Playlist: Flame Trees by Sarah Blasko : Middle of the Hill by Josh Pyke : Brighter than Sunshine by Aqualung : Au Port by Camille : Untouchable Face by Ani DiFranco
Disclaimer: Obviously not. Otherwise Kite would be back, Ray would make more frequent appearances and there would be so much more angst.
He wasn't sure how it would go, their first kiss. They'd been dancing around each other for weeks. Or, rather, he'd been dancing around her, and she'd been pirouetting slowly in a circle, following him, wary. He wasn't sure what it had been that had attracted him to her, made him work so hard. She was aloof, distant, ready to answer a question with a question, or dismiss it entirely. But there was something deeper he could sense, something beyond her irritating detachedness and her porcelain beauty. Something he wanted desperately to see, to have access to.
As ice queen as she'd been at first, he could tell he was thawing her slowly. She smiled at him sometimes now, with a crazily gorgeous smile that made him want to grin back at her. And she had a sarcastic humour he'd never really picked up on before, but that came out in unsuspecting moments and that usually caught him off guard. She was a locked Pandora's box, and he was aching to get inside, discover the secrets that hid under the messy blonde hair and the electric eyes.
When she stood in the snow that night, telling him she wasn't going to give up any secrets, snowflakes catching in her hair, he'd wanted to lean forward then, touch those ruby lips to his. But he knew her; she'd find some way to dart off, avoid him later. It seemed like a godsend when she'd simultaneously told him she was packing, and run herself into a garbage bin. He'd seized the opportunity, had readjusted her so she was trapped between him and the bin, her body just coming into contact with his front. He'd put his briefcase down, wanting both hands. He didn't know that she'd stay there, that she'd stop protesting long enough for him to kiss her. But she fell silent, looked down towards the snowflake ground so he could smell the faint vanilla smell in her hair. Then her eyes had come up to look into his, slightly hopefully, mostly wary. She'd smiled, and he'd felt some stirring that was past lust. Then he'd leant down, placed his lips gently on hers, revelling in the softness, the feeling of them under his, of her warm breath piped through a slightly opened mouth. It was nothing deep, nothing heavy but as he drew back he felt breathless. He struggled, found words after a moment of seeing nothing but her, feeling nothing but her body in front of him, the slim line of her neck, her hair under his fingertips.
"So… Sit with that, overnight. And, uh… See how it settles in." His words were slower to come than usual, harder to find. He was usually adept at stringing sentences together. But something about Lilly Rush made him a little less like a slick and charming DA and more like a lovesick fool. Corny, he knew, but he couldn't help the little twist in his stomach when he heard her voice, or the way he would catch sight of her across a room and find it hard to look away.
She looked at him as he pulled back, her eyes deep blue in the shadows, and he saw something; the thing he'd been searching for. Some other piece to Lilly Rush that, as soon as it had awakened, she dampened so that there was only faint amusement and mild shock left in her eyes. She nodded slightly at his suggestion, and they shared a smile before he turned and walked off. He almost felt like doing a little jump, having a Cary Grant moment and clicking his heels together, but he kept it cool, in case she was watching. It was a preview to coming attractions, and there was no way he was going to screw it up now.
Lil bit her lip, still not quite sure what had happened. Kite had been finding any excuse to see her, or talk to her. He was aggressively persistent, and she'd known it was building up to this, but she hadn't expected it to be such a perfect first kiss. She'd expected something more like a prom kiss. Not that she'd actually gone to her prom; Ray had convinced her to boycott it in favour of a Harley ride and some cheap alcohol shared on a picnic blanket in a deserted park under the stars, but she was sure it had been something like her first kiss; uncertain, slightly sloppy and messily choreographed. Instead, it had been sweet, tentative and far more arousing than she liked to admit.
She'd felt mildly amused when he'd clutched at her elbow to stop her, his eyes flickering between her lips and her eyes. He'd asked her why they always talked about work, but she'd had an answer for him in minutes. It was when he persevered in trying to get her to tell him something personal that she mildly panicked. Some people might have amusing stories of summer holidays spent at the beach, or the fact that they enjoyed clubbing on Thursday nights. Instead, Lil could only reveal depressing little facts; her summer holidays were spent trying to avoid her alcoholic mother's boyfriends, she spent first Thursday's discussing the ways people die, and her fiancé cheated on her only months before the wedding. With her own sister. So she refused, told him she was bad at personal recollections and made a hasty exit- right into an inconveniently placed trash can. Her fair skin bruised easily, and she knew that in a few hours there'd be a purple outline on her hip. Kite distracted her from that thought by positioning himself in front of her, invading her space with his body. He announced his intention; to her failing protests as he placed his briefcase on the building snow. He told her to give it a try, as if it was just a different brand of whisky, and then smiled down at her, knowing she wanted to make another hasty exit. She hated that he could read her so well, and that his admonishment to 'not panic' was exactly what she needed.
She looked at the ground, gathered her thoughts, felt him lean into her. It wasn't that she didn't want to kiss him; she did. But she didn't want it to go further, didn't want him to insert himself into her life, become a complication. She'd simplified things over the years, and she was content with the way things were. Kite was an x; an unknown quantity that was slowly turning the simple into something slightly more complex. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
She looked up, her eyes flitting away from his until his fingertips resting on the back of her neck made her shiver, stand still, lose the amusement that had been her barrier till now.
He leaned in to her, the expression in his eyes unreadable in the dark, his breath warm on her face. She closed her eyes at the last minute, tilted her face up as his lips came to rest lightly on hers.
He'd promised three seconds, and mentally, she couldn't help but count with the small part of her brain that wasn't consumed by the thought that his lips felt so good against hers, or that he was so close to her that she could feel the buckle of his belt touching her stomach.
Three seconds passed, and he pulled back slightly, lingering their lips together so there was the barest sensation. She didn't want to open her eyes, let this moment end, let him go back to questioning her and wanting her to reveal secrets to him. It briefly crossed her mind that sometimes, kisses were simple. There were lips touching lips, breath intermingling without words entering the exchange.
He moved back in, kissed her a second time. She didn't count the seconds this time, only offered her mouth to him more, feeling his breath heat her face. Then it was over, and she opened her eyes, having to wait until he opened his. They were half lidded, heavy as they looked into hers, and she felt that, just maybe, something more than simple wouldn't be as terrible as she'd imagined.
He'd been the first to speak, to offer her a broken sentence, a smile. She'd let her lips curve up in response, not sure what to make of the way his words were stilted, his eyes darker as they looked at her.
His briefcase was recovered, and another smile was shared as she was still thinking of his lips, his taste. Another beat and he was gone, just another figure in the snow. Lilly almost turned to look after him before she changed her mind. She was sure he'd be there tomorrow, words collected once more. And she'd make sure she watched where she walked from now on. With the feeling of him fading, the dull pain of the bruise was once again on her mind. But somehow, although she was trying not to admit it to herself, it was worth it.
I don't know if they have proms where Lil was. Or that she was even with Ray then. But I'm going to take some artistic licence here. Meanwhile, in case you haven't guessed by now, that scene was from Hubris. The gorgeous kiss-in-the-snow that is almost too romantic sigh. Talk about a fabulous first kiss, hmmm? As always, reviews are coveted. Hope you enjoyed; even if you don't bat for the Kite Team.