It was a seriously rainy day with the wind driving the rain in long grey curtains down the beach. The mountains above the town were shut in with it. Not a day to walk the hills or dance with the waves along the hard sand of the beach, but I’d started out early, when the storm was still across the bay, and figured I had time and so had walked a little farther than I should and been caught by the sharp edge of the storm.
Reaching the now deserted parking lot above the beach I walked bareheaded through it. In town, people scurried from car to shops, holding newspapers or folded coats over their heads, clutching desperately at disemboweled umbrellas, holding coats close around them. I had my raincoat and was only wearing shorts so I was as wet as I was going to get and the soaking and the wind were refreshing, invigorating even. I walked through the quiet town enjoying the sense that I had it all to myself, being so suddenly the one instead of just another face in the crowd.
I hadn’t noticed it before, but today, the book shop beckoned. I almost passed it by thinking that soaked and books are not a match but the woman behind the long counter looked up just as I looked in and her smile was so hugely amused that I decided I had to stop. I deposited my coat by the door and grinned at her as I wiped at the hair plastered to my forehead. She nodded to the tea tray set up in a cozy corner and I felt instantly warmed as much by her welcome as by the thought of a coffee.
Outside the storm intensified. Lightning flashed followed by long rumbles of thunder. Just in time, I told her. She laughed comfortably. There’s nothing like finding a new bookstore. Walking through the shelves seeing old friends and so many tempting possibilities all around. I was muttering to myself when I looked up and saw I wasn’t alone in the narrow aisle. You were nestled down to inspect the lower stacks and I was standing almost on top of you.
“I do that too,” you said. “Talk to myself, I mean.”
I blushed. Caught off guard, and honestly it was going to be hard to come up with any kind of snappy comeback looking so wet, disheveled and, with the muttering, decidedly odd.
You stood up slowly and were suddenly very close. You touched my arm to steady yourself and looked up at me. I smelled lavender and the tang of lemons. My arm was warm where your hand had rested, though only lightly and for a moment. Your hair was dark and reached to your shoulders, framing your face, and your smile was easy and wide and open.
“You’re quite wet,” you observed.
“He hasn’t had his tea yet, Sandie,” the woman behind the counter called out.
“If there’s coffee…” I started.
“American,” you said, and laughed.
“Guilty as charged,” I answered. “Though honestly, it’d be no punishment to drink tea.”
“Coffee,” the woman behind the counter said emphatically. “It’ll be a comfort for you and it does look like you could use a bit.”
“My name is Ben,” I said.
“Sandie,” you replied with a smile and took my offered hand. Your touch was light and you looked past me at first. A socially awkward moment between strangers, suddenly too close. As our hands met, I felt almost as if some long dormant connection had been reestablished and once awoken persisted even as the contact was broken. You took your hand back slowly and your eyes stayed with mine. I felt off balance and suddenly uncertain with the surprise of it.
I pulled a chair out for you at the small table in front of the window. I needed something practical, normal to do. Something expected and simple. We sat across from one another with my coffee and your tea untasted on the table between us. You picked through the small stack of books I’d selected, science and speculation and cooking, and passed me yours to inspect, travel and romance.
“We make quite a pair,” I said. “I mean reading habits, of course.”
“Of course you do,” you said, and I felt myself blushing for the second time.
The sky brightened and you glanced out the window. In the lull, with your attention elsewhere, I studied you. Short hair, full lips, a spark and snap in your eyes as well as warmth and depth. With half your face in shadow and half now illuminated by a sudden ray of sun, the planes and lines of your face were strong and appealing. You turned back and caught me looking.
“Like what you see?” you asked.
“Yes,” I replied simply. “Very much.”
It was your turn to blush. I watched the flush of pleasure rise along your neck to your cheeks and was glad that I had brought this sudden light to your eyes.
I leaned forward. “Sandie…” I began, without thinking what I might say next. You turned towards me as if we were preparing to share a confidence, both leaning in, inclined toward one another as if some force of personal gravity had caught us. “Would you have a meal with me?” I asked. “I don’t want to say good-bye and just walk away.”
There was a long moment and I realized my heart was racing and that I was holding my breath. I tried to breathe but it was difficult to get air in, as if my lungs were already full.
You laughed gently. “It’s okay,” you said, touching my arm as if you could feel my panic. “I’m only trying to make sure I don’t have anything to cancel. Is this dinner or now you’re asking me to?”
