Going with you
A deep golden color filtered through the curtains, setting the room aglow, bathing it in a golden hue. It indicated that it was still early, as the shadows were long enough to continue from the floor to the walls.
A sense of peace washed through her as Max’ eyes fluttered and the sleep started to drain from her mind and body. As she stretched out her limbs, she turned her head and her lips automatically curled into a smile. There she was. Blue hair splayed out on the pillow, lips parted and not a single crease to be detected in her face. Warmth spread through her as Max admired her girlfriend as she slept peacefully. Suddenly tears welled up in her eyes, though they weren’t tears of sorrow or sadness. She was simply overwhelmed with relief and immense love and affection for the person next to her; her best friend, her girlfriend, her Chloe.
As quietly as she could, Max turned herself onto her side, propping an elbow onto the pillow, her head resting in her palm as she studied Chloe’s face. After everything they’d been through, she was still here, they were still here, together. It had been a promise from both sides and they were both determined to keep their promise to each other. Of course there were plenty of hard days, more than Max was willing to count, but those did not outnumber nor outweigh the good and great days. They had been through hell and back, the obstacles life threw at them were mere bumps in the road compared to what they’d faced during that week years ago.
Max refused to allow dark thoughts to take this moment away from her and focused on Chloe. She wiped away the tears from her cheeks and chin while a silent chuckle worked its way out, sending pleasant flutters through her chest. Her Chloe, the one person who mattered most to her in the entire world, as long as they were together, they could face anything.
A soft sigh escaped through her parted lips when her fingers tenderly brushed a few strands of Chloe’s hair from her face, causing her to stir. For a moment Max feared that she’d woken her up, but felt relief when Chloe exhaled and continued to sleep.
The sun crept higher into the sky, the deep golden color morphing into a paler golden-orange hue, shadows shrinking little by little. The see-through curtains dancing as a soft breeze came through the open window, sending a shiver through Max as her skin formed goosebumps in response. Chloe’s warmth made it hard for her to leave the bed, but her bladder urged her to get up to relieve it. As she got up as quietly as she could manage to, Max decided she’d make them a fresh pot of coffee once she’d emptied her bladder.
Chloe had moved, but was still fast asleep when Max returned and the coffeemaker was working on their fresh pot of coffee. Max smiled lovingly as she positioned herself back onto the bed, her now cold skin brushing against Chloe’s warmth. Chloe’s brows creased momentarily, then her arms and legs reached out towards Max, enveloping her in a full-body embrace. With a blissful sigh, Max nuzzled against her girlfriend and pressed her lips to Chloe’s warm skin.
Chloe’s eyes fluttered as she became aware of three things; the warmth of the sunlight on her face, the smell of fresh coffee being made and the sensation of warm, soft lips peppering kisses on her collarbones, the base of her throat and between her breasts. She became aware of the feeling of a familiar, smaller body pressed against her own, limbs entangled. Without opening her eyes, a smile crept onto her face and her chest was filled with warm flutters. The realization dawned on her that when she’d open her eyes, Chloe knew for a fact that she’d be confronted with the most beautiful view in the world.
When her eyes finally did open, remnants of sleep still caked in the corners, she was indeed met with the most breathtaking view she could ever hope for. There she was. The one person in the whole world who mattered most to her, who had allowed her to live, live with her. Max Caulfield. Her best friend, her girlfriend, her Max. The auburn hair was cast in a golden glow as the rays of sunshine illuminated it, Chloe’s heart hummed in her chest when Max looked up at her and their eyes met. Neither of them spoke, though they had an entire conversation as their eyes stared at each other, identical smiles decorating their faces. Chloe reached out her one hand and tenderly brushed some hair behind Max’ ear before the palm of her hand rested just below Max’ jaw, her thumb caressing the freckles on rosy cheeks.
Max leaned into the palm of Chloe’s hand, eyes closing while letting out a content sigh. Her own hand lazily traced featherlight random figures on Chloe’s bare side, causing the skin to form goosebumps in response. Her eyes opened again when the sound of Chloe giggling made its way to Max’ ears, her smile widening.
“That tickles,” Chloe breathed, though she didn’t move away.
Instead of stopping, Max let her fingers continue down Chloe’s side, until the tips danced atop an exposed hipbone. She watched Chloe’s eyes flutter closed again and breath hitching as Max’ fingertips trailed down and traced the soft skin of Chloe’s abdomen. Max bit her lower lip as her fingertips continued their journey, lingering when they reached the patch of short hairs between her girlfriend’s thighs. She waited. Only when Chloe nodded while breathing out a “please.” Max let her fingers trail further down. Her heart beat faster in her chest when Chloe let out a shaky breath, brows knit together and her bottom lip sucked in between her teeth.
A whimper was quickly followed by a soft moan when Max’ fingers came in contact with the slick warmth between Chloe’s inner thighs, Max sucked in a breath as she felt her cheeks flush. Her fingers were enveloped by the warmth of her girlfriend’s arousal as they slowly moved back and forth, brushing over the most sensitive spot between Chloe’s folds.
The hand that had been below Max’s jaw moved towards the back of her head, fingers weaving through her hair before taking hold of it while Max continued to let her fingertips dance around Chloe’s clit. The whimpers and moans became more frequent and grew louder as Max increased both pressure and speed, then Chloe sucked in a deep breath when Max let her fingers slide inside, while now her thumb focused on the slightly swollen clit.
She offered her girlfriend a moment to catch her breath, only to be faced with a pleading look from Chloe, begging Max not to stop, wordlessly. Max replied by pressing her own lips on those of her girlfriend, their tongues quickly finding each other while Max’ fingers resumed their movement. A breathy chuckle worked its way into Chloe’s mouth when Max felt Chloe’s hips thrust forward, causing Max’ fingers to slide in deeper. When Max curled the tips of her fingers when they were inside knuckle-deep, Chloe bit down Max’s lower lip. The heat in Max’ lower abdomen sparked and instantly increased at the sensation, intensifying even more when Chloe’s grip on her hair grew tighter as well. A soft moan worked its way into Chloe’s mouth and Max increased the speed of her fingers’ thrusts.
“F-fuck…” Chloe gasped, feeling the coiled heat in her lower abdomen grow tighter and more intense with every stroke of Max’ thumb and thrust of her index- and middle fingers.
“Hmm?” Max hummed, watching Chloe with lidded eyes. She knew Chloe was getting close by the way Chloe clung to her, breathing ragged and labored while hips jerked and her inner walls tensed around Max’ fingers.
“Fuck, Max…” Chloe desperately tried to keep her eyes from closing, though it was futile. But the moment Max suddenly halted her fingers’ movements, Chloe’s eyes snapped open in surprise. She let out a dissatisfied grunt, but Max simply smirked at her expectantly. “You’re hella evil,” Chloe muttered, receiving an unexpected thrust of Max’ fingers. A loud moan worked its way out of Chloe’s mouth, coloring her cheeks an even darker shade of pink than before.
“Oh, am I?” Max teased, barely able to contain a smug chuckle at Chloe’s facial expression. She curled the tips of her knuckle-deep fingers, to which Chloe whined in response, her back hollowing.
Chloe knew all too well what Max was getting at and she was struggling not to give in and cave, but she wouldn’t be Chloe Price if she were to just give in just like that. She wasn’t about to make it easy on Max, though that meant she was making it harder on herself in the end, which she would never admit. “You know damn well you are, Maximus,” Chloe answered as she tugged at Max’ hair, eliciting a whimpering moan from the brunette.
She quickly recovered and grinned mischievously, Chloe was right, of course, Max knew she was being an enormous tease right now. “Just like you know how to fix it.” Max whispered into Chloe’s ear, sending shivers down her girlfriend’s spine and back as her warm breath tickled Chloe’s ear and surrounding skin.
Spots danced in Chloe’s vision when Max’ thumb brushed over her clit, the coil in her core growing tighter and hotter. She was so very close… Fuck it. Chloe held Max’ head in place, her lips brushing against Max’ earshell as she whispered, “Please make me come, Max.”
