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Paint me in trust

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It‘s not that Trixie doesn‘t like art, she just never really knows what to do with it when she’s looking at it. She is fairly sure she generally gets what the artist is trying to say, and occasionally even pulls something out of it for herself that the artist probably isn’t trying to say at all. But by the time she is ready to move on to the next piece, her friends are still standing in front of the same painting.

Today Trixie makes sure to spend some extra time in front of each painting, because they are Max’s and when your friend shares their art with you (and the general public), you look and you learn. Not that she and Max are actually that close. Pearl and Violet know her a lot better, but she has always been sweet in a quiet kind of way, which is a nice change from the interactions Trixie has with most of her friends.

“Can you try looking less bored?” Pearl says as she seems to materialize next to her, wine glass in hand.

“Can you find us something more interesting to do?” 

Pearl snorts. “Yeah, because your night spend alone at home would have been so fucking exciting.” 

They both know Trixie doesn’t actually mind being here and also that Pearl is right, and hadn’t she come here, Trixie would have spend the night watching a dumb rom-com on Netflix, drinking too much wine and going to bed early. 

Out of the corner of her eye she sees Max is still involved in an animated conversation, most likely being complimented on her revolutionary use of the color grey, and Trixie smiles. She’ll get her chance to tell her how great her work is later, she’s sure. For now she decides to have a look at what the other artists have produced.

She's looking at a heavily manipulated photograph that could either depict a dancing woman or a cow, possibly both, when Violet shows up with a grin that tells her bad things are about to happen.

“What?”

“Nothing, I’m just enjoying the exhibit.” 

Brows furrowed, Trixie sips her drink. “Right.” 

For the next ten minutes Violet stays close to her, moving from picture to picture, still with that unsettling expression on her face. And then Trixie rounds the next corner and she understands.

She stands still, drink clutched in her hand, as she takes in the painting of a woman in a rust-colored dress surrounded by a mane of flowing blonde hair. In her hands she holds a lyre, her gaze directed towards the sky, her shining lips slightly open. This woman is unmistakably her.

Trixie doesn't know how long it takes her to unstick her feet from the spot she’s standing in, to step closer to the wall and read the little sign next to it: ‘ The Muse. ’ 

Only then does she start taking in the paintings around it, smaller and simpler but no less astounding. They are close-ups of her, there is no other way of putting it. The curve of her hip, the bow in her hair, the freckles on her nose. They feel more like photographs than paintings, like they were quickly snapped with a phone in a quiet moment. Others have a more dreamlike quality to them. One shows her carefully manicured hand, fingers laced with a smaller one with short nails and bony fingers. And finally there is one of her naked torso, her breasts pressed up against a more slender body.

Trixie doesn't dare turn around, doesn't dare look at Violet, who she can still feel standing a few steps behind her, scared the stillness of this moment might shatter. Somebody else does it for her.

“Shit.” 

Trixie quickly turns, her eyes finding a figure she knows. Before she has time to really take her in, the woman turns on her heels and runs. Finally Trixie’s mouth remembers how to form words.

“What the fuck.” It's not a question, more an expression of the multitude of emotions she's experiencing.

“Katya Zamolodchikova.”

“Huh?”

“That's her name. I figured you should know that, since you’ve been flirting with each other for months and she's painted you two having sex.” Violet points at the sign on the wall that reads 'About the Artist’. When Trixie doesn't respond she goes on. “Apparently she has an MFA in photography from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, but has recently been exploring traditional mediums of art,” Violet reads. “She sure has.”

“That's the girl from the coffee shop.”

“Oh, you're with us again, that's good.”

“But-- we’ve never even, like, talked!” Trixie remembers she has a drink in her hand and downs it. “I need more alcohol.” 

She leaves in the direction of the makeshift bar that was set up for the exhibition opening, knowing Violet isn't far behind her.

“You could have been talking if you had given her your number, like I’ve told you to do five hundred times.”

“But she isn't-- I mean, I thought she wasn't interested.”

“And I told you she clearly is and that you're being stupid. This proves it.” 

Trixie rolls her eyes. “Yes, I’m an idiot. What now?” Violet’s grin is back as she clinks their new glasses together.

“Now you guys can finally fuck.”

“Ugh, I fucking hate you.”

“I’m gonna go find Pearl, she needs to see this.” 

On one hand Trixie is relieved her friend is giving her some space, on the other she knows she's about to face both of them making fun of her for… for whatever this fucking situation is. She finds herself wandering back to Katya’s part of the exhibition. Katya. Finally she can put a name to the face that's been on her mind for the past five months. While her eyes follow the lines Katya has painted, her mind replays every interaction they've had in the past.

The very first day the woman with messy honey-blonde curls walked into the coffee shop where Trixie had been laughing at a dumb joke Violet had made, she had walked up to the counter and flashed an impossibly big and white smile.

“Hi, I’m gonna need you to put as much caffeine into my body as you're legally allowed to,” she had said with a raspy voice, her fingers drumming out an upbeat rhythm on the varnished wood.

“Uh, I could give you eight shots of espresso, how’s that sound?”

“Perfect!” Her smile had returned and taken on a slightly manic edge, and for a second Trixie had asked herself if making that offer was toying with a stranger's wellbeing. She was sure of it when the drumming fingers sped up. She had handed over the cup and watched in horror as her customer dumped about ten sugar sachets into her drink. Putting the lid back onto the paper cup without having stirred her coffee, her eyes went to Trixie's name tag. 

“Thanks, Trixie. If I don't return, I’ve died.” She had then started whistling something unintelligible and off-key and left. It was definitely in Trixie's top three memorable customer service experiences. She hadn't decided yet if the woman outranked the baby that had projectile vomited across the counter all over her apron and couldn't seem to stop for a surprisingly long time for such a small human.

The mystery woman returned the next day and the first thing Trixie noticed was the heavy makeup. Her light foundation was a stark contrast to her flushed neck, her eyes were lined with a lot of smudged black kohl liner and her lips were bright red. It made her teeth look even whiter. She had also at some point apparently started putting a small braid in her hair, but had abandoned it halfway through, and Trixie couldn’t help but smile.

“Hey, thanks for coming back, I think I might have been fired if I killed a customer.”

“What?” She had stared at Trixie for a second. “Oh, right, yes! Didn’t die! Felt like it was close, though.” There was that grin again, and the heavy foundation made the wrinkles around her eyes look more pronounced. She was probably a couple of years older than Trixie, mid thirties she reckoned, but she seemed to have the energy of 5-year-old. 

“So, what can I do for you today?”, Trixie had asked with a lot more enthusiasm than she usually could muster up for her customers.

“What would you recommend that is disgustingly sweet but won’t be a danger to my heart?”

“The iced vanilla latte is a favorite of mine, and it goes great with our brownies.”

“Alright, Trixie, I’ll have one of each to go then, please.” She didn’t even look at Trixie’s name tag. She would have noticed.

After that the nameless woman had started coming by at least every other day. Well, she isn’t nameless. She’s Katya. Trixie knows that now, she didn’t then. For a while she’d regret not working at a Starbucks, because then she’d get to ask for her name to write it on the cup. And she called her Trixie every time, so she couldn’t very well introduce herself, and simply asking would be weird. 

