Alex looked over at her friend helplessly. She knew Courtney was right, but she hadn’t tried dating in years. She was used to being more of an acquaintance to people than a friend. More of a fuck buddy, than a lover.
But Quinn changed all that. She did want to date Quinn, even with the complications it brought.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said to Courtney.
“I have an idea.”
“You haven’t even heard it.”
“Nothing good has ever come from you saying I have an idea.”
“Except that day that you were so hungover you wanted to die and I convinced you that a little trip to a festival show would help cure your misery. Good thing I had that idea or you never would have seen Quinn’s show.”
“And then I’d be just hungover today. Not worried about what some actress thinks of me.”
“Is this really fun, Al?” Courtney asked as she sat up and set her glass down on the table. “Playing video games alone with a glass of bourbon in your overly expensive apartment? Having a casual fling every now and then that you usually regret? Because I guess I don’t really get it.”
“Damn. Don’t hold back on how you feel,” Alex replied sarcastically.
“This is me, Al. I don’t hold back. Not with you. And you don’t with me. But I don’t think you can honestly tell me that you’re happy. And I know you think this promotion will be the thing to change that, but what if it doesn’t? And what if Quinn can?”
Alex set her own glass down on the table and put her arms on her knees so she could rest her head in her hands.
“Court, I hardly know her.”
Alex said the words, but in her heart, she knew that wasn’t true. She may have only met Quinn recently, but somehow, she did feel like she knew her. The immediate intimacy she felt with the other woman was part of what scared her.
“So, get to know her without being an ass. And while you’re at it, listen to my idea without being an ass.”
Alex couldn’t help but smile at her friend. She knew earlier when she called Courtney that the woman wouldn’t hold back on her opinions of how Alex handled things— she never did.
But that’s also what Alex appreciated in their friendship. They were always honest with each other and held each other accountable.
“Ok, Stella. What is your damn idea?”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Quinn got to the rehearsal room way earlier than she needed to, but she was too excited to get started with Diego to just sit alone in her apartment.
She had done enough of that over the weekend. She hated lying to Mikey, but she knew he’d be able to tell something was bothering her if they talked and she just couldn’t bring herself to tell him about what happened with Alex.
Maybe if everything hadn’t gone to complete shit by the end of their breakfast, she would have spent the entire weekend there in Alex’s bed and not alone in her apartment avoiding calls from Mikey and Claire. Maybe then, she’d tell Mikey about what happened.
But now that seemed pointless. It was clear that Alex had some things to work out. Quinn had more than one moment over the weekend thinking she made a mistake by just walking out. But Alex’s snapping tone reminded her so much of Jenna at the end and Quinn wasn’t going to do that to herself again.
Being with Alex often felt like whiplash. One moment the woman kocaeli escort couldn’t keep her hands off of Quinn and the next she was explaining all the ways it was impossible to be together.
She knew she needed to talk to her. No matter what, they were going to be in this theater together for the next two months and Quinn didn’t want it to be awkward every time they bumped into each other.
But she was resolved not to sleep with Alex again until the blonde figured out her baggage. The beginning of a relationship should be fun and light and sexy. Not filled with fear that a woman’s dad would throw a hissy fit over his daughter’s relationship.
Quinn also knew it might be hard to maintain that resolve now that she knew what Alex is like in bed. But she didn’t want to be another random woman to Alex. She’d fallen for her too much. If Alex couldn’t open up to her and trust her, then she couldn’t be with her, even just physically.
As she sat in the rehearsal space, distractedly going through her script while really just thinking about Alex, her phone rang. She could see it was Mikey’s number and knew she couldn’t keep ignoring him so she answered the call.
“Dominos. We’re out of thin crust. What can I get you?” she asked in her best masculine voice.
“Like I would ever call a Dominos,” he scoffed. “Do people even call for pizza anymore?”
“I don’t know but way to ruin the bit,” Quinn said back as she closed her laptop.
“So sorry about that. I’ve been trying to reach you all weekend. Where have you been?”
