This was their third trip to the cinema, and this time Alex had chosen the movie. They're halfway through "Talk To Her" when Alex leans in, breath hot against Piper's ear as she whispers: "Hey, Pipes."
Piper can't help but grin; the nickname is still fresh enough to be cute, endearing.
Seconds pass before Alex breaks the cinema-screen silence for a second time, and Piper feels Alex smile against her skin when she speaks again. "I want to fuck you."
A shiver runs through Piper like electricity, her schoolgirl-innocent grin becoming a picture-perfect presentation of shock for a split second before she regains her composure. Alex's hand is on her thigh, moving in meandering lines towards the apex of her jeans, pausing every few seconds to nudge her legs a little further apart.
"I want to taste you."
Piper's breath hitches, her eyes still firmly fixed on the screen as she refuses to give Alex the satisfaction Piper knows she's seeking. Alex's tongue traces the shell of her ear, almost casually.
"I want to feel you."
Piper sinks her teeth into her bottom lip; Alex's fingers are now pressing against the denim stitching above her clit, and Piper has to fight to stay in her seat, squirming in place as surreptitiously as she can.
The next line comes like a command, and it's obvious that Alex appreciates the challenge Piper is providing.
"I want you to cum for me."
The blonde finds herself involuntarily grinding against her girlfriend's hand, gripping the cinema seat's armrests as though they have to power to ground her. Nothing does, not when Alex takes the lead. Piper has learnt this already.
Teeth tug at her earlobe as Alex laughs softly. Neither of them cared how the movie ended, only what the night now held for them.
"Come home with me."
Piper didn't pause to reply, taking Alex's hand and following her through the fire exit into the alley outside.
Carol Chapman had a habit of calling at the worst possible moment, and rarely with any real reason at all.
It was ten thirty in the morning, and Piper had climbed over Alex's somnolent form and out onto the hotel balcony - phone in hand - sliding the glass door closed to keep the sound of the sea from reaching her sleeping girlfriend. Warmed by the summer sun, Piper sighed as her mother divulged in great detail the scandal surrounding the daughter of a family friend.
"Surely it's up to her who she sleeps with, right?" Piper's question tests the waters gently; she is largely asking for herself. Her mother still has no idea about Alex, and it would be easier to maintain the mysticism.
As though answering her thoughts, the brunette appeared, slinking out of the darkened bedroom and into the sunshine, wearing nothing but a faded t-shirt and last night's underwear.
Piper mouths a good morning and Alex kisses her, lips quiet as the blonde holds her mobile away from their embrace.
The kiss concluded, Piper continues the conversation, all rolling eyes and exasperated expressions as her mother keeps talking. "Yes Mom, I'm eating fine."
Alex, smiling, presses Piper back against the balustrade of the balcony, pushing away protestations with a mischievous glint in her eye.
Piper's eyes are wide as she mouths at her girlfriend. What are you doing?
Dropping her knees, Alex lifts Piper's shirt, her tongue outlining the blonde's stomach muscles. They flex against her tongue as she feels the heat radiating from Piper's body.
"Mom, can I call you b-"
Piper has to hold back a moan, head tilting back, her face to the sun as she presses her lips together. Her mother ignores the cues to end the call and plows on, oblivious.
Alex lets her teeth graze Piper's barely visible hips, before leaving blushing red bruises on her ribs.
She runs her thumbs over the bones, applying just enough pressure to elicit hums of pleasure from her girlfriend, who is fighting to stay in control of her body.
"I'm sorry Mom," Piper blurts out, the final phoneme of her mother's title lasting a little longer than it should. "The food's here, I've got to go."
Alex laughs quietly against Piper's body, the buzz ricocheting through the blonde's sensitive nerves. She grazes the soft skin either side of Piper's navel with her teeth, her tongue tracing the route before her incisors follow.
"Yes Mom. Iloveyoutoobye."
As Piper drops the phone onto the table beside them, Alex grips her wrists, thumbs stroking over her frantic pulse. She presses her lips to any exposed skin she can see, leaving several seconds worth of stinging lovebites to blossom.
Piper whimpers, the familiar pain and pleasure of the simple act washing over her.
Desperation overwhelms as Alex continues and Piper finally wriggles free, tugging Alex up for a breathless kiss, hands pulling at her as though she can't decide whether she wants the woman closer or further away.
