Dame una razón para amar,
dame un atisbo de paz,
brilla entre la multitud,
despunta en la oscuridad.
Dame, dame, dámela,
dame una señal.
Lo Tenga o No - David Bisbal
Struggling to breathe between sobs and curses, between heartbreak and joy, and sadness and desire, Florencia wept, her body trembling as if all the warmth had left her body the moment Jazmín had left her room, had left her spot between Florencia’s spread legs.
It made her sick to think what she had almost done, what she had wanted to do, while she was still with Daniel. It made her even sicker to think about Daniel, to finally admit to herself why he could never measure up to Jazmín. How could he, a beautiful and selfish man who never saw beyond his own nose, compare to the woman Florencia had been falling for since she laid her eyes on her? No one could ever hope to be as beautiful, as amazing, or as brilliant as Jazmín. Not her favorite sister, not her beloved dad, and certainly not her disappointing boyfriend.
“Please,” Florencia begged again, pressing her hand into her chest. Nails dug in painfully as she tried to find the beat of her own heart, almost confused when she felt it under her hand when she knew for a fact Jazmín had taken it. There was no other way to explain the vast emptiness she felt in her chest, the emptiness that Jazmín had always filled with her presence, with her love.
From the first moment they had exchanged words, Florencia had known Jazmín was someone special, someone who she could not wait to get to know better. She remembered watching Jazmín walk to the kitchen, taking in the sway of her hips and the confidence of her steps, and smiling to herself because there had been something enchanting about her. And in just a few days, Jazmín had become the person Florencia would run to when she was upset, or sad, or happy. Whatever she was feeling, Florencia felt the overwhelming need to share it with Jazmín. Secret worries and hopes about her relationship with her sisters, gossip she had overheard about the guests, laughter and tears, and love, were all set aside until she could steal away a few minutes with Jazmín. It was all for Jazmín, and only Jazmín.
When she was finally able to breathe, Florencia dragged herself to the bed and buried her face in one of the pillows, her stomach twisting painfully with fear and longing when she picked up Jazmín’s perfume there. The scent of jasmine and peppers, and of herbs and soap had become the scent of home, safety, and desire, of everything she wanted. It was the scent of the woman she loved.
I can’t, I can’t, Florencia thought, forcing her face into the pillow until she could not breathe anymore. She needed someone to hold her, to tell her everything would be all right. She needed Jazmín to hold her and kiss her until Florencia forgot everything but the sensation of lips and fingers over her body.
No one knew how to hold her like Jazmín, her arms firm and gentle around her, as if Florencia was just as fragile as she was strong. Sometimes, when Florencia could not fall asleep, she would hold her pillow and remember how Jazmín had hugged her earlier that day, and the mere thought of her would be enough to help her relax her shoulders and unclench her jaw.
Thoughts of the softness of Jazmín’s eyes, the fire of her lips, the weight of her body over her, and the strength of her naked muscles spun in Florencia’s head as she cried until her throat was raw and her head hurt as much as her heart. She cried until she was exhausted and her body demanded sleep. But heart demanded Jazmín. Impulsively, she took out her phone and opened Whatsapp, and looked through tears to her chat logs with Jazmín.
It was all there. Insides jokes, long voice messages at two in the morning when they both were online, long elaborated messages about their day, silly pictures, and words of love concealed under the guise of friendship. It was all there for the world to see, for Florencia to see, and now she could not look away. She reread every message and listened to every audio until the very beginning of their conversation.
“Today was hard but I promise tomorrow will be better,” she had written, so desperate to make Jazmín feel comfortable.
“Well if you’re around, I’m sure it will be,” Jazmín had answered back.
“-Blind cunt-,” she choked out, feeling like a moron. It had been there all along, since the first moment.
And then Jazmín appeared online and Florencia dropped her phone, watching in horror as it bounced on the bed and flew over the edge in some sort of suicide mission to ruin Florencia’s already terrible day. She cursed her mother, her grandmother, her fingers, and praised Jazmín’s ass as she picked up her phone from the floor. It was still working, and it still showed Jazmín online.
