Lou starts as she feels strong arms encircle her waist. “Hello,” she murmurs, smiling to herself as Debbie nuzzles her back.
“Hello,” Debbie whispers into her back.
Lou lets herself lean back into Debbie’s embrace and tries not to sound too happy, “What’s this about?”
“Nothing,” Debbie’s voice is muffled by Lou’s shirt, “Just wanted to hold you.”
Lou chuckles, and pulls back just slightly so she can turn around and pull the brunette into her arms. “OK,” she murmurs, planting a kiss into her hairline.
Debbie doesn’t say anything for a while, and the two of them just stand there, Lou reveling in the feeling of Debbie pressed against her. Nothing else, just the feeling of Debbie’s body against hers, solid and warm. She missed this, Debbie hugging her. Simple, innocent hugging, Debbie furrowing into her shoulder and her arms securely wrapped around Lou’s waist.
Debbie’s voice is so low she could’ve missed it, “I missed you, you know?”
Lou laughs softly, “I just came down to make breakfast.”
“The bed’s cold without you.”
Lou’s eyes are impossibly soft as she plants a kiss on Debbie’s cheek, and doesn’t draw away as Amit stumbles into the kitchen, her eyes blurry with sleep. “Oh,” she stammers, “I- I just- I’m not disturbing anything, am I?”
Lou hums, and Debbie shakes her head, lingering for a moment longer before stepping back to sit down at the kitchen counter, “No. Lou’s just making us breakfast.”
“Really?” Tammy enters, yawning into her hand. “I hope there’s coffee.”
Lou presses a final kiss to Debbie’s knuckles, and then turns back to the stove, “Coffee, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.”
Tammy groans and gratefully accepts the coffee Debbie hands her, “What would we do without you, Lou?”
Rose stumbles in and sits herself down at one of the seats looking as frazzled as she always did, “What did Lulu do?”
Amita spits out the coffee she just picked up, “Lulu?”
Debbie smirks as she watches Lou carefully flip a pancake. “If she gets to call you Lulu, can I call you Louise?”
“Don’t you dare,” Lou slips a pancake with blueberries onto one plate and hands them to Debbie, “I can think of a hundred different names for you to call me if you’re not satisfied with Lou, though.” Tammy groans again as Lou winks, “I have nothing in my stomach to throw up, guys.”
Lou points the spatula at her threateningly, “Be nice to the cook.”
“I smell pancakes,” Nine Ball says as she appears next to the coffee table, “And coffee.”
Lou rolls her eyes at the lot of them, and, not without affection, turns back to the stove muttering something about ungrateful brats and children needing attention.
“Is mom one cooking?”
“Constance, it’s too early for me to deal with you skating in the house.”
Constance sticks her tongue out at Debbie, but pulls up short on her board. “Mom two is no fun.”
“Good morning to you, too.” Debbie looks around the table, and asks to no one in particular, “And where’s our resident movie star?”
Rose pips up with her mouth full, “Should I go wake her?”
Debbie raises an eyebrow at her.
Rose blushes the color of her namesake, and swallows her mouthful, “I just meant-”
“Don’t worry about them, Rose, go ahead and get her. She needs to be down at the station in two hours anyway,” Tammy is kinder than the rest of them, with their snickering glances and smug smiles.
“I’m not a complete idiot, you know,” said movie star saunters into the room, her silk nightgown perfectly smooth and crease-less. “I happen to know how to function on a schedule.” Lou swerves around her and places a plate of eggs on the table.
Tammy mutters something not completely comprehensible as Daphne leans down and gives Rose a kiss on the cheek, “Good morning, designer.”
Rose gulps and blushes an even deeper red, but doesn’t get to respond before Constance swallows her mouthful of pancakes, “Hey, do I get a kiss?”
Daphne throws one of her infamous glares at her, and pulls out the seat next to Rose.
“What else do we have to do today, Deb?” Amita asks, taking a tentative bite after making sure the pancakes are vegan (“I know what you guys can and can’t eat, Amita,” Lou huffed when she asked). “And these are actually really good, Lou.”
Lou sits down with a plate of chocolate chip pancakes next to Debbie, “I’m offended you would think otherwise.”
Debbie takes a sip from her coffee. “Just Daphne at the station for a testimonial about Claude and his hands,” a tilt of her mug in Daphne’s direction, “and a few transfers Nine Ball and Lou need to go over with our people inside various banks.”
