deep_red_bells: ([Expressive] Sex)
ooc: written for [personal profile] elementof_risk at their request; any mistakes are mine and mine alone. This is set earlier in Baileigh's pregnancy, probably at about seven or eight weeks. :)


"Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it."



Satin and underwire might not make much noise being thrown across the room, but the sound of feet stomping angrily across the floor was more than enough to alert those downstairs that all was not right in the upstairs bedroom. Sark found Baileigh sitting on the edge of the bed, the room slightly humid and scented with the steam and soap and perfume combination of a fresh shower. Her hair was damp, makeup freshly applied, her skin glowing and clean--and she was clothed in nothing but her underwear, clutching a blouse to her chest and glaring at a pile of bras across the room, a myriad of colors and lace. She looked as though each piece had done her a great, personal wrong, as though she were about to cry. “Love?”

They don't fit anymore. )


deep_red_bells: ([Text] Brown Eyed Girl)

ooc: um...IDK? I felt like writing? Obviously it's not binding to any muses mentioned, it's just cute birthday fic for Sark and his mun? Set after paintball and dinner during drinks and cards at Sark and Baileigh's place. Technically his birthday's not til tomorrow, but celebrations were planned for today because honestly, what's there to do on a Sunday? Forgive me if I messed anyone up, for I love you all very muchly. :P


“It was cheating.”

“It was tactics!”

“Tactics?! You pretended to sprain your ankle!”

“And I played the ‘Don’t shoot, I surrender!’ card on Hiro, and he totally fell for that, too! Geez, let it go, it’s not our fault you’re all noble and gullible. It's a dog-eat-dog world, Petrelli.”

Peter laughed and sent a mock glare up at Baileigh over the fan of his playing cards as she smiled innocently and set a drink down in front of Mohinder. “Don’t you think it takes just a little bit of the fun out of it? You playing the damsel so Sark can shoot us in the back?”

“Considering the huge advantages you guys had over us? Nope.”

“Hey, we balanced the abilities!”

“Oh, please. We were at a clear disadvantage and we kicked your asses brilliantly. Juuuuuust admit it.”

“That’s enough, love,” Julian interrupted, calmly re-arranging his cards with a barely concealed smug smile. “Let them retain their pride.”

“Nooooo, I’m on the winning team, that means I’m entitled to gloat, and CRUSH their pride under my heel, like this.” She stomped the heel of her shoe lightly against the floor and twisted her foot for emphasis, and pouted at Julian’s raised eyebrow. “Oh, fine.” She bent down to steal a kiss before taking her place at the table and settling in to arrange her own hand of cards.

“You did not have to shoot us so many times,” Hiro put in, rubbing his shoulder with an uncomfortable grimace.

“Tell me about it, I still haven’t gotten this crap out of my hair,” Claire sighed, playfully trying to sneak a peek at Baileigh’s cards.

“Bitch, bitch, bitch--hey!” she squealed and snatched her cards to her chest, nudged Claire with her elbow.

“Children,” Adam chastised mildly at the giggling/shoving match that ensued.

It wasn’t surprising, considering that neither of them could stop giggling long enough to take the game seriously, that Baileigh and Claire were the first to run out of chips, but as there was ice cream and cupcakes in the kitchen to be nibbled at and a cake to be ‘ooo’ed over and prepared with candles, it worked out fairly well. They kept the drinks coming while the menfolk did their best to out-bluff each other and Sylar and Peter were accused more than once of using telepathy to cheat.

The final bickering match was broken up by Claire dimming the lights so Baileigh could bring the lit cake to the table. It was the most masculine birthday cake she could find, which was surprisingly more difficult than it should‘ve been, “Anyone sings, I will shoot you,” she warned, setting the cake down in front of Julian.

“Awww!”

