Who: Meg and Tess What: Birthday gift, a taking a chance When: July 4, 2019, mid to late afternoon Where: Meg’s apartment, 109 Liberty Street Rating: Low-Medium Status: Complete
Tess had managed to pull a light-colored sleeveless blouse from the bottom of her dark shirts. Dressing in it and some jeans, she made her way to Meg’s place (studio). With some bottled beverages and an unmarked brown paper bag wrapped box, Tess stopped at the other woman’s door and knocked.
Megan was alight with creativity.
The day had been spent painting; an activity she found herself indulging in probably more often than she would admit to though in her opinion it wasn’t a bad thing at all. It gave something for her hands to do, for her fingers to work through, and kept her emotions in check. Sprawled upon a large canvas were strokes of this and that, nothing formed yet of the illusion she was working toward, then again her paintings always seemed to surprise her.
When the knock came she was up, setting her things down. Dressed in denim shorts and a paint splattered tee shirt she tread barefoot toward the door from her perch.
Not disappointed by the visitor Meg beamed and beckoned Tess into the apartment with a hand. “Oh, what’s that?” She inquired of the paper bag, her grin pulling into a smirk. “Is it Christmas already?”
Sleeping, getting well, and doing some low-impact tidying of Josie’s the past few days, Tess itching to see Meg. The invitation to see her art, take one home, and even be painted. Sounds fascinating and intriguing.
“Hey,” Tess grinned as saw Meg - looking her over but trying not to be obvious about it. Stepping into the other woman’s apartment, she turned at the questions. “It’s for you and no...way too early for Christmas. It’s something I’ve been working to get for a while and it’s for you.”
Her eyebrows arched at the explanation, intrigued. “For me? Aw, that’s so sweet.” Hands would extend for the package and once it had been offered her attention when to it. She carried it into the living room further, setting the package down onto a vacant space. All around the apartment would seem cluttered with various things - half completed projects of varying types were strewn about. “Sorry for the mess,” she breathed, looking over a shoulder at her friend, “I don’t entertain much.”
She waved Tess over and motioned to the couch, “Make yourself comfy.” And then her eyes went back to the package. With eagerness she began to open it, curious as to what the contents were.
“Yes,” Tess grinned and handed the package over to Meg. “And...I also wanted your birthday to be more than Independence Day celebrations.” She stepped further into the living room, turning around to see the various in-progress projects. A soft smile crossed her lips and remained. “It’s okay. I don’t either.”
Focusing her attention, Tess walked over to the couch and sat down - settling the beverages on the floor beside her converse-sheathed feet.
Inside the package were various art supplies - brushes, watercolor set, a variety of soft pastels, and some small cans of various colors of paint. Tess had been collecting these supplies over the last year or two.
She peered down into the package and her heart began to race. The last time someone gave her something it came with a price too large to pay and Megan had accepted it regardless. This felt different though, as if it was without its hidden meanings. “Thank you. Wow, this is...I don’t think I have these things.” Maybe she did, maybe she didn't, but that didn’t matter. It was the thought that counted.
A birthday gift. The only one she had received because Tess was the only one who knew. It wasn’t a fact about herself she offered willingly but then they’d known each other a long time. She told Tess nearly everything.
Moving from the bag she moved to where her friend sat, plopped down next to her, and drew the woman into her arms. Meg buried her face in Tess’ neck and held on to her.
“You’re welcome,” Meg smiled as her eyes squinted. “Good, good. I had hoped I’d figured out some things you may not have. I wasn’t sure if you used some of them.” She liked Meg a lot. And anything that could produce color and gradients of colors - she thought would work well.
Why not celebrate the day the pink-haired woman was born. Tess would be more harsh around the edges without the other woman on this island. It was just that. And she was one to keep birthday dates to herself.
As she was drawn into Meg’s arms, Tess wrapped hers around the other woman. She breathed deeply, tender still, but able to keep that to herself. Her head bowed a little, catching the scent of Meg’s hair and paint. Gently stroking Meg’s back, Tess sighed.
“I’ll use all of them!” She exclaimed, eyes bright as her head lifted up. “Sneaky,” came the reply next coupled with a soft laugh. The gift was thoughtful, realistically speaking.
Those arms, while more tender were no less strong and she appreciated the weight of them.
Head would come to rest on her friend’s shoulder. Her eyes would close and she basked in the presence of her friend for as long as Tess would allow.
