Title: In Good Taste [Part Eight]
Rating/Genre: PG-13 + Language; Coming Out, Girl-Meets-Girl
Disclaimer: I don’t own Soshi. I don’t own anyone, in fact. All Fiction.
Warning(s): Lol waiting.Author’s Notes: Another week, another update. Please continue to pop by to express your feels ‘cause I love every word. OH, and make sure to read my Author’s Note. Hope y’all remember to do something VERY gay by the end of this Pride month. I guess reading this fic works. BUY 'SOMETHING NEW,' TAEYEON'S LATEST MINI ALBUM--you know, if you can. :3
“Ye-yes, ma’am. There should be a cart button that—pardon me? You use your promo code at checkout.” Tiffany rolled her eyes to the ceiling as a computer-illiterate ajumma blared question after question into her headset. “When you hover over the cart button…yes, it’s shaped like a shopping cart. Because it’s online shopping with a cart. A digital one. That’s right, it’ll turn green. N-no, no your mouse pointer won’t turn green; the cart icon will.”
Normally, THY outsourced their phone hotline through a local third party. But, after a website failure for two very annoying hours, Tiffany reduced the complaint volume by collecting some enraged/confused/clueless callers of her own. Thankfully, she could answer them through an app on her desktop computer, leaving her own cell phone free to fiddle with as she played backup IT. “I have no idea why your daughter’s muumuu is in the cart twice. Maybe you, I don’t know, added it to your cart twice?”
Tiffany raised a takeout bowl of clear soup and fed herself as silently as possible. Sinbi dropped it off earlier, reminding her why they kept her around the boutique. She had her moments.
To be fair, she appreciated these phoned-in distractions, as irritating as they were. Thoughts of Yuri on top of her, undulating between her legs, fucked Tiffany up and not in the happy ending way. Her spoon idly circled a limp mushroom as her mind sailed along the curves of Yuri’s thighs.
“Press the plus button, not the minus. You don’t want forty muumuus, do you?”
Once she got the ajumma on track, her cell vibrated. And then, it was her turn to malfunction. Because it read:
Yuri: I broke up with Taek
She offered a run-of-the-mill “thanks for allowing me to be of service,” hung up, and almost screamed for Yoona. Like she used to, as teenagers in rooms that shared a wall. Keeping some propriety, she thumbed out an SOS and waited approximately six seconds for her best friend to come bulldozing in.
“Hell on ice, which of your exes died?!”
Tiffany didn’t even pretend to have a grain of chill, shoving her phone into Yoona’s hands. “Read.”
Yoona glossed over the screen, hand on her hip in a I’m-psychic-and-I-knew-this-would-ha
“This isn’t funny. What do I do?”
“Lady, I should be asking. What do you do?”
“Flee the country?”
Smiling, Yoona dropped into the seat facing Tiffany’s desk. A smidge too calmly, which alerted Tiffany’s manager brain that Sinbi was the only one out on the floor. She shot a Hyoyeon a text to pull her head out of the numbers and operate as chaperone.
“Fly to Canada, Fany. And take me with you. I’ve always wanted to try poutine.”
“Can we skip your inner anguish and go straight to Classic Tiffany Hwang?”
Tiffany twisted her hair into nervous rings, applying non-texting duties to her hand. “You and Hyo swear you know my every move.”
“Per routine, you’ll badger us for advice, which you’ll ignore if it doesn’t parrot your romantic fantasies.” She eyed Tiffany removing her headset. “Messages, letters, calls, smoke signals, whatever are exchanged with your love interest. Followed by roughly three straight days of callisthenic sex that’ll leave us losers here working overtime to pick up the slack. And voilà, a new relationship is born.”
Hm. That was dead-on. “Is that bad?”
“Chaotic neutral, I’d say. It’s just what comes naturally to you.”
“I’m getting ‘bad’ vibes from that…”
“You dive in, all cards on the table. Leaving you susceptible to, well, your catalogue of exes.”
