“I wish I looked gayer.”
Grace looked at herself in the mirror. There was really nothing gay about her rather long fair hair, or summer dress. At least she had rainbow dangly earings.
“Really, sweets? I think you look absolutely perfect.” Grace turned around to look at Rezan who was lying across the bed, reading a book.
“You’re not even looking,” Grace said grumpily and turned towards the mirror again. She could see Rezan rising her head to glance at her quickly, but then return to her book.
“Like I said,” Rezan continued, “you look absolutely perfect.”
“Your friends are going to think I’m just a silly mormon girl,” Grace continued, “probably homophobic too.”
Rezan pushed herself into a sitting position, jumped off the bed and walked to stand right behind Grace.
“And if they think so, they’ll be wrong,” Rezan said and leaned her head on Grace’s shoulder. “We both know that you’re as gay as they come. Completely woman crazy, that’s what you are.” Grace chuckled and pushed her away.
“I wouldn’t say I’m woman crazy,” she said with a wide smile on her lips. She looked back to the mirror, she looked pretty but something was still missing. She went to her bag in the corner and took out her small jewelry box. After rummaging through it, she found her small CTR necklace. Choose the right. She sighed. She supposed that not everyone would agree that she was choosing the right. But in her mind and heart she was. Coming to stay with her friend Rezan and the others over the summer had been one of the happiest time in her eighteen years. It hadn’t made her faith weaker, it had made it stronger. Nothing about spending more time with Rezan could be bad. That didn’t mean she wasn’t nervous about the party tonight. Especially when all Rezan’s much older friends would be there. Much older and very gay friends. Grace really did feel quite terrified. Especially when she looked in the mirror again and compared herself to Rezan.
Rezan was gorgeous with straight black hair and in her tight black jeans and mint green t-shirt, her usually brown eyes almost glowed amber. Next to her, Grace felt plain and ordinary. Maybe she should have looked for a couple of jeans as well. Maybe borrow some from Rezan, which brought up a whole other level of excitement. The thought of going through Rezan’s closet, touching the fabric that was usually close to her body, probably still smelling like her… Grace shook her head. No, she wouldn’t go there. Rezan could never see her that way, Grace was sure of that. And she was in no mood to set herself up for heartbreak. Or ruin their friendship.
“You look wonderful, sweets,” Rezan said and playfully punched her arm, “we’ll find you someone, don’t you worry.”
Grace took one last look in the mirror and then went to close her bags and place them in the closet. It was going to be nice to stop living out of a suitcase in a couple of weeks, but Grace couldn’t be happy about the impending trip home. The thought of leaving Rezan and their whole life in Aberdeen was too sad. But especially Rezan.
“I’m not out to find someone,” Grace said as she moved her other bag too, “I’m just looking for having a good time.”
“And what’s a good time without a someone,” Rezan replied and laughed, “honestly, I think you’d like it if you just let loose a little.”
Grace smiled, she knew that Rezan meant well.
“And when I do,” she said, “I’ll do it on my own terms.”
* * *
I wish I could look more gay, Grace thought again as she walked from the kitchen to the livingroom with a glass of alcohol free strawberry wine in her hand. It wasn’t enough that she didn’t drink alcohol or smoke, she also stuck out like a sore thumb. And she hated it. But no matter how she wished she could be part of the group, she couldn’t be. It wasn’t about values. Or morality. She didn’t believe she was more moral than the people around her. Not better. Just different. It was about being true to yourself. And Grace would never feel comfortable in a flannel shirt and combat boots. And she would never be able to joke and talk easily like the people around her. Social outcast. That’s how she felt. Maybe it would be better for everyone if she just went upstairs and went to bed. Then she no longer run the risk of embarrassing herself, or Rezan… Rezan!
Grace found herself standing in the doorway of the living room, staring straight into the eyes of her host and friend. Rezan was sitting in an easy chair, leaning back comfortably and laughing at something the person next to her had said. Then she turned around and her smile disappeared. Grace felt her hand shaking. Why was Rezan looking at her that way? Grace kept staring as Rezan brought a cigarette to her lips and inhaled.