“I’m glad.” Tess smiled as she looked into Meg’s eyes. Then she smirked at the ‘sneaky’. The blonde liked the other woman. They had been friends for a while and she was just drawn to her.
It felt good to be embraced, to be hugged. And she wanted to return it in kind.
Tess tilted her head a little to rest her cheek against Meg’s head. She was fine to sit there as long as Meg wanted.
After a few moments, she breathed deeply.
Fingers would curl into Tess’ shirt. She nearly clung to the woman. Meg had been on a rollercoaster of emotions the past couple of weeks and this was so solid. She felt as if she had whiplash. “He left me a letter,” Meg admitted with shame.
She figured they both would know who she was talking about. It stung. He’d used her. She’d trusted him. Ehren. Meg held onto Tess a bit tighter but not enough to aggravate her ribs.
Feeling those fingers curl and the clinging, Tess frowned a little. She brought a hand up to gently rest in her hair as her thumb lightly stroked Meg’s cheek. “Wow...just a letter?” She whispered.
She breathed and continued to stroke the other woman’s cheek. “Such a chickenshit. If I wasn’t two or three ribs down, I’d...” Tess bit her tongue and went silent. It was better to be here for Meg and no going to pick some revenge fights. “I’ve got you,” she breathed as she gently rubbed Meg’s back.
“Yeah. Just a letter.” Water came to her eyes. She really liked Ehren and now it was a ghost, a memory. Her head lifted and she looked at Tess. She felt shame crying in front of her friend. But had she not gotten so far with him before it’d burned out she would have felt different. She was angry, ashamed, sad.
“I don’t know what I did,” came a sniffle. She swallowed and went back to holding on to the other woman. Meg wasn’t one to show much emotion like this, she didn’t like to feel vulnerable.
As Meg lifted her head and looked up at her, Tess saw the tears beginning to form. She loosened her arm’s hold around her but not so to let her go just yet. Gently, she stroked the apple of Meg’s left cheek. The blonde had been through some breakups before the island. Horrible ones that left her a mess. And a few of those times, she didn’t have anyone to confide in.
Emotion bubbled up in Tess’s chest at Meg’s sniffled words. Her hold firmed up to silently remind her friend that she was not alone, she was safe and cared about. “Meg,” Tess replied, the frown evident in her voice. “You didn’t do anything for him to break up with you.”
They hadn’t been official in any sense but she’d given herself to him. That apparently hadn’t meant anything to him. “Sure. Maybe I’m just awful,” she laughed, looking up through puffy eyes at her friend.
The end of her nose pressed against Tess’ cheek. She was so glad to have her friend there. “We should beat him up.” She teased, giggling. She wouldn’t do that, but she felt like doing it.
Tess wrinkled her nose at Meg’s self-deprecating piece of humor. “Pffft,” she blew a small raspberry.
At the end of Meg’s nose pressing against her cheek, Tess breathed and smiled as pink reached her cheeks. Ever since they had met, Tess had felt something for Meg - a kinship, an attraction, what-have-you. But she hadn’t been able to cross that threshold to bring action to that/those feelings. Then that giggle. It was music and like a cool rain on a hot summer’s day.
“Nah,” she breathed as she turned her head. The tip of her nose brushed against Meg’s.
Another giggle. The end of her nose wrinkled with amusement. She wouldn’t really hurt anyone that wasn’t threatening her life, but the want to do that was strong. But she was angry, emotional. She would get over it.
As their noses brushed together she found herself feeling better.
“You know you have the prettiest eyes.”
Tess smirked, letting it be her laughter since anything bigger than a snicker or giggle would hurt. She didn’t doubt Meg could hurt anyone or just throw something out of annoyance. But being there for her was going to help that, she was sure.
Her smile deepened along with her blushing as their noses brushed together.
Tess blinked. “Mmm, no I didn’t. And I was going to say the same thing about your eyes.”
Her own cheeks would fill with color. Nearly the same hue as her hair Meg blushed. “You’re sweet. I’m surprised you haven’t been snatched up by now.”
Leaning backward, Meg squinted her eyes playfully without getting too far away. “Why is that?”
Tess saw that change and harmonizing of color. She must have told Meg that she liked her pink hair multiple times. SIx years was a long time not to be snatched up. There were only a one night stand here or there. Nothing serious.
She wondered that herself. Focusing on the playfulness, but also contemplating the first question along with that teetering at the threshold of the new sort of attraction, Tess frowned. “Maybe I haven’t found the right one.” She drew a little of her own lower lip into her mouth and under her upper teeth.