Over the past five months Trixie has convinced herself that the woman with highly questionable fashion choices was just being nice, that that was just what she was like. Even though Violet assured her that if Trixie wasn’t there, she never called her or Pearl by their names and didn’t ask them for recommendations and certainly didn’t smile as much. 

But then if she was interested, why hadn’t she asked Trixie out? Maybe it’s time to find out. She makes the decision to go look for Katya, even though she literally ran away from her, but a gentle touch at her elbow makes her jump slightly.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” Trixie’s face falls slightly without her permission.

“Hey, Max. I love your paintings.” She sounds flat, even to her own ears, but she can’t find it in herself to scrounge up some more enthusiasm. Max smiles anyway and thanks her. Then she nods towards Katya’s work.

“They’re very good. I didn’t know you knew Katya.” There is a slight edge of curiosity in her voice, but not the implications she could expect from their other friends.

“I don’t, really. We’ve seen each other around for a while, but I didn’t even know her name until tonight.”

“Oh!” Silence, then Max repeats, “Oh,” and Trixie nods. “So these are a surprise for you?” 

Trixie snorts. “Yeah, you could say that.”

“Do you mind them?” Again Trixie is surprised at how neutral Max sounds.

“No," she says without thinking, but immediately she knows it’s the truth. “They’re beautiful. I just wasn’t expecting that.” 

Max nods and then looks at her with a new intensity. “I’m sure Katya didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I don’t know her very well, but I like her and I’ve only heard wonderful things about her.” Trixie smiles when she realizes what Max is trying to do.

“I’m not mad at her, don’t worry. But I do think we need to talk about this.” 

“Yes, I imagine you do.”

*

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Katya flicks the butt of her cigarette to the ground, fishes a new one out of the pack and lights it. Why had she let Sasha convince her to put these pieces up? She knows why, it’s because they’re the only thing of worth she’s made in the last few months, and it was either these or not putting up anything. Still, it was so fucking stupid. Yeah, right, don’t act on your dumb crush, instead invest all your time and creative energy into making art of a woman you barely know, you useless lesbian.

If she had ever had some sort of chance with Trixie it’s ruined now. She can never face her again. She’ll have to find a new coffee shop. Not that she cares about coffee that much. She just kept coming back for Trixie. She has known that all along but hasn’t even dared to think it in the past months because of how pathetic she is. To be safe she’ll have to plan a new route to work as well because the coffee shop is on the way and she might run into Trixie. She never has before but she might, and it's a risk she can't take. 

The gallery’s backdoor is pushed open and Katya is faced with her problem a lot sooner than she had expected. There stands Trixie, in a back alley next to a dumpster, wrapping her arms around herself in the cold spring evening. 

It’s the first time Katya has ever seen her not at work and it’s a little weird seeing her without the blue and white gingham apron she usually wears. She is dressed in a pink 50s style dress that is completely over the top for the occasion, and it’s so right on her that Katya stops breathing for a second. They stare at each other, Trixie shifting from one foot to the other, Katya standing with the cigarette forgotten in her hand.

Trixie is the one to break the silence and her hey sounds a lot softer than Katya had expected. She doesn’t look angry. That’s a start. She should probably say something.

“Hi.”

Trixie smiles a little and walks towards her, the clicking of her heels echoing in the alley. Katya wants to pick her up and put her somewhere cleaner and warmer. Instead she takes a long drag of her cigarette, exhaling the smoke out the side of her mouth so it doesn’t hit Trixie. She closes her eyes for a second, knowing what she needs to do.

“Look, I’m really sorry, I’m gonna take them down as soon as I can, I am so sorry.” She presses out the apology and is met with surprised blue eyes.

“Don’t, they’re beautiful! You’re very talented.” This time she smiles at Katya the way she knows from the coffee shop, the big smile that always makes her heart beat faster and tugs at the corners of her own lips. 

“You don’t mind them?” Katya’s question is met with a screeching laugh, the first sound that she ever heard Trixie make, but this time it’s directed at her and it’s the most accomplished she’s felt in weeks.

“Are you kidding me? I look amazing in them, I wish that’s all people saw of me.” 

Katya is quite proud of herself for not blurting out that she doesn’t think she has done her justice. Instead she just finishes her cigarette, and Trixie has to be the one to break the silence again.

“You could have just asked me out, you know," she says, still grinning.

“You were at work and I firmly believe that you shouldn’t ask anyone out if they can’t literally run away from you. I didn’t want to put you in an uncomfortable situation.”

“That makes sense.” Trixie nods slowly. “So instead you painted my tits and put them in there for all the world to see,” she says with her thumb pointing towards the door. The mortification hits Katya again at full force until Trixie laughs. “Anyway, I’m not at work and I could definitely run from you right now if I wanted.” Looking down at her pink high heels she adds, “You’d probably catch me, though.” She looks nervous, Katya notices.

“Alright then, Trixie, would you like to get coffee sometime?”, she says and immediately regrets it. Coffee? Really? But Trixie positively beams at her.

“As long as I don’t have to make it, sure.” Katya’s face mirrors Trixie’s. She’s got a date. With the most beautiful woman she’s ever set eyes on. 

“Great!”, she says and they both start giggling, even though she’s not quite sure why. Probably relief and also the complete absurdity of this entire situation.

The door behind them opens.

“I think she left, it’s safe to come inside again.” Sasha stops and looks at the two of them. “Oh. Maybe not.” Then the short woman with the shaved head grins and purposefully walks towards Trixie, her hand extending. “Hi, I’m Sasha. I knew you were real.” Katya groans. 

Trixie shakes her hand. “Trixie. I didn’t know I was a cryptid,” she deadpans and Katya can’t help but snort.

“Oh no, it’s just that Katya told me she didn’t have a model and I didn’t buy it. And here you are.” Sasha grins at Katya who sends her a look that she hopes communicates that she is to shut up right now, before she can embarrass her friend any further. Not that Katya needs any help embarrassing herself.

“And here I am," Trixie repeats with a polite smile.

Luckily Sasha doesn’t thrive on making her friends miserable so she tells them she has “something to do inside” and disappears with a happy smile. 

“For the record,” Katya explains, “I didn’t tell her to go on Trixie patrol, she took that upon herself.”

“Uh-huh, you just ran and hid.” Trixie grins and rubs her hands over her naked arms.

“Oh, shit, you must be freezing, do you wanna go inside?” If Katya had a jacket, she would hand it over, but she figured her black blouse would be warm enough for May. Which it is, but she could be draping her jacket over Trixie’s shoulders right now and isn’t that a fucking missed opportunity.

But Trixie shakes her head, making her big blonde curls bounce. “Then I’ll have to face Violet and Pearl.” Katya gives her a blank look. “My co-workers from the coffee shop,” Trixie expands.

“Oh, right! Tall, Dark And Superior and Stoner Chick.” 

Trixie screech-laughs again. “That’s them. To be honest, I’d rather talk to you right now because they will make fun of me for this. And of you probably.”