If Grace had ever wished to be a cigarette, it was now. But as she kept looking, another girl leaned over and pulled Rezan closer. She pecked her on the lips and then stole Rezan’s cigarette with a laugh. Rezan gave the girl a glance and rolled her eyes with a smile still on her lips. If she looked up at Grace again, Grace didn’t know because she fled. All the way up to the safety of the guest room.
* * *
She honestly thought she would have felt better, but she didn’t. She had changed out of her pretty dress and into a pair of shorts and a tank top. She had stared at herself in the mirror and mockingly thought, well, at least I look gay when I sleep. But in bed, the angst came back. Rezan. For once Grace had wanted to be something other than Rezan’s awkward, religious foreign friend. She had wanted to show Rezan, and herself, that she could be normal. Easy. Fun. Instead she had awkwardly made small talk with some people in the kitchen, made herself a virgin drink (how suitable), locked eyes with Rezan without sayig a word and then ran away. That wasn’t normal at all, it was pathetic.
Grace groaned and rolled over so she was lying on her stomach. In less than a week she would be on a plane home, she was quickly running out of time. Out of time to do what, she honestly didn’t know. She pulled a pillow on top of her head and closed her eyes, willing sleep to come.
* * *
Grace must have managed to fall asleep, because the next thing she was aware of was being woken up by someone crawling into her bed. She panicked and started turning around.
“It’s just me.” Rezan’s voice calmed her down.
“What are you doing here?” Grace turned around and moved closer to the wall so there would be enough room for Rezan to fit.
“There are about three people sleeping in my bed, so I thought that maybe it would be okay for me to sleep here.”
Grace swallowed a couple of times, her mouth suddenly dry.
“Of course,” she said, “it’s not problem.”
“Good.” Rezan’s white teeth showed off her smile in the dark. Grace dug her fingers into the sheets to not reach for her. Her heart had started pounding so loudly she worried that Rezan would hear it. Or feel it, it felt like Grace’s whole body was pounding, like the confidents of her heart had spread out towards her fingertips and toes. As Rezan laid down next to her, she didn’t even dare to think about what Rezan was wearing. Grace doubted that she was still wearing her jeans and t-shirts. The thought of having an almost undressed Rezan close enough to reach was dizzying.
Grace took a shaky breath and forced her eyes to shut. If she could just fall asleep the situation would be over. They could wake up and have breakfast like normal, they could joke about ridiculous hair styles they saw in the window, Grace could tell Rezan that she needed to eat more vegetables and fruits, Rezan would tell Grace to stop being such a mom. They would laugh. Things would be normal.
And not like this.
“Grace?” Rezan said after a little while, “are you still awake?”
“Yes,” Grace replied, leaving out the fact that she doubted she’d be able to sleep with the object of her affection so close.
“Why did you run away?”
It was the question that Grace had been dreading.
“I don’t know,” she whispered.
“No one was mean to you right?” Rezan said, “if anybody said anything mean to you, I swear they’ll…”
“No, no, no everyone was perfectly nice, “Grace interuppted even as her heart swelled from the protective tone in Rezan’s voice.
They were silent for a little while longer.
“So why did you go?”
Grace sighed. She had no answer. She felt Rezan turn to face her, lying on her side.
“What?” Grace turned around too. She could almost make out the contours of Rezan’s face in the dark.
“You changed,” Rezan repeated, “a couple of weeks ago. You stopped being you. It’s like you were scared of me. Did we spend too much time together? Did you get bored of me?”
“Of course not,” Grace said, “I didn’t know I had changed.” But it was a lie, ever since Grace had realised her feelings for Rezan she had found it increasingly difficult to be herself around it. She felt mortified that Rezan had noticed.
“Well, you’re going home soon,” Rezan said, almost sounding annoyed, “I suppose you’re looking forward to it.”
“No!” Grace shut her eyes, she had almost yelled. What was wrong with her?
Rezan chuckled gently.
“Fine I believe you,” she said, still laughing, “you don’t need to scream. I’m sorry, I won’t ask you so many questions.” Grace felt her hand being enveloped by Rezan’s. She gathered all the courage she had in her body.