Through lashes she would peer at her friend. Chin would lift slightly. “Maybe.” Megan was too stubborn to give in to her feelings. She’d done that with Ehren and it’d gotten her nowhere. But Tess had always been there for her.
A hand would lift. Fingers would brush blonde hair out of her friends eyes.
Tess resisted finding out about this attraction she had towards Meg. Her friend was still recovering from this horrible breakup. She didn’t want to take advantage of her at such a vulnerable time. Yes, she was always there for her friend.
She breathed softly as Meg brushed the hair out of her eyes. Tess’s fingers moved out of Meg’s hair to cup her cheek as leaned a little closer - noses almost brushing.
Her heart was racing. Was this what she thought it was? Megan swallowed thickly. Had this breakup been what she needed in an effort to see the sun above the horizon?
Her gut was telling her to go for it. She’d been a woman of doing whatever the hell she pleased. And the distance between them was closed. Timidly, Meg leaned in to press her mouth against Tess’.
Tess hadn’t noticed but her heart was racing too. It was that feeling of having your toes over the edge as you stood on a roof at a canyon rim. She didn’t want to be selfish at Meg’s expense. But perhaps today, right now was the time to step across that threshold.
Why was this a slower and more thought out realization than giving a guard a talking to over a bike? Tess was a half-second behind moving as Meg leaned in to press her mouth against hers. A breath softly echoed in her chest as she felt her friend’s lips press against hers. Tess took that leap as she carefully pressed her mouth against Meg’s in return. And it felt right.
Fingers would curl briefly into Tess’ shirt as they kissed, a light reaction of excitement and desperation. She didn’t even realize that soft clenching into fabric. For a long time she’d been without something stable and then of course life had a funny way of throwing curveballs at you when you least expected it.
Eyes would close. Free hand would touch delicately at the curve of Tess’ jaw and Meg continued the connection. She kept it light, not wanting to spook the other woman, basking in the serenity of the moment.
Tess’s heart was fluttering, her arm bracing Meg’s back sliding down to curl firmly around the woman’s waist as they kissed. With Meg’s hand clenching the fabric, she inched closer. When you weren’t looking for love or a possible connection, you find it at the strangest time and with someone you may not have expected.
Tess felt that electricity sort of energy - anxious and new. But she closed her eyes and continued to gently kiss Meg in return. There was that peace resting over the excitement and newness. Damn, she wanted more but didn’t want to freak her out. Her fingers slipped back into Meg’s hair, her thumb stroking her cheek.
She felt herself being drawn in closer, obliging that gentle grasp without a shred of hesitation. Had those thoughts been echoed she would have agreed - Meg hadn’t been looking to get involved in anything so soon after the escapade with Ehren but here she was locked at the mouth with her friend.
Meg did her best to keep things light even though part of her wanted to throw all caution to the wind. The rational part of her brain reminded her that that was exactly how she had ended up with a typed up breakup letter and nothing to show for it.
Finally she severed the kiss. Her lungs burned, but she leaned back only enough to catch a few inhales of oxygen. She didn’t move otherwise, staying in the realm of Tess’ comforting presence.
Tess rarely used her telepathic ability beyond reading if a bar patron was lying. Right now her restraint was loosening. She was prepared to be rejected, ready to just let this amazing experience end right here. Yet she continued to kiss Meg.
Gently, don’t go too strong. Tess silently told herself despite wanting to let her attraction drive her. But she hesitated, not wanting to hurt her.
As their lips parted, Tess breathed and inadvertently spoke into Meg’s mind. ’Wow…’ Blinking, she grimaced. “Sorry…” she softly gasped.
At hearing the voice in her head Meg’s eyebrows arched a bit in surprise. She knew Tess had telepathy; Meg never worried about what anyone might catch her thinking or Tess would not have been allowed into her apartment, much less her circle of friends. But over the years she had come to appreciate the struggle that could come from having mental abilities. That seemed a challenge like anything else and while she didn’t know just what that was like, at least they were honest with each other.
A bit of a laugh escaped her, the end of her nose crinkled with amusement. “Getting your mind read by the girl of your dreams has to be like getting your palm read and your fortune told, right?” Another soft laugh.
It was a relief to be herself around Tess, to be comfortable and relaxed. She didn’t have to worry about anxiety or saying something and have it be misinterpreted.
“I did promise to paint you, by the way. But if you wanna rain check that we can always come back to it. I sort of don’t want to move,” she admitted, color flooding her cheeks.
