The air felt different. The dust danced in the air. The world itself had tilted at a different angle. Joan cried herself to sleep in her best friend's arms and when she woke everything changed.
They spent the day as they intended, painting side by side in Kristen's studio. Joan wasn't looking at the juxtaposition of light and shadow. She was looking at the full slope of her bottom lip. The swell of her breast. Her sultry gaze. A hundred things she hadn't noticed before. She shook her head. It wasn't like anything had happened the night before. There was no kiss. There was no touch, no guilty confession. All there was was vulnerability and connection. It was enough. Today the world was different.
Shadows deepened as their natural light be3gan to fade. They were winding down. Joan chuckled as Kristen scratched her cheek and spread yet another streak of acrylic across her face. Kristen smiled at the rare laughter and rubbed her nose. Joan looked at her own hands, finding them covered with more paint than her canvas. She suddenly wondered what it would be like to see her handprint on Kristen's stomach. A blush rose to her face. Kristen put down her brush and walked across the wooden floor, nearing her nervous friend.
"It's OK," she said. "It's different for me too."
With a self-assured fingertip, Kristen brushed Joan's golden hair from her face. Each breathed the other's breath and the two felt everything change again. Align. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds stretched between their parted lips.
It wasn't a jolt of electricity. It wasn't a shock. Kristen's lips brushed over hers with the delicacy of a feather. It was a flow, a rush, a warmth over her mouth. It was clarity. It was the answer to questions she'd never dared ask aloud.
A hand brushed a smooth cheek. Arms entangled. A tongue flickered along the swell of a lip. It sought out it's partner. Paint smudged on pale skin and Joan wondered of handprints again, . A smile tugged at the corners of Kristen's mouth.
"I feel it," she said. "All of it."
And everything changed for the better.
Thank you, Advizor, for the encouragement this week. I truly needed it.