So. This is the last chapter. And then Seduction will be complete in its entirety. Thanks for all the reviews I've received – they are very heartening and I really appreciate them. I wouldn't hold my breath for a sequel on this one. It's done. After this, there is no more of this particular fictional universe.
I really must apologize for how late this chapter is. Along with all my homework and such, my weekends have been pretty devoted to college visits and trying to de-stress. So please forgive a humble child and her writer's block.
Miley stared at her cousin with wide eyes. What in the world, she wanted to scream, was Luanne doing back in Malibu?? Lilly was motionless beside her and all she could do was hope that Lilly loved her more than Lilly thought she loved Luanne.
"Luanne," Mr. Stewart started, "what in Sam Hill are you doin' out here?"
She smiled sweetly up at him, "Uncle Robby! Ain'tcha glad to see me?"
"We sent you home." He didn't answer her question, not willing to admit that he was, in fact, unhappy to see her. She had sent his family into turmoil quite a few times and she was almost unwelcome.
"I know, I know," Luanne sighed, "I just couldn' go home without sayin' bye to Lilly."
Lilly stared at her, "I've got to go…"
Miley grabbed Lilly's arm as Lilly attempted to flee the scene. Lilly shot her a warning look, trying to communicate that she'd call later but she just could not see Luanne. Miley backed off slightly, eyes pained. Lilly leaned forward and kissed Miley's cheek affectionately for good measure before grabbing her bags and running down the sidewalk at full speed.
Luanne stared in shocked amazement for a moment before schooling her emotions back to a blank face. She truly hadn't been expecting that. Although she had figured that Miley had figured out what had happened and told Lilly, she hadn't thought in a million years that Lilly and Miley would start a relationship.
Dang flabbit! She cursed mentally, ignoring the slight ache in her chest. Lilly and Miley were supposed to be at odds, or in the best case scenario, tentative friends. Not, she scowled, in a budding relationship.
Plastering a fake smile on her face, Luanne followed her extended family into the house, watching quietly as they lugged their suitcases up into their respective rooms. She fell to the couch and waited. It was only a matter of time before they came back. Dragging a finger along the couch, she smiled softly. Less than a week ago she'd had Lilly pinned to these very cushions more than once.
Snapping her head to and fro, Luanne tried to shoo those thoughts away. She was here to ruin Miley's life, not fall in love with some silly blonde. Having Lilly as a girlfriend would be a nice addition, her treacherous mind added thoughtfully. Her thoughts were yanked away as Miley plodded downstairs with a cell phone pressed to her ear.
"I don't know," Miley murmured, her eyes darting to Luanne, "We didn't plan it. … I know… I can't wait 'til our next trip."
Grumbling, Luanne strained to hear better. She was quite a busybody and hated hearing only one half of the conversation. It soon became obvious, though, that Miley was not going to let her hear anything. Miley turned her back on Luanne and lowered her voice.
Luanne grimaced, glaring heatedly at her cousin. It just wasn't fair, she fumed silently. After all, she had done all the work seducing Lilly into a relationship. Her hand clenched into a tight fist – she couldn't let this go. Something had to be done. Lilly would be hers, no matter the consequences.
"Dad!" Miley hollered, hugging the phone to her chest, "Can I go to Lilly's for dinner?"
Robby came down the stairs and shot a covert glance at Luanne, "Miles, she's welcome here, but we have company."
Miley returned to her phone conversation as Luanne grumbled quietly. She disliked how she was treated these days by her family. She'd done some pretty nasty things in the past, she supposed, but when she was with the Malibu Stewarts, she felt like some strain of the stomach flu – to be contained and handled with care. Miley chuckled into the phone, driving Luanne even madder.
"See you in a few," Miley snapped the phone shut. She turned to Robby Ray and beamed, "She's just dropping her stuff off before coming back."
Robby was startled, but he didn't let that show on his face. He sensed that there was something odd going on between the young women in his life, but he couldn't quite pinpoint what it was. He assumed from Lilly's earlier reaction that Lilly wasn't keen on seeing Luanne again for a long time, yet she was coming back for dinner.
"Well, we're having stir fry." He turned away and padded into the kitchen. Sifting through the fridge, he chuckled, "Or maybe just Jackson's leftovers."
Miley giggled, "I'm sure it's fine."
By the time Robby had gotten some semblance of a meal put together, Lilly had arrived at the Stewart household. Luanne watched from the couch as Miley opened the door and embraced the blonde girl. She growled softly as Lilly gave Miley a small kiss. Still determined, Luanne got to her feet and trailed over.
Lilly gave her a shy smile. Miley grabbed her arm possessively and Lilly didn't pull away.
"You do know, right, that you fell for me first? Not her?" Luanne jabbed a finger at Miley – Miley stiffened angrily.
"I know." Lilly agreed mildly. She wasn't looking to start a fight.
"But she's with me now. So there." Miley glared at Luanne.
"I know." Lilly glanced between the two cousins, wishing desperately that there was some way to split into two people. Making the two of them happy would be the easiest way out of this complicated situation.
"She was mine first." Luanne hissed, grabbing Lilly's wrist and tugging.
"She doesn't want you!" Miley kept Lilly glued to her side with an iron grip.
"How about asking me?" Lilly asked jokingly. Both Luanne and Miley shot her dirty looks. She quieted. "What?"
"Stay out of this," Miley whispered, "Please."
