A/N: This was lying around on my computer for about two months or so and I figured I might as well post it now. Some very nice people have already read it since I really wasn't sure what to make of this and I needed some feedback. It was based on a Titanic-like dream I had (yeah, I know, 'What kind of dreams do you have?!') so I was just really, really unsure about it. But anyway, I don't know if it's going to stay a oneshot or if I'm going to continue, I'm leaving it open as of now, but either way:
Disclaimer: Well, the usual.
Piercing blue eyes immediately caught her attention and surprisingly made her heart begin to flutter. White, unblemished skin and deep black hair accentuated the woman's eyes even more as they now settled on Tori's, full pink lips curving into a smile. The stranger had caught her staring, Tori realized completely mortified and quickly turned her head away, trying to hide her bright blush. Her teeth took a gentle hold of her lip, resisting the urge to nibble at the skin there in case her mother was around somewhere to reprimand her again. 'What man would like to kiss a woman with chapped lips?' she'd always ask in that crisp and cold tone of hers that made Tori want to roll her eyes. She didn't care if her lips were chapped, she didn't want anyone to kiss her, especially not-
The always calm and controlled voice of her fiancé made Tori instantly bite harder down her lip. She turned with an eye roll and relaxed the hold her teeth held over her bottom lip, eyes falling on the ever so blank face of Beck Oliver. "Is everything okay?" Tori resisted the urge to wrench her arm out of his gentle hand, knowing that this wouldn't really look good in front of all these people. So instead she plastered on a smile and answered him. "Of course, Beck. Why wouldn't I be?"
His brown eyes darted all over the room instead of looking into the eyes of the woman he was supposed to marry in just a month. "Maybe you should mingle a bit. I'm sure your mother would appreciate it if you'd socialized with other people. It will help the company."
The company. Of course. Tori slowly nodded as his emotionless eyes finally met hers and his hand finally fell from her arm. When Beck looked away from her again and straightened the lapels of his expensive suit, Tori began to let her eyes wander over the room filled with people who cared about one thing and one thing only: business. Sighing, she began her way into her own personal hell but froze when a melodious voice made her feet stop moving. "Excuse me, I don't think we've met, have we?"
The voice was feminine, pleasant and above all young which surprised Tori quite a bit since everybody here seemed to be at least over forty.
Quickly, Tori flicked her eyes all over the room but found her heartbeat quickening when her eyes didn't catch sight of the person she was looking for. When Beck's voice introducing himself reached her ears, she finally turned around. The same blue eyes which had already fascinated her before stared right back at her, those lips quirked up in a soft smile. It was so enthralling, to look into those eyes that just… swirled with life, with youth, with… passion. "No, I don't believe so. Beckett Oliver." When his name had left Beck's lips, the woman tore her gaze from Tori's and took his outstretched hand into hers.
Beck's eyebrows shot up. "West? From West Enterprises?"
"Oh, well it's a pleasure to meet you, Ms. West. I wondered who would take Jonathan's place after he had passed away. You're his daughter, I presume?"
Tori took a step closer but Jade kept her eyes on Beck. "Yeah. From his first marriage."
"I see. Well, um-" Out of the corner of her eye, Tori saw Beck glance in her direction before she felt his hand on the small of her back, guiding her to stand in front of Jade, whose eyes moved to her once again. "I want you to meet my fiancée, Victoria Vega."
"Tori," the brunette introduced herself simply, hearing Beck push out a curt, disapproving breath at her introduction. Jade didn't seem to mind though since her lips kept the smile and she slowly tipped her head in a slight nod, eyes twinkling.
"Jade. It seems to me that you two are the only ones in my age group here. I felt a little out of place."
Tori let out a soft laugh and nodded in agreement. "Yeah, no kidding."
"Victoria." She reluctantly turned to her fiancé, her smile instantly faltering and mood dropping at the light glare he sent her. She pursed her lips and turned back to Jade who simply stared at her knowingly."So, Ms. West," Beck chirped happily, "Why don't we talk about business? We at 'Eclipse' would be very interested to work with you."
Both Jade and Tori raised an eyebrow at him, the handsome man being completely oblivious to the looks he received from both women. But still Jade nodded, much to Tori's disappointment. "Yeah. Let's do that. But Mr. Oliver, don't get me wrong… I'd rather talk to Ms. Vega alone."
Tori looked up from the floor and raised her eyebrows in surprise while Beck simply looked perplexed. "Oh. Um… I don't think-" He pushed out an awkward laugh to hide his confusion and shook his head. "I don't think that will be necessary. Victoria and I will take over the company together after the wedding. I'm practically a Vega already, if… that's what you're concerned about."