Before Chloe had the chance to prepare, Max started to thrust her fingers once again, sliding in and out, curling when they were inside up to her knuckles and her thumb circling around Chloe’s now overly sensitive clit. Pleasant shivers were sent through her entire body as Chloe moaned into her ear while her fingers moved at the fastest pace Max could manage. She leaned back a little when she could tell Chloe was nearing the edge and captured her girlfriend’s lips with her own, moans now echoing into Max’ mouth. The warmth between their bodies became almost too much, a sheen of sweat now covering both of their upper bodies.
Chloe let go of Max’ hair and her fingers settled on Max’ back instead, knowing her nails would dig into the soft skin as soon as she was about to orgasm. The coil in her core was red hot and ready to spring, her hips rocked along with the movement of Max’ hand. Her breathing was shallow, moans now nothing but mere gasps. Her eyes were clamped shut and her brows knit, toes curling as the muscles in her lower abdomen tensed. Just as Chloe was about to warn Max, she felt the heat burst and wash through her as all her muscles tensed, a low and drawn-out moan flowing into Max’ mouth. Her nails dug into her girlfriend’s back while Max’ fingers curled once more, sending her over the edge.
Max felt her entire face flush as she watched Chloe orgasm, not yet retracting her fingers. Warmth pooled in her stomach as she admired her girlfriend, who now relaxed into the mattress as her muscles spasmed with the aftermath. The moment Chloe’s thighs lost their vice grip around Max’ wrist, Max pulled out her fingers slowly, bringing them to her lips and inside her mouth. Chloe’s eyes fluttered, watching the brunette lick her fingers clean.
When Chloe finally caught her breath and her legs had stopped spasming, she pulled Max closer and kissed her deeply. As always, it was a little strange to taste herself on Max’ tongue. She was overtaken by the sensation of pure bliss, her heart fluttering in her chest like a hummingbird’s wings.
“Wowser…” Chloe chuckled when Max’ eyes widened before the brunette snorted, resulting in the both of them laughing until their stomachs ached.
“That good, huh?” Max muttered, to which Chloe nodded.
“Hella good.” They exchanged another deep kiss before Chloe stretched and slowly sat up, quickly followed by Max. “Wanna join me for a shower?” she asked as she took Max’ hand in her own, then pressed soft and gentle kisses on her knuckles, eyes still looking into those of her girlfriend.
“Sure,” Max answered with an affectionate smile, “who gets to the bathroom last has to do the dishes!” Before Chloe could process what Max had said, the brunette was already out of the bed and on her way to their bathroom.
“Hey, no fair!” Chloe called as she rushed to follow, albeit with an amused chuckle.
With their hair still wrapped in towels, the two ate their breakfast in relative silence, taking sips of their coffee every now and then. Each time their eyes met, both of them grinned simultaneously. Mischief sparkled in Chloe’s eyes as her foot brushed against Max’ calf and shin, though Max didn’t seem to acknowledge it. Until Chloe suddenly felt Max’ other foot between her thighs, and she nearly choked on her cereal. But when she looked at Max, the brunette wore a nonchalant yet innocent expression.
“Damn, Max,” Chloe said, wiping some milk residue off her chin.
“Hmm? What is it, babe?” Chloe’s eyes widened, then narrowed, though Max seemed unaffected by it. “Don’t forget to do the dishes when you finish,” she said as she got up and brought her empty plate and mug to the kitchen counter. “I’ll get started on getting our stuff ready and packed,” she added and pressed a kiss on Chloe’s hair before walking off. Right before she left the room, she turned her head and blew a kiss while winking simultaneously.
Chloe let out a sigh and finished her cereal, making her way to the kitchen along with her now empty bowl and mug. At least the amount of dishes wasn’t too bad, yet. More often than not the counter wasn’t visible through the amount of dirty dishes, but they’d gotten better at taking care of them before it got out of hand.
When a pair of arms suddenly creeped around her middle from behind, Max jumped, her heart racing in her chest. Immediately she realized it was of course no other than Chloe. Max removed the earbuds from her ears and turned around to face her girlfriend with a scowl.
“You scared the crap out of me, Chlo.” Chloe simply shrugged and pressed her lips on Max’ forehead while her hands found their way into the back pockets of Max’ jeans.
“I’ll make it up to you,” Chloe said and pulled Max closer.
“You better,” Max replied and wrapped her arms around Chloe’s neck. “You should get dressed.”
“Boo,” Chloe protested as she produced a pout, “you’re no fun.”
Max raised a brow and gave Chloe a look, “You want to go like this?”
Chloe simply shrugged, “Why the hell not?” She flashed a grin when Max let out a sigh and rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll get dressed. Just for you though,” she said before pressing another kiss on Max’ forehead and releasing her girlfriend.
“That’s more like it.” Max smirked as she smacked Chloe’s butt, then turned back to finish packing. “You just have to pack your toothbrush and backpack.”
Chloe flashed her a bright smile as she removed the towel from her head, hair still somewhat damp. “Thanks Maxaroni,” she whispered, smacked Max’ butt as take-back and went to hang up both her towels in the bathroom to dry.
After brushing her teeth, Chloe quickly pulled a brush through her hair and threw both brushes in their shared toiletries bag before zipping it closed and tossing the bag in Max’ direction. “Catch!”
Max whipped around and by some miracle, she actually managed to catch the bag before it could crash onto the floor.
“Nice job, hippie,” Chloe praised, genuinely impressed. “Did you pack my so—”
“Yes, along with three pairs of boxers.”
Chloe smiled, “You’re the best, Super Max.”
“That’s what she said.” Chloe threw her head back as she laughed, shaking her head when Max flashed her a smile with freckled cheeks flushed.
“Damn babe, you’re stealing all my lines here!” Chloe wrapped her arms around Max’ waist from behind again and peppered kisses in her girlfriend’s neck. “You’re lucky that I love you,” she said as she rested her chin on Max’ shoulder.
At that, Max’ lips curled up into a fond smile and a soft sigh slipped through them. She nodded and rested her cheek against the crown of Chloe’s head. “I really am, Chloe. Love you too,” she whispered, allowing herself to soak in this moment for just a bit. Her hands rested on top of Chloe’s, her fingers slipping between her girlfriend’s automatically. They just stood like that for a minute or two, until Chloe pressed a kiss on Max’ cheek before retracting her arms and stepping away.
Chloe got dressed rather quickly and checked her backpack once more to make sure she didn’t forget anything.
“Phone chargers?” Max asked.
“Check, and my phone is in my pocket.”
“You got the food from the fridge?”
“Yes ma’am,” Chloe beamed, “also got the drinks and some extra snacks.”
“Alright, I’ve got everything packed.” Max closed the duffel bag and checked her messenger bag just one more time, despite having it checked at least four times already. “Got my camera, extra film, got both our medication, have my journal… “ Max looked around and perked up when she found her headphones and rolled them up, then put them in a small pocket of her messenger bag. “Headphones now too, phone’s in my pocket…”
“Sounds like we’re ready to jet,” Chloe said as she threw the duffel bag over her shoulder, her backpack slung over the other.
Max bit her lip as she admired Chloe’s arm muscles, a blush creeping on her cheeks. She slung the strap of her messenger bag over her head and onto her shoulder, then followed Chloe out of their apartment and closed the front door after having made sure she had her keys. She locked the door and walked to the truck, where Chloe was already waiting for her. The tarp was secured tightly in place, in case there’d be rain.
They climbed into the truck’s cab and kissed each other before putting on their seatbelt. Chloe brought the truck to life and slowly pulled out of the driveway while Max took care of the music. Chloe was surprised when the music started playing, it wasn’t the kind of music Max usually listened to, as a matter of fact, this was Chloe’s kind of music.
“What? Not good? I can skip it—”
“No, leave it. I was just—”
“Surprised?” Max interjected, Chloe nodded. “I don’t hate the music you listen to, you know.” When Chloe shot her an incredulous look, Max chuckled. “Don’t look at me like that, Chlo!”
Chloe raised her arms in the air as if surrendering, noticing the instant worry on Max’ face and quickly put her hands back on the steering wheel. “Like I said, just surprised.”
Neither of them spoke for a while, though their hands found each other and fingers intertwined. Every now and then Chloe would give Max’ hand a gentle squeeze, causing the brunette to smile lovingly and squeeze Chloe’s hand in return.
