Entomologists Charlie and Lois O’Brien have the largest private collection of insects in the world. In their 55 years of marriage, these real life “love bugs” have traveled the world gathering specimens for their unique collection. Now in their 80s, the couple plans to donate the 1.25 million bugs carefully catalogued in their Arizona home to a research university. Even without their insects, the love they built on little legs, wings and stingers will live on.
You’d met Sam briefly when he brought in the best he could
muster for women’s clothes. He was taller than his brother, though both were
arguably giants. He seemed softer, though. Different, “Hope these are OK.
Couldn’t exactly shop for style.” He laughed nervously, handing over the items.
They were acceptable, you were sure, though not what you would have picked out.
Brown slacks and a more form-fitting white blouse. They were far more liberal.
What can I say? As a theatre tech major, I just couldn’t resist. Enjoy~!
Oikawa as a scenic designer. He consistently pulls all-nighters, obsessively researching and drafting for productions (both present and future).
Iwaizumi as a very talented scenic carpenter/technical director, helping to bring Oikawa’s vision into reality on stage!
Oikawa hoarding scripts. Tons of scripts EVERYWHERE. In his bookcase, on his nightstand, stashed along with his mother’s hand-me-down recipe books in the kitchen.
Iwaizumi clearing out his closet and building shelves to store all of the tools that he has collected over the years. (Oikawa gave him some great contributions for his birthday and he keeps them front and center, always in pristine condition.)
Oikawa and Iwaizumi reading over scripts together and debating over what is and is not possible for the space they are working in. (”No, Idiotkawa, that tree is way too big. How in the hell is a thirty foot tree even practical?” “Silly, Iwa-chan! We are going to fly it in and out!” “You would still have at least three feet of tree visible, even at the top of the fly system.” “Oh…. I suppose you’re right! Oops!”)
Iwaizumi pulling Oikawa away from his drafting desk, or making him cups of coffee when he really needs to get an idea out.
Oikawa lounging around during build days. (”Shittykawa! This is your damn set! Get off your ass and pick up a tool!”)
Oikawa always makes up for it by bringing Iwaizumi meals on long build days and forcing him to take at least one break. (And sometimes, he even picks up a drill and gets to work.)
Iwaizumi looking like he should be a model on every page of the Home Depot Catalogue. (Hanamaki and Matsukawa agree after they see the stealthily-taken photos on Oikawa’s phone.)
Oikawa and Iwaizumi looking over the complete set, the product of literal blood, sweat, and tears. Iwaizumi throwing an arm over Oikawa’s shoulder as they just sit in silence, gazing at what they have created together.
Oikawa and Iwaizumi sleeping for 12+ hours after an all-night strike and waking up next to each other, feeling proud and accomplished. (And loved, of course.)
“Hold your glove up a little higher.” Dean instructed with a
baseball grasped in his hand. “Just like that. Now, when you see the ball
coming aim your glove so that the ball falls into the web of it. When the ball
hits your glove squeeze your hand around it.”
Cas nodded with a look of fierce concentration. “Okay. Throw
Violet slammed the door of her old honda, as Michael climbed beside her in the passenger seat. Both were still out of breath, and silent except for their pounding hearts, beating nearly in sync with one another.
“ Um… thanks.” Michael sputtered out after several moments of quiet.
“Shit…” she exhaled, shaking her head in disbelief while exchanging glances with him.
And with that, she started her car and pulled it out of park, noting the sound of the gravel crunching under the nearly bare tires. Michael cleared his throat, “Um, Vi, ya know this counts as skipping right?”
“I don’t care right now really. We just….we just need to calm down….deescalate.” she rambled, turning the corner of the block, passing under the shade of the massive oak trees lining the winding road.
“Your knuckles…” Michael laughed,
“Nothing, its just uh, they’re white.” he gestured to her delicate hands gripping the steering wheel with excessive force. Violet absent mindedly chipped flecks of her black nail polish away, eyes glued to the road.