Quinn’s thoughts raced to come up with a viable excuse for not answering her phone.
“I was nursing a hangover. Opening night party and all,” she lied.
“For Death of a Salesman? I didn’t realize it would get so wild. You didn’t do anything I’m going to hear about did you?”
Quinn stretched out on the bench she was sitting on as she continued to talk to Mikey. She wasn’t going to tell him what she really got up to after the party— she wasn’t in the mood for a lecture. But she also didn’t like lying to him.
“You mean besides the keg stand I did in front of Simon Anders?” she asked, deflecting with her usual humor.
“I hate you sometimes,” he said back with a sigh.
“No, you don’t. Especially when I tell you that I met your future husband.”
“I’m absolutely positive that you didn’t. But please, elaborate.”
Quinn smiled into the phone and it was the first time since she left Alex’s apartment that she felt somewhat uplifted. She probably should have called Mikey immediately— messing with him always made her feel better.
“At Janet’s post-dinner thing I met a guy who’s on the board for Horizon. He’s rich, beautiful, established, and he loved me. So, kind of the perfect fit for you.”
“You mean Tim Delvin?”
“You know him?”
“No, but I know of him. He’s a big-time investor in the theater scene. And he’s completely out of my league.”
“Nobody is out of your league, Mikey. I mean, you may be a little uptight, but you’re a catch.”
“I’m going to set it up.”
“I’m going to.”
“Quinn. I can get my own dates. Worry about your own lack of a sex life.”
Quinn’s stomach dropped at his last comment and guilt settled in its place. Mikey may be her manager, but he was also her best friend. She should tell him. Maybe he’d even be able to talk some sense into her to strengthen the resolve she’d been working on all weekend.
But before she could say anything to him, there was a knock on her rehearsal room door and it was suddenly opening. Standing in the doorway was the exact person that had been monopolizing all of Quinn’s thoughts.
“Alex,” Quinn said, staring at the doorway that the blonde was tentatively standing in.
“Alex? You’re sleeping with Alex?” Mikey asked into the phone.
Quinn sat up straight on the bench, suddenly flustered by the phone in her ear and the woman standing only feet away.
“No. I mean, yes. I mean, Alex just came into the rehearsal room. I need to go.”
“And it sounds like we need to talk,” he replied. “I’m coming over when you get home from rehearsal.”
“Fine,” Quinn sighed into the phone. “I’ll see you then.”
She set the phone down on the bench and looked up at Alex, who was still standing in the doorway like she was slightly lost. Only half of her body was even entering the room.
“Alex,” Quinn said again dumbly.
She figured she would need to go find the theater manager today at some point but she didn’t think Alex would come to see her. Her mind was also racing with the fact that she just accidentally revealed the truth to Mikey. She’d have to deal with that later.
“Can I come in or are you busy?” Alex asked and Quinn noticed that the blonde wore the same pained expression she had on her face when Quinn left her apartment on Saturday morning.
“You own the room. I suppose you don’t need to ask,” Quinn replied, opening up her laptop again. “Though, Diego will be here soon, so we darıca escort should make this quick.”
Alex moved further into the room and turned so she could gently shut the door behind her. Now that she was fully in the room, Quinn could see her better and couldn’t help the flip her stomach gave at the sight.
Alex was dressed down today. In just a pair of blue skinny jeans and a fitted, white t-shirt, it was the most causal Quinn had ever seen her look. And now she really knew that it didn’t matter what the blonde wore. She always looked hot and that insight was not exactly convenient when Quinn was trying to hold on to her anger from Friday.
Alex stood there awkwardly not saying anything and Quinn didn’t know if she should stand or stay seated so she opted to just stay on the bench.
“Did you need something or are you just checking on the room?” Quinn finally asked.
“I brought you these,” Alex said, holding something out for Quinn.
When Quinn didn’t move off the bench and just continued to stare at Alex, Alex tentatively moved closer to her.
“They don’t bite,” she said. “I mean, at least I don’t think they bite.”