Tiffany pulled at the ends of her closed eyes and groaned misery. “Why wasn’t I born with a cryogenically frozen heart like yours?”
“Don’t insult me. Years of training and dedication built the beautiful fortress you see before you.”
She reached for a hand she knew would be stretched across her desk. “If only I were so fortunate.”
The stars were aligning for Tiffany and Yuri to hook up, right? On many a night (and day), she contemplated how lovely, how adorable it’d be to exchange retail horror stories after particularly long shifts. Imagining Kwon Yuri as actually hers, to kiss and touch. To help dispose of her unnecessary insecurities, one by one.
This boyfriend had been a blessing and a burden. The greatest roadblock against Tiffany’s high-speed chase to the splendors—and often, tragedies—of romance. Now, her palms sweated. Her head swam. Yuri had propped on a little foreman hat and ordered for those roadblocks to be removed.
Her and Yoona’s fingers danced for a minute or so, like old times. Like days when Tiffany missed her family so much, it bound her to bed in physical pain. Im Yoona, her oft bitchy, yet protective confidante who’d soon recite every single reason not to date—
“Yuri and you make a cute couple.”
Dumbfounded, Tiffany retracted her hand. “Come again?”
Yoona snapped the hair tie on her wrist, similarly perplexed. “At Girls’ Night. I don’t know…”
“No, no. Explain. Please.”
“Tiffany, as smart as you are, your tastes are usually trash.” She gave herself a ‘talking too much’ flailing of the hand since Tiffany’s heard that sentiment countless times prior. “Yuri is the first—I swear, the very first—woman you’ve brought over who actually helped you set up the snacks. Who spent more time in the kitchen than me. Usually, my own dates have to watch me run around, playing co-host; but this time, Yuri had your back. That’s unseen until now.”
Astounded this small detail hadn’t arose before, Tiffany fell back in her chair. “Good point.”
“She made an after school special speech in front of all of us—and we’re a tough crowd. Also, her eyes were glued to your ass and boobs. I don’t think she’s here for an experimental fling.”
“Yoong, you give her such a hard time.”
“I know, okay?” Yoona slouched, matching Tiffany. “Despite my reservations about her finances, she deserves as much of a shot as the legion of demons who’ve haunted your bed.”
“About that, you hypocrite,” Tiffany answered in a huff. “Not everybody will have a comfy savings account and a car. You, Sinbi, and whoever the fuck else have no right to look down on her.”
“We didn’t mean any harm. At least, I don’t.”
“It doesn’t matter. We all started somewhere. Remember, you used to crimp your hair.”
Yoona flinched through a theatrical gasp. “Okaaaay, I get it. I’m not anti-poor. I mean, my side projects prove that.”
“Sure, but do your everyday interactions, o snooty one?”
As the light ribbing resumed, Tiffany’s phone vibrated. This time, she swiped at it with a giddiness she’d normally shield from Yoona. Although, her light dimmed once the words registered.
A message from her father.
“What’d he say?” Yoona asked, perceiving the only person who could change Tiffany’s demeanor so drastically. “What does he want?”
“More money. This newest girlfriend of his is high maintenance.”
“I wish you’d cut him off.”
“He’s my dad, Yoong.” Tiffany typed out an affirmative response, hating the disappointment in Yoona’s low sigh. “Don’t you see why I’m so nervous? I’m a shitty judge of character.”
She’d reply to Yuri’s text at the end of the day, though it wouldn’t hurt to cool their jets until…well, until she got a sign.
A business week dragged by and still, no sign. Tiffany had scanned the cosmos, scoured horoscopes, dissected every moment of her dreams, and paused whenever the name ‘Kwon’ made an appearance on files. Unshockingly, the command “Fall in love with Yuri!” didn’t appear beneath any of them.
Yuri seemed to handle the days apart pretty well. Especially as she mentioned fights and pleading between her and the boyfriend. Apparently, any hint of separation—like buying her own linens or groceries—swished them into a whirlwind of squabbling.