With her friends, Tess usually asked before slipping into their minds. But sometimes she did without asking if there was a definite concern for them. It had been a challenge, a struggle the first year or so after she began to hear people’s thoughts all at the same time. But soon she developed control. Yes, they were honest with each other. Tess cherished her friends, especially those she had made on the island.
Laughing and blushing, Tess shook her head. “Maybe.” She winked.
There was no worries or need to be afraid. Tess was safe and they knew each other pretty well for the most part.
“Rain check, definitely,” she breathed and smiled. “I don’t want to move either.” Tess gently brushed her thumb over Meg’s cheek. Color grew brighter in her cheeks as she bowed her head a little. “To be honest, I’ve been waiting to kiss you for a while.”
A bit of shock would come from the admission but she’d been sensing that, too. Her smile eased into one of warmth and playfulness. “I kinda wanted to kiss you too. Is that weird?” She’d had a girlfriend years back, before all of this craziness happened and while Meg still had a place in her heart for that woman she didn’t find anyone she felt was suitable for that role until she met Tess. But how did you tell a friend that you might have feelings for them?
At first she had hoped to just be able to leave the island as soon as possible, get back to her life beforehand.
But that never happened. And now here she was opening up about things to her friend who seemed to have mutual interest.
Leaning into Tess’ fingers Meg stayed as close as she could to the other woman.
Shocking enough, Meg was the first woman Tess had ever kissed or been kissed by. Maybe she had missed the signals in her life before this island or perhaps she was just too busy to really notice. She frowned, puckering up her lower lip out of jest, “Nope, not weird at all. Really, look at us.” She smirked. It wasn’t often she was confronted by feelings for a friend after kissing said friend.
Becoming settled and resigned to being on the island, Tess had decided to live as much of the life she wanted on the island aside from leaving. But then she made friends. And now she had kissed the friend she had felt the closest before today.
Tess leaned in and brushed her cheek against Meg’s other cheek and breathed, caressing her friend’s face. Then she turned her head and pressed a kiss to the other woman’s cheek just shy of her ear.
She smiled, nodding. “Look at us.” A soft breath would be exhaled and she felt content. It wasn’t like she went around trying to have things with all of her friends, honestly she hadn’t entertained the idea of being in a relationship for a long time. And now she felt as if she were bouncing around more than she should.
Those lips against the sensitive skin just before her ear caused her to quiver a bit.
Her head would turn, and lips would catch skin gently.
Tess had always kept herself going with having a small group of friends. Yet now this step, this leap taken at the moment, she was happy, excited, and nervous all at the same time. She hadn’t been in a relationship on the island. Being casual had been her thing.
Her hand caressing Meg’s face stilled as she though she felt a quiver.
But once her friend turned her head and kissed her cheek, Tess smiled. “Am I kissing you too much?” She asked - equal parts sarcasm and sincerity.
Meg shook her head at the question. “Nope. Honestly, I’m trying to control myself.” Maybe she didn’t need to tell Tess that but it was the truth. Another kiss went to a cheek, the end of her nose pushed into the skin and she nuzzled gently.
Her grip on the other woman would lessen but not for any negative reason.
“I could stay here all day.”
Tess smiled softly at Meg’s answer. “Me too.” She preferred the other person voice their answers, desires at this early point when a friendship ventured into physical territory. Breathing softly, she could be fine with the soft and gentle kisses and touches. At the nuzzling, Tess slowly stroked the other woman’s side.
“I could too.”
She slowly turned her head to catch Meg’s eyes before capturing Meg’s lips with her own. Tess kissed her slowly, chastely for now and soon released it - her eyes half-closed.
Her own eyes fluttered closed. Lips would move gently, tenderly against Tess’, unable to help but drown in the connection. Hands would find their way into hair, lithe digits curling into the short blonde strands. She made herself be careful with her friend considering the still healing ribs upon the woman’s side.
The tip of her tongue would peek out and graze along Tess’ lip in a teasing manner. She couldn’t help herself, not when she was tangled up so deliciously like that.
Feeling so comfortable with Meg, Tess almost couldn’t believe they were sitting on a couch in each other’s arms kissing. The care and gentle way had no competitive force. For a first kissing session, it was almost dreamlike to her. She resisting pushing too hard, kissing too forcefully.
A smile tugged at the corners of her lips at Meg’s tongue teasing at her lip. Tess sighed and rested her forehead against Meg’s. Her ribs were beginning to ache as he leaned against her friend.
