Sadik needed a vacation. Peering in the gilt-edged mirror, he observed a burst blood vessel in his left eye and a distinctly sour curl to his lip. His tousled hair was starting to look a little dull, and though stubble was part of his charm, this scruff he was running his hand over had barrelled past the realm of ‘charming’ and was diving headlong into ‘wolf-man’ territory.
There wasn’t even any unrest going on at home, nothing immediately urgent for Sadik to be worrying his pretty little head about. He was stressed about absolutely nothing.
Shrugging into his house-robe, he trudged over to the computer at his desk. Then he paused, sniffing the air. Sucking his teeth, he lifted the reed diffuser off the window-sill behind the desk and flipped the reeds so that the ends that had been steeping in the oil would be exposed to the air. The musky scent filled his nose immediately, melting some of the tension from his temples. Better. For now.
Plopping into the chair, he did an idle, unfocused search for “island vacations”. Muttering about how every location looked like the last, he clicked and scrolled with no particular purpose until he came across one that gave him pause.
“Where the hell is Seychelles?” he mumbled to himself, sitting up a bit and leaning closer to the monitor. Admittedly, in pictures it looked a lot like the Caribbean islands he’d just seen… but she had her own website.
And she was a sight for sore eyes indeed…
Sadik tilted his head from side to side, wincing at the popping sounds that ensued. His limbs screamed for a good stretch and maybe even a jog, but here he was, trudging through an airport. He couldn’t even think of the words to express how much he disliked planes…
But a glimpse out of a panoramic window reminded him of why he bothered. He could smell the balmy air already.
No one paid him mind as he quickened his steps, eager to be out of the building and into the beaming sunshine. No one saw the masked man in his snug red tee and gypsy pants, knapsack slung over one broad shoulder; no one even heard the slapping footsteps of his sandals. Perhaps they caught a whiff of his distinct scent as he passed, or an impression of displaced air; but how many people would think twice about it?
They’d see him if he willed it. But not before that. And not now.
He found her a little later, watching the waves tumble in on a strip of beach just outside Victoria. He knew it was her, because he’d smiled crookedly at that beaming face on his computer monitor and in the instant-messenger chat window for weeks before finally deciding to come.
He approached noisily, as not to startle her by suddenly appearing at her side. She turned her head, catching sight of him and gasping a little. And then… that broad, winning smile. Sadik’s own expression tried valiantly to mimic it.
“Monsieur Adnan!” A voice like honey, smooth and richly accented, and distinctly feminine. A voice to match the curves and the complexion. Sadik was so very glad he’d come.
“Hey, hey,” he answered, dark green eyes dancing. “What’d I tell you about being so formal…”
“Oh…” Michelle’s own eyes regarded him coyly as she raised small, delicate hands to either side of his face. “I think you like it anyway.”
He turned his head from side to side to feel her hands slide over his skin. “But I can only imagine how your sweet voice would make a song out of my name… come on…”
Her laughter was low and quiet, almost demure, but no less mirthful. “Oh, you.” She tapped his cheeks lightly with her fingertips before lowering her hands. “I’ll call you by your name when you take off that mask. Oui?”
They dined at her home, a light ocean breeze fluttering the curtains and the tablecloth, candles in votives and the scent of spices mingling with the sea spray. Sadik watched her as they ate, filing away every flick of tongue and every saucy eyebrow-raise, tracing the curve of her bare shoulder and the swell of her chest in the strappy sundress. She tittered at his uncontrollable, guttural sounds of appreciation, which were intended for the food but he couldn’t say he didn’t inject one or two extras for his beautiful company. When the meal was finished, his hunger was only just beginning to surface.
“Monsieur Adnan?” Her velvety voice held a hint of amusement, probably on his behalf. He was almost drooling. “Dessert? Would you like it?”
He wondered what her idea of ‘dessert’ was, because he certainly had his own. “Uh… sure. Sure, what is it?” He cleared his throat.
