I woke up slowly, stretching deliciously, aware of only how warm and comfortable I was. I half opened one eye. It took me a moment to remember where I was. Back in Kyoto, the swanky Fukuda International House, the couple of single beds we’d joined together, Naomi and our cosy little room.
Back in the place where we were almost a year ago—but still very much together. I let the fresh memories from last night roll over me. The stories we’d told. The kisses we’d shared. Especially the kisses. And more kisses … I could still feel her lips on mine.
I yawned and opened the other eye too. The sky outside our room window was the brilliant blue of morning. The rain had stopped. A bird let out a single high, sweet note. I could smell freshly brewed coffee wafting in from the hallway outside. It was a beautiful spring day.
I looked down at the soft, milky skin wrapped around my upper body. I was in Naomi’s arms, nestled spoon-style, my back to her chest. The blonde snuggled even closer, under the shared shelter of a comforter, not ready to give up the powerful feeling of complete contentment and tenderness.
I gave a contented sigh, rolled over and looked at the girl who was surprisingly wide awake beside me.
“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty,” Naomi sweetly greeted, gazing into my eyes. “Good sleep?”
The answer to this question was pretty obvious. Put me anywhere next to Naomi Campbell and I’m on cloud nine. I cast her a long glance. Bright blue eyes, slender nose, rosy lips, flawless face. Sun-streaked blond hair. Strikingly beautiful. And smart. Passionate. Witty. Sappy. My girlfriend, and the girl I’d been dreaming about for … well, for a long, long time. Afraid to even admit before I’d been dreaming about her because I’d wanted her so badly.
And finally she’d returned my feelings. The kisses we’d shared, all of it, still burned in my mind. The softness and sweetness of her lips on mine. Her magical fingers stroking my face. The way we’d drunk each other in, as if we couldn’t possibly get close enough. As if we never, ever wanted to stop. My cheeks got warm just thinking about it. Everything’s just incredible. My thoughts caused a swarm of bees in my tummy and I couldn’t help but smile at the wonderful feeling.
“What?” the blonde asked, studying my face. “So it’s good?”
“More than good,” I answered finally. “You know you should quit popping into my dreams. It’s kind of annoying.”
“You always look so bloody scrumptious, I couldn’t stop myself from drooling. Look at this.” I wiped the corners of my mouth with a hand. “Eurgh.”
She chuckled softly. “Well, that makes the two of us ‘cos you look so irresistible sleeping.” She dropped a soft kiss on the tip of my nose. A wide smile curved my lips at the sweetness of her gesture.
“I used you as a model. I hope you don’t mind.” Naomi released me and reached for her digital SLR camera from the bedside table.
I felt my cheeks colour. “You did? When I was sleeping?”
“I know I should’ve asked you, but then I would have to wake you up,” Naomi said, grinning sheepishly. “And you looked so comfortable and—asleep.”
“Snoring?” I asked with a little grimace. “And with morning glory.” I rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
Naomi laughed. “Not at all, babe. You looked incredibly lovely and peaceful. That’s why I couldn’t resist.”
“Well, how’d it turn out?”
Naomi smiled and gave a little shrug. “I know I’m no pro yet at photography but I made sure you had all the lighting and shadow necessary.” She turned the camera on, pushed the Playback button, and browsed the images. She showed me one photo. “It took me three tries before I did you justice. You looked so … serene. I had to get the effect fluid and soft enough.”
I blinked and rubbed my eyes once more. I studied the picture Naomi had taken on the camera’s LCD screen. It was beautiful. I was beautiful, at least through the lens and Naomi’s eyes.
“Like it?” she asked. “I’ll have it developed and framed.”
“More than like. Naomi, this is wonderful. You’re really good. If I look like this when I’m asleep, I’m never going to wake up again.” I gave a happily embarrassed laugh.
“Nah, that’d be too bad,” Naomi said lightly, putting the camera back on the table. “I kind of like you when you’re awake, too.” She had that wicked little grin on her beautiful face.
I cocked a brow. “Ah, yea? Why’s that?”
“Because I like it when you sweet-talk me and when you get a bit sneaky.”
“Like this?” I murmured, snaking a teasing hand underneath Naomi’s T-shirt. My fingers danced on her bare back. “Your skin is so delectable,” I whispered, and she let out a blissful little moan.
She regarded me from above her lashes. “Fitch, you are in so much trouble now—”
“Emily Fitch! Naomi Campbell!”
Our hearts jumped a little to the sound of our names being called. “Seems like you are, too,” I said, smirking. “Uh-oh. What now?”
“Fitch-san!” called a voice outside.
“Campbell-san!” yelled another.
I didn’t recognise either of the voices. “I guess they’re playing our song,” I said quietly.
She cupped my face in one hand. “I guess,” she answered. Neither of us moved.
“Can’t believe we still have fucking Yoshida-sans here,” I said, with a little scowl. “God, what is their problem?”
Naomi laughed softly. “Looks a little more like home sweet boarding school, eh?”
She looked especially beautiful when she was laughing.
I laughed too. A laugh that was soon cut off by a knock on the door. “Miss Fitch? Miss Campbell?” the same old lady called.
My eyes widened as awareness dawned. “What time is it?”
Naomi glanced behind her briefly, then turned back to me. “Quarter to ten.”