“You doing okay?” she whispered as she combed her fingers through Meg’s pink hair.
As the kiss began to ease back into an ebb Meg’s eyes fluttered open. Her forehead would press lightly upon her friend’s and she would look up and into the other woman’s eyes. “Great, actually,” she admitted. Lips twisted into a smile, “You? Ribs okay?” The last thing she wanted was any discomfort for her friend. If they needed to take a literal breather she was fine with that.
“I can get you a drink or something? Make you a cake?” She teased.
“Good,” she smiled. “I’m okay. A little achy, but I’m good.” Tess spoke honestly. No need to lie. She didn’t want to leave the couch. The attraction and hunger to get a little more physical was still lightly simmering within her. If only she wasn’t still recovering. She thought more of Meg and her recent breakup. No need having her fall into another relationship if she didn’t want.
Considering Tess’ words Megan nodded. “I’m glad you’re good. Why don’t we take things easy for now, and maybe you’ll let me take you out some time? On a real date or something, yeah?” Chewing at her lip she hoped that she wasn’t overstepping though the way that kiss was going she doubted that the comment would be taken badly.
There would be time for physical later. She wanted to make sure not to botch this one up the way she’d somehow managed to ruin things with Ehren. Meg had liked him a lot and she still didn’t quite understand what had happened.
“Okay,” Tess nodded. “Sounds good as long as I can kiss you at the end of that date or something.” It was good that Meg was offering to take her out. Taking things easy sounded like a good idea. She had about three weeks or so before she thought her ribs would be close to completely healed. Because their kissing was going to wind her up.
She’d go as slow as possible to help prevent Meg getting hurt like she did with this typed-letter dear John jerk.
“I brought some drinks...just some sugary stuff - cherry limeades,” Tess motioned down beside the couch.
Her smile brightened at the acceptance of the offer. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a real relationship,” she admitted, not wanting Tess to think she was in this for the wrong reasons. “The last girl I dated I haven’t seen in a very long time, so there is no worry of her showing up here. She isn’t like us.” Or wasn’t when Meg developed her abilities.
“And I’d like it if you did.” Her cheeks would redden. The idea of a kiss at the end of a date was refreshing. It was almost like a fairytale.
Her eyes would cast down to the bag and Meg pulled away long enough to grab two from the sack. The tops would be popped and she offered one to Tess. Her own was held up in a mock toast, “To the future.”
“Me too,” Tess grinned. She hoped Meg wasn’t still so upset that this was only going to be a rebound. “Good, good that she’s not going to show up here. To add to your smile, I confess that you are first girl I’ve kissed.”
“Good,” she blushed. The blonde woman loved a good fairytale, a movie where things happened despite the odds.
Letting her arms fall to her side, she watched Meg grab the bottles, pop the tops, and hand one to her. Taking hers, she smirked. “To the future.” She raised hers, a little slower than Meg to allow for achy ribs, and tapped her bottle against her friend’s.
This wasn’t going to be a rebound. She was determined to make it not have such a connotation on it. Genuinely she liked Tess, she wanted to do right by her. It was the same trait she’d extended to Ehren and he’d taken it out of context. The future was fluid, it always changed, it was never set in stone.
She was game for a fairytale. At least that way she could claim to be happy with who she was.
Their bottles clattered together gently as they toasted, and she took a sip, eyes fluttering over toward her friend.
Tess had a mild crush on Meg for the last three years, not too sure how to pursue it or that leap was scary even for her. She promised herself that she would treat Meg right. She would be honest with her from the beginning of this. And yet she hoped to be ready for whatever the future sent their way.
Pulling her bottle back, she sipped and smiled over at Meg. Every time she looked at her, a soft swell of happiness rose in her chest - what a beautiful, kind, and brilliant woman and friend.
“To our ‘once upon a time’,” she whispered as she reached out her hand palm up.
A high five now? Meg nearly laughed, lifting her hand to press lightly upon Tess’ outstretched one. “To once upon a time with a total princess.”
She took a drink from her bottle and smiled at Tess.
Tess laughed and shook her head as Meg lightly pressed her hand upon her outstretched one. Gently she laced her fingers between Meg’s and brought her hand down between them.
“And for with a faerie queen. Happy birthday.”
Fingers would fall in between Tess’ and Meg beamed. Gently she would squeeze the lithe digits, endured by the compliment. Once upon a time she would have been brazen about her confidence and the comment wouldn’t have mattered as much, but now it was different. “To the best birthday yet,” she added, emitting a soft laugh.