“I’m sorry I hit - “ he started
“No…” she cut him off “ we are not talking about this while I am driving. Tell me where to go. Mike please, we need somewhere to breathe.”
“Okay, okay, I can do that, um, take a left up here.”
They followed the road a few miles back until they came up to a rotting wooden church, with a rusty forgotten playground. From a distance, one might assume the scene was frozen, that the swings were stiff and the merry go round bolted into the overgrown earth it sat on.
As they stepped out the car, everything was eerily still. The two of them walked over to the small church playground, Michael kicking a rock along with him as he walked. They stopped a few feet away from the archway entrance.
“Michael….where are we?”
“Oh this? This is my old church my Mum used to make me come to every Sunday. The parish moved in town, they just picked up and left. Technically the land is still for sale, but no one ever comes here. Well, except me I guess, but - “
“I like it.”
Violet picked up the rock from under Michael’s boot and threw it, full forced at the slide, which she assumed was once silver, but now gleamed a murky grey color. It bounced off with a ping, and skipped to a stop on the pavement. Before another minute passed, she was hurling small pebbles at the decrepit structure, grunting with anger.
Michael watched amused, and joined her, picking up handfuls of gravel and passing them to her, as they took turns flinging stone after stone.
“FUCK” she screamed, “I just, I hate him! He thinks he can just hit you? How dare he?”
“I FUCKING HIT HIM BACK.” Michael grunted.
“YES YOU DID!”
“AND IT WAS HARD!” he added,
“AND IT WAS HOT!” she sputtered.
Michael threw his final rock, and flashed his devilish grin at her.
“Don’t get cocky Clifford.” she hissed, rolling her eyes at his smug look. And with that, she turned on the heel of her converse and walked into the abandoned church. To say that the inside was surreal, would be an understatement.
Years of weather and vandals had left the church in shambles. What once were holy statues of Mary and Joseph, stood spray painted with harsh crimson pigment. The large figure of Jesus on the cross hanging behind the altar was crooked. The pews were dusty and creaked with each step the pair took.
Pages from hymnals and scriptures were scattered on the floor. And each wall was lined with stained glass windows, with several missing panels, allowing natural light to flood the inside, along side the colored panes.
Violet stopped at the end of the aisle and turned to face Michael.
“Why did you fight back then? Why not before?”
“Well, it wasn’t important before I guess.” he remarked.
“What do you mean?”
“I guess I can take the torment, but as soon as I saw him cornering you, I’m not sure, I just kind of lost it. It’s not right. He’s a lot bigger than you.”
“I could take him!” Violet defended herself, in a joking manner.
“Oh believe me, I have no doubt that you could…it’s just that. It’s just that you shouldn’t have to.”
The couple stared at each other, both filled with adrenaline and fervor. The tension had grown practically unbearable for both of them. Michael took a few steps closer to Violet, until they were both mere inches away. He looked down at her, noticing for the first time her freckles that covered the bridge of her nose.
He bit his lip and placed his hand on the small of her back, feeling both giddy and a tad delirious. Violet stood up on her tippy toes, entangling her fingers in his fluffy hair as she pressed her lips against his for the first time.
It felt as if months of anticipation, had finally paid off. They melted into one, with a magnetic sense of intimacy. No one there to interrupt them, no mind games, just Michael and Violet, kissing, at last, in the stillness of the exhausted chapel.
Their passion grew along with their heart rates, as his hand moved down to rest on her bum, the same bum he had watched sway down the hallway in that grey and black school skirt that made him groan under his breath.
He grabbed the skin under her pleated skirt, feeling the lacy hem of her boyshorts against the pads of his calloused fingers. She pressed her hand against his bruised rib cage, tugging at his shirt. Michael winced in pain.
“Oh shit.” Violet paused, completely forgetting that he had just taken a beating an hour prior.
“No, no its fine, I don’t mind really…” Michael interjected, not wanting to stop.
“No, Mike, we have to go get you cleaned up, come on my Mom’s at work.” she said, walking past him back to the entrance. But he stayed in his spot, hesitant to leave.
