DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Small Town Hospitality
Annie turned her head watching curiously as Melanie dug inside of the brown paper bag she had arrived on her doorstep with earlier that afternoon. The "luggage" had amused her at the time, and as Melanie fished inside of it at that moment she felt her lips curving up again. She wouldn't have been surprised if that was the first time the heiress had ever handled a paper bag let alone something bought at a general store.
"Ah, that's pretty," Annie commented shaking her head as Melanie held up a ghastly floral nightgown, though to her credit she looked suitably dismayed with what was to be her night attire. "Where did you get that? Brinkmeyer's?"
"Mm," Melanie responded nodding her head as she hummed affirmatively before leaning against the door frame, her eyes dropping back down to the nightgown in her hands. "I'm not sure I can wear this," Melanie said looking up to meet Annie's eyes again. "It's absolutely horrid, isn't it? But what's a girl to do?"
"You could always sleep in the nude," Annie commented reaching to the side to put out her cigarette. "I hear it's quite common in Italy."
Melanie groaned her eyes rolling as she tipped her head up to stare at the ceiling for a moment.
"You heard about that too?" Melanie asked finally looking down again and across at Annie. "I was pushed into that fountain, I tell you. And I was fully clothed, thank you very much."
"In any case, I promise you the second bedroom on the right gets much less traffic than an Italian piazza," Annie commented standing up. "And there are absolutely no photographers hiding in my bushes. As for the other potential source of information for the society columns, I can assure you that I would never breathe word of your breezy slumber," Annie continued as she made her way over to where Melanie was standing holding out her hand for the nightgown which Melanie gratefully handed over, glad to rid herself of the coarse material for a few seconds.
"If you were a man, I'd think you were trying to get me in a compromised position," Melanie commented as Annie held the night gown up and turned it around.
Annie smiled and laughed lightly before handing the night gown back over to Melanie.
"I shouldn't think I'd need to work that hard," Annie commented moving back over to the desk where she had abandoned her wine glass. "You're already sleeping in my bed," she continued smirking over at Melanie and she perched herself on the edge of her desk. "One of them anyway," she amended still smiling.
"Oh, I see," Melanie drawled, her thoughts of going to bed forgotten as she continued to converse with Annie. "This 'room for rent' business is just a ploy to trick unsuspecting young women into this den of debauchery, is it?" she continued lifting an amused eyebrow at Annie.
"Hmm," Annie replied. "Those silly enough to come inquiring are usually easy enough to seduce, especially the ones that show up without any luggage. It's a particular sort of woman, you know, who shows up asking about rooms empty handed."
"You mean the type of woman that would frolic nude in a fountain in an Italian piazza?" Melanie asked draping the night gown over the sofa where she had thrown the paper bag it had come in, moving over to the desk to perch beside Annie.
"That's the sort, exactly," Annie returned meeting Melanie's eyes. "Usually from big cities, you know. Drive expensive cars, and buy love birds on a whim."
"Madam," Melanie replied in an offended tone though her eyes were lit with mirth. "I don't think I like your conversation."
"Oh," Annie said lifting her eyebrows playfully, though she was looking at Melanie appraisingly. "Well, if my conversation is out," she continued as Melanie held her eyes, "is there anything about me that you do like, to take its place?"
Melanie stared at Annie keenly after the other woman had spoken. There weren't many women who would have engaged her in a conversation like the one they had just had. Joking about being seduced by another woman simply wasn't a ladylike topic of discussion. But she wasn't a typical lady, and she could tell the moment she met Annie that the other woman was somewhat outside of the mold as well. There'd been something between her and Annie when they met. A spark of recognition perhaps, and Melanie felt the embers lighting up again as they sat beside each other.
"Do you mind?" Melanie asked picking up Annie's wineglass more to gain time to gather her thoughts than out of a need to actually drink.
Annie shook her head and Melanie brought the glass to her lips.
"I like your wine," Melanie responded placing the glass back down on the desk. "I also like your robe," she went on, deciding to test the waters a bit. "Can I try it on?"
"I can't see why not," Annie said standing gracefully and reaching for the tie of the robe. "We're both girls here," she continued pulling it down her arms to reveal the silky and short night gown she was wearing beneath. It was about as far away from the monstrosity Melanie had been forced to buy as was humanly possible.
"We certainly are," Melanie commented standing up herself, her eyes lingering on Annie for a second before she reached up to remove the jacket of the suit she had on.
Annie handed her robe over to Melanie and took the blonde's jacket, tossing it into her arm chair.
"Comfy," Melanie commented as she put the robe on. "Do you entertain in it much?"
Annie lifted her eyebrow. "Only on special occasions," she responded as Melanie struck a few poses for her.
"Like when beautiful young visitors of questionable morality come calling in search of a warm bed, and small town hospitality?" Melanie asked opening up the robe again and posing in a way that would have been scandalous if she wasn't fully dressed underneath.
"That's the sort, exactly," Annie responded smiling, holding out her hand to receive the robe a few moments later. "I think we're on the same page here," she continued a second later tossing the robe to the side to join Melanie's jacket.
"Yes, I think so," Melanie said moving a little closer to Annie, her hand reaching out to stroke the soft material of the brunette's night gown. "This is much nicer than mine."
"Yes, it is," Annie said nodding causing both of them to smile and laugh lightly. "It's impolite to brag though, isn't it? I'm your host, I should make you feel at ease," Annie continued as Melanie went on touching the material lightly. "Perhaps we should both sleep in the nude. Then everything would be even."
"Even Steven," Melanie murmured her lips quirking slightly.
"Perfectly square," Annie agreed.
"I must say Miss Hayworth," Melanie said letting her hand rest firmly on Annie's hip. "I don't think there's anything square about us."
Annie smiled and Melanie leaned forward, pressing her lips against the other woman's lightly at first, and then more firmly as Annie leaned into her body, the brunette's hands moving to rest on Melanie's hips.
"You're right. This is definitely round, and soft," Annie breathed out softly, her hands running over the back of Melanie's skirt as she spoke. "So what do you think of our little hamlet, now?" the brunette asked a moment later, licking her lips as she stayed pressed against Melanie's body.
"I'm finding it much more agreeable," Melanie responded leaning forward to capture Annie's lips once more, "small town hospitality at its best."
Annie smiled against Melanie's lips before lifting up on her tiptoes to kiss the blonde, taking Melanie's hand in hers a moment later to lead her up the stairs.
"We do have our charms."
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