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Girls' Night Out
I caught a whiff of familiar perfume on Friday afternoon as I walked back to my flat from the station. I breathed it in and allowed it to tease the memory from my mind, calling me to go back to that place where we were. "Nina" I whispered back to it.
Before it all, Chianti was just a wine and Chopin was only music. Candlelight and soft lighting were associated with relaxing evenings spent on my own in meditation. Now they are all bound together along with that mesmerising scent and they all mean only one thing to me Nina.
I remember how we got onto the topic we were in the restaurant discussing new experiences, careers, moving to America and then I found myself apologising for the things I had said to her at the party while I was drunk.
"You probably think I am so weird," I say, looking at my fettuccini in sun dried tomato and not at her. "I mean, I didn't intend to come onto you like that."
"I must admit I was flattered," she says, "But it's okay I understand you weren't being yourself."
I blush. Relief. I look up at her and she is taking a sip of the Chianti. Then I ask what I have wanted to ask since that moment when I realised I felt more than friendship towards her. "So, have you ever thought about it?"
"What?" she says, her green eyes wide, searching. Then comprehension. "With you?"
"I mean," I stumble here, recover quickly, "With another woman." God! It must be the wine that's got me saying this.
The conversation takes a turn and we go down a road we never would have thought of travelling before. "I always found you attractive," one of us says. "I had a secret crush on you when we were in France," says the other. We whisper, but I think that the people next to us heard anyway. The restaurant suddenly feels too small, the tables too close together. We have our heads bowed towards each other, talking as though we were spies.
"Could I get you some dessert? Coffee?" We didn't even see the waiter creep up on us. When I look at her, the expression I see on her face is like the one I feel on mine.
"Um… no," she says. "The bill, please."
I go into the ladies room to freshen up. Interesting evening, I think. Bizarre conversation. I emerge from the stall and there she is waiting for me. She crooks her finger, beckons me into the stall behind her and locks the door.
I press her up against the cold wall, kissing her hungrily, aggressively. I pull up her blouse and I brush across her cleavage and along the sides of her breasts. I can feel the firmness through the fabric of her bra. I pull away, her eyes are closed and her dark eyelashes stand out in contrast to her pale skin. Then I am kissing her again, tugging at her skirt, wanting to touch her. I trail my fingers across the lace that covers her, tease her by dipping my finger just inside her panties, but not quite touching where she wants me to. She gasps and moans ever so softly. I kiss her harder to make her quiet, biting her lip and then moving my lips to her neck and I nip her there.
"We'd better go," I whisper, "We can't be in here forever."
"Right," she whispers back and we leave the stall, trying to look nonchalant as we pass two other women standing at the basin.
"Are you still feeling ill?" I ask, maybe a bit too loudly, trying to cover.
"Better get a cab home," she says as we wash up, dry our hands and then leave quickly. I don't dare look over at the other women I am convinced they heard us.
Outside the questions are strange "Who is at your place?"
"No one maybe Christine. What time is Debbie home?"
"Give her a call."
I nod, reach for my mobile phone and punch in my home number my sister is staying in our flat until she gets her own place. My hands feel numb; Nina looks up when I say, "Hi, Debs." I tell her I won't be home until very late. Looks like we'll have to suffer the scrutiny of Nina's flatmate Chris.
She flags a cab down for us on The Strand.
We talk about irrelevant things at the back of the cab. I reach for her hand and hold it in mine. I smile to myself when I realise that I am not wearing the necklace that Neil had given me when he first asked me to move in with him. It's as though I knew. Thank God he's away on business.
I draw lazy circles with my fingertips on her wrist. My touch thrills her she loses her thoughts and stops talking, head resting against the seat. I stop and she continues talking until I touch her again and her voice trails off. I delight in my sweet torture of her, enjoying the expressions that cross over her face each time I touch her wrist or the palm of her hand.
We step into her house, peep into the lounge. Chris is engrossed in something on TV. "Hi Chris," I say.