“That’s just great.” Because apparently she isn’t mortified enough. Then inspiration strikes her. “Let me put my number in your phone, then you can talk to me as much as you like.” It feels like the kind of thing she would say to Trixie at the coffee shop, before she uncovered her dark secret. Trixie nods enthusiastically, pulls her phone out of her purse, unlocks it and gives it to her. When Katya hands it back, she’s careful not to touch her. She’s only just recovered some of her nerves. 

Trixie looks down at the screen, smiling softly. “Katya," she says. So much for her nerves.

*

The moment she gets home, Trixie drops her purse by the door, kicks off her shoes and unzips her dress. Wiggling out of it, she makes her way over to the couch, phone still clutched in her hand, and sits down in her underwear. She still feels like breathing is harder than usual. She has Katya’s number. Katya had told her to talk to her as much as she’d like. She had spent the entire Uber ride home thinking of what to say first. Violet and Pearl had both mocked her for making such a big deal out of it. 

“You like her, she obviously likes you, just text her, it’s not that deep," Pearl had sighed and then literally rolled her eyes at Trixie like they were fifteen. She feels like she is fifteen. Pearl was right, this is stupid. 

She still doesn’t know what to write. Instead she opens up her camera and looks at the last photos she took. As soon as she and Katya had come back inside somebody had rushed towards them, grabbing Katya’s arm and talking at her about her marvelous work. Katya had barely managed to smile politely while Trixie grinned, waved at her and left her to her fate. She made a beeline for Katya’s part of the exhibit again and snapped photos of all the paintings while she knew the artist in question was distracted. 

Shortly after that Pearl and Violet had found her, but she was in too good a mood to mind their smug comments and the snickering. They had decided to leave soon after, Trixie with the knowledge that it wouldn’t be long until she’d see Katya again.

She lingers on the photo of the largest painting. ‘ The Muse ’ Katya had titled it. Is that how she sees her? That Trixie could inspire anyone to create something so beautiful seems absurd to her, but it’s also without a doubt the most flattering thing she’s ever experienced. She thinks of Katya’s downright terrified face when Trixie had finally tracked her down. She had been a little upset before, had felt like Katya had kept something from her (which she had), but as soon as she took in Katya’s shaking hands and her wide eyes, all she wanted was to reassure her. 

She had looked so small and so different from how Trixie usually sees her, and it had reminded her how little she actually knows about Katya. Well. Time to change that. She exhales and opens up a text to Katya.

Trixie

I just wanna let you know so you won’t be disappointed later that I don’t know how to play the lyre 

but I’m fairly decent with a guitar 

Two texts, casual, friendly. Yes, this works. Then she realizes she hasn’t actually let Katya know it’s her, but she trusts her to figure that out on her own. She stares at the phone screen for a solid two minutes, but her messages remain unread, and there is no reply. Finally she decides to go to bed, but while removing her makeup and brushing her teeth she keeps glancing at her phone, which stubbornly refuses to light up with any notifications. In bed she scrolls through instagram for another half hour before giving up and going to sleep.

She wakes slowly, sunlight streaming in through the windows, feeling warm and relaxed. It’s a Sunday and she doesn’t have to be anywhere today. Trixie stretches underneath the sheets and unplugs her phone to check the time. A grin spreads across her face. She’s got two new messages. They were sent just after 5 am and Trixie wonders if Katya had been up still or already.

Katya

That’s good, playing a stringed instrument is a nonnegotiable requirement for wooing me

Trixie giggles at that and is immediately glad nobody is there to witness her acting like a smitten teenager.

Katya

Speaking of which, are you free later today?

After all these months of tentative flirting, Katya seems to have switched into action mode, and it's giving Trixie whiplash, a little bit. Last night she had been literally shaking when talking to Trixie, and before that she had seemed so happy-go-lucky whenever they had talked at the coffee shop. Trixie is curious to see where on that scale Katya is going to fall today.

Trixie

morning!

I'm free as a supermarket yogurt sample, what do you have in mind?

This time Katya's reply is instantaneous.

Katya

How do you feel about farmers’ markets?

Trixie

love them in theory, have never actually been to one because I would need to go somewhere early in the morning and I don't do that

but I guess I could with the right incentive

Katya

I could hook you up with my personal honey dealer who names all of her bees?

Trixie

that's such a lesbian perk

okay I'm in

Katya

Yes!!!!!!

She texts Trixie an address and tells her to meet her there as soon as she can.

*

It takes Trixie about an hour to get to the market. She had texted Katya that she was there now and they had agreed to meet by the bathrooms, since they were the only easily identifiable place. As soon as Katya spots Trixie walking towards her, she goes to meet her halfway, partly because she's eager to talk to her, partly because she doesn't want to stand right by the toilets when they meet.

Trixie looks like women in rom-coms who go to farmers' markets. She's wearing a knee-length white dress that has little yellow and red flowers embroidered around the seams at the neckline and at the bottom of the bell sleeves. Even though it's sunny it's probably not warm enough, but Trixie doesn't show any signs that she's cold. Her hair is in two braids and her makeup looks a little softer today. When she's close enough, Katya can tell Trixie has drawn on a bunch of freckles. It's the most painstakingly achieved effortlessness Katya has ever seen, and she loves all of it. 

Trixie greets her with a big smile and she finds herself helplessly returning it.

"Hi, you look great!"

Katya almost scoffs, because it's ridiculous to her that Trixie of all people would compliment her. But it's not like she hasn't put any effort into looking good for Trixie. When Katya had gotten here earlier, Ginger had made fun of her for showing up with a full face of makeup when Trixie hadn't even read her messages yet, probably still asleep. Katya had also carefully picked the jeans that make her ass look bigger than it actually is and her favourite chunky knit sweater. Trixie had complimented her on it at the coffee shop once, saying that it looked like it was meant for cuddling.

"So do you." It's a lame thing to say, but Katya doesn't want to go full out on all the thoughts she has on Trixie's appearance. She realizes after last night that's pretty much a lost cause, but she would still like to appear like she isn't helplessly smitten. "Thanks for meeting me so short notice."

Katya had left the gallery practically vibrating out of her skin with nerves. Sasha had come home with her and they'd sat on the big windowsill in the kitchen, Katya smoking and Sasha silently reading something on her phone. She had told Katya what, but she had been too keyed up to pay attention. Still, Katya had been grateful for the company, not trusting herself to not completely freak out if she was left alone. It had been late when Sasha left, and Katya knew she would regret all of this once her alarm would go off at 5 am, and she'd have to get ready and help Ginger set up at the market.

"I'm sure she has texted you by now," Sasha had said as they were hugging goodbye.

"But if she hasn't, I'm going to die." Katya's phone had remained in her bag all that time. She wouldn't have known how to deal with it if Trixie hadn't texted her. The possibility that earlier she had just wanted to be nice had been looming over Katya like a dark cloud.

"Just check your phone, you dramatic dumbass," Sasha had muttered with a lopsided smile and left.

She hadn't. Instead Katya had gone to bed and fallen asleep surprisingly quickly. Her phone had woken her up at 5, as it was supposed to, even though it was still in her bag on the couch in the other room. She had stumbled out of her bedroom in underwear, the screen lighting up her purse from the inside, and when she had turned the alarm off, Katya had spotted the two messages from an unknown number sitting on the screen.