Tiffany favored this (temporary) distance, oddly. It allowed choice, devoid of her own meddling. Yuri could choose to make amends with Taekwoon. Or, terrifyingly, to date him again. It wasn’t an impossible thought, anyways. Living in close quarters could ignite some old feelings.
Her and Yuri’s stint on the bed didn’t turn things ‘weird;’ this relationship limbo did.
She ordered a bowl of ramyun that following Friday, her dark mood blocking out Yoona and Seohyun’s banter over the best Marvel movie. The spice she loved swirled in creamy broth, causing her to get all emotional. And grossly symbolic. Tiffany (the spice) and Yuri (the mild broth) worked deliciously together. Was that her sign?
“Fany, is your food okay?”
Tiffany smiled sincerely at Seohyun. This woman was much more conscientious (and brainier) than Yoona’s last girlfriend. And she got along swimmingly with Yuri. Was that a sign?
She shoved stress about signs and love away as she responded, “The chef’s a little stingy with the kimchi. It’s not a big deal.”
Saturday morning, her search ended. In a chiming text message while Tiffany lounged in her home office, clicking through a score of new cashier résumés.
It had an attachment. A pdf of an application, coincidentally.
An application for a manager position at Craftie’s Warehouse.
Yuri: should I? 😉
Better than texting back, Tiffany minimized all her desktop windows and typed up a recommendation letter. A glowing one. A full page double-spaced, vouching for Yuri’s strong sense of responsibility, her sunny personality, sharp wit, and her seniority after years of mastering the art of customer service. Tiffany regaled her stealth observation of the ladder incident and how the uniforms—no matter how dorky—were an absolute tease on a body like that. She nearly left that last part out, but what the hell. Holding back made her loopy, a psychiatrist’s dream patient. Time for more ‘typical Tiffany.’
She sent a link to the document and in five minutes, she received an appropriate:
Yuri: Damn I never had a stalker before. I’m touched.
Tiffany: I stalked *once* 🙄😉
Yuri: I doubt I can turn this letter in to my boss…
Tiffany: You weren’t meant to. It’s for your eyes only.
Soon after, Tiffany’s phone rang. She accepted the call, yet neither of them immediately spoke. They waited a tic, enjoying each other’s silent presence.
“You’re going to get that promotion,” she said, heart drumming relentlessly. “I can feel it. Deep down.”
“Thanks.” Yuri softly, awkwardly cleared her throat. Something that, until this very moment, Tiffany didn’t realize was the more adorable noise on earth. “I’m taking an early shift to submit this, so I…I thought I’d fill you in on these boring slices of my life.”
“Your ambition isn’t boring to me. It’s hot.”
Tiffany gestured a shot to her temple. She was either at a rolling stop or NASCAR racing into a relationship.
Yuri laughed. “A craft store manager isn’t the most notable—”
“I think it’s amazing. You’re amazing, Yul.”
“Shit.” She then pantomimed her whole head exploding. “I, um, heard your coworker call you that.”
“When you were stalking me.”
“I’m sweating,” Yuri whispered, as if it were her most precious secret. “I’ve only told you I’m applying and it’s sinking in that I really, really do want this new job. Putting me in the position of possible failure. Possibly fainting. Or projectile vomiting because I’d eat the sugary cereal you hate, and I’d regret that because if I throw up on Jea’s desk, it’ll be in technicolor.”
Tiffany placed her hand to her chest, needing her heart’s bass to lower. “Is talking to me unhealthy, too?”
“Yep, ‘cause it’s sinking in that I gave you a graphic description of why I’m nervous and I’m stupid for that.”
“So, why’d you call?”
“You’re an old fashioned 30-year-old who weirdly enjoys this whole voice-to-voice thing. Why wouldn’t I reach out?”
“Well,” Tiffany clicked through her calendar, “if you’re free tomorrow evening, you can stop by THY. We close early—around six—on Sundays. I miss your face.”
“I miss your face, too."
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes. Um, yes, that’s a yes.”