“Come on,” she laughed, gesturing towards the car, “Michael I’m not going anywhere, come on lets get you cleaned up.” And with that, they departed, the subtle taste of the other person still lingering.
The door slammed behind them. The house was tidy, almost as if it was straight out of a model home catalogue. Violet’s mum, Mrs. DeLesseps was very particular about the state of their home. She worked hard at a very prestigious law firm, and made an ample salary.
Different editions of National Geographic and Reader’s Digest were fanned out on the coffee table, arranged according to date of their release. A white board with color coded columns hung on the pantry door, showing to visitors just how much of a control freak she was.
“First aid kit’s upstairs…” Violet stated, beginning up the hardwood staircase.
Michael followed behind her, resisting the urge to peer up her skirt. He wanted to respect her, but the clear view of her boyshorts the trip up provided was quite a temptation.
“Really, it’s just a bruise.” he shrugged.
“Okay well we can clean and ice it, and give you some ibuprofen anyways. Make sure theres no swelling”
They walked into the bathroom, “take off your shirt” Violet spoke. He stood there, paused, reluctant to strip, casting his eyes down at the tile.
“Oh come on Mike…” she laughed, stepping closer to him.
“Fine…” he exhaled, “but blame me if you’re blinded by my paleness.” He pulled the top over his head, tossing it off to the side. Violet’s eyes widened at his bare skin…“I’m not exactly buff if you haven’t noticed….” he added.
“No, I couldn’t care less about that…” she explained, “ it’s just….this has to hurt really bad. Michael did you clean these when you got them?” she gestured to the various scrapes and bruises littering his abdomen.
“They’re nothing really…”
Violet sat down on the edge of the bathtub, first aid kit resting in her lap. She waved him over to stand in front of her as she soaked a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide. He sucked in his stomach, and inhaled some air which was now significantly stuffier since they had first arrived in the small bathroom.
When she dabbed the scrape on his ribcage, he tensed up, goosebumps rising from his pale pores. Violet looked up at him, “Cold…” he explained. She nodded and continued. He prayed that she didn’t notice the few spots he had, blemishing his chest. Puberty hit him hard, and while most of it made him significantly more attractive, hormones did not spare him his clear skin.
The soft hum of the bathrooms fluorescent lights filled the silence. Michael didn’t know why, but he was holding his breath. He looked down nervously, realizing this was a view he had imagined many times before. His shirt off, looking down at her, level with the crotch of his denim, his breath caught in his throat. Funny enough, this was not exactly the situation he had previously anticipated behind locked doors.
He liked the way her full eyebrows knit together, creating small wrinkles on her forehead. His stream of observations were interrupted when she casually looked up at him, her eyes bright and clear. Michael swallowed, and bit the inside of his lip out of frustration.
‘Shit, no fuck don’t do that, don’t look me at me like that.’ he thought to himself, desperately trying to control his thoughts so their sultry nature wasn’t revealed through the tightness of his jeans. He could think of few things more embarrassing than sporting an unsolicited boner mere inches away from Violet’s face.
The fingernail on her pinkie finger grazed his happy trail as she bandaged his side, causing Michael to clench his jaw tightly shut, and grind his teeth together while looking at the ceiling. Violet knew exactly what she was doing, and she couldn’t deny that she found it amusing that she has this sort of influence over him. It filled her with a satisfying sense of confidence and power.
Michael’s stubby fingers ran through his fringe, ruffling it out of habit. He noticed he was getting quite sweaty, and exhaled an anxious sigh, hoping that Violet was nearly done playing doctor. He focused on one square of tile on the wall of the shower. A black speck the size of a half dollar coin scurried across the tile, causing him to jump up, releasing a girlish scream.
“What?!” Violet screamed.
“Spider.” he sputtered, backing up from the shower, humiliated.
“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of spiders….” she laughed.
“I’m not!” he defended “It just startled me.”
“Sure….” and with that she grabbed a paper cup from the countertop and scooped the spider into it, and tried handing it off to Mike.
