The Kiss

The first time they kissed he was all nerves and liquid energy. His heart was pounding so hard he thought it would surely burst from his chest.

He was so damn terrified he would forget to breathe or breathe too much or bite her tongue or – and then she put a hand on his cheek and stroked it gently. At this simple gesture of affection, something inside him unwound completely, taking his fear with it.

He was half-surprised to find she tasted sweet when he licked out his tongue experimentally, like he always imagined she would. After a moment he pulled back and smiled as her face came into focus. She smiled back almost shyly and moved the hand on his cheek to behind his neck before pulling him gently towards her once more.

The moment their lips touched again and James felt her warmth against him, he knew he was home, that she was the only one for him. He had perhaps always known it, but it wasn't until that moment that it surfaced clearly in his mind.

The kiss wasn't like fireworks or any other of those tired clichés. Instead, James reflected as he opened his mouth and let her tongue move between his lips, it was like sliding into a hot bath.

The warmth starts at your toes, turning your insides to jelly on impact, and then it spreads to the rest of your body until all your worries dissipate and you're left with a feeling of utmost comfort.

They kissed lazily for a few moments, learning each other's taste. When they finally pulled away, James had a smile on his face.

"Kissing you is like a warm bath," he blurted and then proceeded to stare at Lily in horror. Had those words really just come out of his mouth?

She laughed, but not unkindly. "Oh, James…"

And then there was that bath feeling again.

"I suppose we'd best finish rounds," she said and James nodded in agreement, not trusting his traitorous mouth.

Lily reached for his hand and wove their fingers together. "So. A bath, eh?" she murmured with a small smile as they wandered down the hall. James didn't say anything. He was still beyond mortified.

"Now, is it the wetness?" she teased, giving his hand a quick squeeze.

"Evans," James said in a warning tone.

"Or is it the pruning factor?" she continued, a grin spreading. "You don't get pruney when you snog do you?"

"I warned you!" James said before backing her against the wall and tickling her until she was wheezing for air.

"Okay, okay," she gasped between giggling fits. James relented, putting his hands in his pockets.

"You know," Lily said, taking his arm, "if it's the warm comfort factor, you're rather bathy yourself."

James smiled and squeezed her arm before continuing their rounds. Their footsteps echoed vaguely off the stone walls before fading into the distance.