“Shush, Claire.” Baileigh bent down and rested her head on Julian’s shoulder, kissed his cheek lightly. He looked both somewhat dubious, and somewhat overwhelmed, and she wrapped her arms around him and squeezed briefly before straightening. “Make a wish, babe,” she murmured, and sent a smile to the rest of the table. “Anyone claps, I will also shoot you.”

“You mean you’ll distract us so Sark can shoot us.”

Adam sighed lightly as Julian gamely extinguished the candles with a puff of breath. “Let it go, love.”


deep_red_bells: ([Text] She's a big girl now)

It was funny how weeks of non-stop questions and excitement over shopping for school clothes and supplies and perusing through backpacks and lunch boxes until finally choosing the perfect one seemed to dissolve at the realization that from now on, she would have to wake up at 6 A.M. on the weekdays. It took a lot of effort for Baileigh not to giggle at the sleepy-eyed pout they kept receiving from across the kitchen table over a half-eaten bowl of Fruit Loops, as though the inevitability of growing up and therefore being forced to deal with the world at an earlier hour was something that her parents intentionally inflicted on their daughter.

It is her time, watch her run, with ribbons undone )
deep_red_bells: ([With] Sylar)

[ooc: written for [livejournal.com profile] heroslayer at their request...um, it's kind of an odd little fic and it may not even work, IDK, but it's what came out. :D]


“Pennies in a well, a million dollars in the fountain of a hotel.
Broken mirrors and a black cats cold stare,
Walk under ladders on my way to hell, I'll meet you there.
But I'm not scared at all...I'm not scared at all.
Bout the cracks in the crystal, the cracks in the crystal ball”

-Pink ‘Crystal Ball’




The first night is coffee, and the surface is barely scratched )
deep_red_bells: ([Julian] All smiles)
Once she would’ve thought to herself while watching the couple on the TV screen, how the hell could anyone possibly sleep like that, pressed together so close that every breath and heartbeat are shared, limbs and fingers entwined and lips always within kissing range. The movies always make it seem desperately sensual and romantic, but in practice she always figured it would be downright uncomfortable. And hot, and not in the sexy sense so much as the ‘oh God get off of me I can’t breathe’ sense.

She had come to realize that it was, in fact, very comfortable, and romantic, and after a time, necessary, even on couches that didn‘t offer much wiggle room. “This may be the worst movie I’ve seen in a very long time,” she remarked cheerfully, tossing a piece of popcorn at the screen. It struck the screen and the male lead squarely in the forehead before landing on the carpet, allowed only a few seconds to live before Irina skittered to a stop beside it and devoured it. “I think the Mystery Science Theater robots would even say ’Jesus, this sucks.’”

“I’ve seen worse,” Julian drawled, skimming his fingers through her hair and, Baileigh noted with some amusement, repeating the same motion with his other hand when Irina sat down next to the couch and nudged her head beneath his palm.

“Is that some sort of crack about my taste in movies?” Baileigh demanded, lifting her head and pouting at him.

“Not at all,” he replied smoothly, meeting her pout with an innocent smile.

“Hmph.” She stuck her tongue out at him and reached for the remote, shifting on the couch, their bodies immediately reorienting around one another. The action was automatic by now. “Okay. Movie night gets cut off early. What do you want to do for the next…” She tipped her head back to peer at the clock. “…hour and thirteen minutes?”

Julian chuckled softly and took advantage of her stretching to nuzzle her neck. “I can think of a few things.”

“Hmmm, I dunno…” She pretended to consider it, nibbled at the corner of her lip. “Though we have had the couch almost two days and we haven’t broken it in yet.”

“How neglectful of us.”

“It is. It’s criminal. Worse than tearing off the ’DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW’ tag.”

“We should rectify this.”

“Psh, I’m not tearing that tag off, you do it. You’re already a criminal and I‘m too pretty to go to jail--oh.” She closed her eyes and gasped at the soft nip to her skin, but froze a bit when she opened them again. “Oh. Hi. Um…Julian?” She taps the back of his head lightly with a fingertip until he looks up, sees Irina staring at them over the couch cushions.