“I’m going to miss you a lot,” Grace confessed, “probably more than I can say. I’m not ready to say goodbye to you.”
Rezan stopped chuckling.
“Oh,” she said, her voice very gentle.
She didn’t reply and with every passing moment, Grace felt more and more uncomfortable. She was about to say something else when there was movement in front of her and suddenly Rezan’s lips were pressed against her own. A surprised noise escaped her, but then her lips relaxed and she let Rezan kiss her. And then she kissed back, molding her lips against Rezan’s. The woman in front of her released a noise, somewhere between a whimper and a moan, which made the fine hairs on Grace’s neck stood up. She couldn’t believe this was happening. Her whole body was thrumming with desire and she clenched her fists to not move them and embarrass herself. Even thought Rezan was kissing her, Grace was reluctant to show how eager she was, how deep her desire ran. She was wet already, her thighs embarrasingly slick and she both wanted and didn’t want Rezan to know.
Rezan pulled back and Grace actually whimpered at the loss. She couldn’t believe that one closed mouthed kiss could have turned her whole life upside down like that. She kissed me, Grace thought, what do I do now?
“I’ve been wanting to do that since I picked you up at the airport two months ago,” Rezan said, sounding breathless.
“Why didn’t you?” Grace said. She couldn’t believe how shaky her voice sounded.
“I didn’t know you wanted me to,” Rezan said, “I always try to not fall for my friends, and I didn’t think you’d be interested in someone like me.”
“Someone like you?”
“Yeah,” Rezan continued, “you know, I would have imagined you to be with somebody more… wholesome for the lack of a better word. I’m… I mean, I do alright now, but you know I have a bit of a past and…”
Grace couldn’t imagine her guts as she raised two of her fingers to press it against Rezan’s lips to silence her.
“You’re brave,” she said, “you’re gentle, and generous and strong and whatever is in your past you turned your life around. Don’t you think I want to be with someone like that?”
Rezan kissed the fingers on her lips and then pulled away to keep talking.
“Yes, but then you became strange. Really strange. You pulled away and I thought it was because you knew how I felt. Or that you were bored with me. I…” Rezan stopped talking, seemingly lost for words.
Grace didn’t know what to reply. She’d had no idea that Rezan had felt like that, and that her behavior had actually hurt her. She bit her bottom lip.
“I’m sorry,” Rezan said and sighed, “I don’t mean to make you feel bad or anything, I just…” She sighed again. Grace couldn’t bear the sadness in her voice. She moved forward, slowly. Their noses bumped, but since Rezan didn’t move away, Grace dared to continue. She didn’t dare to dive in, but she placed little kisses on Rezan’s lips. From one corner to the other. She felt Rezan smiling and matched it with one of her own. She felt giddy, like smiling and laughing.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” she said when she pulled back. Rezan’s happy mood was back and she chuckled again, her teeth were shining ever so slightly in the night.
“Me too,” she said and stroked Grace’s cheek, “I’m just so happy we aren’t.” Then she dived in again and kissed Grace. But this time the kiss was different. If the last kiss had been a question, this question was the answer. Rezan nipped at her lip and Grace had no choice but to open her mouth. The kiss deepened and their tongues danced together. Grace had never been kissed like this before, her whole body felt electrical with the heat focusing on her lips and between her legs.
Rezan seemed to have forgotten her earlier reluctance and was kissing Grace with increasing force. One of her hands was in Grace’s hair, pulling their faces closer together. And then suddenly, Grace became aware that one of Rezan’s hands was playing with the hem of her top. It started playing with the soft skin of her lower belly. As nice as the sensation of Rezan’s wondering fingers were, they were also making Grace terrified. It was too much, too soon and she didn’t feel ready.
Rezan didn’t know that, her palm flattened just under Grace’s top and then started moving downwards. Grace tore her mouth away from Rezan’s and gasped for air. She placed her hand on top of Rezan’s.
“Please,” she whispered, “I’m not… please, just…” She couldn’t find the proper words, she was breathing too hard. Drowning in the scent of Rezan.
