Model Kiley Langille @kiley_langille photographer and creative director Sourodeep Bhattacharjee @DeepShutter photographer, wardrobe stylist and lights by Debarati Bhattacharjee @debarati_munkelicious makeup artist Kaaurbassi @kaaur.bassi, exclusive for Vanity Teen online!
It always seems to rain in the afternoon. Blustery clouds scuttle past a leaden sky, spitting dismal curtains of rain on droves of commuters swarming the station. Anemic light filters through the windows, casting the platforms shifting patterns of light and shadow.
Above the cacophony of clicking heels, announcements, and chatter, I wind my way through the commuters crowding the southbound platform. I’m exhausted from the third early morning deadline this week and barely have the energy to walk halfway down the platform to my usual boarding spot.
I stop and press my fingers against my throbbing temples. Thunder rumbles ominously, ushering a deluge that pummels the station. The gods seem to be angry today. Perhaps they feel the collective angst of the ants obediently swarming beneath them.
My phone trills. I already know who it is. Yes, I know I’m late again. No, dinner won’t be on the table when you want it. I allow the call to go into voicemail and listen to my soothingly saccharine message.
I glance longingly down the empty track just as an announcement blares from the speakers. The timing with a deafening thunderclap and flickering lights is pure theater. Unfortunately, no one applauds the dialog from this scene. Delays due to flooding. Cancellations in both directions. Timeframe unknown. The ensuing din of curses and muttering resembles a dam crumbling beneath the weight of its water.
Some agitated matron pushes past me. I turn to shout a retort, but the words vanish from my tongue when I see him standing at the northbound platform behind me. Our eyes lock above a stream of bobbing heads streaming toward bus stops and taxi queues.
My heart somersaults, and the warmth infusing my body has no connection to my winter coat. My gaze devours the sculpted contours of his face and the sensual sweep of wheat-gold hair nestling in his scarf. Is this a god cast down from Mt Olympus or banished from Asgard?
Suddenly, I’m a teenager trying to conceal an ill-timed giggle in class. He smiles and nods. Has he read my thoughts so easily? My nipples harden as if he’d brushed them with his lips. I almost gasp from the sensation.
Touché. My lips rebelliously turn up. He makes a sipping gesture with his hand. I imagine myself the cup and the hot liquid inside. We take a simultaneous first step toward each other, and suddenly, everyone around us recedes only to our peripheral vision.
I feel almost a sense of relief as I weave toward him, as though I’d been subconsciously waiting my entire life for this moment. The golden glint of a wedding ring on his left hand no more deters me than the glint of diamonds on mine.
We stop within inches of each other. Melted chocolate eyes bore into mine. I yearn to taste the secrets behind them. A wisp of his exotic cologne engulfs me. I sniff him like a feral animal. He smiles and dares to brush a stray strand of hair from my face. His lingering fingers release a stormy sea within me. I’m a melting glacier dripping into the sea.
Without a word, he takes my arm, simply, powerfully, and guides me toward the exit. Somewhere from his coat pocket, his phone rings, but he ignores it. Emerging from the station, we huddle beneath his umbrella and charge like naughty children, laughing and splashing, through puddles.
Even as we step into the warm embrace of the hotel, I feel my emotions bloom. I am the petals of a lotus waiting to open. Excitement, apprehension, tinges of illicit lust – I want only to feed my senses.
I see the flames fanning in his eyes, feel the firmness of his grip. He has already claimed my spirit. Now, only one thing remains. The hotel staff accommodates him with earned respect while others impatiently queue. They know him. Of course they do …
The suite is warm and inviting, intoxicating in its luxury. He laughs as he strips off our clothes. Dusk slithers in through the windows, embracing us in a backlit twilight. Our bodies entwine, hot flesh branding hot flesh, mouth meeting mouth, tongues eagerly fencing.
We stumble onto the bed and writhe in a miasma of sweat and perfume. Seconds become minutes. Minutes become hours. Time fades with every gasping breath and urgent cry.
I taste the salty sweat of his shoulder that mingles with my tears. I don’t want tonight. I don’t want tomorrow. I want only now …
He looks knowingly at me and brushes my lips with his. Now I know he can read my mind. There was never a need to talk, never an obligation for idle conversation. We lay together in silence, listening only to the cadence of our heartbeats and the patter of rain on the windows.
I awaken in the early hours of the morning. My body aches with delicious languor. Every inch of my flesh has a story to tell, but only my heart holds my secrets. My eyes flutter open to the heady scent of roses. Low, buttery light pools on my damp skin and the circlet of blood-red roses around each breast. I caress a velvety petal.
He sits on the edge of the bed and gazes down at me. Hair ruffled, his body flushed, he reaches for my hand and gently kisses my fingers. He has tasted his sugar baby, a confection to be savored, the finest champagne to be sipped.
But I’m still hungry. Still yearning. Only now do I realize how long I’ve been starving, but like a lioness, I want to protect my kill. I don’t want to share, only devour.
A tear slips from my eye and trails down my cheek. He leans down and gently kisses it away. As he rises, I clutch his arm. His eyes mirror the longing and poignancy in mine. With a sigh, I finally release him, and he drifts away like the morning mist.
Wrapped in a blanket the way his arms embraced me only a short time ago, I stand at the window silhouetted by the watercolor blush of a clear dawn sky. The moon is setting, the stars wink out. My flesh still sings, but the rain has washed away my sweet sins. Pensively, I watch the hairline scratch of a passing jet. I cast a wish toward it as though it were a shooting star. The faintest smile touches my bruised lips.
Somehow, someway, I will return to you.