coming home late

There is nothing quite like the feeling of your breath, soft and wet on my neck as your lips work a line slowly down from my ear.

There is not much that compares with your hands on my skin as you traverse the shapes of my face, my cheek and my lips, etching my image inside of your mind.

On the phone you had said you were coming home late. After I had slid a bowl with some food for you into the chaos of the fridge, I showered unhurriedly, relaxing in the stinging heat and the steam. I’d waited up listening to the sound of rain on the roof, the thud and the echo as it rose in intensity. The wind whipped hard through the trees outside and I’d thought of you out there, jacket pulled up to your chin, closing in what little heat you had left. Your face would be cold and your fingers too, curled tightly inwards in the pockets of your jeans.

I’d tired of the book I’d been reading and let it fall to the floor somewhere amidst the tangle of clothes and outdated magazines. We’d never really been very tidy people. The incense had long burned but the traces of smoke still remained hanging low in the room. I’d stretched out in the scent, heady and luxurious, letting the cover slide low over my hips, my bare skin glowing warm in the light of the lamp by our bed. I always left the lamp on when you were home late, these days I never really could sleep without the warmth of you curled next to me, without the familiar weight of you making our old mattress sag a little in the middle. I’d long learned to love the rhythm of your breathing and to gently place my hand on you as your ribs rose and fell. Under my palm I could feel your heart flutter lightly, a bird trapped in the ivory cage of your chest.

I was drowsy in the half light, warm on my side of the bed. If I stretched out a little further the mattress felt cold under my fingers. Your pillow smelled like your hair and I swapped it with mine to feel closer to you. Still the rain drummed loudly and the wind tore at the skeletal clothes lines, wires protesting loudly as a forgotten shirt writhed morosely. The world receded until all that existed lay trapped lethargically in the tiny puddle of tungsten glow of the lamp. Like an insect in amber my limbs slowed and I lay curled in our nest, eyelids narrowing out the remains of the room.

There’s the metallic slide and then crunch of the key as the lock lazily opens its teeth and the mouth of the room opens. The wail of the wind races in before you do, and I hear you stomp on the door mat and shake out your umbrella. The door closes and as one eye slides open I can feel by the weight in your footsteps that you are tired from the day.

In the half dark my hand fumbles for mismatched socks as I pad out to the kitchen in my underwear. You protest my staying awake but welcome the bed warmth of me as you struggle out of your wet jacket and collapse on the arm rest of the couch. The day drips off you like the teardrops fattening on the ends of your hair. I inhale sharply as your icy fingers pull me close to you and press me closer to the smell of the rain. You’re tired but still alert, the city edges still protruding from your walk from the train station, inversely proportional to my insular sleepiness.

The bowl finds it way back into a pot on the stovetop as blue gas flames flicker to life and you recount the day. The chill has seeped into my skin and I pull on an old t shirt, softened and stretched from so many nights like this one. Rich tomato mixes in with basil and simmering vegetables as I grind a little more pepper into your soup. You’ve already started on the bread, eager for something warm in the hollow of your stomach. Its times like these, when I find myself roused from bed in the chill of the night, speech slurring as I’m stirring lazy circles in a pot of a soup, unkempt and dishevelled that I know that I love you.

I take a bite of the crust of your toast as you blow on a spoonful of soup and we talk about the book I’ve been reading. You’ve always thought it slightly perverse how I devour the letters, never savouring the fine flavours like a well cooked meal. There is something almost violent in my conquest of battered paperbacks that lie spent and forgotten, abjectly gathering dust in the corners of the house. You read less but savour more, weighing the words carefully, reading in measured sips. So much, I suppose, like the way you are with me, unhurried and obsessed with the tiny details of the texture and tastes of my skin.