"Indeed I am. 'Practically a Vega' isn't enough for me. I don't think it would have been enough for my father either."
Before Beck could protest, Tori found herself speaking up. "I think we should accept her wish, Beck." She gave him a short glance before she locked her eyes on Jade's again. "I'm perfectly capable of handling business by myself. So Ms. West, would you like to get some fresh air?"
Jade smirked and nodded her head. "Sure. That would be lovely."
The sun was brightly shining down on them as they stepped out onto the deck, a light breeze blowing through their hair and the gentle sound of the water lapping at the sides of the ship reaching their ears. "So," Tori spoke up as she and Jade were beginning to stroll down the ship, "We're not actually going to talk about business, are we?"
Jade smirked but kept her gaze ahead. "Only if you want to."
"God no," Tori groaned, "I'm so glad I managed to get away from all these people. I guess I have to thank you for that, hm?"
This time, the paler woman looked at her, eyes slightly squinting against the bright blue sky. "I guess so. But I think your fiancé won't be so happy with you. I'm actually the worst person you could have picked to talk about business to."
Tori frowned. "But… I thought you're the new CEO of West enterprises?"
"Never said that. Mr. Oliver just assumed." Jade stopped and leaned against the wall of the ship while Tori smiled and questioningly looked at her.
"But you are the daughter of Jonathan West? Or was that a lie too?"
Jade laughed, a sound that was so unique, so beautiful, so refreshing to Tori's ears. "No, that wasn't a lie. I was supposed to take over the firm after my father passed away but I declined. I had to go on this stupid business trip though to accompany Andre Harris, actually a good friend of mine." She rolled her eyes and looked out over the sea, all what was around them sky and water, then she mumbled, "I don't know why they would do it on a stupid ship though. Haven't they ever heard of the Titanic?" Tori chuckled quietly and shook her head in amusement, Jade turning her attention back to her. "Anyway, he's going to be the new CEO. I actually really just approached you and your fiancé because you were the only people I felt comfortable talking to. Although I changed my mind pretty quickly about your fiancé."
Tori frowned and nodded, glancing at her shoes. "Yeah, I understand that. He's a bit… stiff."
Jade hummed and rested her head against the wall. "What made you want to marry him then?" Tori's head snapped up, her mouth opening but nothing coming out as she found her brain void of anything to say. Nothing made her want to marry him. He was boring, had zero sense of humor, he didn't seem to care about anything but his career and above all… he didn't love her. His good looks really didn't make up for all those things. "I didn't think that it would be such a hard question to answer," Jade softly said and Tori found herself blushing under her curious gaze, "You do want to marry him… don't you?"
The tone in her voice implied that Jade knew exactly what the reason for the engagement was so Tori found herself blurting it out before she could really think about it. "I don't. My mother wants me to."
A look of understanding and maybe even pity, Tori wasn't so sure, washed over Jade's face. She pushed herself off of the wall and slowly walked toward her until she stood only a foot away, where she crossed her arms and looked at Tori with a frown. Her voice was low as she spoke. "You shouldn't do things you don't want just to please someone else. Especially if it concerns something important like marriage. Chances are high that it will only make you unhappy in the long run."
Tori bit her lip, blushing when her eyes subconsciously flicked to Jade's lips. "Is that why you didn't want to take your father's place?"
Jade smiled. "Maybe I would have taken his place if he actually had been a father to me once in a while. But why would I do something he wants me to do just because we have the same last name? He didn't care about me, only about the firm and his image. That's why he put me in his will. Because he wanted the world to think he was… this loving father figure who left his lifework to his precious daughter." She paused, shook her head and ran her tongue over her lips before picking back up. "What I'm saying is… don't let anyone control your life, Tori. Not even if that somebody is your mother."
Even though Tori already knew all of that in the deepest of her heart, hearing somebody say it out loud, especially hearing Jade say it out loud, made her entire life seem like a big, fat lie. She didn't want to live a lie. So why did she? She had always envied her sister Trina, who broke with their mother a long time ago and began to live her life the way she wanted. And now this beautiful, independent woman stood in front of her, who practically did the same thing Trina did, and Tori… Tori was still her mother's little pet. "I didn't want to step on your toes in any way." Tori quickly realized that she had been staring into space for a long while and snapped her gaze back to Jade. "I just wanted to… give advice."
Tori nodded, not feeling offended by Jade's words at all. "I appreciate that."
Jade lowered her chin in a slow nod, her eyes twinkling as the next words left her. "Beckett is a lucky guy though. He should appreciate it more to have such a beautiful fiancée. Even if the engagement was arranged."