Drying her tears with the back of her hand, she waited for Jazmín to write something, anything. And waited. And waited.
And then Jazmín went offline.
“-Fucking shitty ass hell-,” she choked out, shifting the phone back and forth in her hands. Write something, Jaz, she pleaded, pressing the phone against her temple twice, three times. And then her phone buzzed.
“Are you okay?” the message said.
Florencia wrote “yes” and deleted it, then wrote “no” and deleted it. She wrote, “I don’t know. You?” and stared at the words for a few seconds before hitting send, wishing she hadn’t, and relieved to the point of tears when she saw Jazmín typing.
“I feel terrible. I’m sorry.” And Jazmín went offline again.
“I miss you,” Florencia wrote and let her trembling thumb hover over the send icon. She thought about Jazmín, about the pain and guilt in her eyes as she stumbled over her words before leaving Florencia’s room. If she could, she would wrap her arms around Jazmín’s waist and would hold her tight. If she could, she would kiss Jaz’s tears away, as well as every inch of her neck. She hit send and then added, “I’m going to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow.” And turned off her phone before she could write anything else.
Taking off everything but her shirt and underwear, Florencia got under the covers of her bed, the bed where Jazmín had set her aflame, and hugged her pillow tight, deciding she would not think about what had happened anymore.
Her thoughts turned to Daniel, how he tried so hard when it was easy, and gave up so quickly when it was hard. She thought how he never understood a thing she said and assumed so much about her. How he had never defended her to his friends when they had made fun of her or had told him he could do better. Probably because, deep down, he believed it, too. It had been confirmation of everything she feared: she was a broken mess of a woman, unworthy to be loved. The humiliation had been too much, and she had run to the only place she felt safe: Jazmín’s arms. And then everything had been all right.
She remembered how Jazmín had held her so tight and caressed her back so gently, and how everything had melted away when they were so close. In just a few minutes, Florencia had found herself smiling and laughing, sharing tea with the most wonderful woman on earth. At that moment, she had wished more than anything that Jazmín and Daniel would trade places, but the thought had made no sense and she had dismissed it. And then she remembered how Jazmín had been wearing no makeup and nothing but boots and a half-unbuttoned, paint-stained shirt.
Slapping her hands over her eyes, Florencia tried to suppress the image but it was impossible. Jazmín had looked so beautiful wearing so little, wearing too much. There was no point in pretending, Florencia had trembled when she had noticed the black bra peeking over the shirt as it loosely hung down Jazmín’s strong shoulders. Her mouth had felt so dry, just for a moment, as she had stolen a peek at the pair of black underwear visible through the sheer, white material of the open shirt. Back then, her mind had been filled with thoughts of how beautiful her friend was. The word friend repeated over and over in her mind as she had tried so hard to ignore the tension in her body as Jazmín let herself be seen in such an intimate, private way. Right now, her mind was filled with images of Jazmín unbuttoning her shirt, and showing off her tight abdominal muscles and the smoothness of her breasts, letting her own hands touch flesh Florencia was dying to explore and worship with her hands and mouth.
She closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep, but all night images of Jazmín invaded her thoughts. Her mind was full of her, of her eyes, of her lips, of her naked body. Florencia could not stay still even for a moment, tossing and turning, trying desperately not to give in and move her hand between her legs, and do what she wished Jazmín had done. What she hoped Jazmín might do.
It was all so wrong because she was still with Daniel. But It did not feel wrong when Jazmín looked at her with her green eyes dripping with love, that lovely smile of hers calling onto Florencia like the sweetest melody.
All night long, she asked herself what she should and shouldn’t do, what she could and couldn’t do. Could she be with Daniel while she loved Jazmín? Could she kiss him while in her mind’s eyes it was Jazmín against her lips? Should she stay with a man she did not love and let herself and the woman she loved suffer? Could she ever hold Jazmín’s hand in the middle of the park? Didn’t Jazmín deserve a woman who would love her proudly and openly?
