Disclaimer: I do not own Pretty Little Liars or the characters. All of the rights to them belong to ABC Family and Sara Shepard.
"I was looking for something. I was looking for somebody...and I came here."
Paige let out a huff of relief as she took in what Emily was saying. Emily wanted her. Emily wanted her. She smiled and looked down, trying to comprehend the fact that this was really happening. Beautiful, perfect Emily Fields wanted plain, flawed Paige McCullers.
"Don't look away."
Paige's neck tingled where Emily placed her hand, guiding her forward. Paige was dizzy before their lips even met, her heart swimming in a pool of Emily. Her hands moved up and down Emily's arms, as Emily's found their way to Paige's hair. Emily's tongue slid along Paige's bottom lip and she moaned softly, immediately parting her lips. As the kiss deepened, she felt Emily's body press up against hers. She smiled into her, leaning further and further in, never getting close enough to this girl that she had craved since she first saw her.
The kiss was gentle and passionate, just like Emily. It was hungry but patient, explorative but familiar; they were getting reacquainted with the way each other tasted and felt.
They separated, resting their foreheads against one another, their slightly quickened breath mingling together. Emily laced her fingers with Paige's, planting another quick peck on her lips.
"Oh my God," Paige said, still feeling her body buzz with arousal and happiness and disbelief.
"Wow," she heard Emily breathe out. Paige opened her eyes and saw the same look in Emily's eyes that she knew she wore every time she saw the darker girl. One of adoration, affection, longing.
Paige felt her heart flutter and she kissed Emily's cheek, and pulled her in for a tight hug. She wrapped her arms around her and buried her face in the other girl's neck, smelling a mixture of peaches and chlorine that she knew to be uniquely Emily. Paige felt a pair of soft lips touch her neck lightly, again and again, making her heart do somersaults and her skin tingle, and she worried her ability to hold herself up would fail her. The girls stayed like that for a few minutes and Paige pressed herself as close to Emily as she could, enjoying the warmth of the other girl's body and the feeling of holding her in her arms.
Finally, she pulled back to look Emily in the eye.
"I'm really sorry again, Em. I should have stopped you that night, but I-"
"Shhh. It's okay." Paige was stopped mid-apology by Emily's finger on her lips, which was quickly replaced by Emily's mouth. They kissed for a few seconds and then Emily spoke again.
"You don't need to apologize. As scary as it is that I don't remember coming here, I don't regret it. When you told me about that night, it reminded me of how much I like you. I came to you that night for a reason. I'm ready to start moving on, and I want to do that with you, Paige."
Paige loved the way Emily said her name. It was the same as everyone else said it, but it felt so different, as if Emily liked the way it tasted on her tongue. She looked into Emily's eyes and saw sincerity. Emily really was ready to date again, and she wanted Paige.
Paige sighed and then, after a few seconds, smirked, suddenly struck with an idea. "Wanna go for a swim?"
The corners of Emily's lips turned upward in a grin. "I don't have my bathing suit."
"We can just swim in our tank tops and underwear."
Without waiting for an answer, Paige took off her shoes and pants and dove into the pool. When she poked her head back out of the water, she said, "Come on, Fields. Swim with me."
Emily removed her shoes and pants as well and did a cannonball into the pool, splashing water into Paige's eyes. "Hey!" Paige said, and splashed Emily back when she reemerged, giggling. "Watch it, Em. If you blind me, I won't be able to see you and tell you how beautiful you are."
Emily stopped laughing but kept the smile on her face. Paige saw that Emily was blushing as she swam over to Paige and wrapped one arm around her torso, holding onto the side of the pool with the other.
"You might also turn into a robot like Jenna, and cyborgs don't turn me on. I'll be more careful." Paige laughed and leaned in to press her lips to Emily's. The kiss quickly deepened, and Paige moaned softly as their tongues met. Chlorine mixed with Emily tasted like home.
After they parted, Emily left a quick kiss on Paige's nose, then started swimming toward the opposite end of the pool. Paige stayed by the edge, watching the tan girl's muscles move underneath the water. Emily was equal parts power and grace. Paige was in awe.
When Emily returned to her starting point, Paige took off with her for the next lap. She quickly fell into Emily's established rhythm, swimming effortlessly in time with her. They swam a few dozen laps together, perfectly in sync, before Emily decided it was getting late and she should head home.
The girls got out of the pool and Paige grabbed two towels that were lying on a nearby lounge chair, handing one to Emily. They dried off, and Paige kept stealing glances at Emily's bare, toned legs. The girl was a goddess, and it was only after a good thirty seconds of staring that she heard Emily clear her throat. Paige looked up to see that Emily had an eyebrow quirked and a seductive smirk on her face. Paige felt her face turning a bright shade of crimson, but given the events of the night, she realized she shouldn't be embarrassed. She could finally look at Emily like that without feeling like a pervert. Well, maybe she still did, but it was justified because Emily was now looking at her exactly the same way. Paige could see the desire in her eyes. What Paige was feeling exceeded all possible expectations. Whoever came up with the term 'butterflies' never met Emily Fields.
When they had dried off and gotten dressed, Paige took Emily's hand in hers. She gave it a light squeeze as they began walking to Emily's car and smiled when she felt a squeeze in return. They walked slowly, neither one of them wanting to leave the other's company. When they reached the car, they turned to each other.
