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It was an unusually cool late spring evening in downtown Toronto, a fact that had not escaped Imogen Moreno's notice. Imogen pulled the lapels of her jacket closer to her face as she made her way to 993 King Street. Despite the harsh winds that sent errant strands of chestnut brown hair slashing across her face, she was glad that she chose not to drive to Fiona's loft. The commute over gave her a chance to think about recent events in her life.
The past couple of months had been very difficult for her as her father's condition continued to deteriorate. That coupled with the emotional rigors of interacting with her mother on a regular basis after such a long time were all taking its toll on the seventeen year old girl. Yet through all of the general craziness that had somehow managed to take hold of every facet of her life there was one Fiona Coyne. Fiona had been the one silver lining in all of this mess. The one constant that had kept Imogen grounded. However, Imogen couldn't help but think about the inevitable question that lingered on the periphery of their relationship. Graduation was only mere months away and they have yet to discuss where that leaves them.
It wasn't a conversation that she was looking forward to having but it was another problem for another day. Tonight she just wanted to have a quiet evening of silly movies, junk food, and a make out session or two. For just one night she wanted to forget all of her problems and live in the moment. For just one night Imogen Moreno wanted to be a typical teenager and leave the harsh ugliness of the world behind.
As she stood at the door, Imogen thought about the numerous times she's rang the doorbell to this particular door. Who knew that every press of this button would bring her closer to her happiness. In many ways the second floor of 993 King Street had become a place to call home. It was kind of funny to be honest; since she had quarters in both her father's and mother's house. Yet the place where she lived was no longer a place that offered the comfort and safety it once had. While the other was just a place where she ate and slept.
But this place, this place was her sanctuary. Even before the troubles of home surfaced, she would come here to sort out some of life's many random conundrums or she'd come here to get away from the mundane morass that is being a teen. Whatever the case, 993 King Street was the one place right now that she knew she could depend on.
Not only was the place itself dependable, but what lay beyond the door was just as solid. She knew that no matter what happened that she could come to this place, go through this door and wrap herself in a warm embrace that offered shelter and protection from the danger and harm of the outside world. Behind this door lived Fiona Celestine Arabella Coyne and to Imogen, Fiona Celestine Arabella Coyne meant home.
The door flew open to reveal a smiling Fiona Coyne in all her radiant glory. The smile on Imogen's lips was automatic and she propelled herself forward for a patented Fiona Coyne hug. They stood there for a moment to relish the comfort that being in each other's arms always offered them. Fiona was the first to pull away but only far enough so their eyes could meet. Fiona's light, grayish-blue eyes dazzled in the dimness of the soft light coming room behind them. Imogen stood there, frozen, caught in the thrall of the twinkling of lights in eyes that were clear as crystal. While drinking in the sight before her, Imogen was fairly sure that Fiona was easily the prettiest girl she had ever seen. And it wasn't just the appearance of good breeding. The girl was genuinely beautiful. Quite simply put, Fiona Coyne was gorgeous.
She took in all of Fiona and as usual the girl with the long, curly, brown hair was flawless. Even when spending an evening in, Fiona wore clothes that made it seem like they were in the trendiest place in the world. To Fiona, chic was more than a word, it was a way of life and that's how she lived. Still though, the black stilettos; red, silk, off the shoulder top; and skin tight black jeans that hugged every curve of the 5'4 frame of their owner's body were a bit much for an evening of cheesy movies and pigging out. For her part, she was probably a tad bit underdressed in her black jersey dress with the narwhal on it; fishnet tights and her favorite black and white chucks. The sudden sound of the other girl's voice brought her out of her revelry.
"Happy Imogen Moreno day." Fiona said as she took Imogen by the hand. Fiona led her into the foyer. As they walked further into the loft, Imogen marveled at the sight of the candlelight that engulfed the condo. She turned to her side to face Fiona, bemused delight written on her face asking a wordless question.
"We never did have that carpet picnic so I thought I'd make amends by giving it another shot. Even though it isn't as lavish as the picnic I arranged the first time, I'm pretty sure I managed to get all your favorites and a chilled bottle of the finest sparkling apple cider a twony can buy." Fiona explained as she ushered the younger girl to a corner in the room adorned with what looked like a rather expensive cashmere afghan and multiple, multi-colored throw pillows propped against the walls in neat layers.
"I don't care what the spread is, just as long as Eli Goldsworthy doesn't suddenly appear from behind a wall. I just want to spend an evening with my favorite girl." This elicited a broad smile that graced delicate features and Imogen couldn't help but smile herself and again the arresting beauty of Fiona's face mesmerized her.
When they sat down and situated themselves, Fiona began to take out various items from a wicker picnic basket. To Imogen's delight, her girlfriend did indeed manage to get all of her favorite foods including a rather odd and somewhat disgusting combination that most people wouldn't find too appealing.
"Fions, I can't believe you made Nutella and cucumber finger sandwiches! You even cut the crusts off and everything! Your girlfriend stock is definitely on the rise." "So is it safe to assume that your Fiona Coyne futures are looking promising?"