Why did she have to be such a fucking coward?
It would not do to lay in bed and wonder. This was something she could not solve on her own. She needed help and there was only one person she could run to. Some who, besides Jazmín, would never judge her no matter what she said. Someone who had lived through so much and had seen so much that nothing could shock her. Not giving it a second thought, she got up from her bed and marched herself to Miranda’s room with her keycard in her hands, and her heart in her throat. She knocked on the door once, and then nine more times as her nerves started to leave her, hoping Miru would not answer and relieved when she did.
Miranda, blonde hair everywhere and one of her eyes barely open at all, gave her a confused look as she said in a slow drawl, “what now? Is the hotel on fire again?”
“I need advice,” Florencia said, choking on her words, slapping her chest as she blinked repeatedly. Her eyes stung from the tears and the lack of sleep.
Yawning in an almost comical manner, Miranda said, “at five in the morning? Are you okay?”
“Can I come in?” she asked, her stomach twisting painfully. There was no time to waste; she could already feel how the bravery that had propelled her there was starting to drown in a sea of anxiety and fear.
“Yeah, sure,” Miranda said, blinking sleepily and ushering her in. “Flopi, what’s wrong? You look terrible,” she said, concern coloring her voice as she finally was awake enough to notice Florencia’s emotional state. “Have you been crying?”
“-Nosy whore- I need your -whore, cheap whore- help,” she said, grunts and nonsense-sounds falling from her lips every other word.
“Okay, what do you--”
“Can you,” she started to say, but had to stop as she fought to get the words out through her tics and her tight throat.
“Can you what?” Miranda prompted gently, looking at her like a ticking time bomb. She was not wrong.
“Can -ass, ass- you -ass- be with someone -tiny dick- if you care about -sweet vulva- someone else?”
“You mean love two people?” Miranda asked slowly, sitting on her bed.
“I mean -fuck- being with -asshole- someone and -cheating whore- wanting to be with someone else?” she asked again, snapping her fingers and rolling her shoulder over and over again. She might throw up.
“Why don’t you sit down with me?” Miranda said gently, reaching for her.
“I don’t want -whore, whore- to sit down,” Florencia snapped, her eyes starting to tear up again. “Just answer the -ass, ass- question!”
Pressing her lips together, Miranda looked at her with wide, panicky eyes. “I guess it depends…” she said, making a face and scratching her head.
“Depends on what?” Florencia said, hoping she would get the answer she needed and fix the mess she had made of her life.
“On the circumstances,” she said, thinking a moment before continuing. “If it’s possible to break up or not, if dangerous to be together, if the other person is also in love… things like that.”
“Okay, okay,” Florencia said, snapping her fingers. It made sense. There were circumstances where it was simply impossible to be with the person one loved. The question was if this was one of those situations. What if she left Daniel for Jazmín and Jazmín simply decided it was too much to be with a walking human disaster that ruined everything she touched? What if she didn’t leave Daniel and she regretted it the rest of her life? What if her inability to get her life under control hurt Jazmín? She would never forgive herself if anything happened to her.
“Does this have anything to do with your novela?” Miranda said after a long silence.
“-Dumb bitch- My what now?” Florencia asked, utterly confused.
“The part you got on that telenovela,” Miranda said slowly, as if she were talking to a child. “Are you asking because of that?”
“No, yes, no, no, I mean, -ass- yes, in a way,” Florencia said, walking back and forth as she suddenly remembered why she was in the mess she was in the first place. That fucking script! That fucking script with that sex scene had ruined her life. And then she remembered Jazmín’s lips on her neck, her tongue against Florencia’s skin and the fire it had left there. “-Moist vulva-!”
“Can you please tell me what’s going on? I’m starting to get really freaked out,” Miranda said. And just for a moment, she looked just like their dad, with the same kind, concerned eyes he always had as he watched Florencia spiral down into another crisis.