The texts themselves were sweet and fun, but it was the fact that Trixie had texted her at all that had painted a big grin on her face. Trixie had sent them a while before Katya had that conversation with Sasha and she felt so stupid. She had made Trixie wait for no reason. Immediately she had typed out her reply, unwilling to waste another second.

She had snorted at herself for her comment, ‘Playing a stringed instrument is a nonnegotiable requirement for wooing me ’. As if Trixie needed to woo her. She could have walked in here, pointed at any of Katya's things that she wanted, and Katya would have gift-wrapped them for her. But now Trixie is at the market, it's all gonna be okay. She still feels a little queasy.

“Of course!” Trixie says brightly. “I’m so glad you texted me.” She sounds genuinely excited, and it puts Katya’s stomach at ease. 

Katya deliberately steers them in the opposite direction of Ginger’s stall with different sorts of honey and beeswax candles. She will introduce them, but first she wants to spend some time alone with Trixie and hopefully get her bearings when talking to her. She explains to Trixie that she’s here every two weeks when the market happens, to help her friend set up and handle sales too when it’s really busy. 

“Isn’t she going to miss you?” Trixie asks, as they’re slowly walking.

“The morning rush is over, she’ll be fine.” It’s gonna get more busy in the afternoon again when all the families come out, and depending on how things go with Trixie, Katya might just leave Ginger to her fate.

“So do you work for her?”

“Oh no, she only pays me in honey and bitchy comments.” It makes Trixie snort a little, and Katya is unreasonably pleased with herself. “No, I teach Russian at an adult education center.”

“Oh wow, Russian!” Trixie stares at her, looking awestruck.

“I’m third generation and my grandparents only ever spoke Russian with us, so I figured I might as well make some money from that skill. Because, believe it or not, but extremely gay art does not pay the bills. Oh!” She grabs Trixie’s arm before she realizes what she’s doing. Trixie doesn’t give any indication of it bothering her. “The day we met I was actually on my way to the job interview at the center! I’d been so nervous that I hadn’t slept all night.”

“Oh!” Trixie’s hand briefly grabs Katya’s, that’s still resting on her other arm, just a quick squeeze, and then her fingers fall away again. “That explains a lot, actually.”

Katya laughs a little. Their entire meeting is burned into Katya’s memory, especially how worried Trixie had looked when she had handed over the cup of espresso. Strangely, it had helped Katya calm down for the interview, just by distracting her from her nerves.

 “What about you? What do you do when you’re not caffeinating nervous wrecks?” At Katya’s question Trixie’s whole face lights up.

“I sing! And I play guitar and write my own songs.”

Katya grins. “Are you good?”

“Yes, I am,” she answers happily. Katya has no doubt it’s true, she just wanted to hear Trixie say it. She had a feeling that Trixie wasn’t the type for false modesty, and it’s refreshing.

“Do you do any gigs?”

Trixie nods. “We have an open mic night at the coffee shop once a month. I always play there.”

Katya had seen the poster, but had never paid it much attention. She hadn’t known Trixie was performing, and now she’s mad at herself for all she’s missed.

“The first Thursday every month, right?”

“Mm-hmm!” Trixie nods.

That makes the next one in five days. “Can I come?”

Trixie looks at the ground, probably trying to hide the grin that Katya still catches. “It’s public, you can do whatever you want.”

“Right. It might be a good place to meet girls.” Katya bumps her elbow against Trixie’s arm, and she looks at Katya, still grinning.

“I’d love it if you came.”

“Good, me too.” Both their grins soften into something gentler, and without noticing they have stopped walking. Trixie is the first to start walking again, turning her face away from Katya.

It’s comforting, finally getting to put the correct life to Trixie’s face. Over the last months Katya has spent so much time imagining what she goes home to - a cute little apartment with pink knickknacks everywhere and a fluffy cat, or a messy house she shares with a bunch of friends, or the house of her aging parents she takes care of. When Katya was in the mood to punish herself, she thought about Trixie going home to an unremarkable boyfriend she’d watch unremarkable TV with, before having the same unremarkable sex they had every Tuesday. She couldn’t stand being so unkind to Trixie, so after a while she replaced the boyfriend with a woman, who’d kiss Trixie’s cheek when she’d get home from work, massage Trixie’s feet, aching from a long shift at the coffee shop, and then fuck her good and hold her close at night.

Now Katya knows that there’s nobody waiting at home for Trixie. They talk, about their favourite fruits (peaches and cherries), where they grew up (Wisconsin and Boston), about their families (deadbeat dad, lots of siblings, and parents still disgustingly in love, one sister), about the state of the world (generally abysmal, they could agree on that), and how they’d like to die (peacefully in her sleep and getting pushed off a cliff).

They find themselves back by the toilets after about an hour, and Katya realizes that they’ve just walked and talked, without even looking at any of the stalls. They start slowly drifting in the direction Ginger’s stall is at, but Katya doesn’t want to give up their time alone yet and stops them to get something to eat.

Katya kisses Trixie by the frozen yogurt truck. She didn’t plan to, but Trixie got some yogurt on her thumb when picking up the cup and licked it off. In turn Katya’s eyes got stuck on her mouth and how Trixie licked her lips when she noticed Katya looking. The sun had hit her just right and made her look both ethereal and as solid as the ground beneath Katya’s feet. Trixie’s bright blue eyes fixed her with a look almost like a challenge, and so Katya closed the distance between them. 

Trixie tastes like yogurt and an artificial vanilla that must be her lipstick. She’s so soft and warm against Katya, and she can feel her own shoulders sag, the tension bleeding out of her. Trixie’s hand, that’s not holding the yogurt cup, comes up to pull Katya closer by her sweater, her fingers slipping into the holes of the knitted material. Her nails graze Katya’s stomach with only a thin shirt still between them, and it makes goosebumps rise on Katya’s arms. 

It’s Trixie who pulls back first, but she still has her eyes closed when Katya opens hers. Katya’s cheap red lipstick is mixed in with her peachy pink one, and before she realizes what she’s doing Katya raises her hand to Trixie’s face, her thumb brushing over Trixie’s lips, taking the red with it. At the unexpected touch Trixie’s eyes flutter open, going to Katya’s lipstick covered thumb and she presses her lips together, as if to mix the colors together all the way.

“Didn’t think that through, did you?”

“Not really,” Katya agrees with a grin. With one hand Trixie starts digging through her purse and pulls out a pack of tissues, with some difficulty wiggling one out while still holding her frozen yogurt in the other hand. Katya is holding her own and together they somehow manage to wipe her thumb clean. Katya giggles. 

“So stupid.” She balls the tissue up and stuffs it into her jeans pocket. They start walking again and talking between little spoonfuls of frozen yogurt. Katya’s mind keeps going back to the fact that she kissed Trixie and the hope that she’ll get to do it again. That hope is reinforced when they discard their empty cups and Trixie pulls out her phone, regarding herself in the front camera. Katya thinks she wants to reapply her lipstick that has mostly come off while eating, but she pulls out another tissue and simple wipes it around the edges of her mouth, leaving her skin the natural pink it is without any lipstick. Once she’s satisfied, she puts her phone away again and with a smile holds one hand out to Katya.

