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Everything I ever wanted [closed]
She stripped off her gloves, unslung her backpack filled with medical supplies, tossed the gloves inside and placed the backpack on the floor of the chapel. She took a flashlight and hooked it to her belt.

Nina started up the scaffold ladder. The entire structure trembled slightly as she went. The lashed ladders zigzagged up the scaffolding frame. 

The air had become very cold by the time she reached the top platform. The last part of the climb had taken her some time. She didn’t want to fall. Slowly she climbed right up past stained glass windows, and the wooden beams that pendulum slightly from the vibrations of her ascent.

Nina had no head for heights at all, but she was damned if she’d let her beloved Bas down. The floor of the chapel was so far away now, the backpack on the floor was the size of a small doll.

“Crap,” she whispered, as she finally dared to stand up on the top. Rising to her feet. So high up. The chapel boards did not quite meet, and she could see the drop between them. That was so much worse. That, and the vibration.

Look up, she told herself. The painted dome was just above her face. What had looked splendid and golden from the ground was peeling and rotten up close. She could see the gilt peeling like scabs from the blind faces of the disintegrating saints. Mother Mary’s face had discolored so much she looked as dark and dead as the patients at the Guardian. So old, so very old.


Left hand out for balance, Nina walked along the boards, plucking her flashlight from her belt and switching it on. The tight bright light shone in the cool gloom.

She saw the hole. The smell of incense was more intense here. It was another ceiling through the hole, aiming her light. 

"Holy crap"

Religious images, figures, faces, glass, ornate lettering in traced silver, lines and constellations, a hint of some vast organization covered this area.

It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.
The must and old paint and dust smelled like home. The flickering candlelight illuminated the painted ceiling. Cracked and broken and imperfect. Whole and beautiful and real. Up here, near heaven, he could be close to the Holy Mother. The pain in her eyes, the touch to her heart, it was something beyond physical for him. Her pained look tormented him...and he never wanted to look away.

The work in the cathedral had been halted. It was a small one anyway. So each day was a gift. The climb was exhilarating, the feeling of fear and risk making it all the more...holy.

It wasn't as if he'd not played with heights before. There were times, up to and including last weekend, that he and a few friends had climbed a telecommunications tower, walked along its overhangs. At one point, he lowered himself so that he hung over 500 meters of space solely by his hands. Trees looked up at him, ready to impale him if he fell. And strangely, he let one hand go, looking down, held by a single grip. Felt the adrenaline and fear and defiance.

And then he used his other hand, pulled himself up, triumphant, endorphins flowing through his veins. He had wanted to fuck that night. To celebrate with his head between a women's legs and his little death drenched in sweat. But nothing was a sure thing.

Here, it was as beautiful but deeper. Because the Mother watched. And this was his own sanctuary. A collage of what kept him focused.

He could hear her coming and his heart began to race. There was something about Nina. She was so solid and real. Practical and driven. She was his opposite in every way. But the way she looked at him, the curve of her lip, the slight half smile...she didnt know how she slayed him. He didn't even care that she was years older than him. Not a fucking bit. She was real.

And he wanted to share himself with her. This place.
Stunning. The place was smoky brown, with light entering through the high windows, cold and pure. The air was full of incense smoke.

Nina put away her flashlight slowly and looked around. Colorful gleaming mosaics decorated the walls, showing the Holy Mother at various points in her hallowed life. Old worn prayer flags were suspended from the arched roof.

“You quite took my breath away,” murmured Nina, “I never imagined this was why you told me to meet you here. Light, Bas, what were you thinking?”

Her gaze darted back and forth between Bas and his hideout in total fascination, hanging on every detail.
He tried not to blush. He was bravado and brag. Image and expectation. But deep down he was boy. All of nearly 18. Playing a man's game. This woman was into him. He had no clue why. A woman! He had been so caught up in it, it was too late. He was trapped himself.

Because he liked her. Like, really liked her.

Not that he was gonna show that. Duh. Never show your cards. But his heart beat faster as he saw her look at his special sanctuary. And him. The game became real. She was an older woman.

But he had hung from the telecomm tower. It wasn't like fear held him back. Those trees or the drop would ruin his shit much more permanently than she would. The adrenaline drove him

Plus she was fucking hot.

He grinned at her, patting the blanket he'd laid out for them. Not to fuck. Maybe later, if it came to it. He did hope it was in the cards.

No. She had come here to see his true heart. And a bit more.

He'd learned a lot in the last couple years. He wasn't an artist like Leopold. Not even close. But he had learned. He had the equipment. Gun. Ink. Gloves. Alcohol.  Paper towels. Plastic wrap. All his stuff was sterile. You couldn't be too careful. His first left an infection that gave him a fever and lasted two weeks. Fucking sucked. Naw. However gorgeous they were,  tattoos were open wounds. You don't fuck around with that shit.

But he had two things more. For her. Because he wanted to impress this woman. He was standing at that edge, the vertigo seizing him, and he climbed out onto the overhang.

A bottle of wine. A candle. He lit one and cracked the other. Morons thought alchohol and tattoos didn't go together. Uh, hello?!? Half of all tattoos were done when people were drunk. Sign whatever paper you wanted, it didn't matter

And truth is, he wanted it to be special for her. It was her first time, after all. 

The candle cast an ethereal glow on the ceiling and somehow, it just felt more...private. The chipped painted eyes seemed to look down on them and he smiled up, before looking into her eyes.

Nina. She had his number alright. Fuck, but he could get lost. Why did she have this over him? None of the others had.

His half smile stayed put, but his eyebrows rose, awe not hidden. "My god, woman. I might as well paint you on this ceiling." He reached out and took her hand. It was soft and he looked at it, then at her, into her eyes.

He pulled her hand to his heart, let her feel it beat. "Nina..." A finger traced the side of her face to her chin, then neck, lightly feeling her pulse. His other hand squeezed her hand gently. He pulled her close so their faces nearly touched, both breathing the same air.

Dumbass kid. What game was he playing? He didn't know.  He just fucking liked her.

After a minute or two- however long it was- his voice was a whisper. "Do you know what you want?"

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