“I can’t, I can’t,” Florencia whispered, sitting on the bed and letting out a sob as she closed her eyes tightly as if that was enough to keep the tears at bay.
“You can tell me anything, I swear I won’t judge you,” Miranda said, her voice soft and sweet. Florencia was so grateful her dad had brought Miranda into her life, even if that had meant losing him.
Burying her face in her trembling hands, Florencia considered lying, considered simply getting up and walking to her room so she could sleep for a week and hope the problem would fix itself. It would not do.
“-Ass- Something happened,” Florencia said slowly, sniffing through her tears as she forced the words out. She could not bring herself to look at Miranda, she could not stand to see disgust or disappointment in her eyes.
“Flopi, what happened?” Miru asked, wrapping her arms around her and holding tight, making Florencia feel like a scared little girl.
Holding on tightly onto one of Miranda’s arms, Florencia said, “I fucked up.”
“I’m sure whatever it is--”
“I -cheating whore- think I have to break up with Dani,” she said, choking on the words as guilt and shame washed over her body.
“What? Why? Flor, what happened?”
That was the right question, and Florencia was too afraid to voice any answer so she said nothing and pushed the palms of her hands against her eyes.
“I don’t understand, yesterday everything was fine. What changed?”
How could she explain it?
“Something -red vulva- happened yesterday and I can’t be with Dani -dumb dick- anymore,” Florencia said slowly.
“Did Daniel do something?”
“No. It’s something I -cheating whore- did.”
“Something like sleeping someone else?” Miranda asked gently, and when Florencia shook her head, she went on. “Did you kiss another guy?”
The memory of Jazmín’s lips traveling from her ear to her neck made Florencia shiver. It had been less than a kiss, it had felt as intimate as sex. At that moment, Florencia had been Jazmín’s and no one else's, and that had been a betrayal to Daniel.
“Not exactly,” Florencia finally admitted, leaning her temple against Miranda’s cheek.
“So no sex and no kissing,” Miranda said, as if any clarification was necessary. “But there is another guy?”
Just the most beautiful and wonderful woman on earth, Florencia thought before choking, “-Tasty vulva-, yes, yes, there’s another person.”
“Who is it?”
“Someone I shouldn’t want,” was all Florencia could say.
“Okay,” Miranda said slowly, clearly considering her words carefully. “Is it Javo?”
“-Dumb whore- What? No! Me and Javo? -Grumpy asshole-, are you crazy?” Florencia said, twisting her face in disgust, feeling completely insulted that Miranda would think for one second she would do that to Virginia.
“Okay, not Javo,” Mirada said, rolling her eyes. “It’s not Manuel, is it? Because if you have a crush on him, I swear I won’t get mad.”
“God, no,” Florencia said, making a face at the prospect of getting involved with the most boring man alive.
“Wow, okay, got it,” Miranda said, letting go of her and crossing her arms.
“Sorry, sorry, -yapping vulva-, he is so nice and I’m sure--”
“Save it,” Miranda said, pouting like a child.
“It doesn’t matter who--”
Eyes widening all of the sudden, Miranda whispered, “Oh my god, no.” She grabbed Florencia by the shoulders and shook her as she pleaded, “for the love of God, please, tell me it’s not Ignacio!”
“-Dry dick- what the fuck is wrong with you?” Florencia asked, all but retching out the words and giving Miranda a disturbed look. What exactly was wrong with Miranda’s brain that such an ugly thought would even cross her mind?
“Well, you said it was someone you shouldn’t--”
“I’d rather stick a rusty nail up my vagina than to touch that -ancient dick-,” Florencia said, shuddering at the thought of those clammy and somehow dry hands touching her.
“Unnecessarily explicit, but I got it,” Miranda said, breathing a sigh of relief even as she made a face of disgust. “So are you going to tell me or should I keep playing twenty questions?”
“It’s just -tasty vulva- someone,” Florencia said, looking away from her sister.