“Shall we?”

With a big grin Katya takes it, and Trixie interlaces their fingers right away. A sense of unease sets in, Katya being aware that her hands are basically always sweaty and she’s currently rubbing her sweat all over Trixie.

“Sorry, I’m gross,” she mutters an apology, and Trixie laughs, pulling her close by the hand she’s holding.

“You’re hot,” she simply says, and then she kisses Katya, whose heart starts jumping in her chest. Again it’s Trixie who pulls back first, but when she notices Katya isn’t ready to let go yet, she comes back for a small second kiss, like she’s putting a period at the end of a sentence. Katya has to remind herself they’re in public, because she wants nothing more than to grab Trixie’s ass and lift her, so she can sling her thick thighs around Katya’s waist, and make out with her until they’re both lightheaded and desperate.

She takes a deep breath to clear her head. She needs a distraction, something to keep her grounded. 

“Right, I promised you a honey hook-up, didn’t I.”

“Oh, Honey!” Trixie starts in a fake voice, her face pulling into an expectant grin, “A hook-up with you? Sign me up!” Then she screams out a laugh before Katya has even had the chance to react. It’s a terrible joke, and the way Trixie laughs at it tells Katya she is fully aware of that. That is what sets Katya off and makes her laugh along with Trixie. It also helps distract from the words that just left Trixie’s mouth.

“God, you’re rotten. Come on.” Katya pulls on her hand, this time not meandering between the stalls, but heading straight for Ginger. 

They find her just handing a customer a jar and wishing him a nice day, and Katya immediately heads behind the table with all the merchandise she helped set up this morning, pulling Trixie after her. 

“Ginger, this is Trixie; Trixie, Ginger,” she rattles off, and Trixie gives Ginger a little wave with the hand that isn’t holding onto Katya. 

“Hi!”

“Hello. If you wanna be gross and in love you can do that outside my tent.”

“Told you, honey and bitchy comments,” Katya whispers in Trixie’s ear and she giggles.

“I heard that,” Ginger exclaims. “And that’s exactly the kind of behavior I meant.”

“She’s just jealous,” Katya waves the comment away, but she and Trixie come out from behind the table, instead looking at all the product Ginger has laid out.

“No,” Ginger looks at Trixie, “I’ve had to watch this fool moon over you for the past half year or so, and I’m afraid of what’s gonna happen now that you two are actually talking.”

Trixie gives her a sweet smile. “More than talking, that’s gonna happen.”

Ginger looks a little pained. “God, you’re as bad as her.” 

Trixie grins at Katya and gives her an exaggerated wink. Katya snorts, but can also feel herself blushing. She gives Trixie a tour of all the products, regrettably having to let go of her hand. Mainly it’s honey, of course. Different sorts made from different flowers, and all kinds of herb-infused ones. Then there’s candles, mead, and a small line of of skincare products Ginger makes together with an apothecary. That’s what Trixie seems immediately drawn to, and Katya happily squirts some honey body lotion from the tester bottle onto Trixie’s hand, that she rubs into her skin. She raises her hand to her nose and sniffs. 

“Oh, that’s really nice! I think I’ll take that.” She also picks out a lip balm and then asks Katya for a honey recommendation.

“I think you’ll like the lavender-infused one.” Katya picks up one of the jars. 

“I’m putting my fate in your hands,” Trixie says with a smile. They’re both aware of how they’ve reversed their roles. Katya has been taking Trixie’s recommendations at the coffee shop for months now, although she had pretty quickly figured out that she and Trixie have very different tastes when it comes to coffee. Or more accurately, Katya doesn’t have a taste when it comes to coffee. She needs it to be full of caffeine and liquid, that’s about it. She has been pouring Trixie’s sugary concoctions down her gullet with disinterest most of the time. Katya didn’t really care, she just knew that Trixie’s smile got a little brighter every time she asked her for a recommendation.

“That’ll be 22 dollars, then,” Ginger interrupts their moment.

“Come on, Ginger!” 

“What? She hasn’t done any work for me, and to be honest, neither have you today,” Ginger explains. Katya stares at her open-mouthed.

“It’s okay.” Trixie starts rummaging in her purse, but Katya puts her hand on her arm.

“No, no, I’ve got it.” She pulls a few loose bills out of her pocket, selects a twenty and a five and hands them over to Ginger, who puts the money in her little register.

“Thank you for your purchase.”

Katya raises her brows. “Excuse me, I think I’m owed 3 dollars of change.”

Ginger rolls her eyes, but then grabs three dollar bills and extends her hand towards Katya, who takes the money with a smile.

“Thank you so much.”

“Bitch.”

“Skank.”

Ginger is the first to break and give Katya a lopsided grin. “Alright, fuck off, you’re not gonna be any help for the rest of the day, anyway.”

Katya gives her a careless salute with two fingers. “See ya!” 

Her stomach flips when Trixie immediately grabs her hand again as soon as she has stuffed her purchase into her bag and they wander off.

"I love her so much, we've been friends for over ten years now," Katya explains. She knows their relationship doesn't always translate to other people, but Trixie seems unbothered. Katya remembers how she had talked about her friends at the gallery last night and is pretty sure Trixie gets it.

They stroll around for a little while longer without really looking at any of the stalls, and Katya starts getting nervous. There really isn’t much more to see here, and she’s worried it was a dumb idea to ask Trixie to come here. She should have thought it through more, picked something that would keep them busy for longer and was generally more interesting. As all of that goes through her head, Trixie cocks hers to the side and gives her a questioning look. 

“Everything okay?”

“Oh, yeah, I just… realized this is kind of lame. Sorry.”

Trixie's face falls in disbelief. “You realize I would have come and hung out with you in a parking lot, right? And it’s not lame, I like it here. You apologize too much,” she gently reprimands.

Katya grins. “Sorry.”

Trixie laughs and bumps her arm against Katya’s. “Seriously, I’d be totally happy to just find a place to sit and talk to you. You don’t have to entertain me.”

“My place isn’t that far away.” The words have left her lips without Katya giving them permission, and she’s mortified, but Trixie smiles.

“Okay, let’s go.”

*

To Trixie’s surprise Katya’s apartment is fairly tidy. She seems the type for chaos, and she has a lot of stuff, but at first glance everything seems to be in its place, from the canvases leaning against the wall in the narrow space behind the couch, to the books stacked on top of the regular rows on the shelves, and what must be hundreds of polaroids on the walls. They look carelessly tacked on at first, but once Trixie takes a closer look, she realizes they have been meticulously arranged, more and more color patterns and themes emerging the longer she looks. 

They have a wide range of topics, people, landscapes, household objects, and somehow Katya makes them all connect in a way Trixie can’t put her finger on. They make sense, but Trixie can’t make sense of how.

“Would you like some water?” Katya stands in the middle of her living room like somebody placed her there and told her to wait.

