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Crushed Red Velvet

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She's never been quite comfortable dressed like this, sundresses had been a stretch, even as a child. It's not the frills or the constricted movement that bothers her, despite her inevitably aching feet, even dress pants make her itch. She's not a total fashion idiot. She does like to look nice from time to time, shed the Carhartt, the work boots, the plaid, and the down vests and watch that contented smile play over her lips in the mirror. She looks so much like her mother when she lets her hair down, lets her guard down. It's not the clothes, or the feeling of eyes that never seem to stop fluttering across her skin. It's the expectations, the sudden shift in social etiquette that have always had her burying anything resembling proper dress clothes in the back of her closet. Losing the t-shirt and the jeans meant that suddenly she's a woman looking for a husband, she's something to be whistled at, cat called. Suddenly her "tomboy antics" aren't growing pains to be tolerated, but unsightly errors in judgment meant to be ignored.

It's not the same with Magnus. There aren't these expectations, responsibilities but there are others. The silk sheets that feel so amazing against her bare skin mean letting go of her own expectations. Magnus isn't here to coddle her, she isn't meant to be spoiled. Magnus' preferences tend toward the more expensive things in life and Krista's had to learn to accept that. Silk sheets don't mean breakfast in bed, they don't mean the phone won't ring interrupting them, and they certainly don't mean Krista was going to be allowed anywhere near the bed. She's had to learn that crushed red velvet did indeed exist, that it may mean rich moist cake, but it also meant heartbreak and loneliness at the most inopportune times and, comfort and solace in even less predictable places. She's had to learn that it meant falling to her knees, face pressed against the cushions, candles burning and confessions both before alters under tall steeples, and on wooden floors gazing up at soft brunette waves and even softer smiles.

She's had to learn to walk in heels, to read the way the floor slips under her feet the same way wind glides under the wings of her plane. It's about avoiding turbulence, avoiding crushed toes and odd looks. She's become accustomed to the quiet rustle of fabric and the tiny metallic swinging of her earrings. The ache from overly starched clothes and stiff hair atop her head become not the things that define her, but the things that make her disappear.

She's not here pretending to play a part that's never quite fit. She's not here to work till her body aches and her fingers are numb from cold. She's here because it's the one place where she can plant her feet on solid ground and know the earth won't shift beneath her. Silk may feel like heaven, and velvet like hell, but this is the one place she feels like she belongs.