When Quinn just continued to sit there, staring at her, Alex moved all the way over to the bench, sat down and sat the package next to Quinn. Quinn looked down to see what she put there and raised an eyebrow at Alex.
“You came here to bring me Swedish Fish?”
“Well not only that. But I thought this might be a way for you to eat fish without actually eating fish. And I’m Swedish.” Alex put her hand on her forehead for a moment and let out a shaky laugh. “And this is really starting to feel like a bad idea now.”
They both sat there in an awkward silence for what felt like a full minute before Quinn reached down to the bag, opened it and popped a fish into her mouth.
“Luckily for you, I didn’t bring snacks today. And I love snacks.”
Alex let out a small, nervous laugh. It was clear she didn’t really know how to proceed with the conversation so Quinn decided to take pity on her, even if she didn’t really deserve it.
“I’m guessing you didn’t just want to bring me fish though.”
“No,” Alex said back quickly and put her hands on her thighs, moving them up and down like she was trying to dry off sweaty palms. “I wanted to talk. And apologize again for Friday.”
“Look, Alex—” Quinn began to say, but Alex cut her off before she could continue.
“No, please. Let me.”
Suddenly Alex stood up from the bench and walked towards the other side of the room where there was a mirror covering the whole wall, before she paced back towards the bench. She looked anxious and agitated and if Quinn wasn’t annoyed, she probably would have found it slightly endearing.
“I’m so bad at this Quinn,” she finally said as she stopped a few feet from the bench, a look of pure defeat crossing her features.
“Bad at what, Alex?”
Alex looked like she didn’t know how to get the next words out. She almost looked as if she had swallowed something bitter.
“Intimacy,” she said quietly and if she hadn’t been standing so close to the bench, Quinn probably wouldn’t have even heard it.
Quinn looked at the woman for a moment before answering. She could tell that this was hard for Alex and she wished she knew why. But she also wasn’t going to put herself out there again and try to get to know Alex, just to be shot down when it gets too personal. She put her laptop down on the bench since she didn’t need to pretend anymore that she was working.
“You got overly defensive when I brought up a pretty benign topic. I don’t want to be with someone who snaps at me like that.”
“I know. And I’m so sorry I did. And how I let you leave.”
Alex took a deep breath and sat back down on the bench, this time sitting closer to Quinn than before.
“I meant what I said at the party, Quinn. I like you. More than I’ve liked anyone in a long time. And sometimes I can be an idiot. Just ask Courtney.”
Quinn couldn’t help but let a small smile cross her face briefly at Alex’s self-deprecating comment. But she wasn’t ready to let things go. Alex Anders was one big, walking red flag.
“I need to know why though. Why did that comment set you off so much?”
Alex looked down at her hands for a beat before she brought her eyes back up to Quinn’s. Even in her anger and confusion, Quinn admired the blue of her eyes, which right now looked stormy. The freckles that sprinkled her nose seemed to come out stronger when she looked pale like this and the juxtaposition was beautiful.
“Because it’s true. And I was embarrassed that you already thought that of me.”
“Why is that so embarrassing for you?”
Quinn could tell that Alex was slightly uncomfortable but she also noticed that the blonde didn’t move to get up and seemed to want to continue the conversation.
“You’re right. I do have baggage. And I’d like to open up to you about it. That morning…I guess sometimes I over analyze things, especially when gölcük escort it comes to this place,” Alex said as she waved her arms around the room. “I knew I liked you before you came over that night, but I had no idea what it felt like to be with you. And I panicked.”
“You don’t need to tell me everything all at once, Alex. I just want to know we’re moving towards opening up to each other. Otherwise, I don’t really know what this is.”
“I want to date you. And I’m sorry if I haven’t made that clear. That’s why I’m here.”
Quinn looked around the room and then back to Alex with a small smile on her face. “Alex, sharing candy on a bench in a rehearsal room doesn’t really count as a date.”