With a heavy sigh, he pressed his forehead to the curve of her neck, then pushed himself up off of the couch to put Irina in her kennel.
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Chin in hand)

“I am under strict orders to make sure you eat.”

Mohinder stared down at the paper bags that Baileigh had plopped down in front of him, carefully slid the notepad out from beneath them before any of his work could become smudged with grease from God only knew what was in there. “I’m not hungry…Baileigh, how many were you planning to feed?”

“Just us!” she chirped brightly, boosting herself up on the desk and riffling through a bag for a Styrofoam container and a plastic spork. “But I knew if I called you and asked you what you wanted you’d be all ‘I’m not hungry’ and I have to just get a variety of stuff anyway and I’d have wasted five of my rollover minutes. Just wasted them! That's criminal. And lo and behold, I was right.”

Mohinder frowned at her, but sniffed curiously and peered into a bag. “And who is ordering me to eat?”

“Give you two guesses, and the first one doesn't count.” She pulled out another plastic wrapped cutlery package and handed it to him. “You should also know that I have permission to use mild force if necessary. And sporkings are very uncomfortable.”

A smile tugged at his lips as he accepted the plastic cutlery, and he sighed lightly and picked up another container, settled back in his chair. “Well. We can’t have that happening.”

Baileigh beamed, jumped down from the desk and bounced behind him to hug him. “Good boy! Now make with the face stuffing. I wasn’t kidding about the spork.”


deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Close up)

Sometimes, people just needed hugs. Baileigh was convinced that more than one villain in a book, or a movie, or a television series could’ve been completely turned around if someone had just offered them a genuine, heartfelt embrace. Just a damned hug. Wouldn’t have cost anyone a thing, really, and so much unpleasantness could’ve been avoided. Really.

Not that Adam was one of those cases. In fact, she was pretty sure his issues were a bit too far gone for simple hugging to cure them. But that really wasn’t the point at all. He was sitting in front of the fireplace, glaring down at his drink and the flickering flames as though both had done him some great personal wrong, and he looked…well, moody, sure, but more than that. He needed a hug. He probably needed a lot more than that, but a hug was a pretty good place to start.

So she sat down in his lap and gathered him up in a tight embrace, resting her cheek against the top of his head, silently indicating that she’d sit here as long as he needed her to. Since he couldn’t talk about whatever the hell it was that had put him in this mood, she didn’t know what else she could do but feed him, pour him a drink, give him a place to stay for a bit, and hug him. It was an oddly helpless feeling, which seemed to be happening a lot, lately. She didn’t care for it.

“It’ll be all right,” she promised him, not knowing if it was really true or not but fairly certain it didn’t really matter, either way.
deep_red_bells: ([Text] Comfortably numb)
Baileigh leaned on her staff and watched, impassive and not even winded, as Cain sat up from his rather uncomfortable looking ‘turtle on it‘s shell’ position. “Do you not ever get tired of getting your ass kicked by girls? I‘m starting to think you get off on it.”

“Real fucking funny,” Cain grumbled, his usually surly scowl in place…only today, there actually appeared to be some genuine anger behind it.

“Did I hurt you?” she asked, some of the teasing leaving her tone as she offered him her hand up.

He didn’t answer right away, grasped her forearm and let her haul him to his feet in a frigid sort of silence. “Sass e-mailed me today.”

What little was left of her amusement slipped away completely. “…What did she say?”

He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. The look on his face said it all.

A few months ago she would’ve balked at the thought, but now it felt perfectly okay to open her hand, let the staff fall to the mat with a dull ‘thunk’ and wrap her arms around him in a tight hug. “I’m sorry.”

He didn’t move for a moment, didn’t even breathe. Then he hugged her back, pressed his face against her hair, but only briefly. “Yeah,” he muttered, cleared his throat and stepped back, glowering as he picked her staff up and handed it back to her. “Yer leaving yer left side open too goddamned much.”