“Oh sweets,” Rezan said, removed her hand and kissed the tip of her nose, “I’m sorry, I got carried away. I just wanted to make you feel good. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Grace swallowed back tears. She didn’t know why this was so scary, it should be easy, but instead she was burning. And she wasn’t entirely sure if it was good or bad.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t, I…”
“Shhh.” Rezan cooed, “don’t be scared, it’s just me.” She pushed gently on Grace’s shoulder until she was flat on the back. Then she leaned over Grace, her dark hair flowing forward until it enveloped them like a black tent. It made Grace feel safe even though her heart was still pounding so hard it hurt.
“It’s just me, sweets.” Rezan leaned forward and let their lips touch again. Gently, softly. The kiss deepened but there was no trace of the insane arousal that Rezan had seemed to be under before. The kiss was still sensual, but safe. When Rezan sucked on Grace’s bottom lip, the ardor rose again but this time Grace was ready for it.
“I don’t want to stop,” she said as Rezan left her lips to press kisses all over her face.
“I don’t want to stop,” Grace repeated, her voice quivering, “can I… can I touch you?” Rezan was practically lying on top of her now and they were sensually moving against each other.
“You want to touch me?” Rezan sounded equally hopeful and breathless.
Grace nodded in the dark, hoping that Rezan could sense it despite the lack of light.
Rezan rolled off her and laid down on her back, she pulled Grace with her until the latter was on top. With a firm grip on Grace’s waist, Rezan moved her until she was straddling her with her legs on either side of Rezan’s waist.
Outside the window the sun was rising and dim light was filling the room. Grace looked down at Rezan and wondered at her beauty. She wondered if she looked the same way with swollen lips, flushed face and a deliriously happy look in her eyes.
“You’re so pretty,” Rezan said and reached up to tug at one of Grace’s blonde curls.
“Right back at you,” Grace said and giggled. She leaned forward and let one of her fingers trail down the side of Rezan’s face. Then down her neck. Grace’s heart beated in her throat as she let her fingers float over Rezan’s breast. Rezan wasn’t wearing a bra and all there was between Grace’s fingers and Rezan’s stiff nipple was the flimsy material of Rezan’s top. When Grace’s hand, almost on its own will, closed in around the nipple and tugged, Rezan let out a shaky breath.
“Can we take this off?” Grace asked.
Without answering, Rezan lifted her upper body and pulled the shirt off. Then she laid back down. Grace stared at her with wide eyes. Rezan was the most gorgeous creature Grace had ever seen. Brown pebbled nipples stared at her, basically begging to be kissed and licked. And bitten. Grace didn’t know where that last thought had come from, but she was dying to make it into reality. She leaned forward and with only a moment of hesitation let her lips close around the nipple.
“Oh sweets,” Rezan groaned and dug her hands into Grace’s hair. Encouraged, Grace started licking it and then nibbled her way to the other one. She felt Rezan’s hips twitching under hers, trying to find friction. Grace felt her own hips twitch in respons, and she moved down until she could grind herself directly over Rezan’s center. The hands on her hips, tightened their grip until it was almost painful and Grace’s movements sped up. There was a burning in her lower abdomen and she coudn’t help when her teeth put some pressure on Rezan’s nipple.
Rezan’s hips were moving desperately underneath her and Grace started to understand that they were moving towards something powerful. She released Rezan’s nipple with a small pop.
“Wait,” she moaned, “just wait.” It was hard, but she managed to stop the movement of her hips. Then she reached for the hem of her tank top and pulled it off as well. Then she leaned down and gasped for breath as their breast touched for the first time. Grace knew right then and there, that there was no feeling like it. She was now lying down on top of Rezan and wishing that she was naked. But her shorts were her last protection, they were almost soaked through and without them, Rezan would probably notice.
As if reading her mind, Rezan cupped her buttocks and pressed Grace hard against her body, then she started talking.
“Mmm, I can’t remember the last time I was this wet.”
Grace felt herself blush and hid her face in the crook of Rezan’s neck.
Rezan hummed affirmatively and held Grace closer to her body while canting her body upwards.
“I’m wet too,” Grace confessed shyly into Rezan’s neck and then bit her gently.
“I wish I could see,” Rezan said.
