4: The Doorway
"Sam will you kiss me?" The question came as such a shock to him, he did not at first respond, and seeing as she received no answer, she repeated the question.
"Will you?" She sounded hopeful, her wide eyes lit up brighter as she said it. He was rooted in the doorway, looking back at her, waiting on the other side of the cell, one pale hand resting on the table he had just left.
"I… I don't think…" And what did he think of it? What would she think of it? She knew what kissing was, he had described it once to her… the simplest, most pure form and expression of affection the human mind could come up with, such a slight physical contact that was completely perfect because it requires such a closeness and trust between the two people. A kiss, a true kiss, was an expression of love, a different kind of love.
"I just… want to know, what it feel like…" she said, somewhat embarrassed, and she lowered her eyes to look at the tabletop, and her face reddened slightly. He was still frozen, wondering what to do. His silence made both of them uncomfortable.
He had to look forward to the future, that was what he had promised himself when he got back after his father had passed. He had to look forward, plan, see where his actions would lead him. And as much as he… yes, as much as he wanted to step forward and kiss her, he had to admit, he had no idea where it would go. He knew Quorra was now capable of understanding that kind of love, but he did not know if she was ready for it. And he didn't know if he was either. He looked at her, standing there in her spotless white outfit, her hands rigid at her side, her black hair swept across her face, as she lowered it to obscure her embarrassment. Her hand shook slightly on the table. He still made no move. She looked scared.
He had to look forward to the future… where were they going to be then? What were they going to be? What were they right now?
"I know I loved your father Sam… but not in the way… not how…" she stopped, still not looking up. Sam slowly slid his feet around so he was facing her, one hand still on the door.
"Not how I love you," she said at last. She looked up at him finally, and her eyes were as wide as he had ever seen them, terrified, and at the same time, full of hope. Did she understand what she was saying? Did he? He bit down hard, and finally avoided her doe eyes and sighed.
"I'm sorry… I can't," he murmured at last. Quorra looked crestfallen. "It just isn't…" he was going to say right, but the expression in her eyes made him stop, it held him, transfixed. But why wasn't it right? She was a person, so was he, why were they not capable of making a connection, of feeling something real? But were they? He closed his eyes and breathed out hard. After another moment, another lifetime, he took a step forward and let the doorway close behind him. The room was silent as they stood facing one another. Slowly, he raised his hand, palm up, offering it to her, just like a man would in a film or a movie, a gesture at once romantic, yet at the same time… weary, like he was asking for her to make a choice.
Quorra slowly stepped forward and accepted his hand, taking it softly in her own. He drew his arm back, pulling her hand with him and she stepped forward so they were face to face, no more than six inches apart. And again, he hesitated. Where would it all go? What did this mean if he kissed her? She looked up at him, waiting, her eyes peering up at him like softly. What should he do? What did…
"Sam, if you're not comfortable, I don't have to know what it…" Quorra started to say, slowly moving back, but at the last second, he caught her with his other hand, looped it around her waist and drew her in, close, so close she let out a gasp or surprise. He ran a hand through her hair and brushed it from her eyes so he could see her clear.
"Yes you do. And so do I," he whispered and then he lifted a hand, cupped her chin and turned it at an angle so he could lower his lips gently to hers. Her lips were hard at first, as she had never had to repeat the motion, but gradually, moment by moment, she melted into him as he kissed her tenderly. He thought to pull away after a moment, but suddenly realized his hand had unconsciously wrapped itself around her back, and that that he no longer wanted to step away. He tilted his head and kissed her harder, passionately, and he heard a sigh in her throat as he did it, and she closed her eyes as he brought her into an embrace.
How long it lasted, he had no idea, all he knew what that it was heaven, and he was unlocked, no longer unsure, no longer afraid. It didn't matter where it would go, because right now, at this moment, he knew he loved her, and he knew she loved him. He felt her stiff arms at her side slowly relax and they slid up his back, pulling her in tightly to him and he did the same, squeezing her in so tightly they felt like one.
"I've never felt like that before," she said at last as he pulled away. He smiled.
"Neither have I." He stared into her wide, dark eyes and without thinking, leaned down and placed his lips softly on her forehead and kissed her smooth skin. He inhaled the scent of her hair, so familiar, yet foreign, and he knew at this moment, that he had made the right decision. How? He didn't know, a thousand emotions ran rampant through his head. But he knew.
"What happens now?" she asked him quietly. He didn't know the answer to that either, and he realized it didn't matter. There was no answer to that question.
"I don't know," he admitted. Her eyes widened, almost as if she was panicked. Everything in his world had rules, guidelines that she had to follow. But this… this was something without any borders, no frame, no book to follow. It went wherever they wanted it to go.
"Look," he said slowly, thinking over what he was going to say, knowing she was hanging on every word. "I don't have any way of telling you what I want to happen. But I love you… I can't…" He swallowed. She still looked on edge, barely able to move, stricken. There was something behind her eyes that made him want to stare into them forever. He felt trapped in her eyes, they pleaded for answers and there were none. What else could he do? So he kissed her again, hard and long, just like the first time, this time reaching his hands and pulling her up into his body. He had to do it again. This time was feverish, there was no control to his actions, it was the only way to ease the discomfort in her eyes. There was nothing he could tell her, only show her. His hands pulled her in with such longing, need, he emptied all his emotion out and lay it bear across his lips, and it spread down their bodies like wildfire. It felt perfect, and she acted in the same way he did, without any restraint, he felt her arms pulling herself into him, her legs locking around his waist. Slowly he swung her around and back so that she was seated on the edge of the tabletop and did not stop until his emotional cloud was broken and he was on the verge of losing his control. It was Quorra that pulled away this time and when they had collected themselves, he could see that the look in her eye was gone. She smiled, hesitantly, and then more strongly as he smiled back.
"For good or bad, we're here. We can't chose to not love someone," he said finally. She understood, though she did not yet know how to put it into words. She didn't have to. He could see the emotion in her and that was good enough. All the months of the cage, of being trapped behind bars of ethics and code, it felt liberating to be free to say that he honestly loved this woman, and to honestly not care what that meant for either of them.
"There is no equation," Quorra said softly and he had to agree.
"No, there isn't." She swallowed hard and nodded, looking up at him.
"There will be someone watching?"
"Are we in trouble?"
"Does it matter?" he asked, very seriously. And she shook her head no and smiled again.
"No." She reached a hand up slowly and this time directed him down to her, in control of herself for the first time.
"I wish there was some definition of what I am feeling," she said, her lips inches from his, tantalizingly close. She held it there. He smiled as he saw a twinkle in her eye, deceptive, clever, mesmerizing.
"So do I."