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Pas De Deux
Angela knew the routine. Temperance would be in this dark place. She couldn't lean on anyone's shoulder. She couldn't cry in front of anyone. So Angela would help her escape. They'd go to a club or a movie. Temperance would protest to going, but the truth was, she needed Angela badly. They could pretend they were the kind of friends who chatted about boys and did their nails. Angela would pretend not to notice how their bodies reacted when they brushed against each at the club. And she'd pretend not to notice when Temperance looked like she was about to cry. She knew that Temperance needed the white lie, the ritual their dance.
Two partners move close together, the dance begins. Costumes, make up, lighting- the illusion. The music swells, emotions showing. The side step, she distances herself.
Except the one time she didn't.
They were at Temperance's apartment after the club, Angela saying goodnight to her, another part of their routine. Temperance looked desperately sad, like she always did when she needed their routine. Angela would always go to touch her arm, and Temperance would pull away. But now Temperance stood in front of Angela, music swelling, tears fighting their way out. And she didn't step away, she spoke.
"Angela?" Temperance whispers.
"Yes, hun?" Angela replies gently.
"Stay?" Temperance asked her voice breaking. "Please?" she pleaded, so softly that Angela would barely hear it.
Angela simply nodded and pulled Temperance into her arms.
Temperance trembled in her arms. Temperance's mind was spinning so fast, it was hard to breathe. She was letting someone touch her, letting herself trust someone. She took a deep breath in, and let herself cry. She let herself sob, and cling to Angela like her life depended on it. Angela stroked her hair, and held her tight.
Then Angela tasted salty wet lips kissing her. She pulled away.
"Temp?" she asked in surprise.
"Please?" Temperance begged.
"I don't want to pretend. It's real for me," Angela whispered, looking away.
"It's real for me too," Temperance puts her hand under Angela's chin and brings her to meet her eyes, "I've fallen in love with you."
"You have?" Angela asks, stunned.
"And I wish it could be all romantic and cheery but I need you now. Holding me. Showing me you want me. Helping me trust you. I need I need to feel you against me and know that something is right in the world. Please?" Temperance admits, laying her soul out for Angela to see.
Angela kisses Temperance in response. She kisses her so hard that all that can exist is that kiss.
Hands explore and strip away their clothing. They fall onto the bed, their bodies perfectly in rhythm with each other. Angela holds Temperance as she comes. Angela's fingers are inside her, joining them together. Temperance has never been less alone. Angela pulls her into her arms after, laying Temperance's head on her heart.
"I love you," She whispers as she kisses Temperance's forehead. Once she's sure Temperance is sleeping calmly, she lets herself drift to sleep. One dance was over, and a better one has beginning.
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