Everywhere the Light Touches

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The water parts with a light splash as my leg dips beneath the surface. Nicole’s eyes open in surprise, wide and brown behind the curves of her eyelashes. I kick the side of her arm gently, the water in the tub swaying from side to side as I do so.

“Scooch over,” I say, crawling over the edge of the tub. I can see that Nicole’s sad again; she hasn’t been crying, because the tell-tale red isn’t around the edges of her eyes, but I can tell she’s been wanting to. It’s in how quickly her brown eyes blink as they focus on me, the slight lines near their corners, the ever so slight tiredness to their cast. Her face softens as she realizes that it’s me. The light of the paneled-glass windows spills over the white linoleum of the bathtub and the pulled-back brown of her hair.

“What the hell are you doing?” She asks, the laughter in her voice immediately easing the sadness in her face. It’s still there, but further away.

“Scooch!” I repeat, and she slides sideways as I step into the tub beside her. My bare legs squeak on the wet linoleum as I slip beneath the water. One of her hands reaches out and steadies my elbow as I join her. A grey tee-shirt clings to my body, sticking to me beneath the line of the water and dry above it; a strange sensation. My shorts–which are really just high-topped underwear I use as pajamas, soak through immediately. Tucking one arm behind her, around her shoulders, I pull Nicole against me for a moment.

“Sucks, huh?” I press my cheek into the top of her hair as she leans her head against my shoulder.

“I mean–” she hesitates, drawing a deep breath and letting it out slowly, “You know what? Yeah–yeah, it sucks. It really, really sucks.”

“Break-ups,” I shake my head against the top of hers, which is really just a rolling of my cheek over her damp hair. It’s a gesture of sympathy.

“You know what the worst part is?” She asks, raising her head slightly and turning to face me. The movement brings the small flecks of gold out in her otherwise brown eyes, “I didn’t even really want to be dating him.” She must see something in my eyes, then, because she squints at me, “No–really. I’ve been thinking about ending things for weeks. I don’t care that we broke up. I care that he broke up with me. I mean–come on!”

“Idiot,” I give her a small, sympathetic smile. It’s easy, to smile like that, because I mean it. Her boyfriend was an idiot; in pretty much every way, but mainly because only an idiot would give up Nicole.

Admittedly, I’m a little bit biased. I’ve had a crush on Nicole ever since we met in second-year music studies at University of Toronto. I’d never told her; maybe she’d felt the occasional moment, while we lived together. My stare lingering a little bit too long during a pause in the movie, how I didn’t breathe quite right when I lay on the couch and watched her dance to violin music in the living-room, how I stood a little bit closer than was maybe necessary on the elevator ride up to our apartment. But I’d been good. If we’d shared that occasional glance, it hadn’t gone beyond that. If I’d wanted to brush my fingers against hers when we shared a bowl of popcorn during movie nights; well, you can’t judge a person by what they want to do. If there was the occasional night that I’d thought about creeping out of my bedroom and ghosting through the door of hers, if I’d thought maybe one too many times what might follow that–I can at least pretend it was decency, and not cowardice, that stopped me.

“Idiot,” Nicole agreed, laying her head back down on my shoulder. She raised it again, about an inch, immediately. One hand came out of the water, plucking at the fabric of my tee-shirt just beneath my shoulder, “Speaking of–what is this?”

“A shirt.”

“Why are you wearing it in the bathtub?”

“I figured it would be… decent.”

Her glance is telling; slightly teasing, slightly charmed. When the white light of the room touches the brown of her eyes, I find myself held captive by them. I have to stop myself from pulling one of my hands out of the water and running a finger along her cheek. My palms tingle slightly with the impulse.

“Take it off.”

“Pardon me?”

Her stare becomes slightly more focused. She leans another inch away, so that her eyes can focus on mine. When Nicole gets her mind set on something, her face goes hilariously stubborn–like it is at the moment. As she moves against the back of the tub, one of her legs slides over mine. I can feel the back of her heel against the top of my ankles; but whether it’s intentional or just a happenstance of the movement, I don’t know. She plucks at the fabric one more time, just where my shirt meets the water.

“Oh, come on. How many times have we seen one another half naked? Besides–” she slides around the tub, her legs leaving mine and her knees drawing up in front of her. We now sit on opposite ends of the tub, facing one another. Her hands splash quietly as they leave the water, flinging droplets of water against the surface as she gestures with open fingers, one on either side of her body, “it’s only fair.”