Grace smiled, bit the skin in front of her and then reached for one of Rezan’s hands. She was still terrified, but aware of what she wanted. She put one of Rezan’s hands on top of her breast first but quickly pulled the quivering hand downwards. When they were touching the hem of her shorts, she let go, hoping that Rezan would keep her hand moving. Which she did. Rezan always knew what to do.
“Oh sweets,” Rezan groaned, “is that because of me?” Her fingers had moved past the damp curls and were now moving through Grace’s heat and wetness. Grace’s hips jerked when Rezan gathered some of the wetness from her entering and then painted her clit with it. Grace were struggling to keep her hips up but didn’t want to let them down and crush Rezan’s hand.
“Does this feel good?” Rezan murmured into her ear. Just then Grace couldn’t help but let out a rather loud whimper and Rezan chuckled, “I’ll take that as a yes.” She was still keeping her strokes light and as good as it was feeling, Grace wanted more.
Rezan’s hips were slowly undulating too and she was murmuring things under her breath. Words that made Grace burn with cautious arousal.
“Gods, you’re so sexy, so warm and you smell so good. I can’t wait to be inside you. Oh sweetheart.”
Grace dared to leave her safe place in Rezan’s shoulder and lifted her head to look into her eyes. They looked and were so different, but in this pure moment, they were the same. Grace swallowed.
“Inside,” she said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Grace said and let her hips move, trying to guide Rezan’s fingers that way. “I want you there.”
“Can we change positions?” Rezan looked embarrassed. “My wrist is burning and I’d rather be in a position where I can… make you feel really good.”
“You’re too precious,” Grace said, surprised at how rough her voice sounded.
They changed position with Grace on her back, then Rezan moved to be on top of her. Grace didn’t know why but her legs submissively fell open and she gladly accepted Rezan to lie down between them. They started kising again and continued even as Rezan’s hand moved downwards again.
Grace tore her mouth away and gasped for breath as Rezan’s hands found its goal and she positioned one of her fingers.
“Let me know if it hurts okay?” Rezan said and after Grace nodded, she slowly put her digit inside.
Grace groaned and when Rezan started moving in and out with a maddening slow pace she thought she really thought she was going to die. She pulled Rezan down for another kiss and one of her legs went up to rest on top of Rezan’s back. Their hips were rocking together and Rezan’s breath was hot on her ear.
Something wet was dripping on the inside of her thigh and Grace thought she was going to pass out when she realised that it was Rezan’s wetness that had spread enough to soak up her shorts and reach the sensitive skin on Grace’s thigh. Suddenly, she couldn’t bear it, she needed to touch her too. She gestured for Rezan to wait a little bit and then she put her hand into Rezan’s short.
The moment she reached between Rezan’s lips to find her clit hot and swollen for her, the woman on top groaned and started moving again. Desperately and faster than Grace could really keep up with. Rezan was so wet, so slippery and she was basically grinding herself against Grace’s fingers. Their bodies were covered with sweat and heat radiated between them.
“I’m going to come,” Rezan groaned, “fuck, I’m… I… can’t last.” She sounded almost panicked, but in the same time Grace felt her own muscles clenching around Rezan’s finger. Suddenly, coming with Rezan seemed like the most important goal.
“I want you to come,” Grace murmured, “I want to feel you, I…”
Several things happened in the same time. Grace’s fingers slipped, as if on their own accord, into Rezan deep and hard, Rezan groaned and her muscles clenched around Grace’s fingers. In the same time, Grace felt herself quake and she bit down on the muscle that was in front of her teeth. For now she had Rezan, but if she was leaving in a couple of days she wanted to leave something of hers behind. She wanted to bite Rezan, open her up and crawl inside. Leave something of herself behind so that Rezan would never forget her.
When she came down from her high she realised that she was crying and she clutched at Rezan’s shoulders.
“You… you… you…” she cried, trying to get her words out, “you knew it would feel this way.”
Rezan removed her hand as well and with her clean hand, moved Grace’s hair out of her face.
“No, I didn’t sweets,” she said, “this felt so much better than I thought it would.”