"Bedroom." Alex breaths, her voice rough with desire. Now."
Piper is only too happy to obey.
"Careful, kid." Alex's tone was low, unhurried.
Piper had been alone, working on a faulty light switch in the workshop, too aware of a loose, live wire to turn and face her girlfriend who had just entered through the workroom's doorway. Panic was evident in her reply.
"What're you doing? If someone finds you in here with me, you'll get a shot." She hadn't even heard the door open at her girlfriend's arrival.
"Luschek sent for me. He said there were some dirty dust sheets that need to be washed. I came to get them." Alex's words were a lexical smirk. This was her excuse, and Piper didn't need to look to know that the brunette was behind her, watching, waiting.
She tried to continue with her task, but stopped short when she felt hands press into her hips, a body warm against her back as Alex held her close.
"If we get caught..."
Alex laughed, kissing the blonde's neck softly as her fingers made their way down to the waistband of Piper's prison uniform, sliding into her underwear as Alex's free hand held her still.
"Al-" Piper's words broke with a moan, Alex grazing her clit as she moved further. Minutes passed before Alex urged them further, sliding a single digit inside her girlfriend, Piper's hips bucking in response.
The movement jarred the wire that the blonde still grasped with pliers, and she wondered for a moment if a shock from the fault could kill them both. There were worse ways to die, she supposed.
Alex buried herself up to the knuckle in Piper, causing her girlfriend to contract around her, weak at the knees.
"Fuck, Alex, please..."
The lips against Piper's jugular became teeth, teasing and tugging at the hot flesh. Piper leant back against Alex, desperate for the willpower to say no, although she knew she never would.
Alex Vause, for all she was a terrible influence, was the best person in Piper's life, and it wasn't like Piper wanted to stop, she just didn't want to get caught; the SHU was still a mystery to her, and she wanted it to remain that way.
As though reading her mind, Alex slowed to a halt.
"Sorry kid." Alex stepped back, and Piper allowed herself to twist around enough to glare, gripping the hilt of the tool in her hand as though she could kill with it. "I'd hate to get you into trouble."
Piper's expression of sexual frustration was ruined by the sight of Alex sliding one slender finger between her lips, removing any trace of Piper from her person, holding her girlfriend's gaze until she was done. "And I've got dust sheets to clean."
With a wink, she was gone, gathering bundles of fabric from the door before making her exit.
"An inmate from Litchfield Federal Prison is attempting to contact you. Do you wish to accept?"
Alex exhaled her affirmation into the phone, and waiting for the click of the connection before speaking again.
"Hey Pipes." She could hear a smile coming down the line. "You okay?"
"Alex, it's crazy here. There's..."
Piper checked the phone lobby, spying some of Vee's girls lingering by the doors as she contemplated how to best end her sentence, failing to find the words.
"Is the chicken back?"
Piper couldn't help but laugh. "No chicken. But he was there, I saw him!"
"Sure, Chapman. Whatever you say."
There was a pause, and Alex waited for Piper to break the silence first.
"Do you remember that chicken we saw in Rio? The one that escaped from the marketplace, and everyone was chasing it through the streets?"
"Of all the things we did in Rio, you're remembering a chicken?"
Alex leant against the kitchen worktop, tracing the cracks in the Formica surface with her index finger. "I remember other things."
She could almost hear Piper pouting, and tried to imagine her stood at the bank of wall-mounted phones, bringing back faded memories that she'd rather forget. She sighed, running her hand through her hair as she cast back to Brazil again, ignoring the prison-induced intrusion.
"Do you remember the first night, in the hotel room?"
Piper hesitated, casting her eyes around as she considered her reply. "I do."
"Do you remember what I did to you?"
Of course Piper could remember. They had barely locked the door before Alex had been on her, pushing her back onto the bed and hitching her dress up to her hips, underwear pooling around her ankles as Alex spread her thighs and...
Alex chuckled, her tone low.
"We barely slept."
"I came seven times that night." Piper breathed, her voice barely above a whisper, fingers curling into fists around the phone cable involuntarily.
"Barely a record, Pipes."
Piper smiled to herself as Alex continued. "What about Amsterdam? The kink club?"
