The sun danced across her lace dress as she swanned towards the artist, her movements flower-like and gentle. In her hand, she held a pink rose that she had picked from Basil’s garden. She thought the painter might think it was nice, she was always likening her to flowers. Something that Basil had said to her, on a sun-kissed evening, not more than a week ago, had stuck and replayed often in her head.
“You are quite like a newly bloomed flower, Dorian. No matter which angle I should paint you from you will always remain exquisite.” Dorian had smiled at the time, but she was now struck with a slight melancholy. Flowers didn’t bloom forever. Did this mean she would soon wilt? She dismissed the thought for later contemplation as she neared the painter.
“Would you like it if I wore a flower in my hair for this one? I think I ought to try something different.” She set the rose behind her ear to demonstrate. The pink petals matched the flush of her cheeks.
Basil looked up from sorting out her paints and smiled at the girl, her eyes widened slightly and she hummed in approval, “That could be interesting. Yes, I think we shall! Come, come!” The painter rushed past her and back into the warm garden. Dorian gave a breathy chuckle, and followed her through the tall, gold trimmed doors. Her sapphire eyes glistened in the sun's rays and she squinted, waiting not more than a second before she became accustomed to the light. Basil was arched over inspecting the flowers, searching through them with feverish fingers, dancing between the stems. Dorian moved over to a group of maréchal niels and breathed in their soft scent. A bee buzzed past her, hesitating near the flower on her ear before moving on to a clump of lilac foxgloves.
Basil rose from her search with several flowers held tenderly in her palm. She sat down on the dry, spring grass and motioned for Dorian to do the same.
“Here, come, sit!” She patted the ground next to her quickly. The corners of Dorian’s lips pulled upward, betraying her sparked interest, she did love when the artist became excited, it showed a quite different side to her usual reserved nature. She must remember to ignite the painters curiosity more often. She moved over and flung herself down on the grass next to Basil.
The painter seemed to hesitate, “Do you mind lying your head on my lap? It would make this much easier.” She looked down at her hands and fiddled with the flowers.
Dorian laughed, “Of course, Basil, how awfully shy you are with me! I don’t think it is quite right of you, we have known each other for long enough.” She said matter-of-factly, turning and lying back into Basil’s lap, so she was staring up into the painters face. “You ought to be more bold Basil, it is much more interesting when people say what they mean to say.”
Basil let out a breath of laughter, “I think you are probably right, Dorian.” She looked down at the young girl, suddenly filled with a rush of admiration that burned through her, lighting up her cheeks with a pink glow. She carefully moved Dorian’s hair so that it was lying over her legs, the tips brushing the ground.
A bumblebee danced near them, humming through the rainbow of flowers that calmly leaned side to side in the light breeze. The constant drone of London seemed to be more distant than usual, the two women were under a different sky. A sky that seemed to reflect a foreign sea, the soft transparent clouds, like small fish under the surface of the waves.
Dorian decided that this background complemented the artists face well, her black curls contrasted the light of the day, her olive eyes mixed with the aquatic blues of the sky, reminding her of the seaweed that coated the grey rocks of a summer beach. Her pale pink lips were quite a likeness to the wisps of clouds, they looked like a brushstroke of rouge against the pale canvas of the artists face.
The light shone through the painters locks, leaving shadows that chased each other over Dorian’s ivory face. The darks of her pupils reflect the sun's rays, making her eyes turn a lighter shade of blue until they were quite like diamonds. Her soft, scarlet lips were slightly parted and Basil felt the young girls breath mist her arm as she entwined the stems of the roses through her golden curls.
The painters fingers moved in artistic strokes against Dorian’s skin. Dorian let her eyes fall shut and rested her focus on the feeling of the slender hand working it’s delicate art through her hair. Everywhere it went, Dorian felt as though it left a trail, she could feel the lines the artist had traced on her even after her hand had moved on to expertly braid another flower through her locks. Her breath hitched as Basil’s hand grazed her rose flushed cheeks to stroke a stray curl of gold behind her ear.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” The artist pulled her hands away which issued a small moan from the girl, “Did I pull your hair too hard? I shall try to be more careful!”
“No.. It’s not that.” Dorian mumbled, crossing her porcelain arms over her chest. The painter squinted down at her, smirking at the almost petulant look on her face. She looked very much like a vexed child.
Dorian suddenly brought her hands up to meet Basils, pulling them back down to her face. “Just continue what you were doing, please! It really is quite relaxing!” She whined.
Basil smiled in amusement but obliged with her wishes, hesitating before smoothing her long fingers over the ivory curves of the younger woman's face, tracing down the edge of her chin and onto the soft arches of her neck. Dorians breath trembled as the artist grazed over the dimple of her throat, then down against her collarbone.
Her expression was different now than it was in any of the portraits she had drawn before. It was like playing upon an exquisite violin. She answered to every touch and thrill of the bow. There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence. Her scarlet lips were parted like the petals of a blooming rose, Basil thought that she would like to drown in the sweet pink of them, but quickly dismissed the thought.
