When you come into the room, she’s still awake, lying on her side with a novel in hand, and for a minute you just stand in the doorway and look at her, because—because sometimes you forget to. Sometimes the constant roller coaster of your lives makes you forget what a luxury it is to be able to look at her. Sometimes life is small and boring and you spend whole weekends in different parts of the house and in different aisles at the supermarket and you forget, you forget, you forget.
You stand in the doorway and look at her, look at how the navy blue cotton sheet drapes at the dip of her waist, the rise of her hip, at how her legs taper down to her beautiful delicate feet. Even her elbow, tucked against her side, drowning in the t-shirt she stole from your duffle bag, catches your eye. Even her elbow.
Something clues her in to your presence; her spine stiffens, and she looks over her shoulder slowly. Three years and she’s still wary. In your parents’ house so she’ll always be wary. “Hi,” you say, and even though you want to smile you mostly just look at her, look at her, look at her.
“Henry settled in?” she asks, and the part of you that always rises up and overflows when she has her mommy-moments swells up now, predictable and ecstatic.
“Yeah, he’s got a Mummy movie marathon going,” you say, and finally step in to the room, close the door behind you. “Thought about joining him, for a while.”
She shrugs like it wouldn’t matter, but three years and you know her tells, the way her mouth twitches when she’s trying to hide a disappointed frown, how her shoulders tense up. “You do enjoy them, maybe more than he does.”
You smile, come to sit on the edge of the bed, hip settling against her ass. It’s completely not your fault if the first place you put your hand is on the upper rise of that ass—because it’s there, and it’s magnificent, and you can’t not touch her there when it’s just the two of you. And there, at the corners of her mouth, the start of a smile. She knows. “Thought about asking you to join.”
It’s the right thing to say; she closes the novel, turns slightly to let her body lean against you. “If you want, we can.”
She’s so sweet, so sweet, and sometimes it scares you that the whole world almost missed it. That you almost missed it. “Nah,” you drawl, and let your fingers start to tug the sheet from her body. “You look comfy.”
“I am,” she says, and oh, her perfect, perfect mouth—full-lipped and rich rose even without her lipstick armor—she’s smirking, she knows, and somehow someway you’re safe enough for this to be real.
“Ready for bed,” you add, and slide your hand down over that ass, let your thumb press into the crease at the top of her thigh.
“Raring to go.”
She doesn’t say anything, but that smirk, that mouth, that mouth, you lean forward and kiss her elbow, look up at her through your lashes and have to smile. Her lips are parted, just enough, and more of her weight leans against you, so you shift your weight onto your planted foot and give her the space to settle onto her back. Your next kiss falls on the top of her breast—and fuck this t-shirt for all the skin it’s hiding from you, but just the fact that she wears your t-shirt, your ratty old t-shirt that’s the softest thing you own and your soft old t-shirt and her soft soft skin and oh, oh, oh. “Should I be alarmed that The Mummy puts you in the mood?” she teases, but her hands are on you now, one at the back of your neck, the other solid on your ribs, fingers rucking up your thermal.
And you laugh, right into the collar of that ratty old t-shirt, right into the soft soft skin of her neck, right into her pulse point and when you breathe in, she fills you up with spice and citrus and you can never get enough. “Definitely shouldn’t be surprised. Swashbuckling adventure, certain death, constant bickering—all just foreplay.”
She laughs into your kiss, into your mouth, dips her fingers under the edge of your sweatpants and rakes her nails lightly, lightly, from the small of your back to your hip. “It was, wasn’t it?”
Sometimes—oh, sometimes—when she is so open and free and soft like this, you just want to hold her forever in your open hands and let her shine and shine and shine. “Always,” you murmur, and kiss her again. “You good?”
She answers by tugging up your thermal, over your head and off your arms, nips at your collarbone. “I want you,” she says into your shoulder, laves her tongue over the peak of the bone. “I want to fuck you,” she says, mouths into your biceps.
Sometimes she makes you fall apart with just a verb.
