After the night of Annika’s birthday I knew I was hooked on her. Hooked on those dreamy eyes, those full lips and that velvet skin. I thought things might be weird at work, but somehow we managed to accommodate it, like a secret that grew inside of us, that we tended with affection. We developed a sixth sense for each other, finishing each other’s sentences and becoming ever more enmeshed in our language and rituals. Looking back now it must have been pretty obvious to everyone else that we were nuts about each other but we were so oblivious to other people that we never even noticed. The jokes about us still did the rounds every so often and someone had gotten a photo of us with our arms around each other at the Christmas party and drawn a love heart around it.
In some ways though I think we were a bit nervous about it too, anxious about how we felt about each other and what it meant. I’d kissed a few girls before and been more intimate with one, a girl I lived with in my first share house years ago. At the time Elly and I were eighteen and had adored each other from the beginning. She played violin and had long hair that fell over her face when she played, lost in the intensity of the music she was so passionate about. I loved listening to her practice and some mornings I would wake up to the sound of her playing Tschaicovsky. We ended up working on a theatre show, playing music together, sharing a house and being totally inseparable. One summer we slept in my bed because Elly’s room got all the afternoon sun and was unbearable at night. We were really comfortable with each other and it started off as fun at first, kissing each other and fooling around tickling and wrestling, ending up in a heap on the bed laughing. I think the first time anything really happened was after Elly had been with a guy who she thought was terrible in bed. She said something along the lines of wishing he knew how I kissed her, how I’d touch her gently but firmly, loving her with my hands. At that point I’d climbed on top of her and was tickling her belly, teasing her for liking boys who were such beasts when she’d looked at me in a different way, holding my gaze as she talked more about how good it felt when we were together. We kissed again but she had more in mind and for the first time for both of us we went down on each other, making each other come with our fingers and our mouths. A few weeks after that we ended up in bed with a guy who came to a party at our house but I just wasn’t that into it so I left them to it. After that summer we grew apart, got boyfriends, and went travelling to different places. We didn’t have a falling out; we just unravelled from the tight cocoon we had made for ourselves and drifted to separate countries, to separate worlds. Last I heard she owned a juice bar, was living with some guy and thinking of buying a house. I forgot to ask if she still played violin.
Annika told me about a girl that she had really liked at university. This woman had been really intelligent, had travelled everywhere, done a lot of cool experimental art stuff and was really confident and comfortable with her sexuality. They’d had a few evenings together getting stoned, kissing and exploring each other. In the hazy days of art school it ended up blurring with other stuff that was going on at the time and it didn’t go much further than that. Annika said with me it was different, intense yet light hearted, we were always playing tricks on each other and teasing each other about the boys we supposedly liked. It was summer time and it felt like we would stay this way forever.
One Thursday while sitting squished up next to me in the break room Annika broke off a piece of the muffin we were sharing and was sprinkling crumbs in my hair. She had a peculiar look on her face as she perched bird like next to me and crumbled muffin in those long fingers.
“Yes Princess Annika?”
“What you doing on the weekend?”
“Oh you know, maybe some sky diving and then I might write the greatest screen play ever written that becomes a Hollywood blockbuster starring Johnny Depp. Why? What are you doing?”
“Well you know how we have the weekend off together…”
“Yeah, what you thinking missy? You want to come sky diving?”
“Come to the beach house with me, we’ll stay for the weekend. Its five seconds from the beach.”
Annika’s family had a holiday house on the coast at Blairgowrie. It was a gorgeous little house, and being there gave me a real sense of Nikki’s childhood. There were photos of her and her sister as babies and baskets of shells from a thousand beach expeditions. Nikki’s grandmother had been pretty stylish and the house was decorated in the best of the 70s, including bamboo handled cutlery and rocket lamps. I noticed when we got there that Annika relaxed considerably, she seemed noticeably happier. It was a side of her I hadn’t seen and it was quite a transformation. After we dumped all seven bags that we had packed for one weekend away, Nikki hurriedly started peeling off her clothes and slipping into bikinis and cut off denim shorts.
“Come on Jelly, hurry up.”
‘Okay, okay Annika I can’t even find my bathers!”
“Just go naked, I don’t mind.”
“I know you don’t mind Nikki, but other people might.”
