Re: Live and Breathe: Derek and Marta
Marta had conquered the sharp angles of winged eyeliner back during the days she danced onstage. Waterproof points and smudge-proof mascara and lips colored dark and glossy. It was a look she'd kept for a while, and one she'd returned to several times, but she knew that (even if it shouldn't), it sometimes made people look at her differently. It made more sense to her at the moment to stay with something softer. Just enough to cover the scars and imperfections and marks and flaws...
Derek's arms went around her in a careful sort of ring, a gentle hold, and Marta had to take a deeper breath in order to calm the way her heart quick-beat a few times. Being close to someone was okay - even if she had to keep telling herself that. But after that first moment, she was able to exhale and let some of the tension flow out with it. she didn't sag into the embrace (not quite, at least), but she did allow herself a subtle lean toward the warmth of the other woman's arms and a slightly hesitant hand to raise enough to place palm to back with only enough pressure to transfer a hint of warmth.
The guidance was easy to follow, even though she knew her own way around the place. She let herself be led to the break room, and didn't give so much as a hint of trying to shrug away from the arm around her shoulders. If prompted, she would admit that it surprised her to be told that she could leave her shoes off. In Derek's presence (even just in the general sense provided by the building around them), she always felt the need to look as put-together as possible. And the heels she had in her bag, originally provided to her shortly after she started to work for Derek, were at least supportive and somewhat comfortable. Nothing at all like wearing acrylic platform heels on stage.
And it was strange to see Derek kick off her own shoes. Marta looked down at the woman's bare feet and then at her own sneakers. Even without the heels, Derek was still taller than Marta. But something about going barefoot was strangely vulnerable, and to see Derek padding across the floor with bare soles made her want to shift her eyes away. She opened her mouth to say something that she hadn't planned, and ended up closing it again without finding any words to offer. Instead, she nodded - but kept her own shoes on for the moment.