“Yes, please,” Trixie replies with a smile. With a nod Katya disappears into the kitchen, and Trixie steps closer to the wall. She spots Max in one picture, and Katya’s bald friend Sasha in one near it, and other people Trixie thinks she saw at the gallery last night. They’re interspersed with pictures of a half-eaten slice of toast, an unmade bed, water-rings on a wooden tabletop, and an empty toilet paper holder with a new roll sitting on top of it. She gets a sense of comfort and home from it, and it makes Trixie smile. Katya appears by her side and hands her a glass.  

“So,” Trixie takes a sip of her water, “you like photography, then.” 

Katya snorts. “Yeah. Yeah, you could say that.” They share a smile, and then Trixie keeps looking at the pictures on the wall, Katya silent beside her.

“Why photography?” Trixie asks after a while.

Katya doesn’t need to think about it. “Because photos are the truth. They’re a bit of reality you capture. But I get to capture them from their best angle and find the beauty in them. Or the worst angle and strip them of their beauty. And I can make them part of something bigger,” she gestures to the wall, “and assign them meaning beyond what they are. But in the end they’re snippets of truth.”

Trixie has turned her head towards Katya. This is what Katya does. This is all she would be doing if money wasn’t an objective. It’s obvious that she loves it, and that she’s very good. Carefully Trixie places her glass on the nearest surface, which happens to be a shelf filled with trinkets of all kinds. Then she turns towards Katya, one hand at her arm and sliding up to her neck, finally pulling her close and kissing her.

Even though Trixie gave her plenty of time to see where this was going, Katya jumps a little under her touch, before leaning forward and into their kiss, her front pressing against Trixie’s. Now that they’re alone, Trixie freely lets her hands roam across her back and down to her waist. When Katya doesn’t return the gesture, Trixie pulls back a little.

“Did you forget you have hands?” she asks with a grin.

“Huh?” Katya blinks slowly. “Oh!” Her hands settle on Trixie’s hips, and as if to make up for lost time she pulls Trixie closer with sudden strength Trixie hadn’t expected, and she giggles into the kiss when Katya closes the small distance between them. 

They end up on the couch without Trixie being aware of having moved there. She grabs Katya’s sweater at the bottom, only intending to run her hands underneath it, but Katya pulls back and discards it altogether, leaving her in a simple black t-shirt, and giving Trixie an opportunity to admire her toned arms. She grabs the shirt and pulls, so Katya lands half on top of her, while Trixie sinks deeper into the cushions. She unashamedly puts her fingers on Katya’s ass and squeezes.

“God, you’re really hot, do you know that?” she mutters against the soft skin of Katya’s neck, that once again is red compared to her face that’s covered in foundation.

“You’ve actually mentioned it before, yes,” Katya says into Trixie’s hair, her smile audible.

“Well, you haven’t told me, so I thought I would get things going.” Her tone is teasing, but Trixie trusts Katya to understand that there is truth behind her words.

Katya openly laughs. “Really? I thought my opinion about how you look was pretty clear.”

“I’d still like to hear it!”

Katya laughs softly again and pushes herself up with one arm on the back of the couch, so that she can look Trixie in the eyes. 

“You are the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and I’ve thought about you every day for the last five months. What you were doing, what you were wearing, if you were thinking about me too.” She grins and adds, “What you look like without clothes on.”

Trixie giggles and pulls Katya down for a quick kiss, and then just slings her arms around her, holding her close.

“Did you make the paintings because you couldn’t take photos? So you had to make up your own truths?”

Katya buries her face against Trixie’s shoulder. “Yes,” she reluctantly admits, clearly embarrassed. 

“That’s so romantic,” Trixie says quietly with a smile.

Katya only makes a vague groaning noise, that gets drowned in the material of Trixie's dress.

“I mean it! You liked me so much you painted me, and not to impress me, just because you wanted to look at me.” Katya makes another noise against her shoulder, but sounding less unhappy this time. “You know, if you had asked at any point, you could have looked at me all you wanted,” Trixie admits in a whisper, her lips right next to Katya’s ear. There’s another noise, but this one is more of a whimper. “Do you still want to?” Trixie’s face pulls into a grin and she bites her lip.

“God, yes,” Katya whispers against her neck, her breath hot on Trixie’s skin. Then she kisses her there very softly. Afterwards a breathy little laugh escapes her. “My lipstick,” she explains, her fingers coming up to touch the mark on her skin that Trixie can’t see. She’s surprised there was enough lipstick left on her lips to leave a mark. Then suddenly Katya sits up so she’s kneeling between Trixie’s legs. 

“I wanna do something, but it’s very stupid,” she tells Trixie.

“I’m down for stupid,” Trixie doesn’t know what she’s agreeing to, but she’s not worried.

“Okay.” Katya gets up and disappears into what Trixie assumes is the bedroom. Only a few moments later she comes out again, in one hand a small camera, Trixie assumes it’s for polaroids, in the other a tube of lipstick, which Trixie can only identify when Katya holds it up for her. 

“What are we doing?” Trixie asks with a grin.

Katya returns it, leans down and kisses her briefly. “We’re making art, baby!”

“You wanna leave lipstick marks on me and take photos of them,” Trixie deduces and Katya nods excitedly. “Right, should I take off my dress, then?”

“Uhhhh.” At the question Katya’s brain seems to short-circuit. She clears her throat. “Yes, I think that would be… helpful.”

Very aware of the eyes on her, Trixie sits up, her hands finding the zipper at the back of her neck, and she slides it down. Then she shrugs out of the fabric, that pools in her lap, and reveals the prettiest underwear she owns. The bra is made of delicate violet lace, and it’s gotten a little bit small, making it pretty uncomfortable, but her breasts look like they’re going to spill over at any moment. She stands up, the dress falling to the floor, and she steps out of it.

“Where do you want me?” She does her best to keep her voice neutral.

“Uhhhh,” Katya says again, her eyes roaming across Trixie’s skin. They snap up to Trixie’s face and sheepishly she explains, “The light in the bedroom is better.”

Trixie smiles and saunters towards the door Katya went through earlier. “I bet it is.”

When she steps into the room, she has to admit it really is. Calling it a bedroom doesn’t seem quite right. The first thing Trixie notices are the large windows letting in the early afternoon sun. There is an easel standing in one corner, but there’s no canvas on it. One wall seems to be just shelves with art supplies of all kinds. There’s no polaroids here, but several paintings hang on the walls, and judging by the style, Trixie is certain at least some of them are Katya’s. 

A mirror is leaning against the bottom of one of the shelves and on the floor in front of it sits Katya’s makeup bag. A powder compact, a tube of mascara, an open eyeshadow palette and a few brushes have been carelessly left out, and Trixie can imagine Katya sitting there cross-legged this morning, hastily applying her makeup, before dashing out the door. As if it had been an afterthought, a bed and a closet have been squeezed into a corner. Katya has followed her and looks a little sheepish at the state of the room. Trixie gives her a big smile.

“I like it, it’s very you.” Then Trixie sits down on the bed, pulling her legs up as well, and arranges herself across the covers. “Alright, do your worst!” Katya fumbles a little, trying to get the lipstick open while holding the camera, almost dropping it, and Trixie says, “C’mere!”