I smiled, “Either.” And after a pause, added, “Both.”
The woman behind the counter added up our purchases and took our money without comment but I saw her lift her eyebrows at you as we turned and walked out together.
We stepped out into the returning sunshine. The world smelled clean and fresh. You stopped and gave me a long look up and down and I realized that although the world was fresh from the rain I looked like some storm tossed castaway. The street had filled, life returning to its normal pace and flow with the change in the weather and I almost felt sad. Some quality of the day had gone now and it felt stark in its normality. Part of me wanted to go back to the mood in the shop, back to the eerie quiet of the town hunkered down and weathering the storm. I brushed my hair back and felt my resolve ebb.
You took my arm. “Surely you’ll want to get out of these clothes. That breeze has got to be chilling, as wet as you are still. Where are you staying?”
“Just a few blocks from here,” I replied.
“And what brings you all the way here?” you asked as we made our way, leaving the busier streets behind, walking now in the dappled light under the overarching trees.
“A conference,” I replied. “It’s the last day and I saw the schedule and just couldn’t bear another professional session. I needed to breathe. I’m glad I skipped it,” I added. “Now, I mean.”
I didn’t say I had looked out the window that morning as the early light brightened the sea and felt something calling. Something I knew once but had forgotten or misplaced. Something I should have remembered.
“Yes,” you answered, but whether it was the skipping part or being glad part or why I might be glad part was hard to tell.
“Have you ever felt like a connection was just meant to be? I mean no matter how unlikely and completely by chance it starts out?” I paused. I hadn’t realized I was going to ask this before it came out. I am usually careful, measured even, in what I say. Writing is another matter and there I surprise myself from time to time but not in conversation. I follow the signs, stay on the conventional routes when it comes to conversation. But today, although I wasn’t aware that I had taken a different turn at any time, today was full of surprises.
We stood at the door of the hotel. I had a small suite on the third floor with a long balcony looking out over the street below and the sea beyond.
“Are you going to ask me up?” you asked, so soft it was just a whisper.
“I am,” I said.
We climbed the stairs, narrow enough so that you walked ahead of me and I watched your hand trail along the banister as you climbed. Watched the muscles tighten and stretch in your calves and your thighs and watched the sway of your bottom. At the door we stood close together and I felt the heat of your body and the soft sigh of your breath after the stairs. The hall was quiet and dim and you stood framed in the light from the one, dusty window at the far end. I unlocked the door and stepped back to let you in.
“A gentleman,” you said and tilted your head back to look up at me.
Your hair had come loose in the wind as we walked and I reached out to brush it back. Without looking away you caught my hand in yours. Perhaps to stop me I thought at first, but instead you brought it to your cheek for a moment.
The impulse to touch and the actual reaching out and your response happened almost together, events barely separated by time, almost as if we were both waiting, ready for this to happen. As if this was actually a practiced move we had both anticipated and performed without thought or hesitation. As I drew my hand back I watched your eyes thinking to see surprise or perhaps worry, but instead saw your teeth catch your lower lip and your eyes widen, and felt, as if in answer, a jolt go through me. A shock that began below my belly and seemed to reach out of me simultaneously through the top of my head, out the bottoms of my feet, along my arms to my hands, and surging through my sex.
Just your hand in mine, the warmth of your cheek, and a brightness in your eyes that couldn’t be accounted for in this dim corridor. But in this simple gesture I felt waves of energy connecting us like echoes finding their source. I felt your fingers twine with mine and the pressure spoke of wonder and surprise and through it all an asking. As the door closed behind us I turned you to face me and tilted your chin back slightly with my free hand. Your eyes said yes before they closed and I kissed you, softly, softly at first, feeling your lips gentle as they moved against mine and then your hand came up behind my neck and your lips grew more insistent.
After a moment we stepped back, but only just barely. I saw the sparkle in your eyes and a flush on your cheeks that spread down your neck and even further I am sure. I opened my mouth to speak but you placed your finger across my lips. We were suddenly and completely beyond the realm of words and in the almost overwhelming silence of the room I felt the beat of my heart loud in my chest and felt as much as heard its echo in yours.
