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Cuando Yo Te Vi (When I First Saw You)

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The Spellbody wedding reception is in full swing with what seems like half the city in attendance. Music fills the banquet hall as Hecate wanders around the room, camera in hand, snapping photos of family and friends celebrating the newly married couple. Her assistant, Dimity, is somewhere amongst the crowd, hopefully working rather than just pilfering the canapés and cake. Hecate isn't holding her breath on that, though.


Loose strands of her shoulder-length, black hair, having fallen free from her low ponytail, cling to the perspiration gathering at the back of her neck. Hecate has long since discarded the jacket of her navy suit and rolled up the sleeves of her white Oxford shirt in an effort to combat the heat generated by the numerous bodies. At this point, she is seriously considering ditching the matching vest and tie as well regardless of how unprofessional it might be. Instead, she skirts the edge of the dance floor, capturing more candid shots along the way, as she slowly heads towards a side entrance and the promising relief of cool, night air. 


Halfway to her destination, a flash of color catches her eye. While most guests have opted to clothe themselves in autumnal colors, as fits the season, one woman is the embodiment of spring and Hecate is stopped in her tracks by the vision she creates. Brunette curls, hanging loose about the woman’s shoulders, are held back from her face by a floral patterned scarf that matches the rose-colored dress that swishes around her legs as she dances. Hecate watches the woman gracefully twirl across the dance floor with her partner. Neither dancer misses a step and the hypnotic way the woman flows and sways to the beat gives testament to her level of talent. Hecate is instantly mesmerized. 


When the song ends, the gentleman leans forward and whispers something in the woman's ear. Hecate thinks of wind chimes when the woman's laughter, bright and tinkling, reaches her. The smile she gives her companion could rival the sun and Hecate is nearly knocked off her own feet at the sight of it. She raises her camera from its forgotten place by her side. It's almost a reflex, an unconscious action sighting the gorgeous woman through the camera lens to capture the moment.


The click of the shutter echoes loudly in Hecate's ears as it sounds during the lull between songs. Blue eyes snap towards Hecate and a knowing grin settles across the woman’s lips when their eyes meet. Caught, Hecate feels her face flush in embarrassment and she quickly turns and begins taking random photos of the other guests as she resumes her course for the exit.


Ten minutes later and sufficiently cooled off, Hecate reenters the hall, relief warring with disappointment when she cannot spot the woman from earlier. Throwing herself back into work mode, Hecate resolves to forget about the other woman entirely. She is here in an official capacity, after all, and can do without the distraction. If her eyes sweep the room after each picture she takes, it’s simply her looking for the next perfect shot. Nothing more. 


Hecate is busy photographing a young girl, no older than five she guesses, standing on her father’s feet as they dance a slow waltz when someone taps her shoulder from behind. She is absolutely mortified by the high-pitched squeak that escapes her throat. Whirling around, ready to unleash her fury on Dimity, who takes great pleasure in startling her at every opportunity, Hecate instead finds someone that is definitely not her assistant. 


“Would you care to dance?” the angel before her asks in the sweetest voice Hecate has ever heard. 


She wants to say yes. Good goddess does she want to say yes, but she’s working. 


At her regretful refusal, the woman simply smiles brightly and counters with, “Surely your assistant can take over for a song or two.”


Hecate turns to where she is pointing and finds Dimity standing a few feet away.


“No worries, HB. I’ve got you covered,” Dimity says with a wink as she takes the camera from Hecate’s weak grasp. 


Normally, she'd have no issue taking a turn about the dance floor. While nowhere near as skilled as the other woman, Hecate has picked up a few steps in her time. Shame they all flee from her the moment the brunette's hand touches hers.


The woman, Ada, as she had introduced herself, leads her out onto the dance floor with a gentle hold on her hand. Hecate wonders if the electricity arcing between them is a mutual feeling or hers alone. They stumble through the first few steps, Hecate’s fault entirely, but she can’t bring herself to mind when Ada giggles so adorably at her awkwardness. 


Soon enough they find their rhythm and one song blends into the next as they get to know one another. Hecate learns that Ada is a dance teacher and a close friend of the family on the bride’s side. Women had often found Hecate’s humor too dry in the past so she is pleased to hear genuine laughter coming from Ada as she regales her with tales of her life as a professional photographer with Dimity as her assistant.


Dimity returns some time later to pull her back to work. The bride and groom are about to leave and they can't miss such an important moment. Hecate tries to apologize, truly sorry to cut their time short. Ada just gives her an understanding smile before leaning in slowly. Hecate audibly gasps as Ada lays a steadying hand against her waist and lifts up onto her tiptoes to place a chaste kiss against Hecate’s cheek. 


"Maybe I'll see you around," Ada says with a quick wink before disappearing back into the crowd. 


Hecate finally makes it home later that night after dropping off Dimity and all of their equipment back at the office. She happily kicks off her shoes at the front door and hangs her suit jacket on the coat rack for the time being. 


"Honey, I'm home," she calls out in an effort to locate her wife.


"In the kitchen, dear," comes the reply from deep within the house. "How was the wedding? Did anything interesting happen?"


Hecate rolls her eyes at the teasing lilt of her wife's voice and does her best to fight off a fond smile as she makes her way down the hall. She stops just short of entering the kitchen, casually leans against the doorway, arms folded across her chest, and watches as her wife finishes plating a slice of cake for herself.


"Well… I did manage to snag a dance with this gorgeous brunette that was there. Shame I didn't get her number, though."


Shooting Hecate an arch look, her wife saunters towards her, coy smile pulling at her lips. Hecate swallows thickly as her wife's hands glide over her sternum to tug at the tie still knotted around her neck. Blue eyes meet hers from beneath lowered lashes. 


"Don't worry, dear. If she's smart, she'll be ringing Mavis first thing in the morning practically begging for the number of the very attractive wedding photographer that was there."


It's an old joke between them now, how Hecate spotted Ada at Mona's wedding all those years ago and was so tongue-tied by her grace and beauty that they were three songs in before Hecate even offered up her name. Hecate had spent the rest of the night trying to work up the courage to ask for Ada's phone number, but had ultimately chickened out. Luckily, Ada had had no such qualms and had called Mona during her honeymoon to badger her for Hecate’s business information. She'd shown up to Hecate's studio three days later, asking to take her out to lunch and Hecate has been Ada's ever since.


Ada grabs a firm hold on Hecate’s tie, using it to draw her into a slow, deep kiss. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the night or the feelings evoked by her memories, but Hecate feels as if she’s kissing Ada for the first time. Every brush of their lips is electric, every caress is exhilarating, and every moan is enticing. It’s several long minutes before either woman breaks for air.


“Come, dear,” Ada says, using the tie to pull Hecate along behind her as she makes her way towards their bedroom. “Seeing as I took such pains to recreate our first meeting, maybe you can pay me back by reenacting our first night together.”