“Alright, alright.” I reach up to where my curly hair falls around the back of my neck. It takes me a moment to bring it together in a loose bun, using a loose strand to wrap the bottom and hold it in place. It’s a technique that my older sister taught me when bursa eskort bayan I was young–the ability to make a bun without elastics or bobby pins, though it didn’t hold nearly as well. Dropping my hands, I pull the wet bottom of my shirt up above the water and over my head. It makes a quiet slap against the linoleum floor as I drop it beside the tub. I can’t tell whether it’s my imagination or not, the moment before Nicole’s eyes close and her head turns back over the edge of the tub, whether they glance downward. Her arms stretch over the white curve of the tub lip, her legs easing down so that they’re laying beside mine. I can feel her right ankle pressed to my left thigh.

Before I can think better of it, I reach down and take hold of her closest foot. It pulls back slightly in surprise, but I draw it into my lap, so that her heel is against my stomach and her toes are just above the water line. Her head comes up from the back of the tub, brown eyes blinking at me.


“Sshh,” I shush her, “Relax. Lay back. I know what I’m doing.”

Her head does indeed fall back, as both of my hands go around her foot. My thumbs press into the soft skin of her sole, moving in the opposite direction of my fingers against the back of her foot; pulling upward and then smoothing back down. She exhales deeply, sinking a couple of inches lower into the water. Her eyes are closed, her mouth loose; not quite open anywhere except in the very middle, but I think I can see a smile in the corners. Not a full smile; but like the reflection of one in rippling water. My hands continue to work, almost mindlessly, easing the tension out of her foot. Once again, I can’t tell whether it’s my imagination playing tricks on me, or whether her breathing is just a little bit quicker than it was a moment previously. As I lower the foot back beneath the water, I’m very conscious that I’ve placed it on the other side of my body, so that her legs are open across mine. Reaching down, I take hold of her other foot and begin to repeat the motion. I work slowly, unhurried. I’m not watching what my thumbs are doing; I’m too caught up staring at her–how the light from the misted glass of the windows plays over the soft curves of her cheeks, how each breath swells her chest and brings the top of her breasts above the water, how her fingers hang in the empty air on one side of the bathtub and lay against the shelf on the other. In my hands, her foot flexes against my thumbs and then relaxes once more.

“You–” she exhales, opening her eyes and blinking twice, quickly, to bring them back into focus on mine, “need to be careful.”

“Do I?” I smooth my thumb under her toes, running my fingers up the side of her foot. Incredibly, this sends a shiver through her body. I can feel it in my hands, and see it in the water around her chest.

“Yes,” she laughs through her nose, “definitely. I have a…” her eyes close again; she’s not blushing, but I can read a bit of embarrassment in the turned-up corners of her lips, “a thing about my feet.”

“A bad thing?” My fingers pause their rubbing, hesitating, “Should I stop?”

“No,” she eases down further in the water, her leg stretching up my stomach and bringing my hands up nearly between my breasts as they follow it. She shakes her head, ever so slightly, “No. A good thing. A very good thing. And one that’s gone untended for…” she breathes out through slightly parted lips, “a long time.”

“What? Nick wouldn’t do this for you?”

I know it’s a mistake, the moment that the words are out of my mouth. As soon as the name leaves my lips. Too late to do anything about them. A mistake, to mention his name here, now, during this. My heart clenches tight in my chest as her eyes open, staring at the ceiling for a moment and then dropping to meet mine. She sucks her bottom lip into her mouth; if her eyes had been less bright, less clear, I would have thought she was fighting not to cry. But they were–and she wasn’t. She was just thinking. Slowly, she shook her head. I almost felt my chest collapse with relief. I hadn’t ruined the moment.

“No,” she sighed, “He said it was weird. Maybe it is… I don’t know.”

“It’s not,” I said, maybe a little bit too quickly. I keep going, just so that the silence doesn’t seem awkward, “I mean, it’s not my thing, but I totally get it. You’ve got cute feet.”

Cute feet? I want to slide under the water and scream, or drown–Cute feet? How stupid–? Just as I’m considering doing one or both of those things, my thumbs pushing a bit harder into her soles, Nicole giggles. The sound is nearly enough to make me light-headed. I’ve heard her laugh, plenty of times; with her friends, with Nick, with me; but it’s never been that sound. When Nicole laughs, it’s a full-bodied peal of noise. I’ve never even considered the fact that she might have another, more private laugh. Not until I hear the sound leave her closed lips. The sound seems to tremble, in the otherwise still, slightly steamy air of the bathroom. If she’s aware of the effect that the sound has on me, she gives no indication of it. She just lays back, tucking her hands behind her neck as my fingers continue their movement. As my left thumb reaches her toe, I let it continue pushing upward, holding it in place with my fingers. Only because I’m concentrating so hard on each action do bursa merkez escort I feel the almost imperceptible tightening of her toes, the slightly sharper inhale of breath that lifts her chest just a fraction higher than the others. Drawing both thumbs down the side of her foot, I repeat the motion as they come back up. It’s not my imagination, this time. Even I can tell that much.

