Carmella tugged at the loose sleeves of her grey cardigan and cleared her throat as she stood in front of the crowd. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to honour our very own James Harvey the prestigious animal rights award. He put a great deal at stake for our organization and deserves to be commended. Mr. Harvey?" she glanced at the curtain behind her as the tall 22-year-old nervously made his way to the podium.
Carmella smiled, handed her coworker the certificate, and shook his hand.
James grinned at her and nodded, "Thanks, Carmella, and thank you to everyone else. I'm so glad I found this organization. When I was younger, I really felt I was meant to do more… and I suppose this filled that void. So thanks."
The banquet hall clapped and Carmella nodded to James. "Well, without further ado, dinner is served! Bon appétit!"
Carmella took a deep, calming breath as she disappeared behind the curtain and headed towards the bathroom. She glanced in the mirror and pulled out her pink vegan lip colour and carefully reapplied it. She pulled her shoulder length auburn-coloured hair behind her ears. She pulled out her black vegan eyeliner and reapplied it underneath a pair of azure-blue, almond-shaped eyes.
She started when the door banged open and Marina came in. Marina, was all dark hair, olive-coloured skin, and had a pair of the warmest chocolate-brown eyes Carmella had ever seen. Carmella unconsciously licked her lips as the other girl, who was also her superior, waltzed in with that bossy demeanor she always commanded. If she was honest, it was rather hot.
"Nice work, Carm," Marina nodded to her appraisingly.
Carmella cleared her throat, "Thanks."
Marina brushed past her and Carmella was assaulted by Marina's unique scent. God, the redhead thought, she smells like sin. Unbeknownst to Carmella, Marina noted the way that Carmella's eyes glazed over when she walked past her and brushed against her.
The brunette grinned and posed an innocuous query, "See something you like?"
"I—uh… that is… well—"
Marina wrapped her long fingers around the smaller girl's pale wrist, "Maybe we should finish the conversation somewhere more private, hm? That okay with you?"
"Uh—well I should really be going… I mean, not that I don't want to…well, you know, with you… but where would we go?"
"You're cute when you're nervous. Don't worry, I've got it covered," Marina said with a wicked grin.
The brunette pulled the redhead along after she'd grabbed both of their clutches. "You're looking lovely tonight, by the way."
"Umm.. th-thanks, so are you," Carmella said quietly. It wasn't known to, well, anyone, but Carmella had been harbouring a crush on Marina for the past year and while she anticipated what might happen between them, she was very nervous, and not just because of performance reasons. She had a secret. Her secret was that she was a bit of a mental case, she now wore a rubber band that she snapped against her wrist when she felt the urge to harm herself.
Carmella turned her wrists inward and clenched her free hand.
"Hey," Marina had turned around and caressed Carmella's jaw, "Don't worry. No one will know, okay?"
"Right," the redhead's dark eyelashes fluttered and she breathed in deeply at the other woman's soft touch.
Marina licked her deep red lips and leaned in to caress Carmella's lips.
To say the kiss was mind-blowing was a massive understatement. Marina's soft lips descended onto Carmella's and moved against hers softly, Carmella's thoughts were hazy and unfocused. She thought she might have let out a moan, but she couldn't be sure. Marina's dexterous tongue traced the seam of her mouth until Carmella submitted to her probing with a gasp. The brunette's tongue dove into the other woman's soft, wet cavern and traced the inner walls with finesse and enthusiasm. Carmella emerged from her haze when Marina began to pull away, latching onto her arms and probing Marina's mouth with her own tongue. Carmella's heartbeat picked up and she suddenly felt very warm. Her whole body lit up with the feeling and pulsated in her most erogenous areas.
The redhead felt her knees weakening and Marina seemed to sense this as she pushed the smaller woman back into the wall. Where did the wall come from, Carmella wondered absently.
Marina backed away from the kiss to catch her breath and steer Carmella into the event-planning room. Neither woman noticed the curly-haired Hispanic man, Roberto, and his shocked face. Roberto and Carmella had been dating for the past three months, not that she'd let him do anything but cuddle her and buy her things, but still! They were an item! Carmella was his! He was startled out of his shock as Marina steered the other woman into another room to do god knows what.
Roberto clenched his fist. That bitch would pay. Both of them would. They both had made a fool out of him and that was not going to fly. Roberto was not the type to immediately fly off the handle, he planned his revenge more carefully. He growled under his breath and left abruptly, well, not before punching the wall.
Carmella gasped as Marina's lips descended to her neck and her teeth lightly bit at the delicate, pale skin there. She jumped as she heard a bang somewhere outside of the room.
Marina stopped and frowned.
Carmella met her eyes and swallowed, "What was that?"
Marina listened for any other noises and frowned, "I don't know."
"Do you-do you think someone saw us?"
"I didn't hear anyone. Are you waiting on anyone?"
"Uh well no. Roberto said he wasn't coming. He really doesn't care about my work here," Carmella replied sullenly.
Marina nodded and traced her lips with her thumb. "I'm sorry."
Carmella shrugged, "Nothing new. It's fine. I can't exactly come out to an extremely homophobic family."
Marina furrowed her brow further and wrapped her arms around the other girl. Carmella sighed sadly.
"If you ever need somewhere to go… I have a place downtown on Caroline Street. You can stay with me if you want."
The redhead's eyes felt strangely itchy (allergies, she thought), she nodded into the other girl's shoulder. "Thanks."
"Just so you know, I do like you. I'm not just messing around," Marina said honestly, gazing into Carmella's bright eyes.
Her breath caught in her throat, "Me too."
"Wanna go get something to eat now?" Marina smiled.
"Y-yeah." Carmella straightened her grey cardigan and mid-thigh skirt.
"C'mon, you look great," Marina assured.
Warmth flooded her cheeks and she bit her lip, "Thanks, you too."
Marina led the way back to the dining hall. The food smelled like heaven and everyone was talking amongst themselves. Carmella smiled and relaxed into the familiar atmosphere of her coworkers. She loved working here; it made a difference in the lives of the animals and in her own.