Still half-asleep, Bayley reached out across the king-sized bed, only to find the sheets empty. Her eyes opened then, squinting at the familiar white light emanating from the living room of their suite. With a sigh, she stood up, pulling on one of her oversized concert t-shirts.
As expected, once she trudged into the other room, she saw her girlfriend hunched over her laptop. Sasha was so engrossed in her work that she didn't notice her presence, not until Bayley went to her, nuzzling her nose in her dark hair.
Sasha stopped typing then, twisting in her seat to smile up at the other woman. "Oh, hey. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't. You know I don't sleep well when you're not next to me." Bayley pulled a chair closer and sat down, once again burying her face in her lover's hair. "Come back to bed."
With a slight smile, Sasha resumed typing, though she didn't pull away from Bayley's touch. "If I don't send these emails, you're not going to get a private jet for all your bookings in Europe this summer."
"What happens if they fall through? Does that mean we can stay home? I can work on my next album… and we can relax, sleep in late… go out on dates?"
Sasha shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She knew Bayley was half-joking, there was no musician who was more dedicated to fulfilling their commitments, always conscious of never letting her fans down. But she didn't miss the wistfulness in her tone, particularly in the last part of her question. "Baby… I promise, once your fall tour is over, I'll slow down with your schedule and you can spend all winter in the studio. You're just so in-demand right now. I want to strike while the iron's hot." She turned her head, meeting the other woman's gaze. "I just… I want everyone to hear your music. I want everyone to fall in love with you. I know I can make you the biggest rock star in the world."
Bayley quirked a smile, but it was a little bittersweet. "I know you're only doing what's best for me. For us," she amended. "But I don't want to be the biggest rock star in the world. I already have more money than I can spend in my lifetime. I just want to make music, and have my fans feel like I do when I listened to the bands I loved when I was growing up." Her voice grew stronger, more certain. "And I want to go out with the love of my life, and not hide how I feel about her. I don't want to pretend that she's just my manager anymore."
Sasha was suddenly reminded of the conversation she had with Bayley when her music first started getting traction and the interview requests began. She remembered how adamant Bayley was about not hiding her sexuality, how important she said it was for her to have representation growing up, and how she wanted to be a role model for the girls and boys who needed her. She couldn't deny her then, and she couldn't deny her now. She reached out to tangle her fingers in her lover's hair, a smile touching her lips. "I want that too. But… I want to do what's best for your career. You know you're more marketable if it looks like you're single."
"Babe. Look at me. I'm not Bieber. I'm never gonna have teenage girls swooning over me."
Sasha's smile widened then, a flash of white in the darkness. "I don't think you know just how swoon-worthy you are."
Blushing, Bayley ducked her head. "You're biased," she muttered.
"I think I know the appeal of my sexy rock star girlfriend better than anyone." Still smiling, she leant forward to press a kiss to the other woman's lips. "Just give me some more time to figure it out?"
The musician finally smiled in response, and agreed with a nod. "Ok. You're the Boss."
Sasha laughed awkwardly at the nickname that all their business partners had given her. "Not between us."
"No. Never." Bayley reached out to take her hand, her smile growing contemplative. "Remember when we first met?"
"How could I forget? I was walking past the music rooms in school one day and heard you playing your guitar. I marched inside and told you that I wanted to be your manager."
"You tried to tell me that you had a cousin who was a famous rapper."
"I do have a cousin who's a famous rapper!"
"I know. But I'm so proud that you never asked him for anything, and everything we did, we did on our own. Together, as partners." She tugged Sasha into her lap then, and Sasha let her, knowing how much Bayley loved to cuddle. Suddenly, it occurred to her just how much that Bayley had been holding back in public, not being able to be physically affectionate, and her heart clenched at the sacrifice she had unknowingly been asking the other woman to make all these years. Bayley buried her face in her hair again, murmuring in her ear. "I know I was too scared to tell you how I felt until, like, three years later at the launch party for my first album. But I fell in love with you that day, with the tiny purple-haired whirlwind that completely turned my life upside-down. I've waited so long, that I can keep waiting. Whenever you're ready."
Sasha didn't trust herself to speak, she could only squeeze the strong arms around her waist. Bayley took it as her cue to let her go, and she settled back into her seat again. She turned to watch as Bayley moved over to couch, picking up her guitar on the way.
"How many more emails do you need to send?"
"I might need another thirty minutes to reply to the ones I have left?"
"Ok. I'll keep you company. I have a melody stuck in my head anyway, and I want to get it down."
Sasha smiled. "Thanks Bay. I love you."
"Love you too, Sash."