“This is Jonathan.”
“You named him!?” he said disgusted.
“Calm down, he’s just a spider, he’s misunderstood.”
“I don’t want to understand Jonathan!” Michael exclaimed, and with that, Violet released the spider back out the window.
“Great, now he can find someone else’s bathroom to terrorize.” he muttered.
She rolled her eyes at him and tossed his t shirt to him, before walking back into the hallway. He hastily pulled it over his head, following closely behind her. While they descended from the stairs he realized the developing love/hate relationship he had with them. As she stepped down from each tier, her cleavage shook softly against her shirt, capturing Michael’s attention once again.
“We have a few hours until my Mom gets home, what should we do?” she asked, walking into the kitchen.
“Um…” Michael swallowed once again, unable to muster up any words. He knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to go back and relive that moment in the church. He wanted to kiss her until both of their lips were chapped. But that wasn’t exactly an acceptable answer.
“Youre such a dork.” Violet teased, predicting what he was thinking about.
She pulled a frozen pizza from the icebox and prepared the oven for baking it. Michael swooned over her choice of cuisine, regarding pizza as high a delicacy as caviar or filet mignon.
“Go pick a movie, I’ll finish this.” she suggested, to which Michael happily obliged.
He flipped through her queue, content on her leather couch, and found an impressive repertoire of movies. Not only did she have good taste in literature, but phenomenal taste in cinematography. He recognized the names of some of his favorite movies.
Donnie Darko, Anchorman, Blue is the Warmest Color, Lego Movie, Pretty in Pink, Pulp Fiction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heathers, Freaks and Geeks, Pokemon Indigo League.
He paused at the last title, eager to share their newfound love of Pokemon. Red bars lined all of the episode boxes, indicating she had already seen all of them in their entireties, just like Michael had.
She slid across the hardwood floor in her mismatched socks, coming to a halt at the back of the couch, then rolling over the back onto the cushions, clumsily. She landed with her head in Michael’s lap and her legs hanging off the side of the couch.
“Graceful.” Mike smiled.
“It comes naturally.” she jested, before sitting up and situating herself next to him. She had changed into leggings, which meant she could no longer accidentally flash Michael. But rather showcase her silhouette, that the tight black fabric hugged. He couldn’t make up his mind which was better…or worse considering he did not want to make her uncomfortable, and getting a hard on would undoubtedly do just that.
“What are we watching?”
“The Indigo League …”
“Ahhh, romantic!” Violet joked.
Michael engaged in an internal face palm. ‘ How could I be so stupid!?’ he sighed to himself. “Um, I could pick something else if you w-”
“Mike, I was only joking, no worries.”
The boy let out a sigh of relief, disappointed at how much of a loser he was coming off as. That was until the title sequence came on, and Violet started to sing every single word, in a goofy falsetto voice. “Sing with me” she giggled, “I can’t look like an idiot by myself.”
He joined in, laughing at her ridiculousness, as she ironically fist bumped to the catchy beat. Both of their stomachs hurt from laughing by the time the final chord rang out. Ash’s voice rang from the TV set.
“Metapod! I choose you!”
“Fuck I hate this episode.” Michael groaned.
“What? How do you hate metapod vs metapod?”
“He’s the lames pokemon there is! He does nothing!”
“He hardens!” Violet argued.
“He’s just a green banana with a face! He’s useless. What are they gonna do? Out harden each other?”
A smirk creeped across both of their faces. Violet waggled her eyebrows at the childish innuendo.
“Don’t…” Michael started, expecting an immature joke.
“My metapod will out harden your metapod in a battle.” she suggested in a ridiculous voice.
“I seriously doubt that.” he laughed, brushing the comment off.
“My metapods, always ready for battle.” she continued
“Im so done with this conversation.” he laughed, shaking his head at her nonsense.
All pokemon dick jokes aside, the now flushed boy was still faced with the problem he wanted to kiss her, but didn’t exactly know how to articulate that. ‘How did I do it last time?’ he asked himself. He could not remember for the life of him how he initiated the kiss. The moment was just…right. But not all moments could be that effortless.