"Oh they are looking very good indeed. So much so I may even go public and sell off some shares maybe trade up."
Fiona let out a sound of mock indignation, "You wouldn't dare. Besides it's never a good idea to let too many investors get a hold of a blue chipper. You'd probably do well to keep this one close to the vest." She tapped the side of her nose the way detectives did in old movies to let it be known that certain information should be kept under the hat.
Imogen placed a hand on Fiona's right shoulder and said, "Duly noted. I shall keep all the Fiona Coyne girlfriend stock to myself." She leaned over to place a kiss on Fiona's lips. The kiss was short but sweet and was meant to convey an understanding between them. It was meant to serve as a reminder of what they shared and just how very special it was.
When they pulled apart Fiona removed the cider from the ice bucket and poured out some for Imogen into a long stemmed flute and handed it to her. "Ooooh, I feel so fancy." The younger girl squealed. "Only the best for my magical girlfriend, no.?"
"Mais oui chere. For us both "
"Then how about a toast?" The older girl said as she poured the sparkling apple cider into the flute. "And what shall we toast to Miss Coyne?" Imogen replied as she accepted the glass that Fiona offered her.
"Um here's to grade eleven drama classes and..."
" and to Katie and Marisol jackasses." The younger girl quickly interjected. "Katie and Marisol? Seriously?" Fiona responded incredulously.
"I rhymed so it must be true," came the reply as she winked at the girl sitting next to her before clinking their glasses together. "You know you were a total ass to me that day." Fiona said before taking a sip from her glass.
"Yeah, but it's not like I invited you to a party, gave you a makeover, and managed to get you suspended from school within a 24 hour period. The younger girl retorted.
"Touché. I was a monster to you wasn't I?" Fiona asked as she set aside her glass and turned fully toward Imogen so she could look her in the eyes.
Imogen mimicked her movements and returned the gaze as icy blue-grey met warm brown. With a wan smile the younger girl replied, "Grant it, it wasn't your finest moment but when I look back on it, if none of that stuff happened then we probably wouldn't be here now. So you see Fions, it all worked out in the end. The way it was suppose to." The last part was said with a large smile and then Imogen leaned forward again and pressed her lips to Fiona's. Where the first kiss was merely a quick peck, this kiss was more languid and intense. After a few moments, Fiona pulled away with a sigh, "I never get tired of that you know. You do know that your kisses are pretty much magic?"
"That's because I'm made of magic and don't you forget it," the younger girl retorted as she accented her words with a bop on the other girl's nose with the tip of her index finger.
"Immy, you're such a weirdo." Fiona laughed.
"Yeah I am but I'm you're weirdo."
"Damn right you are "
Once again they invaded each other's space, caught up the sparks that are always firing off whenever they're together. Once again two sets of soft lips come together to seal the wordless agreement between the two. Another unsaid promise is made. Another brick is added to fortify the foundation of their newfound relationship.
After finishing the assortment of finger sandwiches, cheeses and fruit, the two young women gathered up all of the pillows and blankets and put them in their proper place. They then proceeded to extinguish all of the candles that were lit and retired to the large, grey sectional sofa that took up a huge portion of the living room.
Imogen somehow maneuvered herself on the couch in such a way that her head rested upon Fiona's lap while the rest of her body managed to cocoon itself into a fetal position. For her part, Fiona let the younger girl curl up into her like an indolent kitten without a concern for anything outside of itself.
The girl with the ice blue-grey eyes stroked the other girl's head while intermittently wounding and wounding a loose tendril of her hair. They found themselves in a comfortable silence, each appreciating the presence of the other. They were each thankful for the opportunity to spend an evening alone without the burden of the outside world to weigh them down.
Imogen was the first to break the tranquil mood. "This is nice," she said as she turned and stretched out on the couch to the full length of her frame. When she looked up all she could see was the full intensity of eyes that shone far more radiantly than should be humanly possible. As if of its own accord, her hand reached up to stroke the side of a cheek that bore some semblance to that of an apple. 'That face,' she thought to herself, 'That face will be the end of me.'
It wasn't until a full on minute that she realized that Fiona was calling her name. "Imogen!" She heard her name being shouted out at her, which caused her hand to immediately fall back into her lap.
"Geez Louise, Fions you don't have to yell so loud, I'm literally right under you." She said somewhat startled.
"I only shouted because you totally just spaced out on me." She retorted, slightly affronted.
"I'm sorry. I was just um, thinking that if you kept that up and I'd probably fall asleep before you can say 'holy cannelloni.'"
At this Fiona let out a soft chuckle and bent her head down and placed a soft kiss on the younger girl's forehead. All traces of annoyance immediately disappeared.
"Is that your not so subtle way of asking me to stop?" She whispered as she let her lips ghost the shell of Imogen's ear. The heat from Fiona's breath coupled with the timbre of her voice sent an icy hot chill down Imogen's spine. She went from being very relaxed to full body tingle in a matter of seconds. Flashes of heated kisses, clothes being haphazardly discarded and partially clothed bodies rolling around on a bed came to mind and she felt her own cheeks take on a rosy hue of their own. Still looking up into Fiona's bemused eyes she just simply said, "Uhh nah. I think I thiiiink we're good."
