DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never will be. All belongs to various mega
rich international corporations, I'm just borrowing for my own
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Catherine arrived at Sara's door with her arms completely full. The handle was out of the question, as was knocking, so she made do with kicking the door a couple of times with the side of her foot. "Guys, it's me," she called. Nick opened the door a few moments later and took her boxes from her with a smile.
"We were beginning to think you weren't coming back," he quipped as she followed him into the living room.
"Oh come on Nicky, you know me better than that," Catherine replied with a grin.
Warrick wandered out of the bedroom, followed closely by Sara. "Hey, how come we've been slaving here all morning while you got to show up late and then spend forty minutes getting pizza?"
"Cause she's a hell of a lot smarter than the rest of you," Sara said, winking at Catherine. She grabbed the top box from Nick. "Veggie supreme?"
Nick opened the box underneath and said, 'well, this is carnivore supreme, so I guess it must be."
The four of them sat down and began to tear through their meal ravenously, like they hadn't eaten in a week.
"God," Catherine said. "You've been painting one room. Just one. It's not exactly the Sistine Chapel."
"Speaks the woman who hasn't picked up a brush all day," said Nick, swallowing a mouthful of pizza.
"Ah, that's something we'll be rectifying after lunch," said Sara, nudging Catherine.
"Okay, okay, but if I get paint in my hair you're all dead."
"It's water based, Cath, it washes out," Warrick said, looking quietly amused.
Lunch was over all too quickly for Catherine. This kind of physical labour was definitely not her style.
"Hey, you're already done," she exclaimed when they entered the bedroom.
"Uh, uh," Sara corrected her. "We still have to do a second coat." With that she handed Catherine a roller.
Catherine let out a deep sigh as she covered the roller with paint. Why had she let herself get talked into this again? She looked over at Sara who was reaching for a high spot with her brush, her muscles flexing under the thin material of her tank top. Catherine felt a rush of heat pass through her. Oh yeah, that was why.
Shaking herself slightly, Catherine turned to the wall. She attacked it with gusto, feeling like she was pouring four years of sexual frustration into the painting. Almost before she knew it she'd finished her wall and had moved on to help Nick with his.
"You're slacking off, Nick," she said with a wink. The second coat was finished quickly.
"Okay..." said Nick slowly, glancing towards the door. Sara rolled her eyes.
"Yes, Nick, you and Warrick can go and watch the game." She smiled when Nick's face lit up. "There's beer in the fridge, chips in the cabinet. Knock yourself out, guys."
The boys made their escape, leaving Sara and Catherine alone. "What about me?" Catherine asked, pouting slightly. "I might have wanted to watch the game."
Sara grabbed her hand and tugged her over to the collection of paint cans. "Uh uh," she said. "You've been slacking off all morning so you get to help me paint the skirting boards." She handed her a brush and a pot of paint. Catherine rolled her eyes indulgently but did as she was told. They started off on the same side and worked their way around, painting in opposite directions. Catherine was so absorbed in her task that she didn't notice when she was about to meet Sara in the middle. It was a shock when she looked up and found Sara's face just inches from her own.
"Oh...done already huh?" she said, trying to slow down the pounding of her heart. Sara smiled.
"Yup, just have to wait for an hour or so then I can move my stuff back in."
Sara busied herself clearing away the paint and brushes while Catherine wandered through to join Warrick and Nick. She cracked open a beer, questioning the wisdom of getting tipsy around Sara, but unable to stop herself. The game looked to be in full swing, though Catherine wasn't quite sure who was winning. Football was a mystery to her, always had been, always would be.
She swallowed her mouthful of beer almost painfully hard when Sara flopped down next to her. "Who's winning?" she asked, for Catherine's ears only.
"Um..." Catherine murmured, feeling slightly distracted by Sara being so close. "Well, I think it's, uh, the team with...uh...the team..."
"It's the Bulls, Catherine," Nick answered for her, looking over at her with an indulgent grin.
"The Bulls," Catherine repeated. "I knew that."
Sara chuckled softly, and the sound made Catherine want to close her eyes and expire on the spot.
Sara, Nick and Warrick chatted through the rest of the game, but Catherine remained silent, nursing her beer. Sara kept ever-so innocently brushing their arms together and she was having a hell of a time concentrating.
After the game Nick checked his watch. "Sorry, Sara, we've gotta run," he said, nodding to Warrick. "I'm forcing Warrick to go to this country and western bar with me." Warrick grimaced at the thought.
"Forcing sounds about right," Sara replied. "You guys go on - Catherine and I can finish up here."
Sara walked the two men to the door, leaving Catherine just enough time to collect herself. Sara made a detour to the bedroom on the way back.
"Paint's touch dry," she said. "You wanna help me get my furniture back in?"
Catherine nodded decisively as she stood up. "Sounds like a plan."
An hour of backbreaking fetching and carrying later and they were done. Sara disappeared into the living room and returned a moment later with a couple of large carrier bags.
"What's that?" Catherine asked, wiping the sweat from her forehead with the back of her wrist.
"It's not a colour scheme without accessories," Sara explained. One by one she produced items from the bags; a bedspread, a rug, a vase, a couple of lamps - all in the same pale gold colour. She placed them all carefully then stood back to admire her handiwork. She crossed her arms over her torso and breathed deeply. "There," she said. "It's done." She looked over at Catherine with a cock of her head. "What do you think?"
Catherine looked around. The walls were painted a delicate sky-blue and were perfectly accesorised by the pale gold accents. "It's beautiful," she said. "Where did you get the idea for the colour scheme?"
Sara surprised her by laughing. Then Catherine found herself facing five feet and eight inches of amused brunette. Sara took her hand. "You really don't know?"
Catherine shook her head dumbly. Sara smiled and tugged her hand, pulling her closer. With her free hand she trailed her fingers through Catherine's pale gold hair, staring into her clear sky-blue eyes. "Can't you guess?"
Catherine's breath caught in her throat and Sara chose that moment to kiss her, gently and ever-so-briefly.
"Do you get it yet, Catherine?" she whispered against the other woman's slightly parted lips.
Catherine swallowed hard. "Yes."
Sara's lips curved upwards in a smile. "Good, because I don't know how to be more obvious than this."
Catherine let out a short impulsive laugh as she threw her arms round Sara's neck. She kissed her softly, sighing gently when she pulled back and rested her head on Sara's shoulder. "You think the guys would help me paint my bedroom next weekend?" She trailed her fingers through Sara's hair. "Maybe a deep chocolate brown?"
Sara laughed softly as she slid her arms round Catherine's waist. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind," she said. "But you'd better ask them yourself. They might be sick of painting."
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