They got on instantly. Their desks were on the same side of the office and so they saw each other again soon after the initial introduction. They met while making coffee in the kitchen, in the lift or in front of the makeup mirror. At the leaving do of a colleague they finally had the opportunity to talk in more depths over the dinner table and later while dancing in the staff’s favourite night club.
Since then they often spent their lunch breaks together. Depending on the weather they would have sandwiches in the park or eat in one of the many bistros in the area. On many a stressful day at the office they spontaneously arranged to meet for a glass of wine after work, to let off steam, laugh and forget about the annoying issues of before. Hence it wasn’t long until Hannah invited Amelie over for an evening at hers.
“I’ll get us a refill.”
They had already emptied a bottle of red wine and Hannah went into the kitchen with their glasses. After a short while she returned with them and set both down on the tabletop. Her glass was half filled with wine, appearing blood red in the dim light. Meanwhile the contents of Amelie’s glass shimmered in a light golden hue. “I thought you might want to try a different variety.”
Hannah peeled off her pumps and settled down on the sofa. As she pulled her left foot up onto the seat cushion, Amelie noticed for the first time that it wasn’t black tights her colleague was wearing but stockings. She surprised herself as she noticed her heart beating faster all of a sudden. Without admitting it she had felt the allure of the other woman since the first day they met. Her entirely open and disarming manner, her natural self confidence, had bowled her over unexpectedly, while she herself was usually rather shy and reserved when it came to forging new friendships.
“I am happy that you are here with me, Amelie.”
Seemingly lost in thought, Hannah’s hand stroked her angled leg, from her knee down the shin to her ankle. Amelie couldn’t help but follow its path with her own eyes, admiring the slender leg in the shimmering black nylon, the graceful foot with the long toes, ending in dark lacquered nails.
Like a thief caught red-handed she blushed as she looked up again and met Hannah’s brown eyes which were observing her intently. “Here I can really dedicate myself to you”, Hannah proceeded unfazed. A delicate smile played around her red lips. “Let’s toast our special friendship!” Hannah lifted her glass and held it in the air between them. Her hand trembling involuntarily, Amelie grasped her own glass by the stem and let it clink against her friend’s. The ringing sound still echoed in her ears as she put the crystal to her mouth and took a deep sip that flowed directly into her throat. In her discomposure and confusion she only noticed a moment later that it was not wine she had been drinking.
Amelie’s eyes widened and her lips tried to form words, but barely a stutter escaped them. She was enthralled by Hannah’s gaze that was locked deeply into hers.
“Take your time, Amelie. I want you to really savour it.”
Amelie lifted her glass and placed it against her quivering lips once more. Without taking her eyes off Hannah’s she took a second sip.