“Okay,” Miranda said slowly, her eyes filling with suspicion. “As long as it’s not someone who would hurt you.”
The thought of Jazmín hurting her on purpose was laughable. “This person would never,” Florencia said firmly.
“Okay, so tell me what happened,” Miranda said, crossing her legs as if they were about to share some juicy gossip.
“So yesterday, I needed someone to run the lines with me,” Florencia started to say. “And no one would help me -traitor dicks-. So I asked this person to help and this person said yes, and then, something -hot vulva- happened,” she said, feeling the heat traveling to her cheeks as she remembered Jazmín on top of her, between her legs.
“Something as in… What exactly?”
“As in…” There was no way she could ever tell Miranda how Jazmín had made her wet with just one kiss. “Okay, okay, doesn’t matter, I’m just going to leave.” And she had completely lost her nerve.
“No, no! Come on, just tell me, Flor,” Miranda said grabbing her by the shoulders again. Usually, Miranda was not quite this touchy.
“Okay, okay,” she said, taking a deep breath. “We sorta -dry humped- had physical contact,” she said, cringing at the words that came out of her mouth, wishing she had stuck her keycard in her mouth instead.
“So you and this person,” Miranda said, measuring her words carefully, “didn’t kiss or had sex, but touched?”
“So you held hands?”
“-Mean whore- Okay, I’m leaving,” Florencia said, trying to stand up as Miranda tried to pull her down.
“Flopi, no, I was joking, come on,” Miranda said with a laugh, wrapping her arms around her like a monkey holding onto a branch. “I’m just trying to understand why you would break up with Dani if nothing happened with this person.”
“Everything happened with -red vulva- this person,” Florencia said, tapping her keycard against her temple. Everything did not feel like the right word. Love was the right word.
“And you want to leave Daniel to be with this person?”
She wanted to tell Miranda no, so she said, “yes.” She slapped one of her hands over her mouth, as if she could keep that wonderfully, horribly honest word from leaving her lips but instead she muffled the series of curses and vocal tics that soon followed.
“Flor, are you in love with this person?” Miranda asked, taking a page from Lucía's book and going after the truth with brutal efficiency.
It was too terrifying to say it out loud so she said nothing but mangled sounds.
“Be honest with yourself. If whatever happened was so intense that you want to break up with Daniel, then you need to voice why. It’ll do you good to let it all out.”
“I don’t know if--”
“What do you feel when you are with this person?” Miranda asked, pushing and prodding. “If this person was here right now and they hugged you, what would you feel?”
It was so easy to picture Jazmín holding her tight, kissing her temple as she murmured words of comfort because she had done it a thousand times before. No matter how sad or scared she was, if Jazmín was with her, Florencia felt brave and strong, even it if was for a fleeting moment. “I’d feel whole and happy, like I’m going to burst because my heart is too big for my chest. I’d feel like I can,” she admitted, wishing that she could be a fearless, free woman who did not look over her shoulder as people stared at her with disdain and pointed at her with their mocking fingers. “And then she’d made me laugh and I’d forget why I was sad in the first place,” she said, tears falling freely as she smiled at the memory of Jaz making breadcrumbs animals to distract her after a terrifying panic attack.
“I wish you could see yourself,” Miranda said, a gentle smile on her face as she touched Florencia’s shaking shoulder.
“Why?” she asked, catching the unwelcomed tears with the back of her hands as they fell down her cheeks.
“I’ve never seen you so…” Miranda hesitated, pressing her lips together as she looked at Florencia. “So happy. So in love.”
There was no point in denying it, not when the thought of Jazmín felt so right. “I need to break up with Dani,” she said, guilt and relief washing over her.
“You do. You shouldn’t be with him if you don’t love him. You should be with someone that makes you smile. With this person who made you smile like that,” she said, playfully bumping their shoulders together.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Florencia said, throwing herself back onto the bed as every muscle in her back relaxed.
“Do you think this person feels the same way?”
