Outside the window, a clock tower rings. A neighboring town’s, because here, dust still falls from the night sky.
Diana draws two fingers against the stubble on his chin. “Kissing men is…” He watches how her mouth purses. “Scratchy.”
“Sorry,” he says. Her bottom lip is wet. “I can- There might be a razor, if I-“
“-It is nice,” she says. She crooks a finger behind his jaw and kisses him again, her hand on his cheek.
“Take this off,” she says and slides his coat from his shoulders.
“This too,” she says and when she lifts the hem of his sweater, he skims it off over his head.
Her lips curl and she pats his hair back down.
“Are you warm enough?” he asks when she lays her cloak across a chair. Shadows dip at her collarbone. He touches her arm. “The fire, if you want I can-“
“Yes.” Her fingers find his wrist and she works his watch strap from its keeper. “And this. Take this off, too.”
“You are very symmetrical,” she says. Her eyes trace over him. “Well proportioned.”
He nods. He’s been doing a lot of that. “You are too,” he says. She’s exquisite. A streak of dirt smudges her cheek. Gorgeous.
“You have an erection.”
He follows her gaze down. “Ah, yes. I do.”
“Is it normal?” He both does and doesn’t want to cup his hand over the front of his pants. It’s hard to think with her so near. He nods. Again. “May I see it, please?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s-“ He’s fumbling, his belt suddenly unfamiliar. “Absolutely.”
He shoves his pants down. She steps closer. “May I touch it?”
His cheeks are hot. “Of course.”
She’s careful. Her fingers are soft and light.
His breath hitches. He tries to swallow.
“Like that?” she asks.
She feels so good. Too good. It’s been so long. “Diana-“
“Yes?” She looks up at him and then back down again. The muscles in her arm flex as her hand moves.
“If you keep going, I might-“
His breath shudders. “Yes.”
Her thumb circles. He squeezes his eyes shut because otherwise he might look, and if he looks he’ll watch, and if he watches, he’ll-
“I won’t be able to-“ He gasps. “Afterwards, I-“
“You are not able to continue after an orgasm?” she asks and thankfully - horribly - she releases him. She looks concerned.
“Oh, no. Not- we can keep-” He swallows. She touches a finger to his Adam’s apple. Lightly, no press to the brush of her fingertips. “I might need a minute. A couple- a couple of minutes.”
“To do what?” she asks.
“To- to get to…” He licks his lips. “This state. Again.”
“What do you do in the meantime?”
“Whatever you want,” he says. He’s breathing so hard. He desperately wants her to touch him again. “Absolutely anything.”
She examines the drops that coat her fingers.
“I have a handkerchief,” he says. Somewhere. In his pack. No, his coat.
Her hair is in his mouth. At some point, he slumped against her.
“You are trembling.” She’s strong enough to hold him up and gentle as she sits him on the edge of the bed.
He is shaking. “Hey,” he says. His undershirt is on the floor. He takes her wrist in his hand and carefully wipes off her palm. Her bracelets are warm to the touch and her skin is so soft. “Hey. Come here.”
“It is a buckle,” she says. She is smiling, her mouth swollen from kissing and her eyes bright. From against the pillows, she watches him try to work it free.
When she reaches down, he grins and bats her hand away. “I know what a buckle is,” he says.
She taps her toe against his stomach, her heel resting in his lap. “You are certain?”
“Is there some Greek rule that no man can undress you?” He carefully eases the leather straps apart. “There.”
“That is one,” she says.
“How many more are there?”
He rubs his thumb over where the strap laid against the back of her knee. Slowly, he slides his palm up her thigh. When he leans over to kiss her again, she pushes up on her elbow and meets him halfway, her hand cupping the back of his head.
“I’ll just have to take my time then,” he whispers and gently, she bites at his lip.
“Diana.” He is so glad the lamp is still burning, flickers of light dancing over her bare body. “You are beautiful.”
Her teeth scrape over her lip. Her arms are tossed up next to her head, pale against the fall of her hair.
He lays his fingers on her collarbone, draws down between her breasts.
Her toes find his ankle where he kneels between her legs. Her knee falls outward. “Touch me,” she says.
“Your hair is nice.”
“That’s-“ he lifts his head. “That’s what you’re thinking about?”
Her nails scratch lightly at his scalp. “It is very soft.”
He mouths at the crease of her thigh. “Diana?”
“Go slower,” she says. She’s still petting his hair. “There is no rush.”
He adjusts the drape of her leg over his shoulder. She smells so good.
Carefully, he lowers his mouth to her again.
“Slow,” she says.
He tries. “Like that?”
“Left,” she says.
He shifts left. Squeezes his eyes shut and moves right. When he looks at her, she nods. Her left. Of course.
She combs her fingers through his hair. “And up, just a little.”
He presses with the flat of his tongue. Slowly. As slow as he can.
“Yes.” A bite of her nails. He closes his eyes. “There.”
“Hey,” he says. He squeezes her waist. “Ok? Was that…”
Her eyes are still closed as she smiles.
“Above average,” she says.
“Do you need more minutes?” She looks down, her hair falling forward. He pushes his hands into it, gathers it back. “You do not look like you do.”
“Can you-“ He can barely stop to think with her perched on his thighs. “Diana, if we-“
She turns into his palm, kisses him there. “I will not become pregnant.”
“Are you sure?”
His mouth is dry. He’s breathing too fast. “Like this?”
She settles his hands on her hips. “Yes.”
Beneath them, the bed creaks. She tucks her face into his neck and his hands spread wide over her back. For a long time, they rock together.
Before the sky lightens, she pushes the fall of hair from his eyes. He lifts the blankets over them and their legs tangle, their feet brushing. With his thumb, he touches the corner of her mouth. Moments pass. He doesn’t count them.