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Until Then

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You come in scared, you come in saying I can't remember, I am not Udinov, I am not Division, you have to remind me. I only ever put my hand on the side of your face, always with my palm open, as we walk to the bed. Another woman would prefer the armchair, would rather know she owns this scene, but you are not that woman.


I don't undress you: to be naked, like being grabbed, is too much. You wear a skirt – knee length – because it is less triggering than the feeling pants pulled down, pooled at your ankles, trapping your feet.


If I kiss you on the mouth, it's without tongue; if my mouth butterflies down your face and neck, it is only a touch, a reminder that we are both here. Working up your body is a delicate balance between the stimulus you need and the passivity you cannot suffer.


I do not remove your panties. I put my hand against the cotton, rubbing, massaging, teasing.


"You are here now," I tell you. "You are here now, Alex."


When the shift and flex of your muscles gain a rhythm, when the cotton becomes damp against my fingers, only then do I slide my hand underneath your panties. I sit on the bed next to you, never on you; my other hand is by the side of your body, where waist and chest curve into a valley.


You're wet already, but not nearly slick enough. My thumb rubs circles around the opening of your vagina, gently stretching skin and muscle. You do not like penetration but this does not bother you and it helps stimulate the lubrication. My other fingers feel the folds of flesh, caress over the smooth-rough-smooth of it, telling you where you are.


There is no force in my touch yet.


You relax: your shoulders lay flat against the mattress, your neck loosens, your legs fall apart oh-so-slightly. Your eyes, though, remain wide open. The wetness under my fingertips changes texture, becomes thicker, slick.


Now I can apply more than the barest of touch. Now I can focus on these exact millimeters and patterns that I know feel good for you, that make your eyelids droop, your head tilt back, voluntary lay your palms flat against the sheet.


With almost any other person their breath would be my guide. With you it tells me much less. Your breath evens out and becomes exact, precise, as your juice gains the texture of readiness. You do not let go. You do not surrender. You do not forget yourself in the moment.


You are, in this moment, My Alex. You are a woman gathering the broken pieces of yourself with your bare hands, some to crush under your heel and some to put together with only your blood for glue.


This is delicate. You like this, you enjoy this, you want this to go on for as long as possible; there is a part of you now that would stay in this half-light of sexuality forever, that want it to never end, an instinctive wish to remain fogged and delirious, drugged with pleasure and want.


I look at you: you muscles are taut, shivering with an effort to maintain control as much as to lose it, and there are words in my mind, endlessly looped, that I do not say out loud. Daughter, sister, lover, friend, my Alex.


This is delicate. I should draw this out as long as possible for you to enjoy, but should I wait even a few seconds too many and you will not come satisfyingly enough or you will not even come at all. And because you are My Alex the only indication that your breath is not that of sleep is the depth of the inhale.


You tremble constantly, too faintly for it to be called 'shivering'.


One day you will have ground out all that you would discard of and put together all that you wish to keep, and the blood will seep through the glass and cement it together back into a living soul. That day you will not come to me, scared, and say Remind me; that day you will no longer be my Alex; but maybe, if I am wise, if I am lucky, perhaps that day I will be your Nikita.


When you orgasm it shows in your neck arching, in both your legs kicking out hard, and your entire body locks in a spasm on the outside as within you, muscles contract to the rhythm of your pulse. I can feel the echoes of these contractions against my hands and I keep doing exactly what I did in the split-second in which you began to come until the lock releases, and as you gradually relax your muscles I slow down and decrease the pressure until, when your body has restarted, my fingers between your clit and your vagina are a still and feather-light warmth.


Your body doesn't go pliant, just like your mind did not go blank. Sex, influence and identity are a triple thread. Another woman would avoid sex altogether; another women would demand dominance; you are neither of these women, which is what you asked me to remind you.


I watch your muscle tone, wait for the last second before it returns to normal, and only then remove my hand, pulling back from your clit in one clean motion, without friction, and then sliding out from against the cotton and returning your clothes to their place, gently. Your own hands join in smoothing your skirt, and you sit up.


You tell me, Thank you, thank you for reminding me, but this sex is about forgetting. One day, sex will not be about everything you are not. I brush a lock from your face and think My Alex, my daughter, sister, lover, friend, think that one day your will not look at me with these devotion and gratitude; but for now, you are my Alex.