I stepped into the bathroom with a tray filled with rose petals for her bath, a couple of candles to help set the mood and two glasses of champagne to ease the pressure of our first time together. The moment I entered, however, Orelline hid her body beneath the suds of her bubble bath.
“I’m sorry,” I said, immediately regretting my intrusion and turning to leave. “I shouldn’t have come in unannounced. I just thought this would be sort of, I don’t know, romantic? It was stupid of me.”
“No, don’t go, it’s sweet, really,” she beamed a smile that seemed forced. “You just startled me, that’s all.
“Look, if you’re not ready for this, if we’re moving too fast, just say so. I can wait until the time is right.”
“No, it’s not that.”
“Then what is it? And please don’t hand me the it’s not you it’s me line. I’d prefer it if you were just honest with me.”
“But it is me,” Orelline said. “I’m afraid.”
“I’m afraid that if we make love, your opinion of my supposed beauty will change drastically.”
I studied her face and the peaches and cream flesh of her exposed arms and answered, “Impossible.”
She exhaled slowly and stood up in the bathtub. The soap suds slid down her glistening body, revealing the fact that every inch of her skin that her clothing normally covered was a labyrinthine knotwork of scars. “I’m into a particular kind of sex,” she said, as the tray slipped through my fingers.