The two of them are like earth and air at the same time to him. Grounding him into reality and into the here and now when he threatens to lose it; providing the essential oxygen, pulling him up and giving him the desire and strength to always reach up.
* * *
He lets himself sink into the clear water of the sea, and watches them swim down towards him. Sara is ahead, long brown hair floating behind her and twisting around her face and shoulders when she comes to a stop near him. Lincoln follows her and only needs a few powerful strokes to join them. He slices through water the same way he slices through air and life and Michael’s heart: easy, sure, breathtaking, soul-twisting – reaching for what’s his. Michael can’t breathe because they’re underwater, but he’s not sure things would be all that different on terra firma.
They secure him between them, their hands sliding easily all over him and eventually holding him. Sara spoons him, her arms tight around his torso, his back molding into her breasts and stomach, her legs moving just enough to keep them in place. She anchors him to her, slides a hand up his chin and offers him to Lincoln’s mouth.
His brother’s lips are thick and firm, sure and soft. He seals them to Michael’s and blows into his mouth a bit of the air he stored just for him; it makes Michael dizzy, the kiss, the oxygen supply, the tenderness. He growls low in his throat, the raw sound swallowed down by the water, the vibration resonating into Sara’s chest.
Her hands on his waist, she urges him and spins him around. Michael could grin at her for this: they share – him, her, Lincoln – but now and again, she’s just overeager to get her part, her turn. Not that he complains, not that he doesn’t find it alluring; hell, even Lincoln enjoys watching when it happens.
Lincoln, who helps, by the way, whirling him until he faces Sara, and next thing Michael knows, Linc is the one doing the spooning, treading water and offering. He steadies Michael against his chest and reaches out for Sara, a hand curling on her hips to bring her closer. As they insist on sneaking between them, he pushes long strands of hair out of the way so she can have free, unfettered access to Michael. So-helpful big brother.
She doesn’t quite touch him while kissing him, evasive and tantalizing figure that she is. Just her mouth latching onto his; it’s all lips and tongue and small bubbles from her exhaling tickling their faces. The water swashes in the few millimeters between their bodies. She doesn’t plaster herself against him on purpose; she knows how much he likes the delicate caress of the water moving between them.
They swim him up. When they break through the surface of the water, they’re breathless and panting, iridescent droplets of water clinging to their eyelashes and upper lips. Michael suspects that the panting is not only from lack of oxygen, and he desperately wants to lick the droplets off their skin. He’s beaten to it as Sara and Lincoln kiss, casting him sideway glances, teasing and grinning.
* * *
The two of them are like earth and air at the same time to him. Later, in the golden calm of the bedroom, as he gasps and writhes lazily between them, a hair’s breadth away from begging, he remembers they’re also like fire: warming him, heating him, maybe to the point of burning him – but even then, inducing the beauty and fascination inherent to fire.
Lincoln laughs against his mouth, calls him a nutjob and points out that, if he goes down this road, water is missing in this little quadrilogy of his.
Michael is the water, Sara says: washing over them and what was left of their common sense, sometimes displaying an even façade while swirling wildly underneath. She’s licking her way down his abdomen, and generously lays a couple of kisses on Lincoln’s too for good measure. Her hair is still damp and matted from the sea; Lincoln’s mouth on Michael’s still tastes like salt; their hands are still sliding smoothly on him. He arches into their touch and kisses, closes his eyes and listens to the sound of the backwash filtering in through the open windows.
He feels as if he is floating again, weightless and lightheaded from their combined attention.