She only smiled and stood, heading for the kitchen. Sadik’s eyes were immediately drawn to her undulating hips, the light material of the dress clinging as if the garment had been sewn around her. He bit down savagely on the side of his tongue, cursing himself. Too much longer, and he’d have to ask her. Playing coy only lasted but so long…
She was returning, with a small glass containing some sort of swirled concoction. He eyed it appraisingly as she approached, and opened his mouth to ask what it was. He forgot his question when she bumped the table away from him with her hip and settled onto his lap.
“Now, just sit back and relax…” Michelle patted his chest as he sagged in the chair, nonplussed and pliant. She wriggled a little closer — oh, don’t do that… — and dipped a teaspoon into the mixture. “I learned to make this in Brazil about ten years ago, oui. It is creme de papaya, papaya mixed with ice cream. Also, with a little blackcurrant liquor. But just a little.” She winked, and held the spoon towards his mouth with a little encouraging motion. “Open up, Monsieur.”
Sadik’s eyes had glazed slightly, still not used to her warm, enticing weight on his thighs. He opened his mouth woodenly, accepting the first spoonful of the sweet, fruity dessert. Predictably, he groaned in pleasure at its taste, and for the first time a hint of red coloured his cheeks. It only intensified at Michelle’s knowing smile.
“Good, oui?” Sadik only lasted through three more spoon-feedings before an acute awareness of his body made him attempt to shift in the chair as inconspicuously as he could.
“I hope you know what you’re doing…” he murmured, a promising huskiness creeping into his voice. He was met with sweet, low laughter. Michelle hitched up her skirts and raised the leg closest to him, bringing it around so she straddled his thighs. Sadik deliberately dragged his gaze down the front of her body, then slowly back up to her face, his teeth raking over his bottom lip. She made as if to start feeding him again, but he’d had enough…
One hand plucked the small glass from hers and set it on the table behind her while he leaned up and pressed his lips to her collarbone, the midway point between the two places he wanted to kiss most. With a sharp intake of breath, she admonished him gently, but her hands on his shoulders and then his neck and hair told a different story.
Sadik kissed his way up her neck, following the fluttering pulse to the place behind her ear where her scent was strongest. A hand reached to undo the bow that held her thick, dark hair behind her, plunging into the tumbling waves. His tongue flicked at her earlobe, and her hands tightened on the base of his skull.
The bloodrush from his brain to southern regions made him momentarily lightheaded; he nuzzled her neck and followed the curves of her torso with his hands until the feeling subsided, then commenced feathering kisses over her jawline until they were face to face. Their eyes locked. Hers closed first, and she kissed him sweetly; when he made a low sound of approval, she did so again, tongue darting to taste the fruit-and-vanilla flavour that still lingered on his lips. Sadik’s hands tightened on her waist before sliding down to thick thighs whose flesh yielded to his grip, while he revelled in the feel of such soft, full lips on his own.
Her hands followed the contours of his torso through the thin fabric, particularly interested in the swells of his chest as it rose and fell with increasing rapidity. Questing fingers brushed against small nubs, and his hips flexed compulsively; his chest strained towards her hands, seeking the electrifying contact again. She cooed against his lips, the sound vibrating through her tongue and into his, and brushed against the sensitive nubs again. He couldn’t suppress an answering groan.
“You look so enticing beneath these clothes,” she whispered, lips still only a centimetre away from his own; he shivered at her warm breath on his damp flesh, and at the desire in the words she spoke. “I want to see…”
The trip to Michelle’s bedroom was swift, Sadik’s hands under her thighs and her ankles and hands locked behind him as he carried her there. Her lips found his skin continually, intoxicated as she seemed to be by the slight roughness of it and its heady scent. He laid her on the bed, behind the gauzy white curtains that hung from its canopy, wanting so badly to fall on her with hungry mouth and hands but knowing he’d never undress if he did.
“Leave the curtains,” came her sweet, husky voice from behind them, reclining on the bed like a goddess. “The mystery of your silhouette…”
It was so easy to forget what time period he was in as he slowly disrobed, pulling shirt over head and letting it fall to the floor before shimmying his light, airy pants off his hips. This air of intrigue and slow seduction, the sensuality of her breathy murmurs of appreciation and the allure of her curvy silhouette… this dance was as old as time, and as familiar as the passage of centuries.
He removed everything, save for the mask. Not yet.
