I close my eyes, mentally drawing the way the sun slants across our bare legs instead. I count to ten, and then twenty, focusing on pulling air into my lungs. It will never be what it was before. Oliver and I are forever changed. Something clicks inside me, something permanent and concrete, and it’s both thrilling and terrifying. . . .

He lifts his head from where it was buried between my neck and shoulder, kisses me, and whispers, “Good morning, Lola Love.”

I pull the sheet up over my mouth. “Morning.”

He kisses me again through the sheet. “I love you still.” He pulls the sheet away, kissing my chin, and watches me as his smile straightens a little but doesn’t leave his eyes. “Whatever else you’re thinking . . . that’s not changed with the sunup. I loved you before last night. I’ll love you tomorrow. I’ve just said the words now.”

I saw my teeth across my lip, feeling the sunshine fill my chest and bleed up into my eyes.

“I’ve wanted to fuck you long before last night,” he says, playful smile back in place as he climbs over me, spreading my thighs with his knee. “And now that I’ve had you, I want it even more.”

This is a sentiment I can easily reciprocate: “Let’s fuck for the rest of the day.”

He’s said it. It’s longer than I’ve ever been with anyone else, so easily assumed. We stare at each other, neither of us saying it. It’s too soon, even with all of the declarations rising like smoke in the air. But the longer Oliver looks at me, the more I know he’s thinking it.

I answer against his mouth: “All right then.”

A N ALARM ON Lola’s phone goes off halfway through her first cup of coffee. I tried to keep her in bed for the agreed-upon duration, which I considered an ironclad contract, but eventually we both needed a bathroom, caffeine, and food.

“Oh, shit,” she says, reaching for it and opening the calendar app.

We’re sitting side by side at my dining room table. I’m in jeans; she’s in nothing but the shirt I wore yesterday. It’s long, but not so long that I can’t see all of her, especially with one of her legs on the ground, our ankles pressed together, and her other leg in my lap. Caffeine is slowly bringing my brain to life and I still feel warm and slow, like well-worked clay. I really don’t want her to have to leave quite yet.

“I have this thing I’m supposed to do at eleven.” She frowns, and I look up at the clock. It’s nearly ten.

“It’s a chat with the UCSD Arts publication.” Steam rises up from her mug and twists in the space between us, dissolving in a beam of sun overhead. “Shit. I completely spaced it,” she says, and then more to herself, “I never forget this stuff.”

I set down my cup and lean forward, taking her free hand in mine. “Can you do it from here? The Wi-Fi can be a bit spotty, but my laptop’s in my room. You’re welcome to it.”

She’s already shaking her head. “It’s a video chat,” she explains, pointing to her hair. Lola’s hair is naturally smooth and straight. Right now it looks like it might house a family of small birds.

Laughing, I lean forward, kissing her nose. “I have to get to the shop this morning to check on Joe, anyway. Maybe we can meet up for a late lunch?”

Reading my expression, Lola pushes closer, tilting her head to my mouth, speaking between each kiss: “I’m not sure how long I’ll be.” She pulls back, rubbing her thumb over my stubble. “I have to shower and then I have a call with Benny after—but I’ll text you when I’m done?”

“Yeah. Text me.” My words are tight, and I lean back in, kisses growing more desperate. “Stay here again tonight. I need . . .”

I need to drink, and drink, and drink of her. I’ll never get my fill.

A rush of breath escapes her lungs and she pushes off her chair and onto my lap, whispering against my mouth. “I don’t want to leave,” she says, and her hand slides over my bare chest. “Let’s go back to bed.”

My jeans have slipped so they’re barely hanging on, and all I can think of is how easy it would be to push them the rest of the way down, lift my shirt up, and make her come, right here on my kitchen table.

She grinds into me, sliding wet across my button fly.

“Get up on the table,” I say into her open mouth. “Let me kiss that little cunt.”

She pulls back, blushing. Her lip is trapped between her teeth. “I like the way you say that word.”

“I can tell. It makes you get all squirmy and bashful. . . .” I lick her mouth, saying, “Not entirely sure yet—need to do a few more studies—but I believe there’s a direct correlation between me saying it and how fast I can make you come.”

I notice she hasn’t, in fact, climbed up on the table. Slipping my fingers under the shirt, I rub my hands over the warm, soft skin of her waist.

“I know you’re sore,” I tell her. “I’ll be sweet, I promise.”

Her phone goes off again and we both grow still.