Lilly sighed, "Miles, look, this concerns me. I think I get a say."
"Yeah, Miley. Let her say something." Luanne jibed.
Miley paled. Would Lilly really leave her?
"Luanne, I'm flattered, really I am, but I'm with Miley." Lilly stated.
"We'll see…" Luanne smirked knowingly and turned, flouncing away. Miley growled in frustration.
"Mile, don't worry about it. No matter what she does, I'll always be yours." Lilly tried to soothe her girlfriend.
"She's trying to steal you!" Miley stared at Lilly with pained eyes, "You wouldn't leave me?"
"Of course not!" Lilly exclaimed. She'd thought about Luanne a great deal since she'd left earlier in the day – Luanne was… tempting… There was just something more physical and intimate about her girlfriend's cousin. Luanne was brazen and bold and open, whereas Miley was a little shyer in the realms of relationships and fumbling and new. But Lilly found that she enjoyed sharing the new anxiety of the relationship. It was dual exploration.
Dinner went smoothly, to say the most. Luanne kept trying to insert herself into conversations between Lilly and Miley; Miley kept trying to keep Luanne out of everything. Robby, Lilly, and Jackson sat back and watched the two brunettes go at it verbally. Lilly felt mildly bad that this spat was over her, but she did enjoy the fact that Miley was fighting for her.
After dinner found the girls on the couch; Miley was on one end, Lilly in the middle, and Luanne on the other. Miley's arm was cast protectively around Lilly's shoulders and her idle hand was placed on Lilly's upper thigh. Luanne could only stare daggers at her cousin as Lilly let her head rest on Miley's shoulder.
"Lil, don't you miss what I can do?" Luanne questioned pointedly.
"Miley can, too." Lilly stated simply. She was going to stay out of this as best she could. She didn't want to become a competition.
"Yeah, I can too." Miley challenged.
Luanne raised an eyebrow, "But not like I can. She probably sucks."
Lilly blushed furiously, "She's fine."
"But not me."
Miley bristled, "Are you insinuating that I can't keep Lilly happy?"
Lilly threw her hands up in the air and got to her feet, "Look, Miley, I'm happy. Luanne, again, I'm flattered, but no. If this is going to turn into some stupid contest for my love, this is over."
Luanne snapped her fingers at the same moment that Miley did – together they exclaimed, "That's perfect!"
Lilly groaned. "What?"
"We'll compete." Miley started.
Luanne picked up the slack, "And the winner gets to date you."
"What??" Lilly cried, "No way! I'm with Miley. I wouldn't date you even if you won, Luanne."
Luanne sniffed, "I'm better than Miley, you know that. So stop sparing Miley's feelings. You know you want me."
"No!" Lilly shouted. She glanced between the two girls and shook her head. "I'm out of here."
The cousins watched in a frustrated silence as Lilly fled the scene. As soon as the blonde was gone, the two turned to each other, fury burning in their eyes.
"Do you see what you did?"
"What I did? That was all you!"
They grumbled for a moment before Luanne spoke up again, "So… are we still on?"
Miley smirked, for all her nervousness, "Yes."
When Lilly woke up the next morning she was greeted by a very strange sight: Two Miley's standing at the base of her bed. She blinked, rubbing her eyes. Idly she wondered if this was some sort of weird hallucination.
"Good morning." The two greeted her.
"Um…. Why are there two of Miley?" Lilly whispered, still incredibly confused.
"We're testing you, Lilly." Miley smiled. "One of us is the real Miley, one of us is Luanne. No duh, right. So we both are going to kiss you. And you pick the better kisser."
Lilly felt panic rising in her belly. She didn't know if she could distinguish between two kisses. "Crazy girlfriend and cousin say what?"
Miley chuckled. She knew her speech rubbed off on Lilly and was happy to see it show like that. "Can we start?"
Lilly thought desperately. No matter what happened, she couldn't lose Miley. There had to be a way to choose her girlfriend. Then it hit her.
"We can start."
Miley approached and leaned in, giving Lilly a gentle but loving kiss. As she drew away, Lilly smiled.
"What's my name?" Lilly whispered under her breath.
"Lillian Truscott." Miley responded obediently and equally as quiet.
Luanne pushed Miley out of the way and gave Lilly a searing kiss. Lilly could see Miley glaring jealously at the sight of her girlfriend and her cousin sharing a passionate kiss. As Luanne pulled back, Lilly repeated her question, just for good measure.
"Lilly, duh." Luanne smiled innocently.
"Can I have a moment to think?" Lilly made sure to keep her eyes trained on the other girls.
Miley nodded hesitantly. Luanne boldly nodded, sure of her victory. Lilly locked eyes with Miley and smiled hesitantly. She shyly crossed to Miley and grabbed Miley's hands. Kissing the back of the limbs, Lilly beamed.
"I choose you."
Luanne scowled darkly, "So where does this leave me?"
Miley laughed, "Back in Tennessee."
Luanne shook her head, "This isn't the end of this."
Lilly finally decided to assert herself. "Luanne, it is. Miley and I are together. Get over it."
Luanne bit her lip, trying to hide her hurt expression. She stormed from Lilly's bedroom, leaving the couple to themselves. Miley's attention returned to Lilly's smiling face.
"Thanks…" Miley kissed Lilly's cheek, "So…. Truthfully, who was the better kisser?"
Lilly didn't even have to think. "You, of course."