They’d been driving for nearly an hour and a half and Max had passed out a while ago, Chloe smiled as she glanced sideways and saw a serene expression on her girlfriend’s face. She was just relieved that the nightmares had reduced, for both of them. Bad dreams and night terrors still plagued both of them occasionally, but nowhere near as often as a few years ago. Partially thanks to therapy and medication. Chloe’s heart ached painfully as her mind drifted off to that one week that changed both their lives forever. It was still hard to fathom that it had been just one week, not even, merely a school week. In reality it had been nearly two months worth of time, though to the rest of the world it had been just a single week.
A sign caught Chloe’s eye and pulled her out of her thoughts. There was a rest stop in about half a mile, they’d be able to fill up the tank a bit and stretch their legs while taking a break from driving. For Chloe at least. Max had offered to drive part of the ride so Chloe could relax a bit, but both of them knew that was unlikely to actually happen. As another sign indicated that the stop was now only a quarter mile away, Chloe squeezed Max’ hand a few times.
“Wakey wakey, Maximus,” Chloe said, shaking their hands to stir Max awake. When Max started moving, Chloe grinned, “I’m gonna pull over at a rest stop for a bit, so we can stretch our legs and fill up this lady’s tank.”
“Mhm,” Max mumbled, slowly waking up from her nap. Her eyes opened and her lips curled up into a smile as she saw Chloe behind the wheel. “Wait… Chloe?!”
“The one and only, babe.” Chloe let out a soft chuckle and brought their hands close to her face, then kissed the back of Max’ hand with a loving smile.
“Oh,” Max whispered as realization settled in. She remembered where she was and where they were going. It had been just another dream, luckily not a bad one this time. A blush crept on her cheeks when Chloe kissed the back of her hand before releasing it, putting both hands on the steering wheel as Chloe turned to exit the highway and into the rest stop.
“You alright?” Max nodded and stretched. “I’ll fill her up and then we’ll park further down to stretch our legs and whatever.” Again, Max nodded while humming in affirmation. The truck stopped and Max looked around, watching people enter and exit the small shop, filling up their cars and driving off after doing so. “Will be right back,” Chloe said and pecked Max on the cheek before getting out of the truck.
Max watched Chloe as she filled up the truck, sticking out her tongue when she noticed Max watching her. Max let out a hearty chuckle and stuck out her tongue in return. Without looking, she grabbed her camera from her bag and held it up, pressing down the shutter when Chloe turned her head to face Max again. There hadn’t been an opportunity for Chloe to make a face, this time. Max took out the polaroid and held it as it developed, once it had, she smiled widely. The shot was nearly perfect, Max decided. She put her camera into her bag again and put away the polaroid in the pocket in the front of her messenger bag. That one would definitely get a special place.
Chloe got back in the truck and drove towards the parking area, parking the truck in front of a picnic table. Any other vehicles were a little distance away, so when Chloe cut the engine and they opened their doors, it was reasonably quiet.
“How long have we been driving?” Max asked curiously as they both got out and stretched. The sun was peeking out from behind a large cloud and offering her some welcome warmth.
Chloe made her way over to Max and wrapped her arms around the smaller woman’s waist, “Little over an hour and a half,” she answered and softly pressed her lips against Max’.
“So we’re nearly halfway…” Chloe nodded in confirmation. “So I’ll drive next?” With a grin Chloe shook her head. “No?”
“You just relax, cutie. I’ll do the driving, it keeps my thoughts occupied.” She pressed a kiss on top of Max’ head when the brunette rested her cheek against one of Chloe’s collarbones, arms resting on Chloe’s lower back.
Max hummed, clarifying she understood. Chloe tended to try and keep herself busy and occupied, to keep the dark thoughts and memories at bay a little. It wasn’t avoidance, they’d both learned by now that avoiding and pushing aside those thoughts and memories only worked against them in the long run. Occupying her mind was simply a coping mechanism for Chloe, like journaling and photography was for Max. Sometimes Max would find Chloe sketching, the side of her palm covered in charcoal or smudged pencil, eyes completely focused on the paper in front of her.
“Whad’ya thinking about?” Chloe asked, pulling Max from her thoughts.
“You,” Max confessed with a small smile, leaning back and letting her eyes find Chloe’s.
“You’re so cute,” Chloe replied and chuckled as she ruffled Max’ hair. She went to sit on the picnic table and patted the space between her legs invitingly. Max followed and sat down, sighing happily when Chloe’s arms draped around her shoulders from behind. “Nervous?” Chloe asked when Max put her head down, her face facing the sky above.
Max shrugged, but then she gave Chloe a nod. “Yeah, a little. Wondering how much it has changed, but excited to see our friend again. And Joyce,” she answered and Chloe nodded with understanding. “Do you think she’d be willing to make us waffles?”
“And bacon omelette? Absolutely!”
“I really missed waffles…”
“Oh, come on, Caulfield. You’ve had waffles not too long ago,” Chloe said with a snort.
“Yeah, but not Two Whales’ waffles.”
Chloe let out a sigh of defeat, “You got me there, Maxaroni.” She grabbed her backpack and took out two water bottles. After handing one to Max, she set the other to her lips and emptied the bottle halfway. “Don’t forget to pee before we get back on the road,” she said and received an eye roll from the brunette.
“Ready?” Chloe asked as she stood and held out her hand to her girlfriend.
“Wait, let’s take a picture first.”
Chloe smiled affectionately and stood behind Max, arms wrapped around her neck. “Arrrr!” The instant camera flashed and a few seconds later it spit out a polaroid, which would take a few moments to develop fully. “Alright, move that cute butt of yours!” Chloe said and squeezed Max’ buttcheek before making her way to the driver’s seat of the truck.
Max yelped and shot Chloe a playful glare before making her way to the truck as well, putting down her messenger bag before hopping onto the seat. “Sneaky,” she muttered, receiving a proud smirk from her girlfriend.
“You love it.”
The rest of the drive went by pretty smoothly, they ate their packed lunches, sang along to some of the songs that both of them knew by heart by now and enjoyed the view.
When Chloe asked about it, they discussed Max’ current photo project. Chloe listened as Max gushed and enjoyed seeing the passion in her girlfriend’s eyes as she spoke about terms Chloe was only vaguely familiar with.
“Oh, Steph asked me to remind you to get back to her,” Max said when she was checking her phone.
“Fuck, I completely forgot!” Chloe cursed and hit the steering wheel with frustration. “Will do as soon as we stop,” Chloe said, pausing to make sure she took the right exit and was in the correct lane. “You heard from Kate?”
Max nodded, “Hmhm, she’ll meet us at the diner.” As she continued checking the rest of her messages, she raised her eyebrows as a new message popped up on her screen. When she opened it and read it, her lips curled up into a smile.
A silence fell over them when a familiar sign came into view: ‘Welcome to Arcadia Bay’. There were very mixed feelings, but as their hands found each other and fingers intertwined, Max exhaled slowly, trying to calm her nerves. They were together and they wouldn’t let anything bad happen to each other.
Chloe squeezed Max’ hand as they drove into Arcadia Bay, a lump forming in her throat. She was looking forward to seeing Joyce again, David on the other hand… Not so much. They didn’t fight anymore, but it was still tricky to navigate the kind of relationship they had. She inhaled deeply through her nose and exhaled through her mouth slowly. Unclenching her jaw when she could see Max looking at her from the corner of her vision, she managed a small smile.
“You’re not alone, Chlo,” Max whispered, Chloe nodded.
“Thanks, babe.” It was odd to drive through this town again, it was familiar still, despite the fact that it didn’t look the same as when they had left. Chloe noticed that it helped, as the bad memories weren’t attached to the new buildings and now-empty-plots. But as they neared the Two Whales diner, it was clear that the restoration had made it look not too different. A double feeling planted itself in the pit of Chloe’s stomach, as well in Max’. “Well, this is gonna be hella hard…”
“We’ll take our time,” Max assured. Chloe parked the truck beside the diner, killed the engine and sat back with a deep sigh. “Whenever you’re ready.”
“Don’t think I’ll ever be,” Chloe mumbled as she closed her eyes. Max watched as Chloe’s brows knit together, jaw clenched and body tensed.
Chloe looked up in surprise at that, not exactly sure what Max meant. Before she had the opportunity to ask, Max continued.