“But you knew it would feel… good,” Grace didn’t know how she could explain, “why did you… why… why couldn’t we have done this sooner?” She wanted to cry. “I’m leaving in four days, I…”
“I know, sweets,” Rezan said and leaned down to kiss her again but Grace didn’t let her. She pushed Rezan off of her and sat up. She was about to put her head in her hand when she caught the whiff on the hand that had been on Rezan. It smelled so delicious, Grace’s mouth watered.
“Are you okay?”
At Rezan’s question, Grace turned around and her heart almost stopped. As sad as Grace felt, Rezan looked worse. She looked more vulnerable than Grace had ever seen her, and she looked red around the eyes as if she was about to start crying.
“I’m sorry,” Grace whispered and pulled her into her arms, “it’s not your fault. I could have said or done something earlier too.”
“I don’t want you to go,” Rezan said and held her closer.
* * *
When Grace woke up a few hours later she was alone. She got up, took a shower and then went down stairs. Their night guests seemed to have left and in the kitchen was empty except for Rezan that was sitting on the kitchen counter by the window, smoking and exhaling out of the open window. An empty coffee cup stood next to her.
“Hey,” Grace said. She leaned on the door frame. Everything felt different and she wasn’t sure how to act.
“Hey you,” Rezan replied. She put her cigarette into her cup and jumped off the counter. “I hope the smoke doesn’t bother you.”
Grace shook her head.
“Not really, I’d rather you didn’t but as it is now, the smell reminds me of you.”
Rezan seemed agitated as she stopped by the sink and started washing the dishes. Grace didn’t like how tense she looked and crossed the floor. She put her arms around Rezan’s waist and put her chin on Rezan’s shoulder.
“I love you,” she whispered. Then quickly she added in her normal voice, “want to go to the park today?”
Rezan turned around quickly.
“Of course we can go to the park if you want to, sweets,” she said, “but… you… you… you… love me?”
Grace nodded and smiled.
“I love you,” she repeated.
Rezan looked speechless and Grace chuckled. She pressed a peck to her lip.
“I’ll just eat some breakfast, then we can go.”
Grace took out some soy milk and cereal and sat down by the table. After a few minutes of eating she noticed that Rezan had been looking at her silently for several minutes.
“What is it?” Her question wasn’t hostile, just curious.
“You.” Rezan smiled. Grace smiled back.
“I’ve been thinking,” she said afterwards.
“What have you been thinking about, sweets?” Rezan filled up a clean cup and sat down in front of her.
“I’m applying for university next year,” Grace said thoughtfully. She licked her spoon. “Maybe I could apply to a university here.”
Rezan stared at her.
“I mean, I’m sure my parents wouldn’t mind. I have some money saved up. And I’m sure I could get in to either Aberdeen University or Robert Gordon University. I mean, there are two. Should be something I can study.”
Rezan’s hands looked like they were shaking as she kept staring.
“Rezan?” Grace leaned forward and reached for her hand, “is that okay? I mean, maybe you… “ Before she could finish her sentence, Rezan jumped from her seat, walked around the table and hugged Grace so hard, she lifted her up.
“You’d want to do that?” Rezan was looking at her with so much hope, Grace couldn’t help but smile widely.
“Of course I would, baby,” she said softly. Rezan put her down on the floor again but didn’t let go the hold around her waist. “I still have to go on Thursday though. But maybe we could scrape together some money for you to come and visit me this winter and then I’ll move next summer.”
“I still hate the thought of you leaving, sweets,” she said, “but somehow I think I’ll survive it now.”
“That’s good,” Grace said, “and I hate it too. But we can try to appreciate each other and make the most of the days we have together now. How about that?”
Rezan playfully rolled her eyes.
“And you’re open to us appreciating each other in the park,” she said in a teasing tone, “exhibitionism. Kinky.”
Grace playfully punched her. She felt her cheeks heating.
“That’s not what I mean, you idiot.” They smiled at each other. Then they leaned forward again, slowly at first, then more and more desperate. When Rezan started kissing down Grace’s neck and pushed her against the table, Grace somehow knew that they would probably not get to the park today.
After all, she wasn’t into exhibitionism.