You’re too tired for games but give in to my nudges to the coffee table by your knees. You’ll win soon anyway; I’ve thrown away almost all my pieces in impulsive moves making fast ground on the board, though as always you keep an eye on my petulant and unpredictable queen. It’s your patience that I find so maddeningly excruciating. I’d rather die in a blaze of glory than one long slow burn. So many times you’ve tried to slow the pace of my frenzied attacks on your body that leave us crumpled and burned, surrendering ourselves to that stone heavy sleep.

I retreat to the warmth of the bed as you peel yourself from your remaining clothes and stumble into the shower, fading fast as the weight of the food settles into your stomach and warms your insides. Intermittent sounds mingle with the constant thrumming of the water beating down on the taut skin of the roof. The creaking tap, the idle whir of the fan, the sounds of you closing doors and turning off lights, the feeling of the house drawing a tight circle around us.

You peel back the covers and look me over, never seeming to tire of the sight of my body stretched out on the bed. It takes a moment before your hands follow your eyes and your fingers seek out my hollows and rises, tracing the lines that sink into shadows. You have hands like a surgeon, precise and objective, touching gently but intently. When it’s like this you are always so focussed and I oblige without words to your inquiries into my yielding flesh.

I’m rolled over onto my stomach and drawn back like a bow string, arched into a curve that has my head on its side beside my folded arms and your hands on my hips lifting me up. Like the women in antique Japanese ukiyo-e, I’m folded and arranged for nothing but pleasure. There is little I can say with my mouth muffled as I sink into the pillow but you know me well enough to know that I am moaning softly as you pull my hips to your face and dip your tongue between my folds. You like me this way because I give in to you and your unhurried rhythm, your infuriatingly slow circles and incursions that you measure painfully accurately to keep me just below boiling. It is thus that you are always the eye of the storm. I suppose you know how my mind frets ands rages in impatience by the way I push against the fingers that slide inside me and try to grind against the palm of your hand.

When you have had your fill of the liquid spreading over my thighs and the feel of your fingers plunging inside of me is no longer enough, you stand beside the bed and with a firm grip on my ankles draw my legs either side of you. You can see that I am so very swollen and that I tremble as your fingers continue their investigation of the valley between my up turned cheeks. I know that you are increasingly hard as you have let me feel you nudge my thigh, but won’t let me know quite how much when I reach my hand out blindly to feel you. When it is like this I know it will be only your way and at your pace, not mine.

You seem to decide that I will have to wait for you with the most maddening self control. I wilt into the bed, slightly disappointed but know that you want to maintain your vantage point (and this control) so you blow gently on my wetted skin and slide your tongue inside me as your fingers find where that pulsing is coming from between my legs. Your other hand gently quizzes me where I am tightest and as you withdraw your tongue and work your fingers faster i know you will rouse me into a frenzy of need to be penetrated which you will choose to withhold to torture me. The space between where your hands are working seems painfully far apart, but you never do give in despite my bucking and moaning.

I am almost enraged and choking on screams as you measure precisely and let me finally burst from your slow building pressure. All at once I’m shivering and useless, and go to withdraw from you sulkily but you hold firm to my hips. Before my breathing has slowed your hips collide hard with mine as you slide with authority right up to the very firm base of you. You’re well aware that I’m terribly sensitive and will scream that this is too much but you are almost coldly insistent in having your way. As you guide yourself where you will into my shuddering form you know from experience what I can and can’t manage.

It is now that I feel you lose the precision of your actions and your back is slumped somewhat over me. You’re still holding my hips but more for balance than control of any other kind and I know that your eyes are most likely closed and your lips slightly parted. I can hear from the words issuing in torn syllables that you are finally mine and as I squeeze myself closed in contractions around you, it is I, though folded and arranged in this manner that finally has you right where I want you.

It takes little more than for me to push back into your hips, contracting firmly around you for me to cause the explosion that has you fully doubled over, helpless as you shudder in spasms of increasing severity. Before your breathing has slowed I’ve relaxed and drawn tight around you once more, just to feel you quake and protest.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of your breath, soft and wet on my neck.

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