“You’re stronger than you think, Chlo. You’ve grown so much, I know you can do this. If David’s being—”
“Yeah, then we can just go. Though I’ll tell him off, first.” Max chuckled, with Chloe joining in. Chloe brought their hands to her lips and pressed several kisses on Max’ knuckles before tugging at her hand, causing Max to lean over to her. They met halfway for a deep kiss, their tongues brushing against each other lazily as Chloe felt Max’ free hand against her cheek. When they broke the kiss, their foreheads leaned against each other for a few minutes, taking comfort in the contact and the quiet.
“Let’s do this,” Chloe whispered after a little while.
“Let’s do this,” Max agreed and pressed her lips on Chloe’s forehead before exiting the truck. They met in front of the truck and held hands, then made their way to the diner.
There was a gentle chime when they pushed the door open and they stood still as they were faced with the familiar, yet vaguely recognizable Two Whales interior. With slacked jaws, Max and Chloe turned their heads simultaneously to each other, before taking it all in again. Despite the outside looking barely any different, the inside of the diner definitely had gotten a facelift. All the furniture was obviously new and more colorful than before. The tables and countertop were semi-shiny and smooth and the old jukebox had been replaced with a similar looking one. The floor was completely spotless, along with the windows. The diner had kept its charm, but looked a little brighter; truly a fresh start.
“Well if it isn’t the guests of honor!” Max smiled widely as soon as she heard the Southern drawl of Joyce’s voice.
“Hey mom,” Chloe said, uselessly trying to hide a small smile as they walked further inside. Joyce met them at their booth and hugged both of them before pouring them a fresh cup of coffee.
“It is so good to see you two again, girls,” Joyce said with an earnest smile. “I’ve missed you.”
“We missed you too, Joyce.”
“Speak for yourself, Caulfield,” Chloe teased, receiving an elbow to the arm from Max and a soft shove against her head from Joyce. “Hey, don’t gang up on me! Alright, yeah, I missed you too, mom.”
Joyce winked at Max as she set her hands on her hips, “Now, tell me how you two have been.”
As they were catching up, the little bell by the door chimed as a customer walked in. Only when Joyce stepped aside, Max and Chloe got to see who it was.
“Kate!” Max exclaimed and got up, walking into Kate’s inviting arms and hugging her friend. “It is so good to see you again.”
“Been a while since we’ve seen each other, in person I mean,” Kate replied and let go of Max, then turned to Chloe and Joyce, greeting them with a friendly smile.
“Tea for Miss Marsh?” Joyce asked and Kate nodded politely. “Coming right up, take a seat.”
“You look good,” Max said, Chloe nodded in agreement. Their hands clasped underneath the table again already.
“Well, I can say the same to you, Max and Chloe.” Kate set down her bag next to her and took something out, then handed a gift-wrapped rectangle to the couple. “Also, I have a little surprise for you.”
Chloe sat up a bit straighter and helped Max tear off the wrapping paper, as soon as she saw what it was, she grinned. “Kate, is this the new book?” she asked with a genuine smile. Kate confirmed by nodding, watching the couple closely for their reaction as they skimmed through it. “It looks great!”
“Kate, this is amazing! Love how colorful it is,” Max said as she flipped through the pages. “I can’t wait to read it later.”
“Chloe…” Max let out a sigh and shook her head, then yelped when Chloe suddenly grabbed her waist and pulled her close. She felt her cheeks flush and carefully put the book down. “Thank you, Kate.”
“You are very welcome, Max. I hope you’ll like it, please let me know what both of you think once you’ve read it?”
“You got it, Kate!” Chloe promised.
As the little bell chimed again, all of them looked over at the door to see who had entered. Chloe’s jaw dropped as Steph appeared beside their table.
“Hey Chloe, Max, Kate.”
“Dude!” Chloe exclaimed, expression still one of surprise. “I thought you were in the big apple!”
“I was,” Steph replied smugly, to which Max and Kate chuckled. Meanwhile, Chloe merely snorted.
“No, that’d be you, Price.” Steph turned to Max and shook her head, “I don’t know how you put up with that one, Caulfield.”
“I have my ways,” Max responded, answering with a high five when Steph held her hand up.
“Nice one, Max.” Steph winked, then took a seat next to Kate. “So how’ve you lovebirds been?” As her eyes fell upon the book on the table, she reached out while asking, “Oh, is this the new book, Kate?”
Kate nodded with a somewhat shy smile, gesturing for Steph to go ahead and take a look at it.
“We’ve been doing alright,” Max answered.
“All things considered,” Chloe chimed in.
“Got booked for a project, which I’m currently working on,” Max explained and answered some questions both Kate and Steph asked about said project.
Before they knew it, Joyce stopped by their table again to ask what they wanted to eat for dinner. None of them needed to look at the menu anymore, just like how Joyce didn’t need to write it down. She knew everyone’s order by heart, even Steph’s.
The group talked about their work, about relationships and where they currently lived. Of course they talked about their shared friends as well; Warren and Brooke were still studying but had made plans to move in together. Dana and Trevor were still together and had gotten engaged recently. Juliet had gotten a job at the state’s newspaper and Victoria was working to take over her parents’ art gallery in the near future. Courtney was still studying fashion design, while Taylor had gone to med-school to become a nurse. Alyssa had a third book published about a month ago and Daniel had become a fairly well-known artist and was able to draw for a living. Drew had graduated from Oregon State University and was in a football team, though Chloe had already forgotten the team’s name. Mikey was still studying and lived with his dad, who’d found a stable job some years ago. And Samantha worked at the state’s library and archive nowadays, which they all agreed on that it suited her.
As Max and Kate started talking about books and photography, Chloe and Steph discussed the tattoo design for Steph’s tattoo. A sketchpad was pulled out and Steph and Kate switched places, leaving both Steph and Chloe on the window-side.
“So, kinda like this?” Chloe asked after finishing a rough sketch, turning it so it faced Steph. Judging by the way her eyes sparkled and a smile grew wider on her face, it was to Steph’s liking. “This is just a rough sketch, it’ll have to be refined, still,” Chloe continued.
“Yeah, no, this is totally awesome!” Steph said without taking her eyes off the sketch. “Seriously Chloe, this is so good!” Chloe simply shrugged, not sure how exactly to respond to the compliment.
“Glad you like it so far, just let me know if there needs to be any changes and such. I’ll send you updates when I get to sit down and do the actual linework.”
“Sounds good to me,” Steph replied and pushed the sketchpad back to Chloe. Just then, Joyce arrived with their food.
“Pack up the books and papers, ladies,” Joyce said with a smile, “A double cheeseburger with steak fries for Chloe.” Chloe rubbed her hands with excitement after having safely put away her sketchpad and pencil, eliciting a chuckle from all the others. “Grilled chicken with sweet potato fries for Miss Marsh.”
“Thank you, Joyce. It smells and looks amazing,” Kate said with a kind smile, which Joyce returned.
“Thanks, will make sure to pass it on to the cook.” She put the plate down in front of Kate, then turned to Steph, “Miss Gingrich’s Two Whales chicken burger with mushrooms.”
“Still don’t understand how you can eat mushrooms,” Chloe said as she wrinkled her nose, Steph simply shrugged, then stuck out her tongue.
“And for Max, of course, the Whale supreme.”
“Thanks Joyce!” they all said in unison and dug right in. Just a moment later, Joyce returned with their drinks before tending to the other customers.
“Damn, I almost forgot how good the burgers here are,” Chloe said in between bites.
“No kidding,” Steph agreed after swallowing a mouthful. “There’s plenty of good food in the city, don’t get me wrong, but… Nothing beats Two Whales’ burgers.”
“Their grilled chicken is always perfect, my dad agrees,” Kate chimed in.
Max simply listened to the others talk while she ate, her lips curled up into a smile. It was nice to catch up with their friends again and enjoy a good meal together.
“Good evening ladies.” Max felt Chloe stiffen next to her and put a hand on Chloe’s upper leg while turning to face David who stood at the end of their booth’s table.
“Hello David,” Max said with a small nod.
Kate and Steph said their hellos, though they had also noticed Chloe’s sudden change in body language.
“How have you been?” Max asked, trying to keep the conversation from turning awkward.
David smiled, “I’ve been… Getting better, therapy’s helping.”