Closing her eyes, Florencia thought of Jazmín, and the way Jazmín looked at her. Her eyes, so green and so deep, always seemed to shine when they were together. If anyone interrupted, Jazmín would become a bit guarded and Florencia had learned quickly those eyes were only for her. The smile Florencia found so captivating only appeared when they were alone, and Florencia had learned how to tease Jazmín until her lips broke into an open, beautiful grin, eyes crinkled as her face was illuminated with humor and happiness. And last night, those eyes had been burning with guilt, desire and love.
“I think so. I hope so,” Florencia said, pressing a hand to her heart.
“Maybe you should ask or check somehow,” Miru suggested gently.
“I guess so…”
“You deserve to be happy,” Miranda started to say, and Florencia could not hear one more word out of her mouth.
“No, no, I don’t want to start with what I deserve or what I don’t deserve.” The truth was she did not deserve anything that had happened to her because no six-year-old, no matter how mischievous or misbehaved, deserved the hell of not having a single day of school without being teased or bullied until they were in tears. She certainly did not deserve losing the few good things she had but it kept happening. People kept leaving, people kept dying. If Florencia had something or someone she loved, she knew, sooner rather than later, she would lose them.
I’m going to lose her. The realization hit her as a snake striking its prey, sinking its sharp and cold fangs into her heart. The ugly thought was venom spreading through her bloodstream; the fear a cold tail wrapped around her throat.
Losing Jazmín would be as painful as it had been to lose her dad. No, it would be much worse. If she lost Jazmín, Florencia would die. The spot where her heart used to be would become a gaping hole, consuming all warmth and light from her life, leaving her as cold and as fragile as broken crystal.
As if seeing her fear, Miranda said, “it’s going to be fine. I promise.”
And Florencia wanted to believe that more than anything, so she did. She wanted to believe she could look into Jazmín’s eyes and voice all the wonderful things she felt, and Jazmín would smile at her and return her love.
“Thank you,” Florencia said, looking up to her sister, wishing more than anything that their dad was happy to see them together and supporting each other, as the family they should have been all along.
“It’s nothing,” Miranda said, moving her hands as if she were waving the words away as she laughed a bit awkwardly.
“I’m so happy you’re my sister,” Florencia said, hugging Miranda around her middle, the position awkward and painful for her back, but so worth it.
“I’m glad you’re my sister, too,” Miranda answered back, hugging her back as best she could. And just for a moment, Florencia was completely happy. “I’d be happier if you were wearing pants tho,” she said, poking at Florencia’s cheek.
Looking down at herself, confirming she was wearing only her tiniest pair of black underwear, Florencia let out a, “-exposed vulva-,” as she sat up and attempted to shield her lower body, and, somehow, managed to elbow Miranda right in the face.
Miranda let out a, “fuck!” as she grabbed her face. “What the fuck, Florencia? My face! Fuck, that hurt!”
“No, no, Miru! I’m so sorry,” Florencia said, trying to grab Miranda’s face as her sister cried and dodged her hands. “I broke your face!”
“You broke my face!” Miranda said, holding one of her cheeks with both hands.
“I’m going to get ice! I’ll go to the kitchen and be right back in a sec,” she said, jumping out the bed and running out the door as fast as she could towards her bedroom and to some pants. Instead, she found Jazmín leaning against the wall next to her door, her head back as she stared at the ceiling with the most pitiful frown Florencia had ever seen. “-Sneaky vulva-” she choked out, nearly tripping on her feet as she stopped short a few feet from Jazmín.
Turning towards her, Jazmín opened her mouth to say something but whatever it was died on her lips in a sharp inhale, her eyes widening as she took in Florencia’s state of undress. Heat visibly traveled through Jazmín’s skin, from her chest, up her enticing neck, to her cheeks, and finally to her eyes. A fire erupted between Florencia’s legs as Jazmín’s usually gentle and soft eyes burned with such an intense, naked desire they all but set the little piece of black clothing ablaze, burning it off from Florencia’s desperate body and leaving her bare, exposed, and soaking wet.