She couldn't help the smile that came with her reply. Nor was she able to hide her flushed face, so she quickly turned back around and resumed her previous fetal state on the couch. "So what were saying when I spaced out?"
"I was saying that I wanted to ask you something but then you went full on Helen Keller on me."
"You're such a drama queen. Just spit it out already why don'tcha."
The banter between the two had been effortless which was pretty much the norm for the two but then came a very long and pregnant pause. It was then that the mood in the room took a slight turn and what was at first light and breezy had suddenly become heavy and somewhat tense.
"Fiona? What is it? You know you can ask or tell me anything." Imogen spoke in a hushed tone as she took Fiona's hand into hers and gave a gentle squeeze as if to give the older girl some kind of physical assurance of her words.
After another moment or two, Fiona finally asked the question that seemed to get stuck somewhere between her brain and her mouth.
"When we were up on the ferris wheel you said that it wasn't the heights you were afraid of. What did you mean by that?"
The question caught Imogen totally off guard. The frostival seemed like a lifetime ago given everything that has happened since then. Life had changed so much since then and so did they. It didn't occur to her that perhaps this question had been lingering between them for quite some time and it made her wonder what other things were hanging over them.
Again she thought about the upcoming months and the decisions they were going to have to make as far as their relationship. The idea of making plans for the future made her uneasy and so did the feelings of doubt and uncertainty that came along with that. But the thing that terrified her most was losing this. Losing Fiona. "Immy?" She could hear the concern in a voice that was far too raspy for someone who never smoked.
She gave her girlfriend's hand another gentle squeeze. "I was afraid of what I was feeling for you. I didn't quite know what it meant or what to do about it, especially after you said you were going back to New York. I was feeling all of these emotions and I didn't know what to do. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted you in my life."
There was another tension filled, prolonged, silence between them and the girl with the wacky wardrobe and the creative pigtails began to wonder if she said too much. They had only been together for a few months now and maybe it was too soon to be having conversations about intense feelings, especially after it was her idea to 'take things slow'.
She looked down at their entwined fingers and she couldn't help but think how perfectly they fit together. For all intents and purposes they shouldn't work but not only did they work, they were perfect together. They were perfect for each other.
Fiona gave her a nudge that suggested she sit up, so she did. She tried to avoid the intense gaze that had now become so familiar to her. To the older girl's credit, she hooked Imogen's chin with her index finger and turned her head around so that they were face to face. "Imogen, please look at me?"
She did as asked and realized that she had no immunity against that gaze nor could she ever deny the girl staring into her eyes anything.
"Before you say another word there are some things I would like to say first."
She merely shook her head in the affirmative and waited for Fiona to say what she seemed to be intent on saying. Again, the gaze of impossibly, pale blue eyes fixed her.
"I I am in love with you Imogen. I've been in love with you since the moment you fashioned a foil skirt for me. And there hasn't been a day that has gone by since that moment that I haven't thought about you. There is a moment that I'm not thinking about you."
"All of this scares me too, ya know. It's like I'm afraid I'll say or do something to screw all this up and I'll end up hurting you and myself in the process. I'm afraid you'll realize you made a mistake and find someone better. Find someone who isn't a complete mess. And it scares me that I can feel so much for one person. This is some of the stuff that creeps into my brain in weak moments. But when we're together, I feel like I can do anything be anything. And that makes me feel a whole stronger a whole lot braver. I know we said we were gonna take things slow, but I think you should know that I'm totally committed to making this work with you and nothing or no one will change that."
There was a ferocity in her eyes as she said the last part and the grip on Imogen's hand grew stronger with each word as if to put more emphasis on them. It was all the bespectacled girl could do not to burst into a puddle of happy tears because in the few moments it took Fiona to get out all those words, all of Imogen's fears had been laid to rest. So instead she untwined their hands and cupped an apple red cheek and leaned in to place another chaste kiss on pillow, soft lips. This time it was Imogen who pulled back first.
"I love you too, fool."
"Um, did you just Solo me?"
"Well, what do you expect? You've totally got that Princess Leia side bun thing going on, so..."
They both let out thunderous laughs and all of the tension that filled the room faded away. Imogen resumed her reclined position on Fiona's lap and Fiona resumed stroking her head and they fell back into a comfortable silence once again. That is until Imogen suddenly whispered, "I hope you know that if I'm Leia, that makes you a scruffy, smelly, nerf-herder."
"Meh. I can live with that as long as I get to be your scruffy, smelly nerf-herder."
"Damn right you are."
"Must be soul mates then."
Imogen just smiled as she heard Fiona quote the same exact words she had uttered months ago. It was in that moment everything had come full circle for her. And after months of having the weight of the entire world on her shoulders, Imogen Moreno could finally breathe again.
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