“You can stop,” Nicole breathes out, easing her foot away from my stomach, “if it’s not your thing. I don’t want–“

She stops, as I gently pull her leg straight once more. My fingers glide against the skin on the back of it; from the base of her toes nearly to her ankle and back again, slowly. Her eyes open, and I can feel the moment begin as they come to rest against mine; one of many, gone unanswered. It’s mesmerizing. She’s mesmerizing. In the silence after her voice, I almost feel as if we’re caught together in a trance. Our silence holds the airless pause of a question, and the sanctity of a prayer. If there were ever a moment to be uncertain, this was it–right now, while we’re both balanced on the edge between breathing and breathlessness. Strangely, this is the most certain I’ve felt. Her hands haven’t moved, but it’s almost as if she’s reached out; asking me to take them in my own.

Instead, I cup my right hand around the bottom of her heel. The other rests against the back of her foot. Pushing up, I gently lift her foot to my lips. I can see the ever so slightly widening of her eyes, white showing around the brown as my tongue touches the bottom of her toe. I lick upward slowly, stopping only when the tip of my tongue is balanced against the very top edge, just beneath her nail. Her breathing falters. Her arms pulling away from the sides of the tub and crossing over her eyes in a way that squishes her nose and pulls her breasts together above the water.

It’s only then that it strikes me that I’ve taken a terrible risk–and won; and it hadn’t frightened me, until I was certain of my winning. My mouth closed around her toe, my tongue stroking over the bottom curve, and I watched Nicole’s body go loose beneath the water. Her arms, still crossed, pull back from the top of her face over her hair. I can see the small, pushed-in indents in the skin of her arms and shoulders where her fingers curl into them. Releasing her toe, I lift her foot and lower my face; my tongue traces a slow line against her already-wet skin, from her heel all the way to where her toes meet her sole. As I begin to take her toes into my mouth, one at a time, she pants. Her chest heaves as she breathes; not actually raising her breasts, but pushing them upward from her diaphragm. The sound of her breathing starts low, but grows higher with each inhale and exhale; like somebody walking up a flight of stairs. The sound is pornographic–in a way that actually pornography strives, and most often fails, to be. It’s obscene, and breathless, and irresistibly erotic.

“Stop–” the sound is a gasp, the same quality as the breath that precedes it, and the one that follows.

It’s enough to still me, immediately. Easing her toe out of my mouth, away from my tongue, I slowly fold it back down beneath the water. For one moment, we sit completely still. Was I wrong? Maybe I haven’t won–yet. Maybe I’d been completely out of line… Beneath the water, her legs lay open on either side of mine. The side of her feet press against my hips, and it’s only then that I’m made aware of the fact that I’m still wearing my pajama shorts. I’m caught–part of me fighting the idea of doing anything to break the heady, almost delirious silence between us, and the other which feels the need to apologize. After all, she wouldn’t have told me to stop if she didn’t–

The thought is pushed away, with the same gesture that Nicole makes to move herself from the back of the bathtub. The water rocks toward me, splashing around the bottom of my chest; I’m not sure whether it’s the water that brings her body to mine, or her body that brings the water. But suddenly she’s on top of me. Her knees braced against the side of the bathtub still straddling my legs, the bottom of her chest pressed to the top of mine, her fingers in my already held-up hair. Her open lips close enough that they’re nearly brushing against mine, her breathing a tremble from behind them.

“Nicole, I’m–“

“Don’t,” she breathes the word out, into my mouth. Two fingers stroke a couple of loose hairs back, behind my ear, “you apologize too much. You’ve always apologized too much.” And before I have a chance to think about those words, her lips touch mine. It starts slow, but quickly changes. Both of our breathing comes through our noses as our tongues explore one another; tentatively, at first, and then with growing impetuosity. The heat of her mouth is almost unbearable; the softness of the lips that touch mine, the somehow deeper warmth of her tongue. I slide a hand down her water-slick skin, around one side of her body, down to the hollow between hipbone and stomach. I’m not thinking about it–drawn there only by the rise in her breathing that the movement of my hand brings about. Only the more desperate hunger of her mouth against mine; the sound of her consent in the low whine that reverberates through my mouth from hers.