“Come to me now…”
Reeling with arousal, he nudged past the curtains and fell upon her, finding that at some point during his undressing she’d managed to slip the dress off without him realising. The surprise quickly gave way to a brain-numbing spike of pleasure and a resultant groan as their cores met; Michelle’s broken, lustful coo followed. Her eager hands travelled down his back and gripped his ass, her ankles crossing behind his and holding him in place. He had absolutely no protests to that.
“You are just as glorious as I’d imagined,” she whispered against his hairline as he dipped his head to kiss the swells of her breasts, one arm propping him up on the bed while his free hand cupped one of the mounds. Her hips rose to grind against him as he explored, and his answering question was broken by another groan.
“You — nngh — you imagined me?” His hips rolled, instinctively searching for a point of entry. She chuckled. He nipped lightly at the supple flesh to which he was attending, eliciting a soft cry.
“Oui, Monsieur Adnan… many times…” Her voice was rising in pitch, ever so slightly; her hips lowered and his rose, and there he found his entrance…
Drunk on Michelle’s voice and her flesh and her desire for him, Sadik stretched himself out on top of her, pushing forward with his hips as he gripped the pillow beside her head. “But… oh—! Mon Dieu, I—!”
Her fingers dug into him as he stilled, letting her become accustomed to his invasion. He kissed and suckled at the juncture between her neck and shoulder, delighting in the way her chest heaved under his, pushing those enticing mounds against him. After a moment, he drew back experimentally, and smiled at her shudder and murmur of encouragement.
“I imagined you, too,” he breathed, raking his teeth lightly over her earlobe as he rocked against her with smooth, undulating motions. He was rewarded with mewling, breathy sounds and her nails dragging up his spine. “But this is so much better than my imagination…”
“Oui… but… Monsieur Adnan… in my imaginings, you spoke your language to me…”
Sadik propped himself up over her, hands planted on the pillow on either side of her head; he smiled slightly when her eyes darted down to watch the union of their bodies. “Evet? Böyle mi?”
He didn’t know if she understood him, but she seemed to glow with the pleasure, her soft abdomen flexing as her hips ground up to meet his. His quickening breath made it hard to speak, but he lowered his head to whisper against her lips anyway as his rhythm increased.
“Bunu yapmak istedim ben başından beri… Ben daha bir şey bu daha fazla ihtiyaç…” Maybe it was a good thing she couldn’t understand him, because he wasn’t sure he wanted to admit how much he’d needed this… and by “this” he meant more than just the skin-to-skin contact. Michelle arched, her tongue darting to flick against his parted lips, and her core tightened around him. Close.
“…Sen çok güzelsin.”
A keening moan and her scrabbling nails spurred him on, and he rolled his hips counterclockwise, grinding against the spot he knew would push her over. He grunted at the dig of her nails as she cried out, feet bicycling on the sheets as if trying to push away from him but her hands holding him to her at the same time. The convulsing of her core around him made him suddenly realise how close he’d been, and his own climax blindsided him like a truck.
His abdomen was still clenching with aftershocks when she sagged into the mattress under him, damp with sweat and breathing heavily. After a long moment, her eyes fluttered open, and she fixed him with a warm gaze.
Sadik twitched, realising that usually he’d be off to the shower by this point. Usually his partner would be rolling over to sleep, or perhaps get dressed, or wait impatiently for him to emerge from the shower so they could use it before getting dressed. Words were illegal after the encounter; glances were fleeting and impassive, or friendly but empty.
But Michelle clung to him in scent and gaze and a sated, drowsy smile. When her hands drifted up towards his face, he held his breath.
Her fingers curled around the edge of the mask and pushed it up. His limbs trembled, but he made no move to stop her. His eyes slid closed as she removed the accessory completely.
“Look at me, chéri.”
His eyes slowly opened at the touch of her hands on his face, thumbs stroking the apples of his cheeks. Her brilliant smile greeted him, a much-needed reminder that what she saw when she beheld his naked face wasn’t the same thing he saw when he beheld it in the mirror.
He turned his face slightly to kiss her palm, the cool sea breeze and their comfortable drowsiness lulling them into a sweet, intimate silence.