“Naomi!” I gasped. “We have the orientation downstairs!”
“Shhh.” She kissed me gently, tenderly on the temple. “We can skip it.”
“It’s at 9:30,” I went on. “We’re late. Naomi—”
“We could stay really, really quiet and maybe they’ll go away,” Naomi suggested, her fingers toying with the hem of my tank top.
I sighed. “Naomi, we are going to spend our lives together here in this room for a very long time. What is a couple of hours of going out and adding points to our social life-metre, yea?” But I didn’t make the slightest move to respond to the voices outside.
“We don’t need anybody to bail us out. I brought chocolates and tofu and a takoyaki pan. We’ll forage for veggies and berries in the garden outside. Catch fish in the mini pond. Learn to rub two sticks together,” she joked.
I smiled. “Nice movie moment.”
“Yea. Romamtic, isn’t it,” Naomi agreed. “Like in the movie Cast Away.”
My smile faded into a frown. “That was tragic, though, Naomi. A very hairy Tom Hanks and that bloody—and I mean, literally bloody—ball named Wilson. It was a heartbreaking good-bye scene between the two.”
“But you can’t say it wasn’t sweet while it lasted, yea?” She smiled at me.
A tiny smile curved my mouth again. “Yea, they really loved each other. Stood by each other through thick and thin.” I then shrugged off the comforter and sat up. “But, seriously, we have to attend this orientation, Naomes.”
The knocking on the door was getting louder. “Emily Fitch! Are you there? Miss Campbell?”
Oz stirred in his cage. I screwed my eyes shut and crossed my fingers, hoping that the Westie wouldn’t be making any noise. I wasn’t entirely sure if we were allowed to bring pets in our dorm room. At least, I was certain it wasn’t indicated in the pre-arrival guide and in the house rules posted on the bulletin board in the lobby. Luckily, the puppy only rolled over and went on sleeping.
Letting out a breath of relief, I swung my legs off the bed and got up but fell back down onto the bed with the blonde’s hand tugging the waistband of my girl boxers. I let out a little squeal and giggled as Naomi trapped me back in her arms.
“Stay with me here, my redheaded princess,” she whispered in my ear. “Just you and me in our little hideaway.”
The fading footsteps meant that the people outside had already left us in peace.
I giggled again. “But first we make a little trip to IKEA. A comfy couch would be really nice.”
“Not a bad idea. And since we already have a laptop with a well-functioning DVD drive in the room, maybe we can drop by Tsutaya and rent a couple of DVDs. You know, the three you’d most want to bring if you were stranded in a deserted island? Tough to narrow it down, though. Let’s see …”
“And maybe we can forget uni altogether and just spend the rest of our days on this nice, big bed.”
She pursed her lips. “We have to go out, though, ‘cos we need to shower.”
“Or maybe we don’t have to. I love the smell and taste of your sweat,” I said, brushing my nose and lips lightly on the side of her neck. “Especially when it’s mixed with rainwater. It’s tangy but sweet tangy.”
Naomi drew back, scowling. “Ew.”
“I’m not kidding. I love it.”
“Ems, if you think that’s sweet talking, I’m telling you now, I ain’t flattered at all.”
I laughed, then tried to push myself up to sitting up again but the blonde’s arms stayed me.
“Naomi, I’m serious,” I said soberly. “We have to go downstairs. I don’t want the dorm managers to think this early that we’re the desperados in this town.”
She ran her fingers through my scarlet waves. “Where was that feisty little redhead who told me she likes to live dangerously?”
“Naomi, you’re making this difficult for me.” My eyes slowly closed and I shuddered at her sweet voice and soothing caress.
“Let’s just stay here,” she murmured, leaning forward to press a kiss on the ticklish spot just below my ear. “Please?” she asked so softly, and I melted all the more.
The room phone rang. My eyes flew open.
“Do I have to get that?” Naomi asked, her hand in my hair, her lips near my ear. We heard the phone ring again.
“Forget it.” With that, she flung the comforter above our heads, and levered herself on top of me. She dropped kisses along the side of my neck.
“You’re really making this bloody difficult for me,” I mock scolded her.
“That’s what I’m here for, babe.” She grinned, then her mouth dived to capture my lips.
With a soft sigh, my lids fluttered closed for a second time, and I gave in to my own desire. “You win … this time,” I whispered into her mouth.
Her lips curled up in silent answer.
Then her mouth tenderly rubbed against mine, stroking the outline of my lips until I shivered from the sweetness of it all.
Moments later the phone began a second insistent ringing. Naomi let out a grunt and I said, “Someone wants us pretty badly.”
She rested her head back on her pillow. “There’s like a hundred of us in this dorm. They wouldn’t mind,” she said with an unconcerned shrug of her shoulders.
“Naomi, there’s a whole world out there,” I said with a long sigh.
Naomi took the comforter off our heads then looked into my eyes. “Okay, then. Are you really ready to go out into the whole new world, Emily?” she asked, holding my gaze and her mesmeric azure eyes easily clinched it for me.
I moved my head, pressed my cheek against the warmth of her chest, and squeezed my eyes closed. “Not really,” I breathed. “We can stay here.”
A contented smile tugged at my mouth as Naomi kept on lovingly stroking my hair with a hand. Wherever everyone else was, we were where we wanted to be.