People dealt with emotions in their own way. Baileigh wouldn’t begrudge him of that. She merely nodded a bit, twirled the use-worn staff in her hands and assumed a defensive stance. “Whatever. I can still kick your ass.”

He grunted, glowered at her showboating with a disapproving frown. “Yeah, we’ll see.”

He lunged, and the subject officially dropped.
deep_red_bells: ([Slayer] Chosen)
“The stupid and sad and pathetic thing is, I hate those kinds of people.” Baileigh tucked her legs up to her chest, rested her chin on her knees. “The ones that whine about being misunderstood. The ones that whine about feeling sooooo lonely. I mean, my God. Get over yourself and stop whining. But here I am. Sitting here. Whining.”

“You aren‘t whining.”

“You’re sweet.” Baileigh noted the flicker in Sylar’s expression at being called ‘sweet’ and decided not to say it again. “But yeah, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I just…” She breathed out a sigh and tipped her head back to stare at the ceiling. “I feel like I’m two different people. I’m one person when I’m there and a completely different person here. My priorities are different. My focus. My…drive, I guess. There, everyone understands because they live and sleep and breathe it, the work, the calling. Here it’s--I feel…a little alone, sometimes. In Searchlight I’m a Slayer first, and everything else second. I don’t want that. But here, I’m a Slayer last, and I can’t do that, either. I need to find some kind of middle ground. I‘ve just never been good at that. It‘s like I burn too hard, or not at all.” She fell silent for a moment, chewed at her lower lip. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this.”

“I’m approachable.” He tossed her own words back to her, words she’d spoken with a lilt of a question in response to the very same remark he’d made to her, his tone perfectly pleasant and perfectly deadpan. It made her laugh softly.

“Or maybe I feel like I put everyone else through enough, and you’re fair game at the moment,” she quipped, relaxing her defensive posture enough to lean over and hug him quickly. “Thanks for listening to me whine.”

“Anytime.” He still stiffened a bit at being embraced, but graduated from patting her shoulder to patting her hair, which she assumed was progress of a sort.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] WTF?)
“Beeeeee, come on! It’s gonna be fine!”

“I am never getting married. It’s a sign. A sign from the gods. Baileigh Solis is not meant to be a wife. She is doomed to die a batshit insane spinster with two dozen cats. Who wears curlers all day long. And a muumuu with Daffy Duck on it.”

Rachel pressed her lips together to keep from laughing. “Where did Daffy Duck come from?”

“I don’t know!!” Baileigh whimpered and wrapped both of her arm’s around one of Rachel’s, clinging to her like a lifeline. “They make muumuus with Daffy Duck on them. Don’t they?”

Rachel couldn’t quite hold back the giggle that bubbled out, but made a soft, sympathetic noise and wrapped her free arm around Baileigh’s shoulders, patted comfortingly. “Bee. It’s one disagreement about a menu choice. I don’t think that dooms you to muumuu spinster-dom.”

“You don’t know that!” came the muffled reply. “Those stupid quiche things could be a permanent point of contention for the rest of my marriage! Divorce by way of stupid gross tasting quiche things!”

Rachel thumped her solidly on the head. Baileigh blinked, shifted to stare up at her, then sighed and let go of her arm to hug her properly. “Thanks. I needed that.”
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Teary eyed)
“There is only one undeniably inevitable conclusion to this, you know.”

“Both of us crying our eyes out?”

“That’s the one.” Baileigh tore a piece of red licorice in two and chewed it thoughtfully as Noah Calhoun  and Allie Hamilton shouted at each other in the pouring down rain. “Not pretty crying, either. Ugly crying. Snotty-tissue-clinging-to-our-upper-lips crying.”