Her hands return to your body, to your breasts, pressing and cupping and then tweaking your nipples in tandem, and you want so much and all at once and if it wasn’t Christmas Eve, if it wasn’t snowstorm-quiet, if it wasn’t your old room in the old apartment, if your son wasn’t downstairs on the couch watching movies all night, if your parents weren’t downstairs too—the things you want to say, the sounds you want to make, the way you want to fuck her, you want so much and all at once.
You pull the sheet from between you with one hand and keep your body hovering over her with the other, keeping space so she can touch you the way she does, all gentle palms and hard fingers and dull rounded nails every six heartbeats. Her legs, her legs, her come-on legs are bare and she wraps them around yours like vines, like vises, she drags the leg of your sweatpants up with her toes and you want to feel her everywhere, all over you.
“I missed you,” you say, breaking away from her kiss to kneel between her legs, watch your hands travel up her thigh, under the hem of the t-shirt, to hook into the band of her underwear—blue striped boyshorts, regular cotton, not lace, one of her “fuck it, it’s the weekend” panties and you love her for this, you do, you do—and drag them down. “It’s been—I missed you.”
She waits until you’ve pulled them off completely before sitting up and cupping your face between her hands, her miracle hands. She kisses you softly and sighs against your upper lip, dots dumb stupid precious kisses all around your mouth. “I’m here,” she murmurs, and moves in even closer, climbs into your lap and kisses you, kisses you, kisses you. The heat from her cunt against your stomach distracts you, but then she speaks again, against your chin. “We’re here, linda, we’re here.”
She is still in your t-shirt and you still have your sweats on and it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You kiss her hard and full of fire and she grounds you, tethers you to this world, holds you steady. You kiss her hard and full of fire and press your thumbs into the notches between her torso and thighs, down until you push over those strong, tensing tendons, press into the softness at the very top of her inner thighs. She breathes out through her nose—impatient and appreciative all in the same moment—and holds on to your shoulders and neck, holds onto you and grinds hot and wet against your bare skin for a full minute, open mouth to open mouth, touching her tongue to yours, to your teeth, to the space beneath your tongue that she always goes to, that you always think is so weird but it’s her and you and that’s what matters.
Open mouth to open mouth and then you tip her back onto the mattress, sit back to look at her, half naked and spread open. Every part of her is beautiful and hypnotizing and her cunt is no exception. She’s dark-lipped and lovely, trimmed and glistening, and you stare and stare and kiss the insides of her knees. You like the contrast of the faded black t-shirt and her sunshine skin. You like the way her thighs are tense and taut under your fingers. You like the way she holds her breath when you run two fingers in coy, idle circles around her clit, the sound she stifles in her throat when you drop your index finger to trace the edge of her opening. Her eyes—sunset and fire and autumn and love—don’t leave yours, even when you push just the tip of your finger into her, although they widen and unfocus and then narrow and sharpen when you retract your finger.
Except, when you bring your finger to your lips, touch your tongue to the back of your finger and taste her, salt and slick and clean, she closes her eyes. Three years and it’s still new to her, this idea that you love her taste, her scent, the exact texture of her clit against your tongue. If you’d had twenty eight years with her, you’d have gone down on her every single fucking day. Begged her for the opportunity every single fucking day.
Two fingers to her cunt again and you stroke up slowly, and again, grazing her clit between your fingers, brushing along her swelling labia, light and lingering touches to keep her humming, keep her bright. “God, I want to fuck you,” you mumble, and laugh when she starts to reach towards the nightstand as if you’re back home with the harness in the bottom drawer, so you grab her fingers and shake your head. “No, no, I want to feel you,” you whisper, and with your left hand still clutching her right, you let your stroking hand slow, rub four tight circles over her clit and then drag your finger down to her entrance, push in with just one, just one, just one.