Chloe turned to finally look at her step dad, noticing the vulnerability in his voice. “You’re going to therapy?”
“Your mother convinced me to go, and you know your mom. She was right, of course, it helps. Been working on my anger management for one,” he answered, then his smile disappeared. “Which also brings me to this,” he swallowed and thought for a moment, “I want to apologize for my behavior in the past, Chloe. And don’t worry, I do not expect you to forgive me, but I realized that I’ve hurt you in the past and that my behavior was unacceptable.”
There was a silence, Max squeezed Chloe’s leg and sent her a comforting look. Chloe nodded and looked up at David again. “Thank you, step-D—” Chloe stopped herself, took a breath and flashed Max a smug expression. “Step-Dave.”
David started laughing and before they knew what was happening, Chloe and Max started laughing as well. Not much later, Steph and Kate couldn’t keep their laughter in, filling the diner with it.
“What’s so funny, hmm?” Joyce asked as she approached the booth, her smile one of both relief and gratitude.
As Chloe explained, Joyce’s eyes visibly filled with pride, her smile affectious.
“Well, I think that makes this the perfect opportunity and time to tell them. What do you think, girls?” Joyce asked as she turned to Steph and Kate, who nodded in agreement.
“Tell us what?” Chloe asked, “What’s going on?” Max shrugged, she was just as clueless as Chloe was.
After sharing some looks with Kate, Joyce and David, Steph leaned forward and flashed the couple a mischievous grin. “So, we kinda have a surprise for you two…” she started, the other three nodded. “But it requires a little drive, if that’s alright with you.”
Max and Chloe looked at each other, having a wordless conversation, both completely in the dark about what it could possibly be.
“I can drive this time,” Max said and Chloe nodded. “Alright then, just show us the way.”
Joyce quickly cleared the table and clocked out, leaving the diner in the hands of her co-worker who had arrived for the late shift just about half an hour ago. David and Joyce got into his car, while Kate joined Steph in her small car.
“Did you know about this?” Max asked as she started the truck and drove off the parking lot, following David and Steph’s cars.
“Even if I did, you know I’d still say ‘no’,” Chloe answered. Max stuck out her tongue before looking both left and right, then crossed the crossroad and caught up with the other two cars again. “Wait a minute…”
“This is the way to—”
“The pirate fort…” Chloe interjected, sitting up a little straighter. They shared a look before a silence fell over them, their hands holding each other’s.
As the other two cars parked, Max let go of Chloe’s hand and parked neatly beside Steph’s small car. Her stomach filled with curiosity and giddiness, her heart beating a little faster as she got out of the truck.
“Alright, you should both close your eyes,” Kate said, receiving hesitant looks from both Max and Chloe. “I promise nothing bad will happen!” They kinda flinched at that, but relaxed when Kate flashed them a genuine smile.
“Trust us, Chloe. It’ll be worth it.” Steph winked at them and after another silent conversation between Max and Chloe, they nodded, then closed their eyes.
“I swear, if this turns out to be some prank, you’re all in for some hella asskicking!” Chloe grumbled, receiving a shoulder bump from her girlfriend. “What? Just saying.”
It wasn’t very far, luckily. After what Max estimated to have been not even ten minutes, they were told to stop, but keep their eyes closed. There was some rustling and soft giggles, but other than that it was reasonably quiet. Max held onto Chloe’s hand a little tighter in anticipation and tried to keep her breathing even.
“Come on, you guys!” Chloe snapped anxiously, relaxing a little bit when Max snaked an arm around her back and her hand rested on Chloe’s side.
“Almost!” Steph called out, followed by some more rustling.
“You can open your eyes!” Kate called from a little distance away.Max and Chloe opened their eyes and gasped simultaneously.
“Surprise!” A chorus of familiar voices called out and Max felt tears welling up in her eyes. Chloe’s arm around her shoulders pulled her closer and let out a breath which she hadn’t realized to have held in. Almost everyone was standing a couple of meters away, arms outstretched towards the pirate fort, their pirate fort. It was unmistakable, despite it being quite different from how it was when they’d last visited it. There were lights strung around the exterior walls, as well as along the steps up to it. As shabby as it had been left behind a few years, it looked sturdy and cozy now.
Max’ parents were there, Warren and Brooke on the opposite side of the upgraded fort. Dana, Trevor and Justin beamed at them, even Victoria was there and wore a genuine smile on her face. And of course Joyce, David, Steph and Kate were among the group as well.
When Max turned to face Chloe, she discovered she wasn’t the only one who was emotional. They wrapped their arms around each other and let the tears flow freely, which felt surprisingly good. Soon they felt the arms of Max’ parents around them, joined by Joyce’s and assumingly, everyone else’s.
“We really hope we did a good job,” Warren said, “as we didn’t want to change it too much.”
“Just improve it,” Brooke added.
“You two deserve it,” Ryan said with a somewhat strained voice. When Max looked up at her dad, she saw his eyes were glassy, but he wore a wide smile.
“You guys…” Chloe muttered, wiping away some tears from her face in the process, “this is hella awesome!”
“We all helped out, though Ryan, David, Justin and Trevor did most of the labor.”
“Hey!” Steph, Dana and Victoria chastised in a chorus, resulting in a discussion erupting.
“I think you all did an amazing job!” Kate said, ending the discussion from escalating instantly. Max laughed and nodded, joined by Chloe.
“This is really cool,” Max said while wiping away a few leftover tears.
They got a little tour through the fort, which kinda looked like a treehouse now on the inside. There was a bed, which in reality was just a couple of wooden pallets with a mattress, sheets and covers on top, but Chloe and Max thought it was incredible. There was a small look-out deck, which literally just fit the two of them, thus being perfect. There was a small table with two very simple folding chairs and a little cabinet to put some stuff in. Most spectacularly, there was a corner that could suffice as a kitchenette, almost. But to Max and Chloe, this was paradise.
There was beer and wine and Ryan surprised Max with her guitar that he had brought, to both of their surprise. They all sat outside, around the small bonfire that had been created, while Max played a song or two and they all talked until it had gotten entirely dark.
David talked to Chloe and showed her where they had connected the electricity, explaining where to store the cables whenever they would leave again. In the meantime Trevor and Justin went to grab the couple’s stuff from the truck.
After what seemed like an hour or two at most, a lot of their friends said their goodbyes and they all promised to hang out the following day. Slowly but surely it got more quiet until just Max, Chloe, Steph, Kate, Max’s parents and Joyce and David were left. Ryan and Vanessa wished them all a good night, along with Joyce and David, hugged the young couple and made their way to where the cars had been parked. Apparently Ryan and Vanessa were staying over at Chloe’s house, so it made sense they would leave together with Joyce and David.
“We’ll leave you two alone as well, so you get to actually enjoy your first night in there together.” When Steph followed it up with a wink, Max felt her cheeks flush and avoided her and Kate’s gazes.
“Very subtle, Gingrich,” Chloe teased and playfully punched Steph in the shoulder.
“Am I wrong, though?” she shot back with a smug smirk. “That’s what I thought. Come on Kate,” Steph said and held her arm out for Kate to grab. “I’ll give you a ride back.”
“Thanks, Steph. That is very kind of you,” Kate replied with a smile and took hold of Steph’s arm.
“Thanks again, you guys,” Max said and gave them both a quick hug.
“You can thank us tomorrow,” Steph said, but didn’t respond to the quizzical look Max gave her in response. “Sweet dreams, lovebirds!”
When they heard Steph’s small car drive off in the distance, Max snuggled into Chloe’s embrace and let out a sigh. It had been really nice, but she was glad to be alone with Chloe again.
“Tired?” Chloe asked as they walked back towards the fort.
Max nodded and shrugged, “A little,” she confessed. “I still can barely believe they did this for us…” she muttered as she looked up at the fort that held so many fond memories. She smiled as she thought back to all the adventures they had here when they were kids, she’d always treasured those adventures with Captain Bluebeard.
“Well, you won’t hear me complain!” Chloe said with an excited grin, “I’m ready to test out this bed, what do you say?” Carefree laughter floated into the air as Chloe pulled Max along, inside their revamped pirate fort.
Max bit her lip and nodded, before pulling Chloe in for a deep kiss. “That sounds like a good idea,” she breathed, looking at Chloe with lidded eyes.