“-Exposed vulva-,” Florencia choked out, all the blood in her body rushing to her face as she pulled down the bottom of her shirt in a feeble attempt at covering herself just as Jazmín closed her eyes tightly and quickly turned her head to the side. “What are you -vulva heater- doing here?”
“I came to check on you,” Jazmín said in a tight voice, pressing her lips together until they turned white under her pink lipstick. Her face was as red as her hair, except under her eyes where Florencia could see concealer caked in, an attempt to hide the dark circles. “I wanted to know if you were okay after last night.”
“Oh,” was all Florencia could respond.
“Are you okay?” Jazmín asked, opening her eyes and setting her gaze somewhere over Florencia’s head as she wrung her hands nervously.
“I don’t know what I am,” Florencia admitted, jerking her shoulder. The only thing she knew with any certainty was that the distance between left too vast, just a few feet felt like endless miles, and she was too overwhelmed with love and guilt to do anything but to stand there and wish Jazmín would take her in her arms and love her. “You?”
“I’m sorry,” Jazmín said, pressing a hand over her eyes. Looking at Jazmín, she realized she was not the only who needed a hug. Shoulders down, lips twisted slightly downward, her head slightly bowed, and her eyes red around the edges, Jazmín looked as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“I missed you,” Florencia said, the words coming out unprompted. The embarrassment she should have felt as her mouth ran ahead of her brain did not come when she saw Jazmín’s trembling smile. What wouldn’t she do to make her smile?
“Yeah?” Jazmín asked, her voice a mere whisper. Swallowing thickly, she finally met Florencia’s eyes. Even as exhausted as she was, Jazmín was beautiful, the green of her eyes decorated with specks of gold and brown, the fullness of her lips painted with pink and the warmth of her smile, the softness of her skin illuminated by a lovely blush. When Florencia looked at her, she could see all the wonderful things in the world in her, all the comfort, all the safety, all the laughter, and all the love she needed in her life.
“Of course,” Florencia said, nervously pushing her hair back. Her heart was beating so fast and so hard, Florencia was sure Jazmín could see it as it struggled to break free from her chest. “I always miss you.”
“I always miss you, too,” Jazmín said, taking a tentative step forward. Her lips twisting up in a slight smile, her bottom lip was so full, so inviting, as if was made to be bitten. She was beautiful, she was lovely, and Florencia was overwhelmed with love for her.
All night, Florencia had wished she could be in Jazmín’s arms, to lose herself in her embrace, and now Jazmín was right there, her face open and tender, her body calling for Florencia. Why should she avoid what they both wanted?
Taking a step forward, Florencia started to raise her arms, ready to throw herself at Jazmín, and then she heard a, “Flopi, where’s the ice?” coming from behind her, and she lost her nerve again.
“-Interrupting vulva-, I’m getting it,” she said in a high pitched voice, sharply turning around in a panic. It felt like she had been caught with her pants down. “-Hot vulva-,” she choked out, and she tried to pull down the bottom of her shirt again, remembering her lack of pants.
“What happened to you?” Jazmín asked, and Florencia felt her moving closer to her.
“Florencia hit me in the face,” Miranda said, holding her cheek.
“-Tattletale vulva-,” Florencia choked out, the tips of her ears redding with embarrassment.
“What happened?” Jazmín asked Florencia, as she stepped in right behind her, the whisper of fingers against the back of her hand. It was too much, it was not enough.
Wishing more than anything she could fall into Jazmín’s arms, Florencia said, “it was an accident.” Jazmín stepped even closer, close enough Florencia could feel the heat of her body and smell her dizzying perfume. Her knees felt so weak for a moment she had to close her eyes to gather enough strength not to turn around and kiss Jazmín all over.
“A painful accident,” Miru grumped, eying Florencia with mock anger, and then looked over her shoulder at Jazmín. “What are you doing here so early?”