"Giulia," she says. Didn't even look away from the TV.
Nina locks the door of her room and lights a few candles. She smiles at me shyly and puts on the music. I sit on her bed watching her. I feel so strange. But the sensation quickly drifts away when Nina comes to sit beside me on the bed.
"Chopin," I say, hoping I sound convincingly relaxed. "Beautiful. I always liked classical music. Didn't know you liked…"
"You talk too much," she says, mercifully taking control away from me, and ends my babbling with a kiss that is sweet and tender. I feel myself falling into her, my arms wrapped around her body. My hands work quickly on her blouse, are slowed in a struggle with the hook on her bra and then they are rewarded as I feel her breasts brush my open palms.
I can't believe this is happening, that I am doing this. "You're beautiful," I say to her. "I don't think you realise how beautiful you are."
"You sound like a soap opera," she retorts. I laugh, she does too. Then there is a long silent moment as we look at each other knowing what is going to happen next.
I stand up and undress myself while she watches me. It turns me on to think that she is not seeing me as a friend, but as a lover, as someone who will bring her pleasure. I pull her free from her skirt and remaining underwear and we kiss again, getting tangled with each other.
The candlelight warms her body and I have to kiss her in every place that the soft light touches. She watches as I trace a wet figure of eight around her nipples and down around the sides of her breasts. She sighs softly and I know I am doing something good.
I am hungry for her, and my mouth has a spirit of its own, my tongue guides my lips over every inch of her between her breasts, down her belly to her clitoris - and when she moans, I hear my name, "Giulia," come softly from her mouth. I move my tongue down over her thighs, teasing. "Giulia," she sighs, "Don't stop… don't stop." Her fingers brush lightly through my hair and that lets me know what she wants. I plunge my tongue into her wetness and then gently suck her clitoris.
It happens in slow motion, we move together and become sensual shadows on the wall. We become hands, lips, tongues, thrown against the wall, larger than life. I watch her face while my hands do the work and she moves her hips in rhythm with my own strokes. Her black hair is fanned out against the cover on her narrow bed, her eyes are closed, lips parted only a fraction she is like a vision. She throws her head back, her hair trailing a wave across the covers. Her face fascinates me, how it changes from desire to rapture as she climaxes against my hand.
I brush her fringe from her face. Her skin is soft and warm and I find myself feeling secretly possessive of her. I twist a tuft of her hair around and around my fingers, and I feel somehow changed by what has happened. She looks up at me and I can see that she is tired.
"What about you?" she asks.
"Next time," I say. I inhale her perfume from the cleft between her breasts and nuzzle her neck. Optimistic of me to think there'd be a next time.
We meet for lunch the following day. We're too embarrassed to talk about the night before and I feel lost. My feelings are so confused. I love Neil. I want Nina. Am I gay? Am I straight? I know Nina is definitely straight.
"I like blokes," she says, and that's how we break into the subject. "You and me it was great, but it can't happen again. I value your friendship too much. This would just get in the way. And there's Neil."
I say, "Okay." She looks at me knowingly. "I understand. You're right." I smile. It did happen! I want to say. It did happen and it was special. I want more. I want to be with you again and touch you again. But I say nothing. She shows me photographs from her recent holiday in Italy.
We hug before she leaves, before she gets into the cab to go back to work. I hang onto her for just a moment too long and let go of her reluctantly. She waves from the back of the cab and I go back to my office, feeling lonely, isolated and hurt.
The breeze picked up and the smell of her perfume disappeared with it. I glanced at my watch and walked on, back to my flat. The phone was ringing as I entered and I made a mad dash to get to it before the answering machine did. I picked up the phone, heard her voice and there it all was again, "Nina," I said, thinking of Chianti and Chopin and her perfume.
Girls' Night Out, © 1999 by Giulia Cosentino. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the author.
Copyright © 1996 and on, Erotica Readers Association, Inc.
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