He was afraid that Violet would think he was coming on to her….we I guess he was, but he didn’t want to see like a douchey nymphomaniac who is just trying to get into her pants…er, leggings. The only thing he was positive of was he was over thinking the entire situation.
His rambling thoughts were interrupted by her head on his shoulder. Violet curled up, tucking her legs into her chest and snuggling further into the crook of his neck. It wasn’t awkward, it was comfortable. And the pair reflected that they would be perfectly content staying in this exact position for the rest of their miserable days at Norwest Christian Academy.
Violet cast her eyes down at Michael collarbone. For some reason, she found collarbones very attractive and had the sudden urge to kiss it. Though pokemon was her favorite show, she could not focus to save her life.
His chest rose and fell at a steady face. Over the romantic soundtrack of Ash Ketchum preparing to battle Team Rocket, she lifted her head and pressed her lips against the dip in his neck. His head instantly tipped back and to the side, his eyelids fluttering shut.
As her lips moved against his skin, goosebumps rose, and the hairs on his arms stood straight up, sending shivers down his spine. She played with the tuft of soft hair on the nape of his neck. Playfully twisted it around her finger. Michael was in a state of euphoria as she nibbled on his sweet spot under his ear.
She stretched out her other hand, and cupped his stubbly jaw line, turning his face towards her own. She took his bottom lip between his teeth, tugging on it before allowing his tongue to enter her parted lips.
Michael deepened the kiss, placing his hand on the small of her back and pulling her closer towards him. Her back arched, and her chest pressed up against his. Michael’s hands wrapped around her waist, his thumb lining up perfectly at the base of her ribcage.
Violet slung her leg across his waist so she was straddling his lap. He run his hands down her sides and held her hips, his thumbs circling her hipbones. The natural roll of their movements caused Violet to move against Michaels hips, a motion that solicited a surprised gasp from his open mouth.
He cleared his throat, mildly worried he would come off as inexperienced as he actually was. Violet pulled away for a moment to chuckle kindly under her breath before continuing, tangling her fingers in his now messy hair. Her fingernails scratched his scalp, causing him to shudder and nuzzle her hand, wordlessly asking her not to stop.
“I like your hair.” she paused, smoothing it down and laughing.
“No!” Mike laughed in a raspy, kissing voice, “Don’t flatten it, I’ll look like a dweeb.”
“I like dweebs.” chirped before colliding her lips with his once again.
His fingertips trailed lightly on the back of her hips, hesitant to drop lower. She laughed against his lips, pushing her bum closer to his hands, giving his roaming hands the green light.
His flat palms smoothed over the curve of her back and followed it down, before cupping the base of her rear in his hands. He didn’t want to blatantly grope her, so he pulled her closer to him, squeezing her lightly as he did so.
There was no use in him attempting to suppress the now prominent bulge straining against the his tight denim. Without thinking, he pulled her bum closer to his crotch. The friction cause him to instinctively buck his hips up into hers. She exhaled shakily at the motion.
“S-Sorr” Michael began to stutter but before he could finish apologizing, she interrupted him with another passionate kiss.
It was then the timer on the toaster oven dinged, causing them both to perk up, like excitable puppies, knowing their pizza was ready.
“Race ya.” Violet laughed, unmounting him to go grab the first slice.
Michael followed, taking a moment to adjust himself in his pants before walking.
Call her a sap, but Taylor was a sucker for metaphorical parallels. So, as the summer air climbed to an even, humid, hot, so did her… thing with Karlie.
The city had succumbed to an unmoving layer of suffocating heat. In the quiet enclave of Tribeca, as soon as the door shut on the inescapable haze, they were a mess of hands and lips and teeth, leaving a trail of clothes in their wake. Skin on skin, sweat, hands in her hair and raking down her back and climbing up her chest and in places they shouldn’t be. None of this was how it should be, but it was too delicious to stop it. The heat seeped through the cracks in the brick and fogged her brain, or that was her excuse at least. Against those sheets, she couldn’t think straight or see straight. All that swam into view were two green eyes, wide and glossy and hers.