She holds out her hand and Katya hands her the lipstick before crawling on the bed on her knees. Trixie twists up the red lipstick she has come to associate with Katya, and Katya leans down so their faces are almost level. With one hand, Trixie gently holds Katya’s chin in place, with the other she applies the lipstick. It’s not perfect, but it will do for what they have planned.

Then it’s up to Katya to actually follow through with her plan, but she looks unsure, her eyes again traveling across Trixie’s body, and Trixie realizes she doesn’t know where to start.

“Let’s do the easy one first,” she says quietly and cranes her neck so their lips can meet. As soon as they’re kissing, Katya seems to forget her nervousness again, and she melts against Trixie, first their lips sliding together and then their tongues. Should Katya forget what they were trying to do, and they just kept doing this, Trixie would be perfectly happy too.

Katya’s mouth starts traveling, goes down to her neck, where this whole idea started. She pulls back from Trixie and intently regards her work. Then she nods slightly, and Trixie thinks it’s just for herself. It’s fascinating to see how focused Katya becomes when she changes the camera’s settings and moves on the bed to get the right angle, her brows furrowed in concentration. But then she casually pulls on the side of Trixie’s underwear, making it snap back into place, and Trixie giggles. That’s the moment Katya takes the shot, and the flash startles Trixie.

“Oh, sorry, I should have warned you about that.”

In her hands the camera makes almost a buzzing sound, and finally the picture comes out at the top. Katya pulls it out and then quickly places it on the ground, seemingly underneath the bed, precariously dangling off the edge herself.

“I wanna see!” Trixie complains.

“It needs to stay in the dark for a bit to develop,” Katya explains and then kisses the pout right off Trixie’s face. “Right, lipstick me!” she then orders with a grin, and Trixie puts a fresh coat of lipstick on her. Katya looks uncertain again, and Trixie points to the swell of her breast, above the edge of lace, where underneath layers of skin and flesh and her ribs her heart is beating furiously.

“What about here? Would that look good?” she asks innocently, and Katya’s eyes go from where she is pointing to Trixie’s face. Her pupils are dilated and there’s an expression on her face that clearly spells out want . She inhales audibly through her nose, before leaning over Trixie and very deliberately placing her lips on the soft skin Trixie has pointed out, and Trixie sighs at the gentle touch. This time Katya leaves it at that one clean kiss, and this time Trixie closes her eyes before the flash goes off.

They repeat the process on her shoulder, after Trixie has pushed her bra strap off, and Katya places her lips on the red indents it has left there. The next one goes next to her belly button, with the edge of her panties cutting into her soft belly in the shot, Katya had made sure of that, she said. When she has placed that picture under the bed, she curses and gets off the bed, heading for one of her art supply shelves.

“Need a new film,” she mutters, with impatient hands pushing things out of the way until she finds what she’s looking for. She rips the package open with her teeth, and joins Trixie on the bed again. She quickly replaces the black box in the camera and takes one shot of the floor, discarding what comes out of the camera immediately. 

“Okay, I’m ready, sorry,” she mumbles as she’s already halfway kissing Trixie and for a moment they do just that, Katya’s hands stroking up and down Trixie’s sides, while Trixie slides her hands underneath Katya’s t-shirt. She can feel the muscles in her belly jump under her hands and Katya moans into her mouth. She slides one hand down to Trixie’s thigh, guiding her leg to wrap around Katya’s middle, and Trixie happily obliges. As Katya leads her leg up, she keeps stroking the back of her knee, and Trixie has to break their kiss to giggle. Katya has confidently found the one place where she’s really ticklish. 

“Stubbly,” Katya points out with a grin. “Somebody got ready in a hurry this morning.”

“Shut up!” Trixie slaps her arm. She did get ready in a hurry, brushing her teeth in the shower at the same time as shaving her legs, obviously not very successfully.

“Lipstick,” Katya only says, and Trixie has to grope around a little to find the black tube. Once her lips are red again, Katya guides Trixie’s leg towards her chest, so she can reach and place a kiss right on the badly shaved back of her knee.

“Oh my god.” Trixie has to hold her own leg up, so Katya can take the picture. “Yeah, I’m sure that’s very sexy.” Trixie is extremely aware of all her good angles, and this is not one of them. 

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Katya argues. “And they don’t all have to be sexy, that’s not the point.”

“It isn’t?”

Katya shakes her head. “No, it’s showing all the parts of you I like to look at.”

A noise from the back of her throat escapes Trixie, and she grabs the nape of Katya’s neck, crashing into her. This time she keeps Katya there, kissing her with all she’s worth, and pulling her back in every time Katya tries to move somewhere else. She is vaguely aware of her hips moving, searching friction against Katya’s thigh, but she keeps pulling away. Her rising frustration is only aggravated when Katya cups one of her breasts, massaging her, the lace rubbing torturously against her nipple. 

She breaks their kiss, so she can chant, “Off, off, off,” and lift her torso a little. With a bit of help from Trixie, Katya undoes the clasp at the back and pulls the bra off, setting it down on the bed with unnecessary gentleness. 

Trixie is lying flat on her back, knowing it’s not the most flattering view of her tits she can offer, but Katya looks at her utterly transfixed none the less. 

“Jesus, look at you,” falls from her mouth, that stays open, her eyes not moving away from Trixie’s breasts.

“Less looking, more touching,” she demands, but Katya doesn’t put her hands on her. Instead she picks up the lipstick and hands it to Trixie. She groans in frustration, but does as she’s told. Then Katya lowers her head and closes her lips around one nipple. Trixie keens and presses her chest up when Katya’s tongue touches her and starts circling, before sucking hard. This time when Katya takes her mouth away to get the camera ready, Trixie whimpers.

“Please, I’m sure that’s enough pictures.”

“I could keep going all day.” The look in her eyes and the shaking of her fingers betray Katya’s words.  Yet she calmly asks Trixie to paint her lips again. Once Trixie has, with shaking fingers herself, Katya takes Trixie’s knee and lifts it, the other one this time, and Trixie thinks they’re going to repeat what they did earlier, but instead Katya kisses a path up the inside of her thigh, and once again Trixie’s hips start moving with nothing to press against. Katya tells her to stay still, but Trixie is sure that the shot comes out blurry, she can’t help it. She feels on the verge of tears when Katya asks her again to refresh her lipstick.

“I swear to God, I’m gonna get up, get off on your couch by myself, and then go home, if you don’t do something,” she presses out through clenched teeth.

Katya shushes her like she’s a grouchy toddler. “I promise this is the last one.” Her hands go to Trixie’s hips, her fingers hooking underneath her panties on either side. “Lift.” Trixie does, and Katya pulls them off methodically, guiding Trixie’s feet through them. 

She’s only just got naked all the way and Trixie is already exhausted. She is also very wet and needs to be touched so badly, more than she’s ever needed it before. Katya has the audacity to laugh breathlessly when Trixie tells her exactly that, and not get to work right away. Instead Katya just looks at her with a far off expression on her face. 

“Katya,” Trixie keens, and Katya looks up at her face, a smile playing around her lips.