Tori couldn't do anything else but avert her eyes, lip between her teeth when she embarrassingly realized that a blush colored her face. "Now, why are you blushing, Victoria?" Shivers threatened to run down the length of her spine and her blush only deepened as her full name left Jade's smirking lips, the tone of her smooth voice teasing, and sending her heart into a whirlwind of emotions. Usually, the sound of her full name was something Tori hated, and that with a passion. Her mother called her Victoria. Beck called her Victoria. People who she didn't care about called her Victoria. Whereas Tori was her nickname, warm and friendly and not associated with the cold tone of her mother's voice, Victoria was the sound of… being who she didn't want to be. But out of Jade's mouth, with that wonderful and bright sparkle in her blue eyes, it sounded like music, it sounded like Victoria was the same person as Tori was. Which was all Tori ever wanted. "You seem to blush quite often in my presence," Jade murmured quietly, a teasing edge still outlining every word, and smirk, although it softened a little bit, still in place as she walked a little closer to Tori. "I wonder why that is…"
Tori looked up from the floor by Jade's feet and hesitantly looked at the woman in front of her. She had her head tilted to the side, the edges of her eyes reflecting the soft smile of her lips. She was simply beautiful. But Tori shouldn't think about her in that way. Clearing her throat, she blinked and let go of her lip. "Maybe we… Maybe we should go back," she suggested quietly, even though getting back into that stuffy room with all these people, Beck and her mother sounded like an awful idea, "You know, since… since we've been gone for a while now…"
Jade's eyes shifted to the floor for a second as she moistened her lips and took a step back before she looked back up at Tori with her trademark smirk back in place. "Yeah. We should."
A day later, Tori sat on a bench pushed against the wall of the ship, hands lightly gripping the edges of it, a light smile on her lips as she looked out into the blue sky. It was so calming, the sound of the water, the clear sky, the sound of the two seagulls above the ship. Tori cherished those times. Times, where she could just forget everything, not worry about anything and just let herself be.
"Well, hello there."
Her smile involuntarily widened when she turned her head and she saw Jade walking towards her, a pair of dark shades hiding those shimmering blue irises. Something inside of her began to tingle pleasantly, the feeling only intensifying as the person who didn't leave her mind once since she had met her yesterday came to a stop right next to her. "Mind if I sit?"
"Not at all."
The pale woman, wearing a sleeveless black top that dipped just low enough for Tori to blush at the cleavage that showed, took a seat next to her on the bench and ran her tongue over the front of her teeth. "I just met your mother." Tori smiled as she watched Jade raise her eyebrows and blow out a breath. "Man, that woman's a dragon."
"Yeah. She's not really that… I mean… No, you know, she's horrible actually, but what can you do."
A laugh left Jade's unpainted lips and Tori found herself wanting to hear that sound more often. She turned her head towards her, one shapely eyebrow rising over the black tinted glass of her sunglasses. "Her daughter turned out pretty well though, if you ask me."
Tori chuckled and turned her gaze to her lap. "I hope so. It would be a nightmare if I'd be like my mother."
"Say, what's the deal with you?" Tori lifted her eyes just in time to see Jade gracefully pluck the sunglasses from her nose, curious eyes staring back at her. "You don't seem like you really want to be here. You don't want to get married to that wuss… So, I'm wondering who you really are. What you really want."
There was a slight pause in which Tori considered Jade's words. Did she even know who she really was? Tori didn't think so. How could she? In the back of her mind a little voice, which sounded awfully a lot like her mother, told her to get up and go, to not say anything else to Jade.
But to hell with that voice.
"I want to forget who I am. Who I'm supposed to be. I want to live my life the way I want to."
"And how do you want to live your life?"
"I…" She paused, the question settling into her brain and posing itself as an almost unsolvable puzzle. "I don't know." She suddenly felt embarrassed for not knowing the answer and quickly lowered her head to escape from Jade's intensive gaze, which lingered on her even through the long silence that followed after Tori last spoke.
"Maybe I could help you figure it out."
Tori blinked and ran her eyes over the dirty floor a couple of times before she even dared to lift her head. Her eyes immediately met Jade's, which haven't lost any of their electrifying intensity. Tori's heartbeat began to quicken as the possible meaning behind Jade's words suddenly became clear in her brain. Curiously, she wondered if what she was thinking the other woman meant really had been Jade's intention or if it was just wishful thinking of Tori's mind and heart. But much to her dismay, Jade stayed silent and she herself couldn't find the courage to ask. But then, the pale woman's plump lips slowly stretched into a smirk, her body rising from her seat but eyes keeping in steady contact with Tori's. There was no doubt in the brunette anymore, she had meant what Tori thought she meant. But before she could think about forming words, Jade was gone, the only thing remaining of her being the permanent mark she left on Tori's heart.