Paige smiled and said, "Tonight was...great." She winced internally at how lame that sounded. She didn't want to say too much too fast, but she needed Emily to know how much this night meant to her. She looked down at her hands entwined with Emily's, and turned them so that their fingers were laced together, fitting perfectly between one another. She looked back up, making eye contact with the girl in front of her.
Emily was smiling at her as she began rubbing her thumbs along the back of Paige's hands. They leaned in simultaneously and their lips met. Paige moved her hands to Emily's waist, and Emily put one hand on the back of Paige's neck, holding her in place. They kissed slowly, and Paige found herself trying to memorize the way Emily's body felt pressed against hers. Emily's other hand grazed Paige's back gently through her wet tank top, and came to rest at the very bottom of her lower back at the top of her athletic pants. Emily turned a little, pinning Paige between herself and the car. She ran her hands up and down Paige's sides, feeling warm breath on her cheek as they kissed. They soon had to part for air, and smiled at each other, breathing heavily. Paige loved this feeling. She felt like she could live off of it, sleep and sustenance be damned.
Emily planted one more soft kiss on Paige's lips. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Emily opened her car door and got inside. She put on her seatbelt, started the engine, and waved to Paige before driving away. Paige waved back and stared at the car until it was out of sight.
Emily parked her car and walked up the steps to her front door. When she entered the house, she heard her mother's voice.
Pam appeared around the corner from the kitchen, and smiled when she saw her daughter. "Hi, honey. Swim practice run late?" she asked, taking in Emily's wet hair.
"Um, no, I was over at Paige's house. We went for an impromptu swim."
"Oh, that's nice. Are you two becoming closer friends?"
Emily paused. "More than friends, actually." She smiled, unable to contain herself. "We dated briefly last year but it didn't work out. Tonight I went over there to talk, and we're going to try again."
Pam looked a little surprised, but smiled at how happy Emily was. "That's great. I didn't even know that Paige was gay."
Emily nodded. "That's why it didn't work with her before; she wasn't ready to come out and I didn't want to be a secret. But she's ready now. She came out to her parents and everything. Not because of me, but she's made a lot of progress."
"And you're ready to move on from Maya?"
Emily paused, thinking about her response. "Yeah. A part of me will always love and miss her. She was my first real love. But I've been grieving for long enough, and I'm ready to start trying to move on. I really like Paige, and I want to be with her."
Pam smiled at Emily and said, "Well, I'm glad you're happy again, honey." She reached out to hug Emily who wrapped her arms around her mom.
After a few moments Emily pulled away and looked her mom in the eye. "I don't think I ever thanked you properly for accepting me. It means a lot to me to have your support. Thank you, Mom."
Pam had an apologetic look on her face as she spoke. "Emily, I'm sorry it took me so long to get here. But now, I couldn't be more proud of the strong, beautiful, brave young woman you've become. I love you so much." She wiped a tear out of her eye and chuckled. "God, now you've got me crying! Thanks a lot." She smiled jokingly at Emily, who smiled back.
Emily walked up the stairs to her bedroom and took off Nate's jacket. She tossed it on a nearby chair, rolling her eyes as she remembered his attempt to hit on her even though he knew he didn't have a chance. She pulled her phone out of the pocket, kicked her shoes off, and flopped down on her bed. She scrolled through the contacts on her phone, finding Paige's name and selecting it. After thinking for a moment, she decided what to say and began to type.
Thank you for tonight. It was perfect.
Paige's reply came quickly.
It really was. You make me so happy, Emily.
Emily felt her heart flutter.
Likewise. :) Do you want to do something tomorrow?
Emily took a sip out of the water bottle on her nightstand, and waited for her phone to buzz again.
Emily Fields, are you asking me on a date? ;D
Yes, McCullers, a date. You're such a dork.
Again, the response was almost immediate.
But I'm a cute dork. I'd love to see you tomorrow. What did you have in mind?
Emily was beaming as she typed out a response.
I'm not telling, it's a surprise.
Emily knew Paige would be frustrated with this, but she didn't care. Paige could be impatient all she wanted. What Emily was planning was worth it.
No fair! You're killing me, Fields. Maybe I don't want to go now. *pouty face*
Emily rolled her eyes.
Oh, please. As if.
Emily loved having this sort of banter with Paige. It was comfortable. She and Maya had had a different kind of connection, one that was a little playful but mostly more serious, based on attraction. With Paige, all of that same attraction was there, of course, but along with it came a very natural and easy friendship that she had really missed in the time they had been distant from one another. Their competitive swimmer personalities made for races in the pool as well as some all-in-good-fun trash talk that Emily really enjoyed. Not to mention, the chemistry they had was undeniable.
Her phone alerted her of another text.
You're right. I'm incapable of resisting you.
Emily's heartbeat sped up, and she swallowed hard. The abrupt change in tone of the texts, from playful teasing to real emotion, made Emily fall even harder for Paige. She adored this girl, and loved how she made her feel.
I'll text you about it in the morning. :)
Emily lightly bit her bottom lip, happy that she and Paige were going on a date. A real date. She replayed the night's events in her head and wondered if she would be able to fall asleep since she was so excited.
I can't wait. Sleep well, Em.
You too. Dream of me.
Emily got up and changed out of her wet athletic gear, leaving her phone on the bed, and threw her clothes in her hamper before pulling on an oversized t-shirt and some shorts to sleep in. She had considered taking a shower to get the chlorine out of her hair, but she was pretty tired. It had been an emotional day.
As she finished changing, she heard her phone buzz, indicating a final text from Paige. She sat down on her bed and opened the message.
I always do.