Every day for eight months me and Klaus walked by the graffiti, the police had been unable to identify the culprit and since there hadn’t been any more incidents the investigation went cold. Feeling uneasy about the person still being out there and possibly having the worst intentions we decided to move. We moved to a gated community, we warned the landlord and security company of the incident and they ensured they’d call us before anyone was let in looking for us.
Madison had a scare the first time she came to the new house, they telephoned us and searched her before letting her through. She understood the precaution and we told the security that she could be let in without search next time.
My new paintings had been doing well and I hadn’t seen my mother since the incident in Klaus’ shop. I was surprised she didn’t have anything to say about the old line of paintings that I had released. Many people wanted to know the meaning and inspirations behind them but I hadn’t released them to appease the crowd of wanting to know more about me. I’d done it hoping to get through to her, hoping she’d see how I felt in that dark period of my life and put aside our differences to try and understand.
Our first few weeks in the gated community were peaceful, our life almost felt normal. We moved everything in, rearranged. The second floor of the house we bought had a sunroom that Klaus wanted to turn into his new gardening room. He’d talked about refitting the windows to be similar to the ones in his penthouse. I was happy I’d painted that portrait of him when I did, the space would soon belong to someone else.
We had bought paint to paint the walls of our new home and security cameras for the premise in case someone did manage to get into the community and targeted us. Klaus and I were fooling around painting the guest bedroom a dark indigo color. It would be a fun color for our guest whenever we had them or children, if we were lucky.
We opened the windows so the wind would blow through the room during the night and clear out the paint smell, being on the second floor I wasn’t worried about it. We had agreed to do the lower floor’s rooms in the morning so we’d be awake well the paint smell was clearing out.
Klaus poked me with the handle of the paint roller, I turned towards him to see what he wanted and he rolled one of my cheeks with the paint roller.
“Hey!” I said smiling and stepping back out of his reach. I took my roller and ran it down the length of his bicep. He jumped away and looked at his painted arm. He reached out to roll more paint onto me but I snatched the roller from him.
“Come on,” Klaus says. “That’s not fair!”
“You started it, who said anything about fighting fair?” I reply still smiling.
I reach forward and roll the tip of his nose with paint. He looks down at it making himself go cross-eyed. He looks back at me frowning before reaching down and sticking his palm in the paint, he grabs me and I drop the paint rollers onto the ground which is covered in plastic to protect it from dripping paint. I try to stop his paint covered hand from touching me but it wasn’t like it mattered because my clothes were already full of paint so I didn’t put up much of a fight. I stumbled back into an extra can of paint we’d bought in case we didn’t have enough that was unopened and ended up on the ground on top of the rollers. Klaus had followed me down and we were now laughing.
“Look what you’ve done now, you’re lucky that can was not open,” I start. I wouldn’t have been mad if it had been, he was just trying to lighten the mood.
I pushed the rollers from underneath me and leaned on my elbows. I had a handprint of paint on my wrist from Klaus now.
“Did you know you look cute covered in paint?” he asks smiling at me.
I picked up the roller and went up the side of his face with it, it surprised him.
“And you look silly,” I reply laughing at his surprise.
He blinks the indigo paint sticking to his lower eyelashes, invading his dark sideburns and five o’clock shadow.
It was the first time we’d have fun without the vandal being in the back of our minds. Klaus leaned down and kissed me. Paint transferred between our faces. We smiled before getting up. We sealed the other paint can and placed both of them out of harm’s way as well as the rollers and paint bins before going to clean ourselves up.
We removed our shirts and shorts and threw them in the wash. Klaus grabbed a small towel and was trying to wipe the paint off his arm and from his face. The paint is stuck and dried in his sideburns.
“It’s in my hair,” he mumbles trying to pull the dried specks off.
“Guess you should have brought your own weapon to the fight, paint is the artist’s weapon,” I tease hugging him from behind.
He looks up at me and smiles at my joke.
I let him go and he walks past me to the shower. He steps in and turns it on and douses his head and arm, still trying to remove paint without soaking his underwear. He steps out after a few minutes having removed all the paint.
Klaus and I walk into our bedroom where only our bed and nightstands are assembled; our clothes are still being unboxed. He pulls out his jean shorts and pulls them on along with a robe before falling onto the mattress. I join him not bothering to put any more clothing on. I lay down beside him fiddling with the robe’s ties.
“I love you,” Klaus whispers looking up at me.
I pause for a second studying him like when I painted the sleeping portrait of him that was now in a box somewhere. His abs rise and fall slowly as if awaiting my response. I smile at him sheepishly.
“I love you, too,” I respond quietly. I lean over kiss him; his hand reaches up and runs through my hair and touches the nape of my neck.
I lowered my head to his neck and I could smell his cologne. He took my hand and yawned intertwining our fingers. He rests his cheek against the top of my head. We fell asleep soon after.