Stephen Carroll's original photo found HERE
Pippa steps out of the bathroom after her morning shower, flushed skin still warm from the heat of the water, steam filling the space around her, the sweet scent of citrus in the air. She stops almost immediately, one step, maybe two, out of the bathroom, and a smile pulls at her mouth, her cheeks, a pleasant and familiar rush zipping through her veins and lighting her up from the inside. She still isn’t used to this, to Hecate in her bed, her home, completely bare in every sense of the word, beautifully undone. Hers. She never believed it possible, a dream she shouldn’t have held onto for years—a dream that is now her reality, a love with roots almost as old as she is.
“I can feel you staring.” Hecate’s voice scratches, her back to Pippa. Pippa still knows her frown lines are deep, her mouth pinched into a tight line. She abhors early mornings during summertime.
Pippa smiles wider, traveling along Hecate’s naked back, dipping down to the minute curve of narrow hips that disappear beneath the wrinkled sheet draped over Hecate’s lower half. She licks her lips and leaves her spot in front of the door, trading it for a seat beside Hecate’s head on the side of the mattress, fingers automatically sinking into the wild curls that spread out on the bed and over Hecate’s outstretched arm.
“Good,” she whispers, leaning down, pressing her mouth to the corner of Hecate’s. “I stare because I absolutely adore you, and you should always be aware of how enchanting I find you.”
Hecate grunts a bit in response, but she turns her head and accepts Pippa’s kiss—accepts, returns, and presses in closer while pulling Pippa down, closer, kissing her fully, making Pippa breathless, spilling all that she feels for Pippa right into her mouth for Pippa to taste it, breathe it, know nothing more.
Pippa feels luckier than she ever has before in her life, and when she sighs against damp lips and leans her head down on Hecate’s, she knows nothing will ever make her feel luckier.