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Jack hisses at the touch of cold water to her skin. It’s soothing but it sends a jolt down her spine.

“Hold still.” Miranda commands. Her tone is tender as she works at Jack’s skin. She lets the water fall down the fresh ink work in her roommate’s back. It takes her a moment to muster the courage to finally touch the tender skin. Her eyes are focused in the task at hand, not to stray to the fact that Jack sits topless in front of her.

Miranda couldn’t possibly say no, Jack can’t even reach the piece entirely by herself. The antibacterial soap doesn’t lather much, so she makes sure to be thorough with it.

“Careful there babe!” Jack warns, as she retracts again. Miranda pulls back her hands, scared to have hurt Jack.

“Sorry, should I stop?” Miranda waits for Jack to answer and her roommate looks at her over her shoulder.

“Just be tender with those precious hands of yours.” Jack smiles to wash reassurance over Miranda. She might as well have dumped a bucket of cold water over her, Miranda looks back down at the tattoo.

She goes back to cleaning the swollen skin. Miranda was worried when Jack came back, hardly able to move inside her clothes. It’d been a long session, because “Jack could handle it.” Jack always wanted to be the tough one. Yet, here she was cowering to some cold water.

As she washes off the soap, Miranda’s hands trace the tattoo ever so slightly. It sends a very different kind of chill down Jack’s spine this time. Somehow, she stays perfectly still until she hears Miranda turn the water off.

“Thank you.” Jack whispers after a moment.

“No problem.” Miranda hasn’t moved an inch, her hand rests on Jack’s exposed shoulder. Her hands are cold from the water but her touch has a lingering warmth to it when she finally removes it.

Miranda stands up, turning away immediately to avoid catching sight of Jack’s exposed chest. She bites down her lip for composure.

“Can you put on the ointment for me after it dries?” Jack voice calls her back, she’s convinced her roommate must have turned to look at her. She’s sitting on the edge of the bathtub, looking up at her topless. All Miranda can do is nod with her back still turned towards Jack before she exits the bathroom, leaving the door open.

Jack stays put, smiling to herself. She’s unsure if it’s still the adrenaline rush from the tattoo or the promise of her roommate’s caring touch on her skin again.