His lips quirked at the offer, and the starts of a lopsided smile began to overtake the previously unpleasant arrangement of his face. With a short exhale of breath, issued forth as a result of almost incredulity, his hand came up to run through the loose curls of his hair in a display of half-flattered thought. “Yes…” He thought momentarily about his sister, though he dismissed it with another pass of his hand through his hair. “Yes, we certainly could.”
They continued to drink and exchange talk for a long time. Aracelis felt strangely exhilarated. At one point, very late at night, Antonio came downstairs, looking sleepy and rumpled, his hair messy. “What the hell, Ari? Do you know how late it is—oh, hello, Francis,” he said, slightly surprised. He stood in the doorway for a second longer, looking slightly lost, before he finally withered under the combined stare of the two of them and walked away. Aracelis laughed a good deal over this event, although it seemed that Francis did not find it as funny. Eventually, the time came for Francis to leave, and Ari showed him to the doorway. They stood on the porch for a second, unsure of what to do next.
“I could stay,” he finally said, after a long minute of standing there in the warm Spanish breeze, face glowing with an agitatedly tender flush and arms refolded across his chest as if he had just arrived there like he did that afternoon. His lips had lost the faint smile that he had gained after Aracelis’ laughter over her brother had finally caught onto him just an hour before, but instead had poised themselves, parted, as if baiting his breath.
When Franny’s lips parted, Aracelis felt a surge of adrenaline course through her, and before she knew what she was doing, she had risen to her toes—for Francis was a good deal taller than her—and pressed her lips to his, wrapping her arms around his neck and closing her eyes in the heat and passion of the moment.
She had a brief moment of panic when Franny didn’t immediately kiss her back, but eventually he melted into her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and she relaxed, relieved. She returned his motions, running her hands into his long blonde hair. She wished that this moment would never end, that she had no other obligations to attend to, and that she and the Frenchman could just stay standing on her brother’s porch and kissing for all of eternity.