Stilettos and Lipstick


It's amazing how fast a storm can come on in the middle of a desert…

The air around Tara was thick with the humidity. It was smothering the two of them. Slowly, bit by bit, they were losing their breath. Losing their strength. It had been two days since their last bottle of water had run dry. Two days since the motor in his shiny convertible had died. Two days since a single person had passed by this dusty old road. For two days, they had been stranded.

"Dude, you are so stupid." It was Matts freaking fault that they were stuck here, "I can't believe you didn't take it to a mechanic before we went on this trip!" It was also his freaking fault that she'd had to sleep with him and his dog in the back seat of the said car for the past two nights...

"Yoooop! Get the hell off my feet!" The Chocolate Labrador's tongue lolled out the side of its mouth and little droplets of drool fell onto Tara's shoe.

Just the one shoe.

The stupid, disobedient dog had taken the other one. Buried her expensive red Prada off in some stupid crap hole, no doubt. "I hate you, you stupid, stupid dog!"

"Whoa. Calm down, Tara, its not Yoooop's fault that you wear such idiotic shoes." Matt's tone was strained, and so much unlike how it usually sounded. It freaked Tara out a little bit. He'd never snapped at her like that before.

The heat was getting to everyone, it seemed.

For one, Tara didn't usually act so snobby, so spoilt, and she certainly did not wear four-inch high shoes on a daily basis. It was just her trying to be different. Her trying to impress…

"Don't talk through your ass, Matthew, you know I never wear freaking heels." Tara was leant up against the hood of the car, she knew she smelt unpleasant, that her hair was oily, her clothes dirty… And the metal was burning her skin!

With a squawk she leapt from where she was perched, and begun to pace tirelessly. Bobbing from one leg to the next.

"Tara, take that shoe of," Matt laughed, "You look ridiculous."

For a moment she stopped striding. With that she reached down, unhooked the shoe and threw it right at her infuriating friends' head. "Shut up! Just SHUT UP! First off, it's your fault that we're even here, second off, it was your flipping dog that stole my other shoe in the first place!" Matt ducked leaving her high heel to sail through the air. "Third thing: this whole trip was a freaking stupid idea!"

Matt rolled his eyes, obviously faintly amused by her display. "Stop being such a prima donna. You're just making the whole situation harder for yourself."

"No. You're making this harder for me – I mean, look!" She dug deep into the pocket of her denim cut-offs, pulling out a small round tube. "Look at this! My freaking lipstick has melted because of the goddamn heat! And I'm covered in freaking dirt because you refuse to leave your precious car! Look at me!" In anger, Tara threw her useless lipstick onto the sandy desert floor.

"I know, that shade looks horrible on you." Matt laughed heartily at his own joke, but shut up quickly as soon as Tara turned to glare at him. "I mean… Great…"

"This isn't a joke, Matt, we need to go find help, we've been stranded here for two days!" Tara was slowly edging herself away from Matt, his thuggish dog and the dark purple clouds that she had failed to notice spreading across the horizon.

His expression changed, like a lightning bolt through the sky. The Matt that joked, and fooled around was left in the dirt, as he too stepped forward. "You know the last gas station was two-hundred miles back, and the next one isn't for another two-hundred. And that is if we'd stuck to the main road. Which we went off a hundred miles back. Tara, you're not stupid, so don't think you could go out there and actually survive the trip."

"But standing here is doing us even less good!" She argued back, her dry throat was screaming at her more than she could at Matt. To make matters worse Yoooop started barking, and rearing up on his back legs. Matt ran his fingers through his chlorine-bleached hair.

"We're together. Tara, doesn't that mean anything to you?" Since when had he been so serious? When had he talked about things like emotions…? He was an athlete, for god's sake. He wasn't meant to feel.

"What are you saying, Matt?"

He rocked back on his heels, half turning away from Tara and the glare of the sun.

"That it's really hot… And the isolation – it's… Making me delirious, okay?"

"You haven't told me anything, psycho!" Tara's mind was confused to what Matt was getting to. The long periods of time she was spending in the sun, and the dry sandpaper feel of her throat had affected her too. Thinking straight wasn't the highest thing on her agenda.

"I love you! Okay!" Matt yelled back, closing his mouth with an audible snap as soon as he realised the words had leaked.

"What?" Flashbacks of all the insults he'd ever directed at her, all the friendship moments they'd shared all the…

He stepped forward, dust from a year without rain, flying up under the soles of his shoes. Tara stopped mid-thought. She could see the intentions he held deep within his brown eyes, and they caused her mind to stop working. A rumble travelled across the sky, deep and throaty. The rhythm of it was pounding to the same beat as her heart.

"Matt…" She whispered the warning that was hardly ordering him to stop.

He knew it. She knew it.

A lone raindrop fell from the instantaneously darkened sky, and hit the crease of her eye. A forged tear that trailed down her cheek. She prised her heavy tongue from the roof of her mouth and licked the drop away.

Matt closed the gap between them, and just as the infrequent drops intensified, his lips met hers. Perhaps there was a reason for the two of them to be stranded alone in that desert, with only one another, and Yoooop for company. It had bought the two of them together. Sharing the same sleeping space, breathing the same air, and now seemingly sharing the same skin.

It was an argument gone wrong.

A real relationship forming.

A cactus flower blooming.

And one stiletto and a tube of half-melted lipstick left in the dust of that bone dry desert as the rain pelted down on their shoulders…


A/N: Oneshot for The Longue Forum competition :D