“Oh, that’s lovely,” Claire cringed a bit, popped some popcorn in her mouth, made a soft whimpering noise as Noah grabbed Allie and kissed her fiercely. It was impossible not to watch that scene and desperately want an Noah of one’s own. “It’s also totally true.”

“Yyyyep.”

“So why are we watching it, again?”

“Excess of estrogen that needs to be sobbed off.”

“Oooooh, right.” Claire hunkered down on the couch and rested her head against Baileigh’s shoulder, breathed a sign and nibbled more popcorn. “Bring on the snotty tissues.”

Baileigh hummed softly in amusement, rested her cheek against the top of Claire’s head, the two of them nestling into the covers, box of tissues at the ready as they settled in for the inevitable sob fest that would start around the time the older Allie cried out “It was us!” and most likely wouldn‘t end until long after the credits rolled.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Sheepish)
“I could fix that, you know.”

“It’s not that bad.” She lifts her hand from her neck to check the bite mark with her fingertips, makes a face and presses down again on the pretense of staving off the bleeding; part of her believes that she deserves the pain and scar as a reminder. A quick fix, a syringe full of his blood to speed the healing and leave no trace of the bite, it almost feels like she’s cheating the Powers their due.

She fucked up. As a Slayer she fucked up big time, and failed, and she deserves to hurt a little for it.

And okay, needles freak her out. Really freak her out. Much more than the bite. Which is probably very strange, but, well. It's the truth.

She hates the way that he looks at her on occasion, like he sees into places in her head she would much rather keep very well hidden, and well, he probably can. She doesn’t know if he does. She’s almost afraid to ask. She rarely lies. She doesn’t lie easily, never picked up the skill, so she no longer tries, and yet his cool and even and scrutinizing expression makes her feel as though he’s caught her in one. It just…bugs her.

She can’t really define the ground that they walk on; it’s something like a friendship and unlike any friendship that she’s ever had. It’s a tenuous, shaky ground, a kind of no-fire zone with a silent and mutually understood treaty, mostly tolerance on his part she suspects, but he isn‘t easy to read. Yet some parts of her understand some parts of him, and want to reach out and let him know that.

Death is their gift. Different as they are in their lives and circumstances, it does not change the fact: death is their gift.

“I’ll be all right,” she assures him as much as herself, raises up on her tiptoes to kiss him, just a quick, chaste press of lips. He blinks at her, and she smiles and shrugs and looks down at her feet, glad the dark combined with her complexion hides her blush. “Thanks for the white knight routine? Not that I couldn‘t handle it,” she amends, because she would so rather take an ass-kicking than come off as a damsel in distress. “Cause I could've. Despite the whole bleeding thing. But I do appreciate the saving of my butt. Saving of the butt is always appreciated.”

She glances up in time to see the right corner of his mouth lift slightly. “You’re welcome. Though I don’t think that’s the body part they were interested in.”

“Oh ha ha ha!” she squeaks, rolling her eyes a bit and smiling as they turn to leave the cemetery, piles of ash that had been vampires until a few moments ago swirling around their feet. “Lookit you, you made a vampire funny. You're totally catching on.”
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Bloody lip)

“Mohinder? Please stop sniffing my hair.”

He blinks at her from behind something like a haze, a look she’s come to recognize, though she’s thankful that this time it’s just the spurt of hormones rather than the snap of anger. She can handle this easier, because really, it means absolutely nothing. Even people without heightened senses respond to the female body’s natural pheromones during ovulation, so she read somewhere--probably in Cosmo, but anyway--therefore she completely forgives him for the moments he looks at her that way, like she‘s a very tasty looking slice of chocolate cake and he‘s poised with a fork and a glass of milk. He can’t help it anymore than she can help smelling edible. It’s the outbursts of anger that bother her, that hurt her feelings, no matter how much she tries to tell herself that they’re equally as meaningless. She hopes they are, at least.