“Not a natural blonde, I see.”

Blindly, Trixie gropes around above her head, finally managing to get hold of a pillow, and hurls it towards Katya with as much force as she can muster. Katya openly laughs at her. Trixie immediately forgives her, since she ducks her head, her tongue tracing Trixie’s labia. Then she closes her lips around them and sucks, and Trixie starts a breathless chant of yes yes yes yes yes . When Katya’s tongue touches her clit, Trixie’s torso completely lifts of the mattress and she sobs. 

Then Katya lifts her head and Trixie shouts, “No!”, but Katya gets the camera ready with no regard for Trixie’s worked up state. She’s too far gone to even care that Katya is taking a carefully framed picture of her lipstick smeared vulva.

“I’m gonna kill you if you ever show that to anyone,” she still threatens while they’re waiting for the picture to come out of the camera. 

“This is for my private collection, don’t worry.” Katya pulls the polaroid out and hangs herself over the edge of the bed, where the picture joins the others. When she comes back up, she immediately grabs the bottom of her shirt, and pulls it over her head, her bra coming off a second later.

“I need to get naked and then I need you to ride my face. Please? I’ve thought about that for months. Please. Please.” All cool professionalism has vanished from her voice and her face.

“Yeah,” Trixie agrees breathlessly, and together they wrestle Katya out of her jeans and her briefs. 

Trixie maneuvers herself over Katya’s face, her arms hooking around Trixie’s thighs, and without a warning she lowers herself until she can feel Katya’s tongue touch her. She licks into her enthusiastically, and Trixie doesn’t hold back, grinding against her face with a gasp. Katya’s nose keeps bumping against Trixie’s clit and her tongue is tirelessly fucking her. With one hand, Trixie pries Katya’s hand off her thigh, and instead interlaces their fingers. She starts chanting again, but this time Katya’s name, and it seems to spur her on, moaning into Trixie’s pussy. Trixie comes with a shout, pressing down in a way that can’t be comfortable for Katya, but she rides it out for as long as she can. When she finally lifts herself off Katya’s face, she gasps and sucks in air.

Trixie rearranges herself and drops down mostly on top of Katya, still. She pushes back the hair from her forehead that’s stuck there with sweat, and then she kisses her, tasting herself on Katya’s lips.

“What do you want, baby?” she asks quietly. “How do you wanna come?” 

She looks up at Trixie with desperation. “Need your fingers inside me.”

Trixie kisses her languidly, and as her hand travels down across Katya’s body, she can feel her pulse hammering in her wrist. She puts her hand around Katya’s wrist, completely encircling it, and squeezes lightly. Then she moves her hand where she knows Katya wants her to touch her. She rubs her entire hand downwards over Katya’s pussy, on her way back up gathering wetness with the pads of her fingers, and using it to rub slow circles over her clit. 

Katya is panting and her eyes are clenched shut, so Trixie kisses the wrinkles between her brows, until her eyes flutter open. Once they’re staring into Trixie’s, she moves her hand down, pushing two fingers into Katya, and she gasps. She gently moves her fingers around inside her, until she can feel the soft texture she’s looking for. She pulls her hand back and then pushes back in, hitting that spot right away, and Katya’s hand grasps Trixie’s bicep. 

Not sure if it’s meant to stop her, Trixie stills her hand and asks, “Okay?”

“Yessss,” is all Katya hisses, and Trixie starts fucking her again. It doesn’t take long until she whispers “Close,” and Trixie speeds up her fingers. She has to roll onto her side a little to use her other hand as well. She sticks her fingers into her own mouth first, getting them wet, and then puts them left and right of Katya’s clit, moving her hand up and down in time with her fingers inside Katya. She can feel her contracting around her hand before Katya opens her mouth wide, no sound leaving it, and she keeps working her through it, until Katya with her voice shaking asks her to stop.

They lie next to each other and just breathe for what could be a minute or an hour, Trixie doesn’t know and she doesn’t care. Then she looks down her own body and giggles.

“What? What? What.” Katya looks at her questioningly out of the corner of her eye.

“Look at us!” There’s lipstick smeared everywhere, not just on Trixie, but on Katya as well, and on the sheets they’re lying on. Katya starts giggling too and then captures Trixie’s lips in a kiss. 

Katya lets Trixie have the bathroom first, and she washes the lipstick off her skin with Katya’s shower gel. Her braids are falling apart, so she takes them out and washes her hair with Katya’s shampoo. When she comes out, her body wrapped in one towel, her hair in another, Katya is sitting on the bed cross-legged and still nude, looking at one of their polaroids, the others lying in a small pile beside her. 

“Ooh, can I see now?” 

Katya looks up at her with a big smile. “Of course!”

Trixie joins her on the bed, picking one at random from the pile. It’s the inside of her knee, in the background the folds of her stomach clearly visible. To her surprise Trixie finds it beautiful. The stark shadows and desaturated colors make it look not like the countless nudes Trixie has tried to take in her own bed and immediately deleted again, because she just looked like a burst sausage. This looks delicate and cherished, with the shape of Katya’s lips printed on her skin.

“Wow, art!”

Katya grins at her. She holds the one in her hands out to Trixie. “I think this one’s my favorite.”

It’s the first one they took, the lipstick leaving a trail from her mouth down to her neck. There’s only a hint of her breasts in it, and most of her face isn’t visible either, but she’s laughing in it, and there’s an intimacy visible that Trixie finds hard to believe even though she’s living it right now. She looks at Katya and there’s a pressure building in her chest that’s new but not unpleasant.

“Can you believe how much has changed in one day?”

The question takes Katya by surprise. “Jesus, it’s really only been a day. It doesn’t feel like it.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Trixie agrees.

After Katya showers as well, they return to the sofa, Trixie in her dress and nothing else and Katya in a t-shirt and yoga pants. Katya brushes Trixie’s hair for her and then braids it with nimble fingers, just one thick braid down her back this time. They order pizza and put the TV on, neither paying attention to the screen, too caught up in each other. They sit at opposite ends of the couch with their legs tangled in between them, so they can face each other.

Trixie thinks that the last five months may have been unnecessary and a bit stupid, but that they’ve definitely been worth it, just for today. She’s positive this is not just today, though. Katya has already said she wants to come to the open mic night next week. That’s a pretty couple-y thing to do. It’s too early to say that about them, but Trixie isn’t in a hurry. For now, this is nice, and it’s enough.

She can hear her phone buzz in her bag, that she earlier discarded resting against one leg of the couch table, and she leans down, pulling it out. Trixie loudly snorts at the message. Katya looks at her with raised eyebrows, so she turns her phone around to show her.

Pearl

wyd

She has added the eyes emoji three times, destroying her chill facade. With a grin Trixie gets up and picks up the polaroid with her laughing, lipstick-smeared mouth in it. She snaps a photo of it with her phone. It’s not great, but it’s good enough to do what Trixie wants it to do. She rejoins Katya on the sofa, this time settling with her back against Katya’s front, and she looks over Trixie’s shoulder as she sends the photo to Pearl and then types out her reply.

Trixie

We’re making art, baby!