First Kiss Blog Hop! “The Unblinking Eye”

Remember the video where 20 strangers kiss for the first time? Right after it came out, it went viral, and even though it was later revealed that it was shot as an advertisement, the effect was pretty amazing.

Attraction is…attractive.

So attractive, in fact, that it inspired a group of us to get together and write our own version of “20 Strangers Kissing.” Except in this case, it’s over 20 authors, each writing a flash fiction piece about two strangers who share their first kiss on camera. You can find the full list of participating authors here, and you can read my story by just continuing to read on! (And many, many, many thanks to AJ Cousins for inviting me to play along in this!)



by Geonn Cannon



“You sure?”

“I’m sure.”

“We don’t have to do this.”

I looked at the camera and the woman hiding behind it. She was my oldest friend, the one who had gotten me the job in the first place, and the director of the video, Tracy Baxter. She saw me looking at her through the preview screen and met my gaze. I looked away, looked at Aurora, and she smiled reassuringly. I returned the smile out of habit but realized that I actually felt it. Her eyes were so blue up close and in this light. Why had I not noticed how blue they were when I did her makeup before? I nodded and put my hand on her arm, just above her elbow. I nodded. This was just a person, a beautiful person I would have been lucky to kiss if I had to choose. If I would have chosen a woman.

“Yeah. I want to do it.”

The director smiled and clapped her hands together. “Okay. Let’s get started.”

Aurora took a step closer as the production assistant started playing music. I was suddenly extremely aware of how many people were in the room and I turned to look at them. Aurora put her finger on my chin and gently pulled so that I was looking at her again. She was smiling still, but not the smile I’d seen in countless ads. This was the real woman for once.

“They aren’t here. It’s just you and me, okay?”


We were shooting scenes that would be used for a series of television commercials, quick snippets of people kissing that would be cut together to show a wide variety of pairings. I’d done the makeup for everyone who came through, the men and women of every race, age, and orientation. The last shot of the day was reserved for Aurora, due to her celebrity status, but that caused another unforeseen issue. When Aurora finally got free from her other obligations, the model she was supposed to kiss had already left. She had another job and couldn’t put it off.

What made me offer? I don’t know how I managed without looking like some kind of crazed stalker. But I saw Aurora looking guilty about screwing up the project, I saw the director’s frustration that she had lost a model, and I could tell that no one wanted to just pack up and go. A model of Aurora Lyle’s stature wasn’t just cut from a video at the last minute. So with no one else stepping up, I went up to Tracy and said, “If you just need another person, I’d… I mean, I can step in.”

Part of me must have assumed they would refuse, give me credit for trying to help, and move on. But suddenly everyone was very excited. Aurora even said, “She’s better than any model would be. She’s real, she’s beautiful, but she’s real. If I have to kiss anyone, I’d want it to be someone like her.”

I was too flattered to protest after that. Tracy helped me with my hair and makeup, just a minimal amount so it wouldn’t affect my “natural beauty.” Tracy had smiled at me as she did my eyes.

“I didn’t even know you liked women,” she said under her breath.

I shrugged. “I’ve never really thought about it. It’s not like we’re going on a date. It’s just a kiss. I can handle a kiss.”

We were shooting in an empty loft, with natural light coming from a wall of windows behind me so that Aurora was cast in the best light. It was a small crew, but still more people than I was usually comfortable with watching me kiss. But I focused on Aurora and let the rest of the room fade out as much as possible. I moved closer and put my hands on her shoulders, and she smiled as she tilted her head to the left. I went right and leaned in slightly, rising onto my toes to make up for the difference in our heights. I fought the urge to smile and turned my head right before our lips met.

“It’s okay to laugh,” Aurora said, and she kissed my cheek. I faced her again and lightly pecked her lips. Before I could pull too far away I forced myself to kiss her again. This time I lingered, and she shifted her weight onto her heels to sink down closer to my height. I had no idea what to do with my hands so I ran them up the outside of her arms. She rested her hands on my hips, which I thought was a much better choice. I swayed slightly and she matched my movements, turning it into a dance. She parted her lips and I mimicked her.

I was a little breathless, and I skimmed her neck with my fingers. Her hair draped over my hand as I cupped the back of her head. I broke the kiss, ran my tongue over my lips, and kissed her again. This time there was no hesitation or humor as her tongue eased against my mouth and I let it in. I could tell she was holding back; there was a tension in her that told me she was struggling to stay in my comfort zone, and knowing she cared enough to do that made me want to go further.

After that I wasn’t sure of the choreography. The kiss broke a few times for a better angle, but we were never more than a few centimeters apart before we came together again. At one point her hand tentatively moved to my upper chest and I arched my back to move it closer to the swell of my breast. If I’d been asked, if there’d been talk of her cupping my breast, I’d have said it was off limits. But now I regretted the fact I was wearing two layers of shirt.


I tilted my head again, and Aurora matched my move. I stroked the back of her neck with my fingers–

“So, ladies…”

–and moaned a little as her lips glanced over my bottom lip. I opened my eyes to look at her, and in doing so I let the real world back in just a little bit. Just enough, it turned out, to realize Tracy wasn’t aiming the camera at us anymore and the music had stopped. I smiled against Aurora’s mouth and my face burned as the blood filled my cheeks. I pulled my body away from Aurora’s, knowing the kiss had to end but also reluctant to be the one who ended it.

“So. Ladies,” Tracy said again, her smile wide and obnoxious. “As I said, I think we’ve got it.”

“Right.” I stepped away from Aurora and put two fingers against my lips, only then realizing I was smiling like a teenager. I chuckled at myself, used both hands to tuck my hair behind my ears, and summoned up the courage to meet Aurora’s eye. “That was, uh. Nice.”

“It was very nice. Thank you. You saved the shoot.”

“Well. I don’t know. I think I got a little, um. Carried away.”

She chuckled. “One of us got carried away, maybe. But figuring out which… it’s like the chicken and the egg.”

We shook hands and then, feeling silly about how formal that was, turned it into a hug.

“I hope I get to see you on another shoot,” she said.

“Me too.”

“I’m glad it wasn’t too awkward for you.”

I laughed. “No. No, not… no.”

Eventually she left with her entourage, and I was marginally alone with Tracy and the rest of the crew. I made my way over to my makeup table to gather my things, and Tracy found me there a few minutes later.

“Thanks for stepping in. We were losing the light, and you really saved us.”

“I’m glad I could help.” I smiled at her. “So what do you think? Do I have a future in acting?”

She considered the question and then shrugged. “I dunno. I’ll let you know when I see you act.” She winked, bumped my arm, and went to gather the rest of her people.

I watched her go in the mirror, unable to resist a smile as I shook my head and went back to gathering my things.