tangled

You’d typed out and deleted the text three times before you’d sent it, finally. You in the area? Off my feet for a few days, could use the company. He travelled a lot – you were never sure, one week to the next, whether he’d be in town, but your phone had buzzed a few minutes later. Hurt? What happened? And then, before you’d finished the reply, Back in town by tonight. Chicken or chinese?

You wished, vaguely, that it was a more sensational reason – something sexy, or at least entertaining. I was mown down by a rogue group of segways or I fell down the stairs during an over-enthusiastic threesome. But this was just a bad attack of kidney stones, one that had hit two days before just as coffee break arrived at your office job. It’d started like sudden bad cramps and got terrifyingly worse, terrifyingly fast – by the time you’d made it to the hospital the pain was so bad you’d lost the ability to focus your eyes and had vomited messily all over the front foyer, had moaned and yelled on a cot till they gave you morphine, finally. You’d been discharged an hour ago, after emergency surgery, been sent home with instructions on how to tell when the pieces had passed, and now you were camped gingerly on the sofa, medicated to the gills, still sore but almost oppressed by the sheer relief from the worst of the pain. You hadn’t known there was pain like that, and that thought too made you feel weird, like there was this whole realm of human experience you’d underestimated.

There’s a knock, but he knows it’ll be open and shoulders his way through the doorway before you’ve got both feet on the floor.

‘Don’t move,’ he hollers from the hall, ‘I’m good.’ You can hear his boots hitting the floor as he toes them off and then he’s in the living room, stooping over the couch to kiss your forehead, bag of chinese food in one hand. The other rests for a second on your hair.

‘Kidney stones, fuck!’ he says, like it’s impressively horrifying, like you’re Indiana Jones and you’ve just battled through a pit of snakes, and you want to kiss him more than you already did. He goes into the kitchen and puts the bag on the counter. You can hear him shuffling, finding the plates, opening styrofoam boxes. ‘They got you on the good stuff?’

‘Mm,’ you hum at him, kick the blanket around a little, draw your legs up to make room for him on the sofa. He comes back in with plates of food and hands you one, sinks into the couch and pulls your feet and shins back over his thighs. It’s nice, the warm heat of him and the softness of his touch, comforting in a way the pain meds don’t reach.

Not that you don’t like the pain meds.

‘How’re things?’ you say, around chow mein. ‘Thank you for coming, I know it was super last minute.’

He brushes this aside, shakes his head.

‘On my way back anyway – wasn’t a problem.’ His hand is running up your shin, his little finger tracing absently over your kneecap. ‘Been too long, anyway.’

‘Yeah.’ You grin, fumble for the remote. ‘Whattaya wanna watch?’

He doesn’t care, and you’re halfway through Penny Dreadful, so you press play on that; it’s a bit of a mess, as you try to catch him up on the convoluted storyline, but it’s nice. Companionable. His hand is still on your kneecap when the credits come up at the end of the episode, which is also nice. You let it play through till it ticks over to the next episode and then hit pause, hook a finger over two of his.

‘Hey.’

‘Hmm?’ He’s making that inquiring face that brings out his dimples, eyebrows raised, and you laugh.

‘Gonna kiss me?’

He grins, then, ducks his head till his jaw meets his collarbone, squeezes your fingers.

‘I mean – you’re walking wounded still, wasn’t sure -’

Kiss me,’ you say, tug on his arm a little, and he scoots up the couch till he’s right up beneath your thighs, leans sideways and cups your head in one hand. It’s gentle, undemanding, but you pitch right into him, get both your hands up into his hair. ‘I’m fine,’ you say, ‘just – if you’re ok with – mellow.’

He laughs against your mouth.

‘Think that’s alright,’ he says, and pulls just a little away. ‘I can do mellow.’

‘There’s condoms under the sink,’ you say, tugging at his shirt, and he starts to laugh so hard then that his shoulders are shaking before you even get his shirt over his head.

‘I’m not that impatient,’ he says, dimpling harder, and you flick your eyes up at him, laughing back.

‘I am,’ you say, and start to struggle your sweatpants down over your ass. ‘I am.

By the time he’s back you’re naked from the waist down and thank god it’s a deep couch, big enough that if you roll up against the back there’s room for him beside you. He shucks off his jeans and shorts and rolls on a condom, jerks himself a couple of times to adjust it right down over the root of his dick.

‘You’re ok?’ he says, one more time, swinging one knee up over you and planting it right in the back of the couch. It sinks behind the cushion and you roll a little towards him, against the inside of his knee. The inside of his – hnnng, his thigh, and in spite of how sore you are your hips hitch up involuntarily towards him, enough that his cock brushes against you.

‘I’m fine,’ you say, breathless, ‘just – go a little gentle.’ He makes a noise in his throat, then, and settles in over you, gets an elbow up beside your head and puts the other hand down between you to guide his cock easy into your cunt. It feels so good that you stop breathing for a second, let your legs fall further open beneath him.

‘Mmmhm,’ you say, face pressed into the skin of his neck, bodies close together, sunk deep into the couch. He shifts, puts more of his weight onto his other elbow so that you both roll a little to the side, almost face to face, and his other arm slides down your body, lingers over your hip, and he gets his fingers spread around your ass and tucks you in against him, close and safe and open-legged, your shins tangling a little with his in the afghan at the foot of the couch. For a few minutes there’s silence, just him glancing at your face to make sure he’s not hurting you and your little gasps when he shifts a little and hits a different angle, one that makes your palms curl hard against his pecs. It’s different from most of the sex you’ve had with him, gentler, softer, but good, wet and close and so deep, and the cradling side-by-side means that it’s not just the thrusting of him inside you that makes your body thrum but his pelvis and thighs and the little softness of his tummy all pulling hungry against you, a dragging caress over all the sensitive nerves of your pelvis and belly. He’s breathing into your hair, not loudly, but you can feel the warm buzz of it against your scalp.