The artist explored her neck with flower-like fingers, caressing the soft skin that resigned there, observing the girls reactions. She felt that the girl would be her masterpiece as she brushed a finger up the centre of Dorian’s neck and her delicate eyelids fluttered slightly open. If only she could capture that look, lure it onto a canvas where she could have it to look at always. Although, then Basil felt that she did not want to become accustomed to this look, she wanted her heart to jump to her throat everytime it passed Dorian’s face, she wanted to be the one who caused it.
Basil finished braiding the flowers through Dorian’s hair, they formed a sun-kissed pink crown atop her forehead and mixed beautifully with the golden rays of her curls.
“Oh Dorian, roses compliment you perfectly!” Basil gasped, awestruck by the girls radiance. Dorian opened her eyes and looked up at her, grinning in response to the compliment.
“Thank you, Basil” The girl hummed, “Do you think we are ready for painting now?” The artist hesitated, not wanting to move from this spot, from this perfect moment. She traced slow circles in the girls shoulder and gave a small smile down to her.
“Yes, I think so.” The artist sighed. Dorian rose and straightened out her clothes, before offering her willowy hand out for the painter. Basil accepted and was pulled up by the younger woman so she was standing just a bit too near her. Dorian’s hand still held on.
Their eyes met, each of them searching for something in the others, some sign that what was about to happen, should happen. Basil thought that the girl must be able to hear her heart, it was beating much too loud. She had not noticed the difference in height between them until now that they were so close, it was slight, but Dorian still turned her face up to see her. The light caught her eyes perfectly at this angle, the shades of blue rippled like a river with slivers of silver dancing under the shallows.
The tip of Dorian’s tongue slipped out and ran over her bottom lip in one swift motion and Basils breath caught in her throat. She started to speak but before she could say anything Dorian rushed forward, covering the artists lips with hers. Basil froze as Dorian’s hand went to the back of her neck and she moved further into the kiss. This is what she’d wanted since she first laid eyes on the girl but now that it was actually happening she couldn’t seem to move. The world spun around her and she tightened her grip on Dorian’s hand as she felt she might faint or choke or both. A sickly happiness grew in her stomach and it was all so much and it was perfect, this was perfect, Dorian was perfect. The younger woman tentatively tasted her way around the artists mouth, exploring every line and curve. Her teeth tugged lightly at the artist’s lip as she pulled back, still close enough for Basil to feel her shallow breaths on her skin.
She slid her hand up into the painters hair, exploring its soft curls and waves. Her mouth brushed against the curves of the artists lips as she leaned into the chalk scent of her skin. The artist felt Dorian’s hand begin to slide up her leg and she quickly grabbed it before she could go any further. There was already rumours spreading about her being seen with other women, she didn’t want Dorian to be pulled into them too... But she did want this, she did want Dorian, she was selfish. She didn’t care about her reputation or Dorian’s, they could both be dragged through the mud for all she cared, all she wanted was this, this perfect moment, and she just wanted to be able to enjoy it today without worrying about tomorrow. Basil sighed and entangled their fingers together. She brought them up to her lips and placed soft, lingering kisses on the younger woman's hand. The look on Dorian’s face told her everything she needed to know, it was okay, they would be okay. She joined her hands together behind the girl’s neck, pulling her forwards so their foreheads rested against each other. She closed her eyes, letting her worries and doubt wash further away with each wave of Dorian’s breath. She focused on the blooming flowers of amour growing inside her and smiled. Everything would be okay.
“Excuse me, ma’am, but it is nearing 2 o’clock, would you like me to set the table for-“ Parker trailed off as he stepped through the door, realizing he had probably interrupted something.
Basil saw a contagious smirk pass Dorians face, causing her to give a soft laugh.
“No. No, in fact, you can take the rest of the day off, Parker. You have been working very hard recently.” She never took her eyes off of Dorians.
“Thank you, ma’am, very kind of you.” Parker turned and left the girls alone in their embrace. Basil was thankful that her servant was not one who liked to partake in gossip or this could have been a more unfortunate matter.
“Do you think you could start your painting tomorrow instead? I don’t feel as though I could stay sitting still today.” Dorian whispered against the artists ear. A line of goosebumps ran down her neck at the sound of the girl’s voice so close to her.
“Yes,” Basil gave a staccato nod and swallowed down her anxiety, “I was thinking quite the same thing.”
They shared a grin and Dorian laughed into her neck, her breath warm against the painters skin. Basil decided that the girl’s laugh was the most exquisite sound she had ever heard. If it was a colour it would be the brightest gold that hits the clouds before the day has started, the suns rays filtering through your window and hitting the crisp white sheets of your bed, illuminating your lovers sleepy smile and tousled
Dorian’s hands found their way back down the artists body and this time Basil did not stop her.