My fingers brush between her legs, bursa sınırsız escort bayan beneath the water. I can feel the motion of her body, against mine; bending ever so slightly away from me, and then toward me. Water splashes around the smooth walls of the tub as it oscillates with the motion. A moment earlier, it had been her legs which had been holding mine against the bottom of the tub. Now it’s mine that are holding hers open. Our mouths break apart, just enough space for the gasp to escape them as my first finger curls inside of her. I think the sound comes from her, but I can’t be certain. The water from the bathtub creates some friction, but I realize then that she’s wet enough for it to work anyways; I feel a sudden relief for something I hadn’t even considered, beforehand.

Pulling her neck back, gently, with one hand, I lower my mouth against her breast. She draws air sharply, rocking her hips in a way that makes me hold my hand still between her legs; my tongue playing around her nipple, feeling rather than seeing her fuck herself against my finger and the top of my knuckles.

She slips–squeaks, winces as she pulls upward. I pull my hand out from beneath her legs immediately, feeling her left leg slide against the slick bottom of the tub. The motion is only arrested by my arm, dropping from around her neck and against her back in the space of a heartbeat. A bit of air is forced from Nicole’s lungs as I clutch her against me.

“Ow,” the word is slightly drawn out. Her face is pinched, but her voice holds a trace of chagrinned amusement, “I think I got a little… carried away.”

I laugh in answer, pressing a quick kiss against her lips and touching the side of my nose to hers. We sit like that for a moment, our bodies pressed together in the cool water. Then I let my hand fall further, giving a quick upward press against the bottom of her bum.

“Sit up.”

She moves out of my arms as I pull myself up, using my arms and my sliding feet, to the side of the tub. The small connected linoleum counter is cool, even through my shorts, as I seat myself on it. Nicole follows a moment later, crawling into my lap. She sits sideways, her legs draped over mine so that only our feet remain in the water, her cheek resting against my shoulder and her back supported by the curve of my arm, leaving the other one free.

“You’re beautiful,” I smile over her as I smooth a couple of wet hairs away from her forehead. She blushes, tucking her head down against my shoulder–as if there was ever any question about that. Then, touching my hand slightly more insistently to her cheek, I bring her eyes up to meet mine, “I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

“Perfect,” she answers back, revealing a row of bright white teeth from behind the pink of her lips in a smile. I can’t tell whether it’s the compliment, or the apology, that makes her smile. “Absolutely–perfect. I just slipped.” I can tell by the tone of her voice that she’s not only talking about the accidental slide a moment earlier. One of her hands reaches out, taking my free one around the wrist and guiding it between her legs. “You could, like… keep going?”

Without further prompting, I touch two fingers against the bottom of her labia and draw them up, slowly, to the top. Her breathing dissolves against my chest, the sound wet and unapologetically, shamelessly aroused against my still-damp skin. Curling my fingers, I push them inside of her; first one, and then the other. They enter easily enough, and then stop when her muscles squeeze around them. The palm of my hand rubs against her clit, moving my wrist rather than my fingers as I enter her. Her breath falters, and then continues. I can feel the sound of it, the warmth against my left breast, drawing me onward. Then her mouth reaches upward, leaving my chest and grasping my neck. A tight suction, and then the loose exhale of breath.

“Like you mean it, Chambers.” Her voice is breathless. I don’t know why she’s always used my last name when referring to me, but the way her voice pronounces it makes it irresistible.

My two fingers push slightly deeper, rising slightly at the tip, moving along the top of her passage until the slippery texture changes subtly against their soft pads. Curling my hand slightly, I replace the palm of my hand with my thumb. It teases the stiff rise of her clit. Somehow, she’s even more wet than she’d been beneath the water; it’s a different kind of wetness. The friction gone smooth, my fingers entering more easily than they had before. I pick up the rhythm of my wrist, now extending my fingers ever so slightly with each motion. Her hips give me all the answer I need; pushing the cheeks of her bum down against my thighs and stretching forward with her pelvis. Her mouth clambers against the flushed skin of my neck, breathing through her nose. Each breath is a hot gasp, washing down from the bottom of my ear to my collarbone. Then she stops–stomach tight, only inhaling; until I think that there’s no way so much air can fit inside such a thin body without bursting. I have one moment of worry, when the breathing stops completely. And then she exhales, explosively. Her cry breaks against the skin of my neck, matched by the thrusting of her hips against my still-moving hand. Her inner walls press tight around my fingers, and I leave them still while I drag my thumb from side to side against her clit. When she bucks, I tighten my arm around her body to hold her in place. Curling her against me. She cries out as she comes–muscles tight everywhere that I touch her, pussy spasming; it’s as if the sound is inaudible, heard only as an outburst of heat from between both of her lips.

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