I finally dug out bathers and a sarong to wrap around my waist. I wriggled into them as Nikki was collecting towels. I looked so pale next to her long golden legs. I wasn’t much of a tanner and Annika laughed as I sprayed sunscreen everywhere.
“Come on Porcelina, let’s gooooo.”
We wandered the short walk from the house down to the trail to the beach. The afternoon sun was dipping in the sky, hovering fat and lazy above the horizon. It was warm with a light breeze coming in off the sea. The wind ruffled Annika’s curls as she skipped ahead of me, gabbling about rock pools and seashells and how I really must hurry up. In that moment, in the warm afternoon light, with her curls framing her face and those long tanned legs racing her across the sand she looked incredibly beautiful. I held my breath as my eyes wandered from her ankles, up her calves, the back of her thighs, to the torn fabric of her cut off shorts.
Close to the shore Annika threw the towels in a heap, kicked off her sandals and whirled around to grab my hand.
“Come on Jelly, you have to come in the water with me.”
I had barely unwrapped myself from my sarong before we stumbled into the water in a tangle of flailing arms and legs. The water felt cold at first and the shock made my nipples rub against the fabric of my bathers. I was waist deep and backing towards the warmer shallows, conscious of tingling shivers rocketing up my thighs. Annika had dived under the surface and in fluid long strokes was swimming out to deeper water. She turned back to look at me, flicking her hair in a shower of water drops that caught the light like crystals. She was laughing as she changed direction to chase me, half swimming, half running on the soft sand underneath.
“Not so fast Jelly you have to at least look like you are having fun.”
“I am! I am, I promise.” I squealed as she lunged at me, wrapping her arms and legs around me. We sank in the shallow water, her on my lap as I sat down in the sand. She leaned her forehead against mine as our arms entwined around each other. Annika smelled like salt water and sunshine and I could have sat there in the warm water locked together, breathing that scent for hours. Annika blew a raspberry on my forehead and laughed, leaving her lips close to my face. Inching her lips down my forehead, over my nose she nibbled her way to my lips as I leant back and tried to bite her. With my hand resting on her neck Nikki smiled and kissed me. Our tongues flicked over each other’s teeth tasting salt. I ran my fingers through her hair and held her face close to mine. Annika’s hands wandered over my pearly skin, my pale shoulders contrasting with her honeyed hands. Down past my shoulders, onto my arm, she slipped a hand up inside my olive green bikini top and cupped my breast, squeezing me gently. I felt her mouth smile as she stroked the bud shape of my hardened nipple and pinched it. My other hand moved from holding her legs in my lap, onto her knee as under the water’s surface my fingers moved up her thigh between her legs. Annika shuddered as a light breeze licked around us and I continued sliding my hand up. Her breathing tensed and our kissing slowed as I could feel her focus on her thigh. My fingers found the fringe on her shorts as she planted a firm kiss in my mouth, encouraging me with her tongue. I slowly crept a finger under the frayed material until my fingertip found her bikini bottoms. First I gently stroked the mound of her pussy with my finger, tracing over the smooth fabric. Her eyes were locked on mine as a faint nervousness gave way and she gave in to my hands teasing and feeling her. As her breathing grew heavy she looked at me one last time and closed her eyes as I pried the fabric to one side and touched her bare skin for the first time. Her pubic hair flitted around the tip of my finger in the current as I stroked first her mound and then her lips. Leaning her head back towards me for more kissing she nibbled my lip with increasing pressure as I edged further down, curling my finger at the entrance of her pussy. She bit down hard as I pushed my finger inside her and stifled the sound of her pleasure. Gently rocking my hand back and forth my finger explored her insides as my thumb brushed against her clit. I pushed my second finger deep inside her as my thumb made more insistent circles. Her breathing was ragged and her hands clumsily slid over my breasts as her nails dug into my skin. More circling, more stroking and I made a beckoning motion inside her that made her muscles ripple around my fingers. Her eyes snapped open as she stared at me with an almost pained look on her face. I held her tightly with my other arm as she arched her spine and tilted her head back and her hips began thrusting down onto my hands as she showed me her rhythm. I kept my finger on her swollen clit as she pushed against my hand and came in waves that exploded from inside her. As she subsided she slumped into my arms, gradually regaining control of her breathing. I gave her a little nibble on the ear and she looked at me shyly and rested her head against mine. The water lapped around our melded form as the sky darkened and the sun nestled in orange clouds closer to the sea.