"I'd like that."
Jade's head whipped around, bright eyes startled at the voice interrupting the otherwise so quiet night, only the crashing waves and howling wind disturbing the dark peace around the pale woman. Tori clenched her lip between her teeth, watching as Jade blinked confusedly. "What?"
But when Tori repeated herself, all Jade did was tilt her head to the side, her black hair shimmering in the artificial light shining down on them from the bright lamp above. Compared to this afternoon when the sun had hit Jade's hair and made it shimmer dark brown, the white glow now made it seem even blacker than it actually was. Almost like the night sky above, or the water the ship was traveling on right now, or-
"What would you like?"
Jade's soft voice made Tori snap out of her musings of Jade's hair, making her swallow and her heart accelerate. "I… I would like if you… i-if you…"
A breath rushed out of her mouth, her tongue starting to get limp. She had imagined this to be much easier when she had lain in bed with Beck's heavy arm thrown over her stomach, the remaining scent of his cologne he wore over the day almost suffocating her and her mind picturing this exact moment, only with her acting less like a stuttering idiot. "This afternoon… you said that… you said that…" But again it was impossible for her to spit out a simple sentence, breath hitching in her throat as Jade advanced towards her, slowly, her feet making a soft noise against the hard floor. Tori's body went rigid but relaxed soon after Jade stopped in front of her, so close that their toes were touching.
"You're so confusing, Tori," she quietly murmured, the hand she lifted pushing back a stray curl of brunette hair before the tip of her finger gently ran down her cheek, past her jawline, down the side of her neck. It made her shiver, the trail Jade's finger left on her skin tingling, her mouth slowly breathing out Jade's name. "What is it?" Jade smirked, hearing the brunette sigh, as she let her finger trail over Tori's collarbone. "What would you like me to do, Victoria?"
"Show me the life I could have."
Jade's hand suddenly fell away from her body, the smirk disappeared and her feet took a step back to create a proper distance between them. A cold gust of wind blew around them, almost swallowing Jade's voice as she asked, "Are you sure about this?"
"You were the one who offered," Tori softly said and hesitantly stepped forward, "And I'm taking you up on that offer."
"I didn't actually think you would consider it," Jade quietly admitted, eyes glancing at Tori's feet when the brunette took another step closer. She chuckled softly and shook her head, meeting Tori's eyes again. "And you're not, are you? You can't."
"I'm serious about this, Jade." Her fingers itched to touch her pale skin, to run through that soft hair and to trace the curves of Jade's lips, gently, with only the pad of a finger. But instead, Tori simply took the soft edge of Jade's black cardigan between her fingertips while moving herself even closer to the other woman, who breathed out a long breath.
"You're engaged. You're supposed to take over your parents' company. You can't."
Tori shook her head, tip of her nose lightly brushing against Jade's. "I don't want all of that, I told you."
"Really?" Jade's eyes flicked down to Tori's lips. "What do you want then?"
Tori didn't know who leaned in first or if maybe both of them did at the same time, but it didn't even matter as she felt Jade's lips against hers and her arms wrapped around her waist to press their bodies flush together as Tori's own hands were burying themselves in midnight black curls. She was practically cheating on Beck right now, but then again, it wasn't as if he would even care, right? But even if he would, he was erased from Tori's mind as soon as a moan reached her ears and a wet tongue began to slip into her mouth. Tori's feet began to walk backwards into the shadows and away from the harsh fluorescent light when Jade started to gently nudge her body back until her back collided with one of the cold walls of the ship, eliciting a gasp from Tori and causing her to break the kiss. Jade's lips hungrily moved to Tori's neck, kissing, licking, biting. Jade breathed a happy sigh against her tan skin before quietly muttering, "People could see us, Tori." Despite her words, Jade's lips kept their attention on Tori's neck and her hands slipped under the brunette's shirt, cold hands and nails against her skin, making Tori hiss and arch into Jade's body.
"Then let's go somewhere else."
Her eyes sleepily fluttered open again and were met with Jade's, so close to her own. Jade's fingers kept tracing slow circles on Tori's bare upper arm as the brunette let her eyes wander over every little part of Jade's face, glowing from the warm light the small lamp standing on the bedside table cast over the cabin. "What?"
"Go to sleep."
"Nooo," Tori whined and snuggled closer to Jade's body, sighing as Jade's skin seemed to burn into hers. "I want to stay here. With you."