“I apologize.” He touches a curl with his fingertips, tugs the lock of hair straight and watches with an almost academic curiosity as it bounces back into a loose spiral. She smiles slightly, almost sighs in exasperation; men and their preoccupation with her damned hair--

The rest happens too fast for her to process, which is scary, because she’s strong, she’s quick, she isn’t taken by surprise because that’s dangerous in her profession, but her back is shoved against the sharp edge of the desk and his mouth is pressed hard enough to hers to draw blood. She plants her hands against the wooden surface to keep her back from bending, body rigid and indecisive because she doesn’t want to hurt him for Christ’s sake but he’s kissing her and that needs to stop. She’s fairly certain if Julian or Sylar walks through the door right now there will be shooting and things hurled telekinetically and she’ll be very lucky to keep her head. His hips are pining hers against the desk, she can’t knee him in the groin and well, that really seems cruel, so she settles for working her arms between them and shoving with as much leverage as she can manage.

He stares at her, a bit confused and dazed as she wipes a bead of blood from her lips and frowns down at the red smear on her fingers. He looks from the smear to her and back again, licks at his own lips, and the haze seems to clear. “I didn’t--I’m sorry--”

“It’s okay.” She laughs a bit, swipes the back of her hand across her mouth again. The split will heal quickly, they always do, so long as she can keep herself from nibbling at it. “It’s okay,” she assures him again as the stricken, slightly panicked look doesn’t fade. “Really. You didn‘t mean it, I know that--”

“I--”

“You didn’t.” She tucks her lip between her teeth, runs the the tip of her tongue over the split. “I’m gonna go to the bathroom. You should call Sylar.” Because these particular moods always improve after he spends time with Sylar.

“I…right.”

She nods and ducks past him, inwardly cringing at the awkwardness she knows will settle between them for a time; she can get past it, because she knows it really doesn’t have anything to do with her. She just hopes that he can too.

He’ll learn to control himself, eventually, even if it‘s a difficult road that he has ahead of him.
deep_red_bells: ([Emote] Giggling)
This one she blames completely on the wine. The wine and the bottle of Patron and the salts and the limes, and a game of I Never.

Really, she knew better than to play I Never with an eighteen year old girl, even an eighteen year old girl in desperate need of a distraction and someone female to talk to. The sad thing is, Claire seems to have more life experience in some ways than Baileigh does. She doesn’t know whether to feel sorry for Claire or grossly disappointed in herself; sheltered was one thing, but damn, this was just really sad on her part.

They sit on Claire’s bedroom floor with the bottle and the shot glasses between them and burn through ‘I never skipped class‘ and ‘I never wrecked a car’ and ‘I never snuck out of the house’ and other such juvenile things, and by the time they’ve moved on to less innocent topics--places they have or have not had sex, positions they have or had not tried, other things that have or have not experimented with that would probably mortify the both of them if sober--she has enough tequila in her that she doubts she’ll remember the specifics, and she doubts Claire will either.

“I never kissed a girl,” Claire giggles, grinning wickedly and turning her shot glass in her hands. She blinks when Baileigh merely smiles slightly and folds her arm, her shot glass untouched. “…Oh come on! Seriously?”

“Seriously seriously,” Baileigh replies with a slow, somber nod. “Seriously.”

Seriously?”

Baileigh snorts and starts laughing, the very distinct laughter of the very, very inebriated. “I never went off to college?”

“Ooooooooooooooh,” Claire gives the word five more syllables than it should have, the alcohol bringing both of their Texan drawls close to the surface. “That makes sense.” She glances down at the shot glass in her hand and frowns, glances at the bottle, then back to her shot glass, then back up at Baileigh, beaming and mischievous. “You waaaanna?”

“What?” Baileigh covers her face with her hands and fights to stave off the drunken giggles. “Claire!”

“It’d finish off the bottle!” She grabs the bottle and Baileigh’s shot glass, concentrates very hard on pouring the liquid and not sloshing it and fails at least partially, but they‘re both too toasty to care. “Just don’t tell my dad! Or Adam. Or anybody related to me.”

