Tiffany turned, and she smiled at the sight of Taeyeon leaning comfortably in the doorway of her studio. The artist was scruffy-looking today, her clothes rumpled and her eyes tired but glinting as she grinned.
“Congratulations?” Tiffany repeated. “What for?”
Taeyeon reached down and whipped out a folded magazine from the bag resting beside her on the floor. She smoothed it out so that she could show the cover to Tiffany, and she waved it around a little as she laughed.
“Congratulations for being you.”
The world’s hottest new young designer.
Tiffany gaped at it. It was only the biggest fashion magazine in the universe, the one designers and critics and celebrities used as some kind of a holy book for style and wearable art. The headline was clear, firm, a picture from one of the most recent runway shows inset above the words.
“Is that for real?!” She leaped forward and grabbed the magazine from Taeyeon’s hand, holding it up to her face and staring at it as if she could drill right through it. “Does that really say my name?”
Taeyeon placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Can’t you read? It really does say ‘Tiffany Hwang: the world’s hottest new young designer’.”
Tiffany looked up to meet Taeyeon’s warm eyes, still stiff with disbelief. They had only put less than a third of her new collection on display in the public eye in the past three weeks and already there were rave reviews from all over the industry. She could only imagine what would happen when the rest of her designs were revealed. She didn’t even have a definite name for the collection yet, tentatively labelling it ‘Lips’ for the time being, but she wanted to incorporate a deeper level into the name so that the concept flowed all the way through.
Without Taeyeon’s input, her collection would be only half what it was now.
She became aware of Taeyeon’s hand, now on her arm, and returned her genuine smile.
“This is amazing,” she said, absently stepping closer to Taeyeon. “Thank you for everything you’ve done with me on this little project.”
Taeyeon’s grin widened. “Little? I think it’s much more than that, don’t you? You’re the world’s hottest new young designer, and that world is going to go absolutely insane when your full collection is revealed.”
Tiffany blushed and looked down. The magazine was crumpled again in her grasp, but she didn’t worry about straightening it out again. Instead she found herself looking at Taeyeon’s uninteresting shoes and feeling the way Taeyeon’s hand stroked her upper arm.
Then she looked up again, and bit her bottom lip, seeing how Taeyeon’s eyes followed the motion.
“Really,” she said, regaining Taeyeon’s attention, “you breathed life into these designs with all your talk of lips and sensations and eyes and the expression of a kiss. You created another thread of sensuality.”
Taeyeon’s gaze was scorching. “Define sensuality.”
By now, Tiffany was used to this game Taeyeon would play. The teasing, the toying, the motions of going closer and closer before springing away. And she was not going to let Taeyeon be the last to have a say.
Tiffany smiled. “You know,” she said, and stepped closer even more, so that the edges of their clothing brushed together and they could feel the ebbing heat of another body.
“I know?” echoed Taeyeon, her hand forming a grip on Tiffany’s arm. She was hooked. It showed in her eyes, the shape of her mouth, the rise and fall of her chest. Tiffany wasn’t even aware of she herself was displaying her perceptions of the sensations, because she found Taeyeon absorbing.
“Yeah,” Tiffany answered. She dropped the magazine, not caring that it fell on their toes, and her hands came up to touch Taeyeon’s neck and skim upwards to cup her face. “You know.”
“Maybe I don’t,” Taeyeon was quick to reply. “Enlighten me.”
Tiffany watched her for a long moment and felt how Taeyeon watched her too. She leaned into Taeyeon’s remaining space, and felt how Taeyeon’s body moved to accommodate her presence with pleasure.
“Sensuality,” she murmured, “is motion. It’s the motion of your heart beating and your breath brushing over the sensitivity of my lips, and the motion of your hand on my arm as the intensity of your grip on my flesh changes with the tension of your nerves. It’s the motion of your body as it shifts to fit smoothly with my own when I lean closer and closer to be right here with you as much as I can be, and the motion of your lips when I get so close that I may well kiss you –”
Tiffany stopped, raising her stare from Taeyeon’s lips to her eyes, and she pulled her head back.
“And it’s the motion of your pulse racing in the palm of my hand when I don’t kiss you,” she said, sounding a little smug.
Taeyeon grinned. “I think I’m getting the hang of it. Let me see. Lips, the sensations that make fireworks,” she moved her hands to hold onto Tiffany’s hips, “Eyes, the expression of a kiss,” she tilted her head, “Sensuality…”
“The art of motion,” Tiffany said.
“And the art of motion is…”
Tiffany blinked suddenly. “The name of my collection.”
Taeyeon froze. “What?”
Tiffany looked past Taeyeon’s head, into distant space. “I can use that in the name of my collection. Maybe something like: lips, eyes, motion…. ah, it’s missing something.” She squinted.
Taeyeon leaned back slightly, staring at Tiffany. “The name of your collection.”
“Lips, eyes, motion…” Tiffany repeated, oblivious. “Lips, eyes, motion.”
“Kiss,” said Taeyeon firmly. “Lips, eyes, motion, kiss.”
Tiffany returned her attention to Taeyeon, and her face cleared into a sly smile. “Kiss? Really? You think so?”
Taeyeon moved closer again, with a familiar wolfish look, and she kissed her.