“Great.” Her lips bloomed into a smile unlike any of the ones given to her customers as of late. “It’s a date.”
“Oh, man. I hope so.”
When she unlocked the boutique door for Yuri Sunday evening, she looked as pleasant as expected. Hair in a thick, windblown ponytail. Makeup suitably unadventurous for her retail environment. Smile shaky and devastatingly attractive.
She, however, hadn’t expected the large cup of shaved ice along with Yuri’s first words, “I have an interview!”
“So soon?” Tiffany squealed while hopping in place. “I’d might as well congratulate you now.”
“Don’t jinx me.” Yuri set the treat on the register counter. Some strawberry sauce dripped onto her thumb, so she sucked it off, grinning shyly and driving Tiffany absolutely bonkers.
Eager to touch her, she wrapped Yuri into a handsy hug, murmuring, “I have so much faith in you.”
“Our store manager booked an impromptu business trip, bumping me to an appointment tomorrow—at the end of my shift. I’ll map out what I’m going to say, sleep ten hours, and prepare a nutritious breakfast.”
“Your kidneys will thank you.”
Yuri tossed her a droll smirk, uncovering two plastic spoons from her purse. “I’ve gone online and studied up on what questions they’ll more than likely ask. Um, I got some intel of a manager’s workload—pretty much the same as mine with more authority.”
“This is kismet,” Tiffany scooped a ball of kiwi, strawberry, and ice. “You’re destined to ace this. They already know what an excellent employee they have on their hands. I’ve seen it first-hand.”
“You make me sound more important than I am.”
“Away with your negativity. I won’t allow it in THY.”
The minute details of their shyness, body language, lack of eye contact exposed their minds’ path. To memories of lying on Tiffany’s bed, practically having sex through their clothes. And lips, tongues caressing.
They sat cross-legged on a dressing platform, devouring their evening treat.
“I figured, since we weren’t able to enjoy this on Girls’ Night,” Yuri poked at a clump, “I’d make up for it now.”
“I’d been craving something sweet. Thank you.”
Yuri’s brown eyes swept around the upscale store—at the dimmed lights, the fashionable mannequins frozen in time. “It’s way less intimidating with no-one here.”
Tiffany’s eyes crinkled. “I’d imagine.”
“Magnificent, though. This belongs—eh, co-belongs—to you."
“My pride and joy. I’m still pissed your initial experience here sucked.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I co-own and helped hire the staff, so yeah, it kind of is my fault.” Tiffany stretched her eyes, excited. “I think you’d be grateful to hear I’m removing Sinbi from the front counter.”
Yuri’s bottom lip trembled. “Y-you didn’t fire her on my account. My social skills—”
“Don’t blame yourself. Hyo and I decided to transfer her from sales to designer’s assistant. She’ll be aiding freelancers’ consultations or running errands for Yoona. No more customer disservice for her.”
The relieved breath Yuri released for the woman who’d been a monster to her melted Tiffany’s heart. “That worked out.”
“Mmhmm. We’ve given part-time associates more shifts to cover hers. Plus, Hyo and I aren’t above checking out customers if the line builds up. Just until we find a fulltime replacement.” She shimmied closer to Yuri, determined to seal this gap. “Sinbi’s a friend. Her fling with Yoong put me and Hyo in a really tricky spot—firing seemed wrong. She’s not incompetent, just rude.”
“I get it.”
“So,” she purred through a faux-slimy grin, “you’re single?”
Yuri gained a renewed interest in scraping for the remaining fruit. “Y-yeah.”
“It’s been what, more than a week since you split it off. How’s home life fairing?”
“Unbearably,” she confessed, despondent. “The only space I can call my own is the desk and my new foldout couch. He’s determined for us to get back together.”
“Would, um,” Tiffany searched the shininess of the platform floor, knowing she staked no right to be jealous or cynical. “would you ever agree to that, or…”
That reply lingered and for the first time this meeting/date, Yuri’s eyes burned with a sureness unprecedented. Beautiful. “That’s comforting to know.”