A pause. Piper chewed her bottom lip. That had been the night with the blindfold. They hadn't even made it to the bed that time.
A wail broke her reminiscence. The crying lady was stood beside her, sobbing about a fixed wrestling match into the black plastic handset she cradled in the crook of her neck. The concept of inappropriate barely covered it.
"Al, stop. There are people here!"
Alex cracked a grin. "Is it that woman who cries about her son all the time?"
"Yes." Piper responded, sheepishly.
"Put her on, I'll tell her about Amsterdam."
Alex's mischief was barely hidden, and Piper had to cover her mouth with her hand. "Alex, no! Behave. Please. At least until I see you."
"One week." Alex turned on the spot to face one of the few things she'd bought since her release: an almost blank calendar hanging on the wall. She had been counting down the days until visitation. "I'll wear the grey jumper again. The one as soft as my resolve."
Piper smiled. "I would like that."
"As much as you liked Amsterdam?" She could hear Alex smirking.
"You liked that, too."
"I love you and I fucking hate you."
Piper's own words were returned to her, from the lips of Alex Vause. Late evening in the library; they had left movie night for this.
Sat separately in their plastic chairs, Piper had felt Alex's eyes boring into the back of her head. She was so attuned to her ex-girlfriend that she hadn't even hesitated when she'd sensed the woman leave the room halfway through the film, scraping her own seat back before following her out and into the shell of empty shelves, the books all boxed up or burnt in the wake of the bed bugs.
Alex was ready, waiting for her, leaning casually against the doorframe before catching Piper as she crossed the threshold, pressing her back against one of the many walls she'd hoped to never see again.
She held Piper in place by the collar of her shirt, breathless with frustration as she spat the words out between kisses.
Piper didn't falter at the phrase, circling Alex's wrists with her hands and pushing her hard into a table, the brunette cursing as her thighs took the brunt of the blow.
The backs of Alex's legs would ache from the collision come morning, but she didn't care. This was one minor scrape in a chorus of cuts.
Alex's natural dominance had always won through in the past, but this time Piper had something to prove. She had done what she felt was best, and she wouldn't apologise for putting Alex's welfare first.
Her fingers closed about Alex's throat and applied pressure, Alex's glare burning into her as she forced Piper backwards. The blonde tripped over a discarded box and the pair came crashing to the ground, the thin carpet failing to soften their fall but successfully breaking Piper's grip, her elbow jarring against the thinly veiled concrete below, a grunt slipping from her lips as the shock ricocheted through her bones.
Alex drove her knee up between her ex's thighs, her hands holding the woman's hips still as Piper tried desperately to gain some friction, fervently seeking pleasure from the position.
Alex's hands moved to Piper's bare arms, nails connecting with unblemished flesh as she left hot scratches from the soft inside of Piper's elbows down to the pulse at her wrists. She wanted Piper to bleed, to sting, to burn. Above all else, she wanted Piper to come back for more.
She balled her fist into Piper's hair and pulled, leaning down for a hot kiss that left her lips battered from bite marks and bruising moans.
This was a new type of connection, one forged in fire rather than romance.
This had always been inevitable.
It would never fade away, and Alex had the rest of her second sentence to dwell on that fact.
Remembering again that she was back in the very hell she had escaped, all thanks to the woman pinned beneath her, Alex stood abruptly and slunk out of the library, leaving Piper to mull this monstrosity over for another night.
She didn't trust herself enough to cast a backward glance, knowing that she was just as likely to get sucked into their fraught fuckery once more.
There was more tension in taunting than satisfaction in sex, and Alex knew which one she felt Piper deserved.
"This is so fucked up."
Alex's eyes opened a fraction; enough to take in the sight of her girlfriend gazing at her, a smile staining her mid-morning features. Tugging the duvet back over her naked body, she laughed.
"The fact that you stole the duvet again? You're right, that is fucked up."
Piper giggled and brushed a strand of hair away from Alex's eyes, trailing her hand over the woman's face as she shook her head.
"No, not that." Alex frowned, prompting Piper to continue. "I am sorry about the duvet though."
Alex laughed, the sound ringing through their new and sparsely furnished bedroom as she pulled Piper closer to her, the blonde's head resting on her chest, their arms around one another.