Alex let out her first real laugh since entering the room and Quinn couldn’t deny the way she relished in hearing the sound. She knew she needed to tread lightly with someone as closed off as Alex, but she also couldn’t lie to herself. She wanted to date Alex, too.
“I’m not that clueless,” Alex said back and moved her hand so her fingers were closer to Quinn’s on the bench.
Quinn assumed Alex wouldn’t make the first physical contact so she slid her hand over and casually picked up Alex’s hand so they could intertwine their fingers.
“It’s honestly hard to tell. So far you’ve really bombed.”
Alex laughed and nodded. “I definitely have. But I think maybe I can make it up to you.”
“Hmm. And how do you think you can do that? You’ve already ruined New York bagels for me.”
Alex let out a small gasp at Quinn’s comment. “No! I promise I’ll make you enjoy those again too. In fact, I’ll just stay silent as you eat.”
“That suddenly feels like food porn. You can speak if you behave,” Quinn said as she moved closer to Alex’s body.
“I promise, I will,” Alex replied, crossing her fingers over her heart. “Will you go out with me then? On a real date? So that I can show you I’m not the worst?”
Quinn immediately felt butterflies in her stomach at Alex’s words. She paused to look down at their hands before bringing her gaze back up to the blonde. She knew what she was going to say, but it couldn’t hurt to make Alex sweat it out for a moment.
“You brought me candy and now you’re asking me out. Will I get to wear your letterman jacket on the date?”
“No letterman jacket, but I do have a cape from when I was Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods from like, 18 years ago. You could wear that if you want.”
Quinn couldn’t help the full laugh that escaped her lips at Alex’s ridiculous suggestion. Suddenly their banter felt like it did before their weird moment on Friday and she wanted more of it.
“That may be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever heard. Please keep the cape at home with your chess set.”
“I already told you, it’s on the computer. I don’t sit there with a chess set.”
Quinn continued to laugh when she saw the offended look on Alex’s face. “But really, why do you still have the cape?” she asked.
“You have rehearsal soon. Will you please answer my question?” Alex asked in a mockingly stern voice.
“I see it doesn’t take much for you to get bossy again,” Quinn teased. “But yes, I will go on a date with you. When?”
“Tomorrow?” Alex asked and Quinn thought she looked adorable with her face scrunched up in such a hopeful expression.
“You don’t waste any time, do you?”
“I just wasted a whole weekend.”
“Smooth,” Quinn replied as she narrowed her eyes at Alex. “But fine, tomorrow it is. What are we doing?”
“It’s a surprise. I can pick you up at your apartment after your rehearsal. Would 5:00 work?”
The small smile that had slowly been growing on Quinn’s face finally broke out. She couldn’t help being charmed by Alex and there was no way she was going to miss out on a real date with this woman.
“I’ll text you my address,” Quinn said.
“I could technically just look it up in your artist profile.”
“Nerdy and creepy? You’re really winning today.”
“Hey, I brought you candy,” Alex said in a pout that Quinn didn’t buy. Alex clearly couldn’t pull off a pout.
“That was your only redeeming quality today.”
“I’ll have to tell Courtney. She said to bring something sweet.”
Quinn pulled Alex’s hand into her lap and scooted so their legs were completely pushed against each other’s.
Their heads were close enough that they didn’t need to speak above a whisper and it wouldn’t take much leaning in to be kissing Alex. Even the memory of what those lips felt like made her yearn to do just that.
“You told Courtney?” Quinn whispered, roaming her eyes over Alex’s face.
“I called her two minutes after you left.”
Alex moved her hand up so she could bring her fingers gently down Quinn’s face and lightly graze them over her lips. Quinn’s lips parted slightly and she closed her eyes for a moment at the feeling.
“I feel like I should be honest and tell you that she helped me plan the date because if I don’t, then Courtney will. She thinks the plan will help you think that I’m ‘less of a monkey’s ass’. Her words. I would never say that.”
“I knew I liked Courtney,” Quinn smiled back and leaned in even closer to Alex’s face. “I’ll have to send her a text and thank her. Depending on how you do on the date, of course.”
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