Take Me With You
"I'll give you girls a ride home."
The severity of Lucy's father's voice made the two girls slump further in the back seat, their shoulders touching.
"Thanks," Kit said, sparing a glance at Mimi whose eyes were rooted on the inky blackness beyond the window. She'd been unusually quiet since the flight left from Los Angeles to touch ground in Georgia.
Lucy's dad had driven in almost silence too, his brow visibly furrowed in the rearview mirror.
Home was the last place either girl wanted to be. As far as Kit was concerned, her parents probably hadn't even noticed she was gone. They were probably too wrapped up in dinner parties, charity balls, and the general demands of social climbing. And when they found out about her broken engagement, all they would care about was their precious image - the perfect marriage to the prize-catch son-in-law in tatters before it had even begun.
Her mother would bitch for hours about the time spent designing the invitations, and organising the flowers, not to mention the custom-made dress from Paris. Her father would glower about the money wasted. Really, she wasn't ready to face their colossal disappointment right now.
Part of her wondered whether, if she told them the full facts, they'd still expect her to marry the man who'd raped her friend.
The chill at that thought made her reach for Mimi's hand and squeeze it gently. Mimi looked at her, a faint smile on her lips that did little to convince either of them.
"You want to stay over at my place tonight?"
Mimi's surprise was evident. "You mean that? I mean. . .your parents?"
Kit considered that for a moment and gave an elegant shrug. "You're my best friend."
At that Mimi's smile grew, her hand warm in the palm of Kit's, where it stayed for the remainder of the journey.
Mimi propped herself up on the pillows as Kit took another sip of soda. The room was mostly cast in darkness apart from the blue glow of the television set in the corner. The movie - some lame teen movie - had long been forgotten about, the volume turned down low.
The remains of a late night feast of cookies, potato chips, and popcorn sat on a tray at the foot of the bed.
"I wonder what Lucy's doing right now," Kit sighed.
Mimi snickered loudly and Kit swatted at her arm. "Ew. Is your mind always in the gutter?"
"Well, kitten, when you come from the gutter. . ."
"Don't say that," Kit said, painfully aware of the names she'd called Mimi, and the insinuations made about her, while they were at high school.
Mimi shrugged. "It's true. I'm never gonna be a big-time singer, and I'm not gonna marry some rich guy. I gotta face facts that I'll probably be stuck in this goddamn town for - "
"We could leave," Kit interrupted, picking at the fabric of the covers, not meeting the other girl's dark gaze. "There's nothing here for us."
"And go where, darlin'?"
"I don't know. Anywhere. I've got money." Kit looked up through her eyelashes, watching Mimi's face carefully. "We could rent an apartment, get jobs."
"Uh-huh, and you could be a personal shopper and I could sing karaoke in bars."
It was a moment before Kit recognised the sarcasm in Mimi's voice. "Fine," she said flatly, eyes focusing on the television, where the lead actress was currently sucking face with her romantic interest.
"C'mon, Kit, you know that ain't never gonna happen. Your parents would cut off your trust fund faster than you can say 'social ostracism.'"
Kit didn't respond, not until she felt warm fingers turn her chin until she was looking directly at the other girl.
"Hey, I'm sorry, okay?" Mimi's hand drifted back down to her lap. "I get worried when I get my hopes up."
"I just. . . I don't want you to go back to that trailer park, after - after what happened." Kit paused, taking Mimi's hand in her own. "I don't want to lose you again."
The other girl's answering smile was nothing short of beautiful. "You don't get rid of me that easily."
Acting purely on impulse, Kit leaned forward, her free hand moving to cup Mimi's cheek. Their eyes met then, an infinite moment of understanding passing between them before their lips met in a gentle brush.
When neither of them pulled away, Kit increased the pressure of her lips, encouraged by the fingers that curled their way into her hair.
A few short tentative kisses later, Kit withdrew. Mimi's eyes were closed, her lips slightly parted as her breath left her mouth in short gasps.
Kit hardly dared to speak, heart fluttering in her chest. "Are you okay?"
Mimi shook her head once. Her eyelids slowly opened.
After an excruciating silence, Mimi spoke. "You think there's much demand for personal shoppers and karaoke singers in Atlanta?"