Claire!”

“What?!”

She purses her lips down at the shot and the remaining slices of limes and the salt shaker, and naturally the alcohol induced bravery beats out inhibitions. “Okay!”

“Okay!” Claire sits up on her knees, closes her eyes and purses her lips exaggeratedly. Baileigh fights hard to stop giggling, sitting up in the same pose and leaning in until her lips meet Claire’s. They hold it until they can’t stave off the laughter any longer, and fall into each other clumsily until it passes again.

“And I win!” Baileigh declares, straightening and scooping up her shot glass to toss back the last shot. “Or lose. Depending on your outlook. I say I win!...Ooo.” She sways a bit and sinks down to the carpet, laying her head on Claire’s knee. “I think I win tonight but I will sooooooo lose tomorrow.”

“I’ll fix it?” Claire offered, giggling and patting Baileigh’s hair.

"Marry me?"

“You’re doing that already.”

Baileigh blinked up at her, then grinned brightly. “Oh yeah. I forgot. Utah? Guy would never say no to two wives, y‘know.”

Claire falls over giggling, and eventually they fall asleep.
deep_red_bells: ([Appearance] Kiss)
No woman in their right mind would not wonder. No matter how they might pretend otherwise. They have the exact same damned mouth and of course the thought crosses her mind whether or not their lips move the same way or if a couple centuries more experience really does make that much more of a difference.

The glass of wine at her right has nothing to do with the impulse--it would take the rest of the bottle and something else much harder for that to be a viable excuse. She’s watching him talk, chin in her hand and head tilted slightly to the side as she studies him and searches for those subtle differences. And there are a few. Words and vowels make different shapes of their lower lips, their smiles are their own. Little things you have to look for, though she’s never had a problem telling them apart. Should all other things appearance-wise fail, she just waits for them to open their mouths and say three or four words, and she knows who she’s dealing with.

He glances down at his drink and does not bite at his lower lip as Julian would. She huffs in annoyance, slaps her palms against the table, heels clicking harshly against the floor as she stands and circles around to his side. He watches her quick flouncing approach with a raised eyebrow, possibly wondering what the hell he said that could have piss her off even a little, possibly wondering if she planned to hit him, but the lack of anything but an exasperated pout in her expression must mollify the apprehension and leaves behind only the hint of bafflement.

She doesn’t think he was expecting her to bend down and kiss him. His lips part slightly, she suspects from surprise, and she takes full advantage, slipping her tongue through the breach to tease briefly against his. That he tastes of bourbon is the first blaring difference; Julian has not, in the time she’s know him, partaken of anything alcoholic but wine, sangria, and on one unusual occasion, a vodka martini (which she’d naturally made ‘shaken, not stirred’ jokes about until they no longer amused her). This is a harsher taste, earthier somehow. Not unpleasant but certainly different.

She does not take offense to his very momentary lack of response, nor is she surprised when she feels his fingers thread into her hair and tug to the right, tipping her head just so to mold her lips firmly against his. It’s the same fit that she’s used to but all similarities end there. Not better necessarily, but undoubtedly different. He is a very, very good kisser, but more controlling; he kisses. He is not kissed. It doesn’t feel as though he’s conscious of it, or trying to, it’s just his way.

Yet he willingly follows her lead when she breaks the connection, raises an eyebrow at her as she sucks the taste of bourbon off of her bottom lip and frowns thoughtfully. Her expression relaxes into a bright smile, and she pats his cheek gently with her fingers before she straightens and goes back to her chair. “Just curious!” she chirps as she sits down and resumes the same pose as before, chin propped in her hand as she waits patiently for him to pick up the conversation, wherever it had dropped off before. Now, at least, she can pay attention to his words, rather than his mouth.

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Baileigh Solis

December 2010

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