"This is my room. I'll still be here in the morning. Which is in about-" She paused, her body shifting away for a second as the dark-haired woman took a look at the clock, "-four hours. So you should really get some sleep now. Your fiancé and mother will probably be suspicious enough, I wouldn't want you to fall asleep at the breakfast table too."
Tori hummed contently and propped herself up to press a kiss against Jade's neck. "What if I want to have breakfast with you though?"
"Then I wouldn't want you to fall asleep either." Tori quietly giggled into her pale skin, placed one last kiss on her neck and let her head fall back against the fluffy white pillow. She smiled softly as Jade gently dragged her nails down her arm before interlacing their fingers. "But you can't have breakfast with me, so…"
Tori felt her smile slip and a frown take over. "Why can't I?"
A sigh left Jade's lips. She lifted her eyes from her and Tori's hands to look into warm but confused brown eyes. "You're engaged. Who knows, he probably already noticed that you're not lying next to him and what do you think will happen if you and I would have breakfast together in the morning, hm?"
"He wouldn't suspect anything," Tori dismissed and squeezed Jade's hand, "And even if he would, I wouldn't care."
"And your mother," Jade went on, ignoring Tori's words, "She would freak if she'd see you with me. Or… maybe she wouldn't since she so badly wants to merge her firm with 'my' firm but… you know, if she'd know we did a whole different kind of merging between West and Vega she would seriously be not amused, I'm sure."
Tori couldn't help but laugh which had the lovely benefit that Jade's lips formed a light smile too. She didn't know what it was about Jade that drew her in, that made her feel so… alive and fresh. But just looking into her eyes brought her heart into a frenzy, abnormally huge butterflies creating a havoc in her stomach. She had known her for what now, two days? But to her, in her heart, it felt like an eternity and as crazy as it may was, she wanted to keep this eternity with Jade. No matter what it took.
"When the ship docks… I want to leave it with you, not with Beck or with my mother."
Jade groaned and moved to her other side, facing away from Tori. "Did you seriously just try to quote 'Titanic'?"
"What?" Tori's eyebrows furrowed before she replayed the words and shook her head, her hand pulling on Jade's arm to make her move back to her, which she begrudgingly did. "No! I… that wasn't my intention. It was meant more as a… metaphor."
"That wasn't a metaphor," Jade argued with raised eyebrows, "A heart of stone or… time is money, those are metaphors but not what you said. That was a quote. God! Have you not paid attention at all in school?"
Tori gaped at her for a moment before starting to laugh when a hint of a smile showed on Jade's face. "This isn't funny," she giggled and shook her head.
"Yeah, it is. I can't believe I slept with such a dork."
"As if you didn't love every second of it."
Jade stayed quiet, but an impish smirk appeared on her lips as well as a light blush on her cheeks. She turned her head in an attempt to hide it but Tori wouldn't let her, freeing her hand from Jade's to turn her head back towards her. Her thumb smoothed over her pale cheek as a more serious air enveloped them again. "I meant to say… that I'm taking your advice. I don't want to take over the firm and I really don't want to marry Beck, so… I'm not going to. I'm going to break off the engagement. I'm going to tell my mother that she has to look for someone else she can boss around. And I'm going to be with you. If… I mean, only if you want me to, of course."
"I'd love that," Jade murmured, Tori's lips stretching into a grin, "But, you know… you shouldn't take this so lightly. It's not that easy. If you really go through with everything, it will probably… destroy your entire relationship with your mom."
"There's nothing left to destroy anymore." The pad of Tori's finger finally did what it wanted to do all along, running over Jade's lips, still a little swollen from all of the attention they've been getting from Tori. "God, what is it about you?"
It was nothing more than a whisper against the stillness of the night, but it held something that made both women's hearts do a flip in their chests and the air catch in their lungs. Jade's hand trailed from Tori's shoulder down her arm, a breath escaping her when Tori shivered as her finger brushed the inside of her elbow. She lingered there for a second, just enjoying the way Tori's breathing quickened and hooded brown eyes stared at her full of adoration, before she continued her path along the brunette's forearm until her hand enclosed around the tan finger that softly rested against her lips. Slowly, she pulled it away, all the while her eyes never breaking the intense stare. She made it ghost over her cheek, then flattened Tori's hand out so that it cupped her face and rested her own on top. Tori found herself mesmerized by Jade's actions, by Jade's eyes, just simply by… Jade. Unable to wait any longer, she leaned down and captured those addicting lips in a kiss, before skimming over a strong jaw and finding herself at a smooth neck, lips and tongue drawing out a shaky breath from the woman underneath her.
"We should really get some sleep now," Jade breathed but both of them knew that sleep was the farthest thing from the other's mind.