“Sometimes I actually have some good ideas,” Chloe whispered, to which Max simply nodded before pulling herself up again to press her lips on Chloe’s once more. However, when Chloe leaned back, Max’ eyes widened with confusion. “Speaking of…” Max eyes widened at first, then narrowed with suspicion.
“What are you up to, Chlo?” Her curiosity grew when Chloe didn’t answer right away and her cheeks flushed, coloring a deep pink. The way Chloe bit her lower lip made it clear she was nervous, though Max was uncertain what caused it. She waited patiently, even after Chloe had let out a heavy sigh and did a step back, holding Max’ hands in her own.
“Max…” The way Chloe said her name caused Max’ heart to beat rapidly in her chest, flutters rushing through her stomach in anticipation. To let her girlfriend know she was listening, Max hummed encouragingly and gave Chloe’s hands a gentle squeeze.
Chloe looked up into Max’ eyes and couldn’t help but smile, here they were, where everything started. In the very fort where Chloe had realized Max was more than ‘just a friend’, so many years ago, before she had even been able to comprehend what exactly that had meant.
“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask…” Chloe started, desperately trying to keep her nerves from spinning out of control. She inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled, smiling when Max squeezed her hands again, encouraging her. “This is hella hard, so I’m just gonna throw it out, before I freak.” She hesitated for a moment, then nodded to herself and reached into the inside pocket of her jacket. Her hands were trembling, but she made sure not to drop it. As Max audibly gasped, Chloe felt her heart accelerate, even more so when she lowered herself and looked up into Max’ beautiful blue eyes. When she saw tears welling up in Max’ eyes, she felt herself tear up as well. Chloe swallowed and held back, not yet allowing the tears to escape. “Max Caulfield, my best friend and first mate, do you want to marry me?”
Despite her trying, Max was unable to fight the tears any longer. As she opened her mouth to reply, she choked out a sob and decided to just nod until she was able to swallow. “Wowsers, Chloe… Yes, goodness, yes!” She watched as Chloe put a simple yet beautiful ring around her finger with a trembling hand. Max tugged at Chloe’s hands and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Their tears mingled as their cheeks and lips touched, along with blissful laughter.
“I love you so much,” Chloe breathed, then reunited their lips again, and again, and again.
“I love you too, Chloe,” Max whispered, holding on to her tightly. She was never letting go, never again.
“This is what you do to me, Caulfield.”
“You make me hella mushy!”
Max laughed gleefully and shook her head in disbelief. “I promise I won’t tell anyone how hella mushy Chloe Elizabeth Price truly is,” Max said and kissed Chloe once more.
“But seriously, do you… Do you like it?” Chloe watched Max nervously as the brunette inspected the ring around her finger.
Max took a closer look at the ring, the band was a silver color, although it could be whitegold too, she wasn’t quite certain. There were three stones, with the one in the middle being larger than the other two next to it. The color of those resembled the blue butterfly, as well as Chloe’s hair. Its design was minimal, which fit Max perfectly.
“I don’t like it,” Max said. When Chloe’s face fell, Max felt instant guilt. “I mean I don’t like it, because I love it,” she clarified with a mischievous grin.
“You really had me there, Maximus.” Chloe snorted and lifted Max off the floor, only to drop both of them onto the mattress. She took off her jacket and threw it aside carelessly, her lips already focused on the side of Max’ neck. She only stopped when Max softly whispered her name. “Hmm?”
“How mad would you be if I asked for a picture together?” Chloe smirked and leaned over to grab Max’ bag, then handed it to her.
“Let’s take a picture, hippie,” Chloe chuckled and sat next to Max, then pressed a kiss on Max’ cheek while Max held her hand up. They waited for the polaroid to develop and agreed that they both approved. Once the photograph and camera were safely stored in Max’ messenger bag again, Chloe went to set it down on the floor again, then quickly returned to the bed. “alright, where was I?”
Max giggled as Chloe attacked her with kisses, wrapping her hands around Chloe’s neck only to pull her closer. She whimpered softly when Chloe’s lips found her earlobe and tugged at it, though gently.
As their hands roamed each other’s bodies, garments were discarded one by one. Their shoes had fallen to the floor a while ago, soon followed by their shirts and pants, leaving them just in their underwear and socks. The way Chloe removed Max’ socks was both sensual and funny, mostly due to the faces Chloe would make while doing so. Max’ skin was tingling when Chloe’s lips cherished her pale legs from her ankles, up to her thighs. Max sucked in a breath when Chloe’s lips brushed over the fabric of her undies, causing the warmth in her lower abdomen to grow hotter. Slight disappointment settled in when Chloe moved her lips away, until soft lips kissed along the band of Max’ cream white bra, leaving goosebumps in their wake.
“You’re so beautiful,” Chloe murmured as her eyes found those of Max. She smiled lovingly when Max’ freckled cheeks turned a deep pink at the compliment. “You really are, babe.”
Chloe’s fingers trailed up Max’ arms until they hooked around the bra straps on the brunette’s shoulders and moved them to the side, off Max’ shoulders. With a little bit of help from Max, Chloe slid the straps completely off Max’ arms, then let one hand trace the band to the back. When Max hollowed her back, Chloe looked up at Max again, about to ask permission when Max breathed a pleading “yes.”. She unhooked the clasp with just her thumb, middle- and index finger, causing the bra to slide to the side and off Max’ chest. Chloe took the time to admire her fiancée’s breasts and the adorable freckles that decorated the pale skin. As her fingers brushed across the skin, her touch light as a feather, the freckled skin once more covered in goosebumps in response.
As Chloe’s lips kissed her chest, Max could swear she was about to melt. However, she stopped Chloe from continuing downwards, pulling her up instead for a deep kiss. It had been too long since Chloe’s lips had been on hers for Max’ liking. Her hands wound up in Chloe’s hair while one of Chloe’s hands cupped one of her breasts, causing Max to gasp in surprise. Chloe’s fingers were cool against her warm skin, sending small shocks through her that made her mind spin. This was only intensified when she felt the tip of Chloe’s tongue play with the piercing in hers. A soft moan echoed into Chloe’s mouth when fingers gently pinched her nipple, then rolled it in between finger tips.
“Fuck, Chlo—” Max was cut off as another moan escaped when Chloe’s teeth grazed her throat while fingers softly tugged at her nipple.
“Anything for my Super Max,” Chloe whispered against Max’ jaw, before kissing the sensitive skin there. “Tell me what you want, Max. Anything.” The arousal was clearly audible in her voice, as she was turned on by the sounds Max was already producing in response to her actions.
Her mind was hazy, which made it more difficult to form any coherent thoughts, leaving Max to simply stare at Chloe while trying to focus. “I—What?”
It was absolutely adorable how Max looked at her with brows knit while attempting to concentrate. Chloe chuckled softly and kissed the brunette tenderly. “I asked you to tell me what you want,” Chloe repeated herself with a smirk.
“You,” Max answered, “always you.”
“Luckily for you, I’m already yours, Maximus.” Chloe grinned when Max rolled her eyes playfully, then kissed Max again. “I want to make love to you, Maxine Caulfield.” Her heart accelerated once again when Max simply stared at her, then watched Max bite down her lip and release it ever so slowly. Chloe wondered if Max realized how much of an effect she had on her, how such a small motion sent a frenzy of butterflies through her stomach and chest.
“Please,” Max mouthed, then repeated herself when she realized no sound had come out. The nervous excitement made her feel light, but it left her mind hazy. Luckily there was no need to think any longer, as Chloe went ahead and continued to let her lips explore Max’ freckled skin. Soft lips found one of her nipples, eliciting a moan from Max when Chloe’s tongue flicked against it.
While Chloe’s dominant hand trailed further down, her other hand found Max’ and let their fingers intertwine. She reveled in the soft moans and whimpering Max produced, feeling the heat in her core grow more intense as her fingertips met the elastic band of Max’ undies. Before Chloe got the chance to ask for consent, Max whimpered, “Yes.”