“Dope,” Constance wolfs down her last bite of pancake and puts her plate in the sink, “Well then. Imma be at Central Park all day. When’s dinner?” She picks up her skateboard, ignoring Amita’s wary glances at it.
Lou looks up at Debbie from where she was playing with a piece of her hair, who shrugs, “Five?”
“I have a meeting with a potential client at five,” Rose pipes up, looking apologetic. “Can we do six?”
“Oh, I completely forgot,” Tammy smacks her forehead, “I have the kids this weekend.”
“Bring ‘em over,” Nine Ball says, her gaze carefully nonchalant as she spears a piece of egg with her fork.
Tammy looks over at Lou, who shrugs, “Amita better be helping me in the kitchen then, because I don’t trust any of you guys in the kitchen.”
“Sure,” Amita shrugs, “I can try out that one recipe I learned back in Paris.”
“Anything the kids don’t eat?”
“No, but Brandon hates mushrooms, Emily will throw a tantrum if I make her eat anything with eggplant,” someone snickers, but Tammy rolls her eyes and continues, “and Max can’t stand broccoli.”
“Noted. No broccoli, eggplant, or mushroom. I think we can handle that?” Amita nods.
Tammy shovels one last bite of pancake into her mouth as gracefully as she can and picks up her plate to put in the sink. “I’ll be off to get them, then. Also, who’s turn is it to do dishes again?”
Seven pairs of eyes turn towards Daphne, and she sighs, “Fine. I still don’t get why we don’t just hire someone to do this for us. We’re multi-millionaires.”
“Ah, but where would we be without the small joys in life, muse?” Rose’s eyes glimmer with mirth as Daphne blushes.
“Six, then.” Debbie looks back over at Constance, “and please don’t kill yourself. I’d hate to have to take your spoils.”
Constance laughs, “You wish. Catch y’all later.”
“Do you want me to drop you off at Central Park?” Tammy reappears in the room with her purse in one hand and keys in the other.
Constance pretends to contemplate for a second, “Sure, Ms. Suburbs.”
“I hate you.”
Constance makes a “tsk” sound, “Such strong words! Tammy! I’m appalled!”
“You could’ve been an actor, you know,” Daphne’s voice is approving as she shifts to turn around and look at Constance.
Tammy pretends to turn away, “You can always walk.”
Constance balks. “On second thought, I hate me too.”
A chorus of laughter from the girls watching the exchange, and Tammy tries to suppress a smile, “Fine.”
There is a chorus of “bye”s from the other six as they leave through the garage door of the loft, still bickering over something (“You drive at the speed limit?” “You don’t?” “What’s the point of having a license then?” “That’s why you don’t have one.”), and then Nine Ball stands up as well. “I’ll be within shouting distance when we start the transfers.”
Lou nods, “‘Kay. See you.”
“What are you thinking for dinner, then, Chef?”
Lou sits back in her chair, her leg thrown over Debbie’s and her hand still twirling with a strand of her hair, “Something that isn’t too messy. Tim-Tam will probably burst a vein if her kids get too messy.”
Amita laughs, “True.”
“Hey Daph,” Debbie calls out without looking away from Lou, “Dishes.”
Daphne groans, and slinks back to the table, “I’ll do them at the end of the day.”
“Are you sure? Because I’m pretty sure Tammy’s kids eat a lot,” Rose is definitely smirking. Daphne smacks her arm lightly, “Hey. I thought you were supposed to be on my side.”
“Chores before whores,” Lou takes another bite of pancake and suppresses the urge to grin at the identical blush that spreads across their faces.
Amita shakes her head, and empties her mug. “Good luck, Daph,” she says, and piles her plate and mug on top of the others. “You can do it.”
“You can always help her, Rosie Posie,” Debbie’s voice is dry as she takes another bite of her eggs, composed and upright in her way.
“Or, we could go and try on the new frocks I’ve made for the new Rose Weil collection.”
Daphne beams, “I thought you’d never ask.”
“Ten bucks say they do it.”
Debbie lays down her fork and wipes her mouth delicately. “You’re so immature, Miller.”
Lou pulls Debbie closer and presses a kiss into her hair. “You love it.”
Debbie turns and catches Lou’s lips in her own for a chaste kiss. “Yes Lou,” she sighs as she leans into her, entwining their fingers together, “I do.”