"She doesn't have to like me if she doesn't want to," Ulises says, caressing Heather's thigh, "I just wish it didn't upset you so much."
"It's not you she doesn't like; she can't even see you. She just sees a cop," Heather answers, "And cops are the enemy."
"How are we the enemy?" Ulises asks.
Heather takes a deep breath. "She and I both come from a strong activist background. For as long as either of can remember, cops were always the enemy, the hand of an oppressive system. In high school, we did a project together about police brutality in the LAPD..." She could go on, she thinks, but he's proud of what he is and what he does, and she doesn't want to spit on that. "I know where she's coming from. I was like that, myself. If I had known when I met you, that you were a cop..." A long, loud sob stops her from saying more.
"I'm here, mariposa," he says gently, turning her to face him.
She pulls him on top of her, kissing him with a desperate, hungry fervor. "I don't to be without you," she says.
"You don't have to be," he answers.
"Maybe it's too short," Heather says, looking at the dress she picked for Rebecca.
"The length is fine," Rebecca answers, "It just has too much bow."
"So, you aren't here just for my wedding," Heather says, hoping to get her friend to open up.
"No, I flew in specifically to save you from this horrible marriage," Rebecca says, smiling.
Heather rolls her eyes. "You drove in, Bec. And I don't need saving. I'm happy. I mean, really ecstatically happy."
"See, I just don't get that, Heather," Rebecca says, "You've given up so much of what you are to be with this guy."
"I've given up being stoned all the time and selling pot. What I've gained in return...believe me, it's more than worth it. I wish you could see it for what it is, Bec. I didn't know he was a cop when I met him, and he certainly didn't know what I was doing. We fell in love as a man and a woman. I had a moment of doubt when he told me he was a cop, but in the end nothing mattered more than being with him."
Rebecca shrugs. "If you say so, Heather. I just can't get my head around it."
"This dress is awful," Heather says, changing the subject, "Every dress I try is just terrible. Who designs these things, anyway?"
"Why are you even doing this? Having a big formal thing, it's so not you," Rebecca says.
Heather smiles, "That's what Ulises says, too. And he's probably right. I keep trying to plan this wedding the way it's 'supposed' to be one rather than just having the one I want. I give up," she says, tossing her hands up, "I have to meet Ulises in an hour for my shooting lessons. You'll be okay hanging out on your own?"
"Oh, you have got to be kidding," Rebecca gasps, "He's got you playing with guns now?"
"I'm not playing with guns," Heather sighs, wishing she hadn't mentioned it, "I got myself into some trouble with my selling. This big time drug family sent on of their sons to my house while I was alone there with Laurel, and he attacked me. I don't know what would have happened if Ulises hadn't come in when he did. I don't like the idea of having a gun, Bec. I've never liked them. But what will I do if they come for me again when Ulises isn't home. Just let them hurt me or my daughter?"
With her free afternoon, Rebecca seeks out Coby. Even without his sister's crop, he still gets the best pot in California. After smoking up his apartment they go out to Las Bebidas to play darts and have a few drinks.
"Oh look. The ceiling!" she says.
"Check it out. I can do this with my eyes closed," Coby says.
"Do what?" she asks, "Oh, they have little bushes in planters!"
"I'm glad we're getting this time to hang out," Rebecca says when they finish their dart game, "To see you as something other than just Heather's kid brother. I've only been away for a few years, but it seems like everything here has changed."
"I guess it has," Coby says, "You used to be so untouchable, so far above me. I could have any girl I wanted, except for you. And now..."
"You can have me," Rebecca says.
Coby kisses her then, the way he used to dream of kissing her when he was sixteen. So much has changed since then, he's been with so many girls and he's been in love, for real. And it ruined him he realizes as his tongue meets Becky's, he can't kiss a girl, not even this one, his high school crush, the girl who he dreamed of but never touched, even her kiss is just a substitute for the one he really wants.
All he can do is try to lose himself in sex, take what's offered and try not to think about what he can't have.
"Shannon," she cries out when she comes, "Shannon, Shannon."
"Becky, did you have a girlfriend up north?" Coby asks. He's never had a girl call out a chick's name while they were fucking.
"A few," she says, "Why?"
"You said 'Shannon'," he tells her.
Rebecca frowns, "Shannon's a guy," she says.
"What happened with him?"
"Why does something have to have 'happened'?" she asks, suddenly angry, "Why can't two people just drift apart?"
"Sorry," Coby says, "Touchy subject? You can talk to me, you know. I mean, I've been there. I am there. Caught in this riptide of sex, trying to forget the one girl that ever meant anything and fucking chicks that are using me to forget, or trying to live some fantasy of their own. What are you using me for, Becky? Who's the guy you really want to be with? What are you trying to forget?"
"It's not like that," Rebecca says, smiling sadly, "I'm just trying to move on. I've been in the same place for too long."