AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 22

The pavement churns and lurches and tries to buck Madeleine underfoot despite the sobering breeze, and Constanze ends up cradling her torso to her, steadying their path.

“You’re strong.” Madeleine remarks with a smile.

Constanze huffs a laugh through her nose, but doesn’t say anything more.

They careen into Madeleine’s apartment several minutes later, having taken the elevator and grappled with the key hidden in Madeleine’s pocket, to find the place dark and reverberant.

“Come.”

Madeleine lets her coat and hat slump onto the rug. Muscle memory guides her to the adjacent sitting room, where moonlight cascades through the open windows, illuminating the furniture lustrous and opulent. Constanze hovers in the entranceway, eyes scanning the crown molding, the intricate wallpaper, the heavy wooden bookshelves and writing desk – Madeleine shucks off her tailcoat and begins to unbutton her shirt.

“Do you need a written invitation?” Her voice is breathy and low.

Laughing, Constanze drops her things onto the nearest chair and rushes across the room to embrace Madeleine, the force of her kiss knocking them both onto the settee. Constanze caresses her face, her calloused thumb rubbing the skin of her cheek, lifting her chin to part their lips and look deep into her eyes. Madeleine gasps aloud, trembling; the earlier yearning flares up her spine.

“Do you still want to talk?” She asks softly, barely above a whisper.

Constanze just kisses her. It’s all the answer she needs.

Rebekah Salonen

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