‘OK?’ he says, after a minute, laughing almost silently on the inhale, and you wriggle a little against him, pull him back directly on top of you.

So ok,’ you say, up into his face, and he grins and puts his head down into your shoulder and thrusts into you harder, a little bit faster, enough that you know that he’s close, and you fist one hand into the top of his hair and tighten around him. ‘So so ok,’ you whisper, again, against his ear, tongue flicking light over his earlobe, and he presses so hard you can feel the shape of his nose, the heat of his breath on your breast, and seizes hard, stuttering down deep into you.

You’re expecting him to lie there a minute but he pulls out, rolls off and knots the condom almost in one movement and is bent back over your belly, one knee hanging off the couch now, thumbs grazing up the inside of your thighs.

‘Fuck,’ he says, once, when he’s nudging your legs back apart, and then his face is between them and gentle, so gentle, no fingers even, just his mouth not even so much licking as soothing and trembling-hot over your clit and you’re so close already, you can blink and still feel his cock pressing heavy inside you and you come, that long dragging wrung-muscle kind that puts stars behind your eyes for a second and that’s mostly inside, just your thighs trembling a little under his hands.

‘That was fun,’ you say, when he’s gone to throw out the condom and settled in back by your feet, pulled the afghan over both of you. He turns, gives you that smile that makes your heart hiccup a little every time.

‘It was,’ he says. ‘Settle in now, honey, we’ve got another three episodes to go. Beer OK with those meds?’

tangled

stairwell

You’re just down the hall from your office and your back’s against the wall and the guy who’s been in the archive room all day, going by your desk, winking, eating frosted donuts and licking the powder off his lips, he’s standing in front of you: not crowding, not too close, no, but firmly there (and firm, under the cheap white dress shirt, you’ve not not-noticed), and he’s eyefucking you in the most respectful way possible. It’s taking a conscious effort to keep your hips from swaying towards him.

You lick your lips and say ‘is there some place we can go?’

His lips tighten, a flicker. Not anger. Satisfaction, and your belly starts to ache.

He pulls you into the stairwell and presses you back against the wall. There’s a second, two, where he holds his face a little away from yours, lips open, eyes dancing. You move against him, reflexive, but he’s got a hand on either side of your face and he’s holding you there, suspended between him and the wall and the surface of the world. The butterflies below your breastbone start to ricochet skyward.

‘You want it, hey?’ he says, not insult in his voice but delight, and his eyes are sparkling, sparking, and then he pulls you together and his mouth is the world exact, wet, tugging. He’s sucking on your tongue and his hips are pressed up against yours, so tight you can feel the cold of his belt buckle through your cotton sundress.

One of his thighs slips between your legs and, god, it’s thick, muscled. The front of his slacks are flush against the hollow of your hip and you feel the bite of a crooked zipper head and beside it the hard line of his cock.

‘Oh,’ you say, in a gasp, and push your hips forward. He kisses you with a kind of surging suddenness, and you tip your head back and let him suck on the skin of your neck and below the lobe of your ear.

‘Wish you could fuck me right here,’ you say, and he makes a choked noise into your neck. Your bodies have slotted hungrily into a kind of rhythm, pressgrindrock, and then he scuffles his foot and his thigh finds where the cusp of your pubic bone meets the hood of your clit and your whole body startles, jerks in his arms.

Oh,’ he says, danger-sweet, and rocks against you again, careful, hardly moving so much as just shifting the weight of his body. There’s a noise in the dampened quiet of the stairwell and it takes you a couple of seconds to know that it’s you, moaning, low and gritty, cause he’s got one hand down the back of your panties and two of his fingers are crooking up just inside you, thick and practiced.

Fuck,’ you say, once, clear, before all you can think is breathing, keeping quiet, a little, please, quiet, and then you’re coming, pulsing around his fingers, legs giving out, and he holds you up against the wall and breathes unsteady behind the shell of your ear while he comes.

stairwell

alchemy

The thing he thinks about most, after, about being with her — it isn’t the way her body felt under his hands, the way her hips fit just so against his, how she’d straddled his lap and felt like a limb he’d forgotten he ever had. It isn’t the way she smelled (like soft mint, from her shampoo) or the curve of her cheekbones over the pillow beside him or the way she’d press up against him and run her hands just under the hem of his shirt, palms flat against his stomach, and scratch at him, pet him while they kissed.

It isn’t even the kissing he thinks about, not quite, not really.

It’s the long moment before, when she’d hang in front of his face and there’d be tension like a rubber band between them, elastic and hot-flushed, and they’d not quite kiss, not yet. His mouth would be open and so would hers and their lips would brush a little together, warm and breath-rent. He’d be letting the weight of his body fall a little forwards but her hands would hold his face, one thumb hooked under his jaw and the hint of pressure in her fingers, like by some alchemy she was reversing the drag of the force between them.

He liked that moment, held mid-fall towards her lips, because her hands holding him steady in the pull let him feel them all, all the kisses she’d taken from him and the ones he’d taken back: the soft kisses, the tasting ones, the ones when she’d crowd him against the counter or straddle him in his car; the kisses so jaw-deep that all his mouth entire belonged to her and she’d set his spine alight with just a curl of her tongue; the ones when they were stretched out alongside each other, her mouth on his cock and his face buried between her legs, skin pressed long and so close he could feel the little quivers of her breathing all down his body, his throat and chest and stomach.

They were all there in the long moment, infinite, and hanging there between her hands – that’s what he thinks about most.

alchemy