I put my hands on your hips and brought you close again. Your mouth familiar this time and your tongue eager, met mine halfway teasing, requesting, leading on. I felt your hands on my shoulders grip me as if it was hard to stand and so, leaning into each other, slightly drunk with the moment we walked into the bedroom. At the side of the bed, I unfastened your skirt and let it fall. The soft rustle of it like a sigh of release and an anticipation that was almost a relief.
Like a dancer leading a turn I invited you to the bed. You leaned back against the pillows and watched me with eyes heavy with desire. I knelt beside you and unbuttoned your blouse. Slowly, one button at a time, watching you swallow, close your eyes, and let your head lie light on the stacked pillows. A button at a time, bending down to kiss you between each, opening your blouse to kiss the tops of your breasts. Slipping the strap of your bra loose from your shoulder. Each time returning to your mouth to kiss you as one drunk and yet dying of thirst.
Gently my hands went to your thighs and with their soft pressure you opened your legs but without opening your eyes, and all without words. I caressed your legs and let my fingers draw circles and lazy eights on the satin skin on the insides of your thighs. My fingers reached up and slid under the leg bands of your panties, slid up and around your hips and back where the curve of your ass swelled firm and round. You lifted your hips and I let my fingers run across your mound and slide along the lips, tracing the line of your sex. I watched your face, saw the smile lifting the corners of your lips, the deepening flush rising from the tops of your breasts and up your neck. I bent down and through the lacy silk fabric I kissed your pussy, pressing my tongue against you, feeling you begin to push back. My tongue sliding up and down the length of your pussy, up to the pubic bone and then down and down toward your ass.
I could feel you wet and hot through the fabric and hear your breathing and the catch in your breath as my tongue passed over the top of your pussy and I held it there, flicking back and forth.
My hands reached for your shoulders and pushed back your shirt. You sat up, eyes heavy lidded with desire, and helped me slip off your shirt. Then you lay back again, one arm over your face the other in my hair, guiding me, your touch telling me what you wanted and how much you wanted it.
Your hips rose up so that I could slide your panties over your ass and down your legs. I leaned forward again and now my tongue faced no barrier but reached into you and you pressed against me. My hands cupping your ass were slippery with you.
You shifted under me and turned so you could reach my cock. You gripped me firmly and I knew you could feel me surge with your touch. Your fingernails grazed the underside of the head and I moaned with pleasure as I continued to tease you with my tongue. You held me with both hands now, one hand cupping my balls, squeezing them gently and then not so gently, until I was squirming with sweet agony. Your other hand stroked the head of my cock and slid down the length, then back to let your nail slide along the slit at the tip.
In response my tongue and lips moved faster and my tongue was where my cock longed to be. I felt your mouth come over the head of my cock. Your tongue swirled around the head and then you slowly, oh so slowly let your tongue slide down the length of me. I was desperate to come but I wanted you with me. I wanted you to be as desperate as I was, to call out and ask for more.
I turned so I could kiss your belly, suck each lovely breast and tease the nipples hard again, then along your shoulder and the sweet soft skin of your neck. I leaned back so I could see your face, flushed with passion and greedy with lust. I looked into your eyes as I slid into you. I pressed in as deeply as I could, feeling the pulse of your body around me and the warm grip of your muscles holding me. I pulled out until just the tip of my cock brushed the lips of your pussy and waited until I felt you reach for me with your arms and your hips, reach and pull me deep into you again.
We moved like that in the quiet of the room with the sounds of the street muted and so far away. The curtains swayed and the shadows shifted but here the stillness held us as we held each other. We rose and fell with the sound of the wind, building and then falling back and then building once more. I felt the rhythm of your body change and become deeper and more serious as though you were reaching for something, moving toward a finish and there was an urgency in our breath and in the moans and in the grip of my fingers on your shoulders as we reached for one another.
Then there was the moment I had waited for, longed for without knowing how desperately I wanted it. I felt your strength build and you used it without fear or hesitation. Your hips rising under me, moving from deepest need and passion, rising wildly and without control. And I answered in kind, heeding your call, and from somewhere inside us both came the sounds of passion, cries and calls and gasps, each breath giving voice to the feeling and emotion unleashed. I felt you press up suddenly, taut with every muscle contracted, and at that moment I pushed deeply into you and felt the heat surge through me in a rush of release.
We lay still except for the shudder that passed from me to you and back again and then suddenly we were laughing and I kissed you and felt your kisses as grateful and welcome as the rain that morning.