With a smirk, Chloe grazed Max’ nipple with her teeth while her hand slipped underneath the waistband and pushed the garment down far enough to give her plenty of space to work with. With a thin thread of saliva still connected, Chloe moved her lips to focus on Max’ other nipple. Her hand lowered and fingers caressed the short pubic hairs before sliding between soaked folds, eliciting a deep, low moan from Max. Another one flowed freely from Max’ throat when the tips of Chloe’s fingers brushed past Max’ clit teasingly. However, she didn’t offer the brunette the opportunity to complain, as Chloe slid both fingers inside.
Max’ grip on Chloe’s hand tightened instantly, while her brows knit together and her teeth bit down her lip. “F-fuck…” Her breath caught in her throat when Chloe simultaneously curled her fingers and sucked on her nipple. The heat in her core had been steadily increasing, but now intensified so much that Max could swear she was about to orgasm already. Despite her not wanting Chloe to stop, she didn’t want it to be over yet. She scrambled as she desperately tried to think of how to properly formulate it without causing Chloe to stop abruptly.
Even though it was subtle, Chloe noticed a change in Max’ body as it tensed ever so slightly. Her lips left Max’ nipple and Chloe tilted her head to look into those, now dark, blue eyes. “Hmm?” Chloe uncurled her fingers and slowly retracted them, but didn’t remove them.
“I—I’m…” Max swallowed with effort when Chloe’s fingers teased her folds, thus making it incredibly difficult for her to hold her focus.
“You want more?” Chloe asked with a smirk, to which Max nodded eagerly. “I have an idea,” she mused, grinning at Max’ confused expression. “Close your eyes,” she instructed, “just for a moment.”
Max obeyed and closed her eyes, letting out a disappointed sigh when Chloe removed her fingers and got off Max’ body, sending a chill through her at the sudden loss of warmth.
“No peeking!” Max rolled her eyes without opening them, listening to Chloe rummaging through what sounded like her backpack. She nearly squealed when Max felt something cold touch her side, eliciting a mischievous giggle from Chloe. “Sorry ‘bout that, babe.” Whatever it had been, it disappeared. The sound of Chloe taking off her boxers was unmistakable, especially the way it fell to the floor with a dull plop, followed by what was most likely Chloe’s black bra. Nerves of excitement swirled through Max as she heard Chloe get back onto the bed, but was unable to identify the sounds that followed. That was, until she heard a muffled grunt.
“You definitely have me intrigued,” Max muttered with a somewhat nervous giggle.
“Perfect,” Chloe replied smugly, then laid down next to Max, not missing the way Max rose a single brow. “Your throne is ready, my Queen,” Chloe whispered into Max’ ear, then told her that Max could open her eyes now.
As soon as Max saw Chloe was wearing a strap-on harness, she felt her cheeks reddening significantly. “You sneak!” she playfully smacked Chloe in the shoulder and got up, then swung one leg over Chloe, leaving her hovering above her favorite person in the world. With her knees on either side of Chloe’s stomach, Max leaned forward and captured Chloe’s lips for a deep, passionate kiss. Their tongues circled each other eagerly, leaving them both breathing heavily when Max leaned back again.
“Don’t pretend you’re not into it, hippie.” Max scoffed, but they both knew Chloe was absolutely right. “It’s lubed up and ready for you, cutie,” Chloe whispered, then winked, flustering the brunette yet again.
Max nodded and positioned herself right above the strap-on, locking eyes with Chloe as she lowered herself. While she did, she noticed Chloe’s hand holding the strap-on in place and guiding it until it was inside far enough.
After letting go, Chloe wiped her hand off on the sheets carelessly, then placed both hands on Max’ hips. She watched while biting on her lip, as Max lowered herself fully onto the strap-on. The way her mouth hung open and her head was tilted back ignited the fire inside of Chloe’s abdomen, it was almost too much.
When the strap-on was fully inside, Max sat down and was surprised when she heard Chloe moan along with her. When she shimmied a bit to get fully comfortable, Chloe’s nails pressed into the skin of her hips, barely holding back a whimpering moan. Max bit her lip as she suspected the reason why Chloe was so responsive to her movement and decided to test out her theory. Max moved her hips backwards, then forwards again, unable to hold back a moan herself. However, she wasn’t the only one.
“Chlo…?” Max rasped, “this isn’t a regular strap-on, is it?” The smirk on Chloe’s lips answered her question, sending a wave of pleasant shivers through her spine.
“Surprise,” Chloe murmured and winked smugly.
Max shut Chloe up by leaning forward and crashing her lips against those of Chloe, hard. Her hands carried her weight as they leaned into the mattress on either side of Chloe’s head, moving her hips while her tongue danced around Chloe’s with determination. They moaned into each other’s mouth when Chloe lifted her knees and propped her feet on the bed, pushing the strap-on just a little deeper inside Max.
“Fuck—” they gasped simultaneously, causing them both to burst out in laughter. “This is fun.” They raised their eyebrows in surprise, “Jinx!” While still laughing, they kissed each other again, smiles still lingering on their lips.
As Max slowed down her hips’ movements, she let her weight rest on one hand, while letting the other caress Chloe’s neck. There was no rush, no reason not to take it slow, thus her hand trailed down almost torturously slow. When her fingers finally found one of Chloe’s pierced nipples and Chloe moaned deeply into her mouth, Max felt the heat in her core increase, heart fluttering in her chest in response. Chloe retaliated by digging her nails into the soft and sensitive skin of Max’ hips and pushing her own up, thrusting into Max. Their moans and whimpers mingled in their mouths, muffling the sounds despite the fact that there was no need for them to keep quiet.
Chloe broke their kiss when she threw her head back, although it was in response to Max’ fingers as they pinched her nipple, sending pleasant shivers through her and causing her skin to erupt in goosebumps. “Shit, Max—” she was cut off by another moan as Max played with the titanium bar in her nipple, her nails digging down into soft flesh and eliciting a moan from Max in return. while Max’ fingers continued to play with the piercing in her nipples, Chloe felt Max’ lips suck on the sensitive spot just below her ear. “F-fuck—” The thoughts in Chloe’s mind had already been chaotic and incoherent, but it utterly and completely blanked when she felt Max’ teeth nibble gently on the skin, undoubtedly leaving a small bruise behind once she’d be done.
“I love you, Chloe Price,” Max whispered softly into Chloe’s ear before pressing a small kiss on the faint bruise that she left below it. She released Chloe’s nipple, then sat up again, resting her back against Chloe’s knees. Her fingers caressed Chloe’s arms with a featherlight touch, leaving behind a trail of goosebumps. “Please…” she whispered as her eyes stared deeply into Chloe’s, “make me come.” Tingles erupted in her stomach at the way Chloe’s eyes darkened while sucking on her bottom lip, then offered Max the smallest nod.
“Gladly.” She let go of Max’ hips in favor of her buttcheeks, flashing a cheeky grin before thrusting her hips upwards, eliciting a moan from both Max and herself.
Max’ hips moved along until they found a nice rhythm that worked for both of them, their breathing became labored not long after. Neither of them held back any of the moans nor the more subtle whimpers and even whines. Despite trying her hardest to keep her eyes connected with Chloe’s, it was futile. Max gave in and let them fall shut while she threw her head back, the ends of her hair brushing against Chloe’s knees repeatedly.
It was almost unfair how breathtaking Max was right now, then again, Chloe got to admire her now-fiancée to her heart’s content. No matter how hard it was, she wouldn’t allow her eyes to close; she wanted to watch Max when she’d orgasm. It was one of the most beautiful sights and Chloe didn’t want to miss it, especially not this time. She wanted to have the image engraved into her mind for the rest of her life, whatever it would take. Just like she memorized almost every birthmark and scar on Max’ body, especially the little cluster of three birthmarks on her left hip. And the one on the bottom of Max’ right breast, as well as the scar on the inside of her left lower arm. There was no one as beautiful as Max, not even Rachel had captured Chloe like Max did.
The muscles in her lower abdomen started to tense as the ball of heat increased, her toes curling and her grip on Chloe’s sides tightened. Despite having her eyes closed, she could feel Chloe watching her, however, it didn’t fluster Max like it usually did. Her mind was too occupied with how close she was to reaching her climax, resulting in her breathing out Chloe’s name repeatedly.
