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I cleared my throat. “Arden?” She looked up, her hair hanging in her face. “Yes?” “Um. I…um. I can’t really sleep alone. I won’t...we don’t have to be touching, I just—can’t.” A nod, sharp and understanding. “Okay.” She got up from the end of the bed and walked over to the other side of the bed, next to me. “Do you want me to turn the lights out? Would that make talking about...what you need to tell me easier?” I nodded. “Yes, please.” She turned the lights off, and then the lamps. She crawled into bed next to me, and wrapped her arms around me. “Is this okay?” I nodded. She can’t see me. “This is good.” “Okay. Do you feel ready to talk about it?” I sighed. “I’ll never be 100% ready, but I’m as close as I’ll ever be.” I took a deep breath. “My mom…” Inhale. Exhale. Am I going to start crying? “She…she hurt me. Touched me and I’m still not over it but it’s been years and I—” Quick breath in. I realized my eyes were filling with tears and buried my face in Arden’s shoulder. “I’m sorry,” I said, voice muffled. She rubbed my back. “It’s okay. My parents got a divorce, which isn’t quite as bad. But I understand having a favorite parent, at least.” I tilted my face up to her cheek and kissed her there. She pulled away from me. “Hey, no. Are you sure you want to do this? We can just sleep, if that’s what you want, or what you need. I won’t be upset.” “I don’t know. Does it matter?” A hint of sternness in her voice. “Of course it matters. Come here.” She kissed me, tenderly, on the lips. I felt her smile. “Good night, Pippa.” Author's note: a fluffy thing detailing my girls! who were supposed to have a slow-burn romance, but that didn't happen!!!! and i,, love them a lot.