"What is fucked up?" She whispered as they settled, her voice as soft as the snow falling outside.
There was a moment of silence as their collective attention was drawn to the fogged-up window, snowflakes drifting past the glass, the sound of a car horn clear down the street, cutting through the crisp morning air, before Piper responded. Alex could almost feel her mind working.
"Okay..?" Alex tried not to let the concern lacing her nerves be told by her tone. She nuzzled into Piper, inhaling her girlfriend's smell and trying her hardest not to let her head go into overdrive.
She often awoke with a sense of panic clutching at her, as though her greatest fears were gripping her collar and refusing to let go. Only in the last few months had she been able to stay calm, her fingers intertwined with Piper's as she subtly took several steadying breaths.
"You were working for an international drug cartel. I was some pretentious post-grad."
"You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar?" Alex made a joke, hoping to deflect the rest of Piper's diatribe.
"This is not The Human League, Alex." Piper stilled for a moment, swallowing a smile. The complexity of their past had been bothering her all morning. She had spent hours watching Alex sleep, hoping to find the answer she'd been hunting in the curves of her girlfriend's body, the softness of her features. "We did dinner, drinks, adultery - "
"It's not adultery if you're not married." Alex interjected, sensing the dialogue's eventual destination, stomach rolling at the thought or recapping the worst points of their relationship.
"... Drug dealing, a little drug taking. I leave you, at the worst possible fucking moment," Piper vocalised an age-old argument, guilt creeping out of long-passed problems. "Somebody names somebody else in a trial, we fuck, we fall out, we fuck some more, I go to SHU for aggravated assault, we fuck up Kubra's trial - "
Alex blinked, some moments of their potted history stinging more sincerely than others. Even the mere mention of Kubra's name had made her flinch. Between recollections of her mother's death and Piper's solitary incarceration, this was distinctly not how she had wanted to spend her Boxing Day morning, particularly as she was due to meet Piper's parents for the first time this afternoon. As if today wasn't already going to be hard enough.
She considered kissing the conversation away, her lips erasing the oh-so-libelous lexis from Piper's mournful mouth, but decided better of it. If this was bothering Piper, it needed to be addressed, and she had tried to distract Piper enough already. Instead, Alex kept her silence pressed to her chest, her grip on Piper tightening almost imperceptibly as she held her tongue between her teeth.
" - you get out, I force you back in, we hate each other, we hold hands, we get high, we fall in love all over again and then I turn into Don fucking Quixote!"
"You mean Don Corleone?"
"Whatever. But you were nearly killed, Alex. Killed. Because I was too busy selling underwear made of off-cuts for a prison pussy website!"
Despite the tears threading their way into her hair, Alex laughs. Piper was right: this was fucked up. "Can we skip the part where I murder a man?" Her voice trembled at the question, and she wished she'd kept her mouth shut the moment she spoke.
Piper pulled back, her eyes on Alex for the first time in several minutes. "And then," She continues the story more softly, her tone a blanket for the bruises they hoped to leave behind, brushing the tears from Alex's cheeks with the pad of her thumb. "My sentence ends, and your second sentence ends - which I'm still sorry about, by the way - and we move in together, properly, to a place of our own. You sell the PoPi soap that we make, and every night we sleep in the same bed without fear of being separated in the morning."
They watch one another for what feels like several minutes, before Alex finally breaks the moment.
"You missed out the parts where you imagined a chicken, were attacked after a nativity by a religious fanatic with no teeth, collected cigarette-carrying cockroaches in Chicago, started a white power group, and kissed an Australian with a Tank Girl tattoo."
Piper paused. "Yeah, well..." Alex eyes twinkled in anticipation of the comeback. "You slept with Nicky."
"Fuck. I did, didn't I?" There was no remorse in her reply, simply acceptance, and a smirk on her lips. "That was the week we went to Bora Bora Bora."
Their facade of seriousness crumbled, and the couple held one another close, creasing with quiet laughter.
"I love you." It was quiet, and Piper only just caught the confession as it crept from her lover's lips. Had she still been laughing, she might have missed it, and it had been a while since this particular sentiment had been shared. "You have to say it back." Alex prodded her in the chest, prompting Piper as sadness still lined her smile.
"I love you, Alex Vause."
"I love you, Piper Chapman."