“Please don’t mistake me living with him for anything sinister. Sooyoung and Han are engaged; I’d rather not encroach, and my parents are too out of the way. I’ll have to save up and hopefully, this manager interview—”
Tiffany ducked, capturing those doubtful lips. Kissing her tenderly, drawing out the coolness, sweetness, the taste of a sigh. Her heart skipped two beats, activating the mushy dumb-in-love version of herself she’d avoided.
Thus, they continued for several minutes, the tingles at the tip of Tiffany's tongue vacillating from exploratory to sexual. “I have a question, Yul.”
Yuri visibly swallowed, eyes intense. Lips parted and swollen, breath unsteady. “Sure, shoot.”
“What are you wearing to your interview?”
“Oh.” She blushed, obviously expecting a raunchier tangent. “I haven’t thought about it. My interview dress, I suppose.”
“Wait, uh,” Tiffany laughed under her breath, mystified. “You have one single interview outfit?”
“Yeah. It fits.”
“That means...they’re going to see you wearing the same dress you had on when you first applied for the job you have now? Yuri!”
The woman gaped as if this hadn’t crossed her mind. “Shit.”
“Presentation is a huge part of your overall package, you Froot Loop.” They giggled, albeit Yuri’s giggle was laced with distress. “Before you leave tonight, stressing yourself sick, I’m going to do you a solid.”
“Look around you.” Tiffany jumped off the platform. Then, held out a hand. “We’re literally in a boutique and you’re dating someone who eats, sleeps, and breaths looks.”
Their fingers tangled, interlocked after Yuri stood. “I couldn’t ask you do that.”
“That’s why I’m offering.”
“I can’t…I can’t afford any of this.”
“Let me show you something.”
Tiffany led them past her and Hyoyeon’s offices, through the stock area, to a special room, illuminated by a switch inside. She watched Yuri react—with confusion, of course—until explaining, “This is our consignment and charity collective. It’s in development, but the girls and I think it’ll grow into something huge within the next year or so.”
Here, rows of shelves and cubbies held a shopper’s dream’s worth of clothes. On the far corner hung steamers and a long, marble table took prominence in the middle, where several stacks were tagged, hemmed, and stitched. Yuri shook her head. “What does that mean?”
“Well, fashion is a glutton for excess and waste. But, there are ways to circumvent that. On our site, we offer consignment for our customers, meaning they send in good quality and slightly worn designer stuff, our staff tidies it up, pictures are posted online, and someone buys it for a lower price. The seller gets a nice cut and we ship it out.” Tiffany lifted a pale-yellow tank top with her pointer finger. “For things that need more TLC, we mend and donate them, as well as a ton of clothes people bring in. You’d be astonished how many wouldn’t hassle themselves to sell.”
Yuri nodded at the neatly arranged donation boxes, filled to the brim. “I’m blown away.”
“Tell Yoona next time you see her. This is her brain-child.”
Tiffany burst into laughter when Yuri’s head swooped to her in shock. “Yes, Yul. My grouchy best friend has a heart. A rather large one.”
Yuri hid behind her ponytail. “Jeez, I’m just…overwhelmed.”
Was she crying? Blushing, Tiffany squeezed their hands. “I don’t believe in dipping into the charity clothes, so I’m going to dress you out of the consignment selection. Which is marvelous, if I do say so myself.”
“Oh, oh fuck,” Yuri stared at the hanging garments, obviously ready to bolt. “I couldn’t. I-I don’t have the funds—”
“It’s on me.”
“I don’t want to take advantage.”
“Just get the promotion first, okay?” Tiffany pulled her to a rack of high-brand business casual wear. “We’ll discuss repayment at a later date. For now, you need an outfit that’ll compliment your natural beauty—” She paused, shooting a toe-to-breast appraisal. “and banging body—so you’ll really pop. They’ll forget all the other applicants, I guarantee.”
Yuri brushed the arm of a fitted grey jacket. Warily, frightened. Tiffany recognized this bashfulness from Girls’ Night, when she’d handled the silk shorts. “I’m not used to nice things.”