Well, they weren’t all hers, but logistics had long been thrown out the window.
It was a speeding freight train, a diving plane, a… fuck it, that’s good enough. It was dragging sloppy kisses across her collarbone, that’s what it was. Curves and bends and the cacophony of both vocal and physical sounds revealing the lovely acoustics of her bedroom walls.
She’d never felt this reckless before. Taylor had always had her secrets; ones that made it out eventually and a small collection she was sure her first publicist never even knew. This indefinite tryst was something else entirely. It was a secret coiled in her gut, searing white hot against her stomach. One she never planned on, and one with no clear navigation for her to go by.
“I was thinking Thai.”
Karlie’s chest rumbled against Taylor’s ear as she spoke. She adjusted her head to look up just enough to see over Karlie’s chin.
“I’m up for it,” Taylor agreed. “But not yet, can we just…”
She tightened her arms around Karlie’s middle as she trailed off. Her legs wove through the endless tangle of Karlies’.
Another rumble shook her cheek as Karlie chuckled. The tingle of fingertips on her scalp soothed her into a soft hum.
They had switched it up and had fallen into bed at Karlie’s apartment this time. In the mid-afternoon, no less. Taylor bunched the sheets in her fist and thumbed the comforter. It was some sort of attempt to etch the tactile memory of it all into her mind forever. The starch of the sheets that don’t see enough of Karlie to be really broken in, the smell of this particular brand of fabric softener, the little creaks in the bed when they move, or even the pictures on the wall gathering a thin layer of dust just visible in the waning afternoon sunlight.
Some were familiar faces of Karlie’s family she’d come to recognize. Others were certainly not casual photographs. They were people she vaguely knew, black and white prints against a thick matte and a pricy looking ink black frame. They were the sort you see in fancy home catalogues or in those immaculate LA homes of “moms who have it all.”
“Who are those people on your wall?” Taylor voiced her thoughts.
“No, down by your dresser.”
Karlie sat up a little to have a look and Taylor smiled to herself how Karlie forgot who’s pictures she had on her own wall. She shouldn’t find how absent minded she was so damn cute, but she did. She rolled off of her bedfellow and into a pile of stark white pillows that enveloped her head, entertaining the idea that they could suffocate this irrational affection.
“Ah, Derek gave me those when I moved in,” Karlie recalled. She leaned back and attempted to flatten some of the pillows that were drowning Taylor.
“Who are they?” Taylor inquired, as she was reluctantly freed.
Karlie looked back again at the far wall and propped herself up on her elbows.
“That,” she began, pointing at the frame furthest to the left, “Is Kate Moss. I’m sure you know her.”
“Mmmm, oh yeah.”
“The next one is Lauren Hutton. Then Veruschka, Dovima with the elephants is my favorite. Jean Shrimpton over there…”
Karlie paused and looked down at Taylor suddenly with her tongue between her teeth, a giggle bubbling to the surface. Taylor herself laughed at Karlie’s amusement before scooting closer to get a better view of the source of her glee.
“What?” she asked.
“She kind of looks like you, Jean Shrimpton. In that picture at least,” Karlie stated. Taylor squinted at the photograph and scrunched her nose.
Karlie fussed with Taylor’s messy hair for a moment, looking back and forth between her and the photograph, before smiling proudly.
“Mmhmm, totally. It’s uncanny,” Karlie claimed.
Taylor glanced once more at the photo and barked a laugh, shoving Karlie back off her elbows.
“It’s not uncanny at all! You’re going blind,” Taylor exclaimed. Karlie flipped onto her side to put them eye to eye.
“Okay, maybe not uncanny,” Karlie relented, “but you do look a lot like her. It’s kind of scary.”
Taylor nearly snorted, and countered, “Karlie, she’s was a supermodel. I’m just…”
“A rock star?” Karlie finished for her. Taylor rolled her eyes with a bemused smile.