“Getting close, too, babe,” Chloe rasped, squeezing Max’ buttcheeks while accelerating the speed of her hips’ thrusts. Both their bodies were covered in a layer of sweat, breathing raspy and labored as the heat in their cores was almost unbearable. Chloe helped guide Max’ thrusts as both of their hips struggled to keep going, but there was no way in hell Chloe was going to stop now and leave them both hanging. “Come for me, Max,” Chloe nearly pleaded, not sure how much longer she could hold off her orgasm.
“S-so c-close—” Max stuttered, gritting her teeth with desperation. She let go of Chloe’s sides, leaned forward a little and pushed Chloe’s knees apart and down.
“Just—” Max was unable to finish what she wanted to say, but luckily Chloe understood.
Chloe lowered her legs completely and watched Max lean back, hands planting on her thighs, just above her knees. The angle definitely intensified every single thrust, making it even harder for Chloe to keep herself from orgasming right then and there. “F-fuck, Max!” She was biting so hard on her lip that she swore she tasted blood, regardless, Chloe wasn’t about to give in, not yet.
“Yes babe, come for me…” Chloe’s voice was strained and her nails were definitely leaving scars on the soft skin of Max’ buttcheeks, neither of them cared.
“F-fuck—!” Chloe let out a deep moan as she let go and orgasmed, right when Max’ hands started to tremble and hips spasmed. Chloe watched in awe as Max’ face flushed, along with the sides of her neck, jaw slack and brows relaxing. The barely audible sound she produced sent pleasant shivers through Chloe, reaching all the way down to the tips of her fingers and toes and up to the crown of her head. If there was only one thing she could see for the rest of her life, this was it. Watching Max come undone brought her intense joy, so much so, that tears started welling up in her eyes. So much for her reputation.
If it wasn’t for Chloe’s quick reflexes, Max would have collapsed for sure. Instead, Chloe caught her and guided her until she fell on the mattress beside Chloe. Her body was still trembling and limbs spasming a little every now and then, her breath still ragged. She barely registered Chloe struggling to sit up and grunting, later she’d realize Chloe had removed the strap-on harness and put it aside.
After safely putting away the strap-on harness, Chloe managed to grab their bags and take out the water bottles. Collapsing onto the mattress, she emptied her bottle and tossed it back into her backpack, then turned to face Max and bumped the bottle gently against her arm.
“Thanks, Chlo,” Max murmured with a smile and took the bottle. She brought it to her lips and gulped down the water until the bottle was completely empty. Chloe took the bottle from her and put it away, then pulled Max close. As they both caught their breaths and their bodies recovered until neither of them were spasming any longer, they simply stared deeply into each other’s eyes. Their lips were curled up into blissful smiles, their legs tangled and their hands on each other’s sides, while their other hands were resting on the pillows above their heads, fingers intertwined.
The only sounds they could hear were the sounds of their breathing, that of the dying bonfire outside and the sounds of crickets. Max thought she could even hear an owl hooting at one point, though she couldn’t tell with certainty what kind.
Chloe lifted her hand off Max’ side and cupped her freckled cheek tenderly, caressing the rosy skin with her thumb. It was like looking at the night sky, the way Max’ freckles were scattered across her cheeks like the stars in the sky. Then there were those familiar blue eyes, which weren’t as light as her own, but more the color of the sea on an overcast day. Max’ nose was simply adorable, and then of course there were her lips… Those familiar and soft lips that she could never get enough of, no matter how many times she kissed them. The way they felt on her own, peppering her skin with kisses with affection or nearly bruising her with lust and passion…
“Hey Maximus?” Chloe whispered softly, feeling her heart skip when Max smiled dreamily at her.
“Yes, Chlo?” Max replied, her voice barely a whisper. She gently squeezed Chloe’s hand as she waited for Chloe to continue.
“Did you know…?”
Max giggled and playfully rolled her eyes, deciding to play along. “Know what, Chloe?”
Chloe smiled so widely that her cheeks ached, “That you make me happy, truly happy?”
Max felt ridiculous as, for the umpteenth time, tears started to well up in the corners of her eyes. “You make me the happiest I’ve ever been, Chloe…” Max responded, feeling like her heart was about to burst out of her chest with the amount of love she felt. In a way it was overwhelming, although it was a good kind of overwhelming.
“Well, I sure hope so, after you saved my life more times than I can count—”
“And I would do it again in a heartbeat.” There wasn’t a trace of doubt in those glassy blue eyes, Chloe could tell Max meant it with every fiber in her being.
“I hella love you, Super Max,” Chloe said, “damn it! You’re making me cry!”
“I promise I won’t tell anyone,” Max replied with a chuckle, causing Chloe to laugh until they were both laughing uncontrollably. This time, the tears that rolled down their cheeks were from laughter.
Chloe shook her head after they had finally stopped laughing, “We’re ridiculous.”
“At least we’re not boring,” Max said with a shrug.
“Still insane in the brain,” Chloe replied, receiving a snort from Max in response. “Glad to hear you agree.”
“You’re such a dork.”
“Says the hippie nerd.” Max stuck out her tongue before stirring, Chloe followed and they both got under the covers. “Turn around,” Chloe whispered, Max complied and pressed her back against Chloe’s chest and stomach. “Comfy?”
Max nodded, snuggling close against the warmth and safety of Chloe’s body. A giggle escaped when she felt fingers tickle her neck as they brushed her hair aside.
Chloe nuzzled Max’ neck and pressed soft kisses along the length of it, while resting an arm on the pillow above Max’ head. Her tattooed arm draped over Max’ side, hand resting on the younger woman’s tummy. She smiled when she felt Max’ hand find hers and rested her palm against the back of Chloe’s hand, their fingers intertwining.
As a thought popped into her head, Max suddenly turned her head, alarming Chloe in the process.
“Max? What’s wrong?” Chloe asked with wide eyes full of worry.
“Nothing bad!” Max assured, which visibly relieved Chloe. “Just suddenly realizing something…” Chloe nodded encouragingly. “When Steph and Kate left…” Chloe bit her lip with a mischievous grin as she already figured where Max was going with this. “Steph said: “You can thank us tomorrow.”… She knew, didn’t she?”
No longer able to hold it in, Chloe giggled with flushed cheeks, like a child who had been caught red-handed while trying to steal cookies from the cookie jar. “Yup, along with Kate. Although I had no idea about this,” Chloe gestured around them, referencing the pirate fort, “nor the fact that Steph was going to come. When I asked, she said she couldn’t make it due to work. But yeah, she knew that I wanted to propose to you,” Chloe confessed.
Max shook her head, albeit with a grin. Then she guffawed, “Kate knew!” Chloe nodded with a chuckle. “She knew and I had no idea!”
“Well, duh.” Max elbowed Chloe while blowing her a raspberry. “Hey!”
“I can’t believe that Kate knew this whole time and was able to keep it from me, wowsers.”
“You’re not mad at me, right?”
“Of course not!” Max assured, craning her neck to kiss Chloe on the lips. “Just genuinely surprised, is all.”
“You can haunt them about it tomorrow.”
“Oh, trust me,” Max said with a smirk, “I will.”
Chloe mocked a worried look before asking, “Should I worry?” Max stuck out her tongue at her, before turning back around and snuggling up to Chloe again.
After yawning, Max shook her head, “Nah, I could never hurt Kate. Steph on the other hand…”
Chloe wrapped her arm around Max’ waist again and nuzzled her neck, after brushing the auburn hair aside once more. “Dibs on the front row. Getting to watch my fiancée kick ass? I’m hella excited.” Chloe couldn’t suppress a yawn herself as she felt sudden exhaustion overtake her. “Good night, babe.”
“Sleep well, Chloe. Love you,” Max replied before yawning again.
“Love you right back, cutie.” Chloe pressed a kiss at the base of Max’ neck and closed her eyes, a blissful smile lingering on her lips and she felt the ring on Max’ finger. “Never letting you go.” It was a promise, even though she knew Max hadn’t heard it, as the brunette was already asleep. Regardless, Chloe emphasized, “Never again.”
Chloe couldn’t wait to marry the person who meant the world to her. She couldn’t wait to spend the rest of her life with the one person who had saved her from losing it years ago. Chloe was going to marry the person who understood her the way nobody else did, who looked at her like no one else ever had. She was excited and more than ready to face whatever would come their way, with her. Her best friend, her wife-to-be, her Max.