Tiffany shivered as she kissed Yuri, whispering, “You already have nice things, to me. You don’t see what I see and that’s so sad.”
“I don’t want to make you sad.”
“Then, strip to your undies, my loyal subject.” She smirked at Yuri’s gasp. “I’ll take your measurements to find the perfect matches.”
“Are we playing dress-up?”
“Yes, you’re a client now. Except, I’m going to leer very unprofessionally the entire session.”
“Cool.” Yuri shouldered out of her polo and Tiffany reminded herself to do her damn job. “Then, let’s get started.”
Monday evening, Tiffany fidgeted in front of the noodle bar from their second date (did that count as a date?), clutching her bag, trying to appear as aloof and unbothered as the patrons milling about.
Yuri had gotten the position.
In a marathon thread of messages, Yuri reported the initially-awkward-yet-eventually-product
They weren’t decided on noodles, but this street had enough food options to find common ground. She scritched a heel of her slip-on shoes onto concrete, remembering how she’d lose her appetite around Yuri, anyway. With previous exes, good news like this ordinarily ended in intense moaning.
However, Yuri’s situation, as her friends recognized, was precarious. Say Tiffany pushed too hard, and gay panic took over, essentially unraveling all their progress?
“I hate this,” she murmured to the darkened, cloudy sky. Her long lashes flapped closed in a silent prayer for guidance. Another sign, perhaps.
In an all too rare feat, she kept her emotional foot on the brake pedal. To let this coast. For so many years, Tiffany would either floor it into a brick wall of disaster or push this metaphorical car herself. Bereft of fuel for her own sanity.
Tiffany had lost control before, indulging in Yuri. Regardless, she couldn’t imagine that lapse in judgment playing out any differently, no matter how the dice were rolled.
Ugh, she was so fucked.
Yuri’s words—spoken right onto her ear, breath cool—broke Tiffany into a rash of full-bodied warmth.
Flirtily, she used her eyes for what they’d been evolved to do: to appreciate Yuri in a slim, high-waisted pencil skirt, a satin long sleeve blouse with understated ruffles, modest jewelry, and heels that didn’t have her teeter tottering. Tiffany’s handiwork (it wasn’t hard), yet she gazed as if this attractive display resulted from some natural phenomenon. Not just common sense interview attire. Tiffany cooed, “Congratulations, manager.”
“Oh, it’s not a big deal,” Yuri kicked at nothing, more “aw shucks” than should be humanly possible. “I have you to thank.”
Tiffany pouted. “Accept your awesomeness today.”
“Okay, I will.”
“You’re going through a lot of changes all at once. How are you?”
“Is that your roundabout way of asking if I regret breaking up with Taek?”
Well, shit. “Maybe?”
“You encourage me to open up, so here goes.” Yuri sauntered down the moderately crowded street; Tiffany easily fell into step. “Taekwoon, um, isn’t taking this as well as I am…needless to say. We’re under the same roof, surrounded by reminders of why we’d fallen in love.”
Tiffany rambled past her envy. “I’d be devastated—or, um, I’d imagine I’d be, were I in his shoes.”
“Why do I feel like we’ve switched places just now?”
“Go on with what you were saying,” she teased, shoving her in the hip.
“He’s been hanging out with Han more. That’s Sooyoung’s playboy-ish fiancé. The three of them attended a launch party for a client tonight. I declined their invitation.”
“What’d he say about your promotion?”
“Nothing.” Yuri’s pinky gently hooked onto Tiffany’s. “You’re still the only one who knows I interviewed.”
“You didn’t tell Sooyoung yet?”
Tiffany sighed, choosing to tackle that some other time. “Word’s going to get around Craftie’s.”
“Until then, I’d like to pretend that only we share this. While Taek and I were together, I couldn’t prioritize you. Now, I can. It’s liberating.”