“Hardly,” she denied.
Karlie scooted even closer and slid her hand up Taylor’s cheek. Her eyes were soft and Taylor could sense a moment coming on. Better not go there.
“Are they your role models or something? Is that why you have them on your walls?” she interjected, trying to divert the conversation. She couldn’t do that right now, not as naked and vulnerable as she was, literally. Karlie didn’t move and held her gaze casually.
“Not really. I actually didn’t know who they were until a few years ago,” she said, with a self deprecating laugh punctuating her admission. She furrowed her brow in thought before coming up with her answer. “Besides the fact that they were a housewarming gift, I guess I keep them because they were the real deal, you know? Those women were the golden standard, the pioneers. They are the ones everyone still emulates today, whether they realize it or not.”
Taylor blinked, trying to understand. Karlie’s absentminded stroking of her cheek made that a little difficult.
Karlie concluded, “They keep me grounded, you know? Remind me of who I am in the big picture of this crazy industry, and make me feel small.”
Taylor scoffed at the irony that anything could make the towering Karlie Kloss feel small. She said as much and Karlie couldn’t help but snicker at Taylor’s dumb joke.
In a moment of weakness, Taylor lost herself in it all for just a second. She let herself sigh inwardly at how inexplicably gorgeous this girl was, mussed hair and pink cheeks spread in an affectionate grin. Could she get any more infuriating?
Apparently she could, because she went and said things like that. Taylor’s whole life was about reaching for the stars. Everyone she surrounded herself with wanted bigger and better and here was this girl, on top of her world and yet, she was just trying to occupy the six foot and some odd inch space life allotted her with a smile and a cookie. What someone of such sound mind was doing wrapped up with someone like her, she didn’t know.
The fact that Taylor had ever tried to resist falling into this head first seemed laughable now. She was slipping and sliding down this road and not exactly digging her heels into the dirt. She had no idea where this was going or what she was going to do about any of it. She was only certain that she wanted to be here for as long as Karlie would have her.
These words swam in her head but they fell dead and heavy on her tongue. Karlie was just so perfect right then and there, she couldn’t ruin this. She couldn’t risk Karlie getting skittish. Between the conversations they’d yet to have, the whole Josh factor which has been conveniently swept under the rug, and what they would do about Taylor being, well, herself and all that implies, it was all too precarious. Just one big jumble of loose ends getting more and more tangled as they carried on in their bubble.
Karlie tapped Taylor’s jaw and whispered, “Penny for your thoughts?”
Taylor put on a smile and shook her head against the plush material.
“It’s nothing important,” she assured her. Karlie mulled this over and inched even closer to her. Their hips were nearly flush beneath the comforter and Taylor tried not to notice.
“Well don’t worry about Jean over there,” she told her. It took Taylor a second to realize sweet, innocent Karlie thought she was still hung up on feeling inadequate compared to a supermodel from 50 years ago. What she wouldn’t give to only have problems that simple. But no, Karlie had no idea the seismic shift in Taylor’s world that was happening right under their feet. There was no way to explain it, and she wasn’t about to try.
Taylor sighed and went along with it, grateful for the reprieve from emotional apocalypse unfolding in her brain.
“And, why is that?”
“Becaaaause,” Karlie drawled, “You’re gorgeous. You could be a supermodel any day of the week if you wanted to be.”
She leaned in and pressed a kiss to Taylor’s lips so tender her whole body melted into the sensation. She breathed Karlie in, absorbing the warm and smooth expanse of her skin through hands she splayed across her back. Karlie pulled back just a hair.
“Mmm, really?” Taylor mumbled as she chased parted lips.
“Yep, says the supermodel.”
Taylor opened one eye to find Karlie donning that smirk that drove her nuts. She flipped her onto her back and attacked her smug mug with kisses that erupted into to giggles, the suggestion of Thai food completely forgotten.
They always warn children about the dangers of staring directly at the sun, but Taylor was never one to proceed with caution. And anyway, by now she had already gone blind.