“I’m here because,” Jazmín started to say slowly. And Florencia suddenly remembered Jazmín was a terrible, terrible liar. “I had an early shift.”
“At six in the morning?” Miranda asked, looking at Jazmín as if she was stupid. “Is Carla paying overtime now?”
“I wish,” Jazmín said with a laugh, suddenly moving away from Florencia, leaving her cold. “I should go to the kitchen. I have so much to do before breakfast.”
“Breakfast is in like two hours,” Miranda said, giving her a confused look. “And the kitchen is downstairs. Why are you here?” She looked at Florencia, then back at Jazmín, and then back again. Very, very slowly, Miranda straightened her back as realization dawned in her eyes.
Oh no, Florencia could only think as Miranda suddenly struggled to contain a smile. “-Exposed vulva-! I should get you that ice--”
“Nah, Jazmín can get it for me,” Miranda said, all but vibrating as she looked at Florencia. This was so not good. ”Right?”
Florencia could feel Jazmín’s eyes on her, could feel the concern as she said, “as long as you don’t need anything else, Flor…”
Looking at Miranda, at the way she was bending her knees as if she was ready to sprint out, Florencia decided it would be fine. “No, it’s fine. I should go to bed. I haven’t really slept at all,” she admitted.
“And you should get some pants. I’m sure Jazmín is getting tired of having to look at your ass. Right, Red?” Miranda asked with a teasing smile.
“-Horny vulva-, stop, shut up,” Florencia said, slapping Miru’s shoulder, yet pleased at the thought of Jazmín been unable to look away from her.
Jazmín let out a high pitched hum and walked to the elevator. Her stride was always so confident. There was a certain rhythm to the way she moved that was almost hypnotic, her hips swaying side to side, the muscles of her backside straining against her tight jeans. Those muscles had felt so strong against Florencia’s calves.
“-What a booty-,” Florencia choked out as she watched Jazmín walk away. Her face exploded into a blush as Miranda snorted out a laugh. Never before had she wished for a sinkhole to open under the hotel, but right now, it sounded like a fantastic possibility.
Turning around once to give Florencia a beautiful, bright smile, Jazmín said, “I’ll see you later, Flopi,” and then she took the elevator downstairs.
There was a moment of long silence as Miranda stared at her, her lips pursed into a childlike smile. The third degree was coming, Florencia knew it, and she had to escape.
“Flor, Flopi, Flopa of my life,” Miranda said in a rush as she grabbed her by the shoulders as Florencia moved to open her door.
“Don’t start, -ass, ass-,” Florencia said as she failed five times to open the door. "-Fucking shitty keycard-."
“But Flopi,” Miranda said, taking the keycard from her and easily opening the door on her first try.
“I need sleep,” she said, rushing into her room and trying to close the door as Miranda grabbed her by the arm.
“You have no idea how she looks at you!”
That made her stop. “How does she look at me?” she asked, pressing a hand over her heart.
With a teasing smile, Miranda said, “like she’s crazy in love.”
Feeling like she was going to faint, Florencia asked, "really?"
"Oh my god, yes! I think her hair was turning green," Miru said, laughing and clapping her hands. She was enjoying the situation a bit too much. Miranda had never been this happy for her and Daniel before. Maybe because her sister had been able to see what Florencia had known all along: Daniel was wrong for her, he did not make her happy.
Relief, joy, and guilt washed over her. Her heart was already running toward Jazmín when her mind reminded her of what she needed to do before that.
“I need to break up with Dani,” Florencia said with finality.
“You do,” Miranda said, tenderly grabbing Florencia’s hand and giving it a squeeze. “It’s the right thing.”
“It is,” Florencia said, feeling more and more sure of her decision.
“And then you can fuck Jazmín good.”
Florencia shut the door in Miranda’s grinning face, wishing she was mad at her sister but unable to contain giddiness she felt at the thoughts that invaded her mind.
Yes, she needed to break up with Daniel, so she could love Jazmín like she deserved to be loved: open, freely and proudly.