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Where You Are

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Karlie's tall, and that shouldn't be attractive as it is, Taylor thinks. Because Taylor is also tall, and it feels weirdly narcissistic to find something that's such a defining trait in yourself so hot in someone else.

Taylor worries about that kind of thing, about becoming some kind of narcissist. She'd like to think she's been famous long enough that she can be certain of herself, sure that she's not going to change, let things go to her head, but she likes to be on her guard, tries to stay aware of the possibilities.

And anyway, it's not simply that Karlie is tall, it's that she's taller, taller than Taylor, and no one is taller than Taylor. Boys are, of course, but Taylor's starting to find boys more and more boring these days. She's always liked girls better, of course, because they are better, but it's only recently she's begun to realize exactly how much more interesting they are.

Girls are fascinating, complicated, softer in subtle, puzzling ways that intrigue Taylor, ways that she never seems to tire of, that make her want to sit down with her guitar and her notebook, order such undefined thoughts into the satisfying, more honorable structure of a song.

"What are you thinking?" Karlie says. They're back at Taylor's new apartment, which smells fresh and clean, like starting over, thick white sheets on the bed and just-hung paintings of pink roses covering the walls.

"Nothing," Taylor answers. She's in heels and Karlie's wearing flats, but Taylor still has to stand on her tiptoes to kiss the corner of Karlie's mouth, trace her tongue up over the trail of freckles, lick along Karlie's cheekbone. "Why?" she asks, playful. "What are you thinking?"

"Oh, you know," says Karlie, shrugging, mock-casual. Her arms rest on Taylor's shoulders, either side of her head, and she steps closer. "Stuff."

"Stuff, huh." Taylor's fingers stroke over the smooth insides of Karlie's wrists, the skin feeling impossibly delicate under her touch.

Karlie inhales for second, then says, her voice sly, "Yeah, stuff."

"You know," says Taylor, nodding, pretending to consider her words, "I'm free for the rest of the afternoon."
"That's good," Karlie replies, "because I'm free too."

"You don't have anywhere you have to be?" Taylor asks, and she knows she sounds too eager, too hopeful, but they're way past those kinds of games and it doesn't matter, not even a little.

Karlie might be smiling, but her eyes are wide, sincere. "I'm exactly where I want to be," she says, slowly, each careful word spoken like something precious and real.

And Taylor feels dizzy, so light she could maybe fly away, but she holds on tight, not letting go. "Yeah," she says, smiling back, "me too."