She understood. Being an integral part of Yuri’s coming out journey—a gateway, that is—didn’t suck the way she’d feared. Tiffany leaned on her tiptoes to peck this beautiful woman on the cheek, their height difference compounded by the heels. “Be free.”
“Taek texted me earlier. He’s wasted.”
“Han’s instagram stories were evidence enough. They had an all-you-can-drink artisan beer buffet for three. I can tell he’s letting off a lot of steam, which is good, right?”
Tiffany stopped alongside Yuri, shaking her head. “I don’t know him, so…”
“He’s been clingy since the breakup and…and finally, he won’t be home. He’s sleeping over at Soo and Han’s.” She giggled, nudging her with an elbow. “A small part of me says I should pity him for this, but really, I’m excited to catch the latest episode of my favorite show without him moping or picking a fight.”
“You’re too damned cute.” Tiffany pined to kiss her deeper. They were in public, though. “Don’t let me stand in your way, Yul. Go home and watch your drama.”
“Even better, could, um…” Yuri’s pinky curled tighter, quivering slightly. “I wouldn’t mind you going with me.”
“To—to your apartment?”
“Tiffany, I wouldn’t pass up dinner with you for a hundred promotions. So, let’s order in and you’ll see me fangirl over my favorite actresses.”
“Are you sure?” Her face shifted to neutral, as emotionless as possible. Internally, Tiffany reimagined their last kiss, sugar and fruit flavoring the recesses of Yuri’s mouth.
Yuri nodded. “Do you mind taking the bus?”
‘Fangirling’ had been an understatement. As Tiffany finished her meal (around the three-fourth’s point of the episode’s run), Yuri had been reduced to a gawping, occasionally squealing, laughing-at-all-correct-cues devotee. These were definitely the qualities cult leaders yearned for in a follower.
This fascinated Tiffany. None of her friends followed television shows besides the all-encompassing Game of Thrones season. While she didn’t consider Yuri’s program half-bad, she’d been lost on its winding storyline and inside jokes. So, she aimlessly dragged her fingers through Yuri’s hair while the plot thickened.
Yuri had yet to change out of her interview clothes, the blouse loosened by a button. In contrast, Tiffany tended to strip half-nude the moment she stepped into her own apartment, which—she allowed herself to be snobby and glance around the world Taekwoon bought—managed to be bigger and much more competently decorated. More rooms, too.
She loved Yuri’s little corner (the couch, an oak desk, a rectangular rug) more than the rest of the place. One could pick out her handprint on every detail. Items like lamps, her laptop (currently playing the show on the desk), storage bins, a black dresser, and cutesy décor. A prominent stack of magazines and coupons mountained on the edge of the desk, organized by color-coded clothespins. Tiffany thumbed through the top stack, notably consisting of skincare products—featuring the face of the actress Yuri fawned over in every one of her scenes. Gay.
Under those were coupons for appliances. The uppermost cutout square being a discount on a top-of-the-line blender. Tiffany’s influence.
She’d avoided this long, but it’d been in vain to not notice pictures of Taekwoon. Handsome, she testily conceded. A beanstalk of a man bearing bee-stung lips.
Fingers twirling more purposefully through Yuri’s hair (earning a contented sigh), Tiffany poured more from a litre of soda they shared. God, when was the last time she and her friends slummed it by drinking this shit straight? Usually, her type of company used soda as an accessory to an alcoholic beverage. Or a chaser.
But, this strawberry flavored debacle of Red 40—while on the ultra-sweet side—hit the spot.
“It’s almost over,” Yuri offered, cracking an embarrassed smile. “Sorry if you’re bored.”
“Oh, I’m not bored.” Which was the truth. Inhabiting Yuri’s comfort bubble eased Tiffany.
Once the credits rolled, Yuri clapped. As in, an actual short applause. “Tonight’s episode was killer. Sooyoung’s gonna go apeshit.”
“You two bond over these dramas.”
“I’m amused by your crush on that actress. The otaku cousin.”
She blushed so prettily. “N-not exactly.”
Tiffany lifted a coupon for face masks, color-printed with the aforementioned woman. “I’m not threatened. Actually…” She turned it toward herself, squinting. “Wouldn’t you say she sort of favors me?"
Yuri’s blush veered into beet red. “What?! No.”
“I wasn’t aware you could be mean, Tiffany.”
Tiffany entertained the unoffended smile on Yuri’s face, growling, “Cat’s out the bag. Sinbi and Yoona are child’s play ‘cause I’m their queen bee. The bitchiest.”
“Why do I find that sexy? I’ve never thought bitchy was sexy before.”
“Because you know I’m joking.” Tiffany rested her hand around the back of Yuri’s neck, running fingers along the collar. “Why are you still Business Casual Barbie? You can’t be comfortable.”
Abruptly uneasy, Yuri quietly admitted, “They’re constricting, yeah, but I like how they make me feel.” Her fingernails—painted a shimmery silver—glided down the hips of her skirt. Attractive without noticing. “Like I’m important. It’s a nice fantasy. I’m getting why appearances make such a difference.”
That concerned Tiffany. “Wardrobe is secondary. You silly Froot Loop, you are important.”
“C’mon, I’m not.”
Tiffany shifted Yuri’s chair to face her fully, hands rushing back to stroke Yuri’s arms, as if not touching her could lead to death. “Yul, you were promoted today because you’re the best person for the job. The worthiest. This satin, that necklace—they’re only the giftwrap on a splendid present. Sometimes, supervisors don’t realize their most prized employee until she’s glittered up a tad.”
“Um, um Taek—”
Tiffany cringed at his mention.
Yuri finished the sentence with, “he’s officially passed out. Soo texted me.”
This wasn’t Tiffany’s first rodeo to this line of talking. “Are you asking me to spend the night?”
She swallowed, shakily asking, “Will you?”
“Mm, on one condition.” Tiffany circled Yuri’s top button with a fingertip. “No more talking down on yourself tonight. You have me wrapped around your finger, so what would it say about us if I like you more than you like yourself?”
“You can undo that.” Yuri shuddered, nodding to the button.
“Tonight, I’ll accept every compliment you dole out. Gladly.”
“You’re so fucking attractive, I want to die.”
“Eh—” Yuri started to argue. Then, let it vanish on her lips. “I’m ready, you know.”
Tiffany decided to stop searching for signs. To trust her feelings. Debilitated by the energy flowing between them, she waved to the couch. “You said that’s a foldout, right?”
“Br-brand new. I replaced my ex’s.”
“Is that right?” Her hand flew to her own hair, scooping it away from her neck, face. “Are you game for some exploring?”
Getting her reference after a few aroused blinks, Yuri replied, “Please be patient with me.”
“We’ll start off small. Kissing.” Tiffany rose, effortlessly straddling the other woman in her seat. In a consoling breath to herself, she calmed the nerves begging Yuri to just sit on her face already. She had to be tactful. “Is this okay?”
“Very.” Yuri palmed the denim on Tiffany’s thighs, puckering exquisitely soft lips for a kiss. And hopefully, more.
Tiffany pep-talked herself as she descended, grasping Yuri’s top lip with her teeth, needing not to obsess over the body she’d soon take.
Be gentle, be mindful, communicate, double-check for her consent, she lectured herself.
And don’t let her know you’ve fallen in love.
Hehe. Do you like where I stopped? ;)) //evil cackle
I'll probably post a reminder, but I'll be taking my second (and hopefully, last) week-long break from updating.
While amazing changes ($$$$, ayyyy) are happening, my cool new position is way more demanding. I stay up late editing, then I'm sleep deprived at work, leaving me sleep deprived while writing, leading to longer edits, hence, later nights. It's cyclical and blah, blah I'm whining. Sorry, y'all. ANYWAYS, since I'm extending the story, I need to enjoy my weekend and get some well-needed rest so I can crank out those remaining chapters!
Thanks for being patient, people~~
♥♥♥, ♥♥♥, ♥♥♥,