Her body curves with it, chest rising and pushing out, it’s a fucking tragedy that you can’t see her perfect perfect breasts but maybe the way her lips have formed this beautiful oval is good enough. A ghost of a sigh curls out of her and her hips cant up and her fingers intertwined with yours twist and tighten, a clear command. You start slow, focusing on the warm and the wet around your finger, on how her walls are smooth and silk, and when the slight pulsing of her hips edges over to impatient, you add your index finger, keep it slow.
Her hand in yours twists again, and you look up at her face to see those bright, bright eyes shining at you. “Harder,” she breathes out, and bites her lip so that when you change the angle of your wrist and thrust into her, strong and steady, her cry is stifled but not enough, not enough. “Oh, fuck,” she groans, and reaches for you, pulls you to her and kisses you, all fire and light.
You keep moving, strong and steady, and let her kiss you and fail at it and kiss you and moan for you, and there’s nothing you want more than to lap up every sound that comes from that perfect perfect mouth but not here, not now, not tonight. “Shhh,” you murmur into her ear, and just your breath on her skin makes her whimper. She hisses with self-reproach and digs her nails into your back, her teeth into your shoulder, her thighs are locking around your hips and you know her, know that she wants to put in work, know that she’ll want to top and ride and make you fuck her—but not here, not now, not tonight.
So you slow down, draw out the path your fingers follow and she releases your shoulder and whines your name against your cheek and her voice—God, you want to fuck her—is so low so rough so raw, you feel it all the way down your spine and in every nerve of your body. She says your name again and you exhale in a rush, rotate your wrist and curl your fingers forward to press and drag over that one wet raw-silk spot—
You have to let go of her hand and drop your weight to your elbow and knees because you have to cover her mouth, you have to cover her mouth, she can’t—there’s no mistaking the sound she’s just made, there’s no mistaking a guttural gasp like that. “Shhh,” you say again, and maybe it’s the wrong thing because she reaches to clutch your forearm, to make you stop, and no, no, no. “Come on, baby, we can be quiet, right?” you murmur, and touch your tongue to the hollow notches at the base of her neck, smile when you feel her mouth open under your palm, when you feel her thigh hitch higher on your hip. It’s permission, it’s encouragement, you pull out until just the tips of your fingers are in her and then push in again with three, and she moans right into your hand and it’s audible but muffled and hot and strong and her hips are up off the bed and twisting just enough. She’s close, she’s close, she’s close.
But you keep it slow and hard and full of longing, you touch her and touch her and touch her and you lean more on your left side, pull back from her body just enough, because you want to look at her. You want to look at her dark wet cunt and the contrast of your winter-pale fingers pushing into her, you want to look at the barest sheen of sweat visible on her stomach where your ratty old t-shirt is pushed up just beneath her perfect breasts. You want to look at her dark dark eyes with her blown-out pupils and you’d give anything, anything, to look at her autumn mouth, her fire lips, her hard-won scar and her barely-there beauty mark, to watch for the flash of teeth and tongue every time she smiles or sighs. You’d give anything to watch her mouth through a scream.
When you let your thumb brush her clit again, her fingers tighten around the waistband of your sweatpants and dig into your ass, her jaw is so tense and tight that you’re afraid she’s going to crack a tooth, but she’s almost there, almost there. “Come on, beautiful, come for me,” you whisper, and kiss the softness behind her jawbone, pulse your thumb steadily. “I’m all yours, come for me.”
She does and she’s perfect. She does and she’s beautiful. Her spine arches and locks, she tightens around your fingers and floods your palm and when she comes down, when she melts, you just want to hold her in your open hands forever.
You drag your hand from her mouth and down over each of the tender points on her neck, fingers trembling with everything she pulls out of you. “Kiss me,” she rasps, and her voice hitches and cracks, so you do—gently, sweetly, with one hand still inside of her and the other tangling in the neckline of that ratty old t-shirt. She strokes down your bare ribs and holds your hips against hers and kisses back and kisses back. “Do you think they heard?”
Her voice is steadier but you can feel her heartbeat fluttering and you know better than to move your hand just yet. “No,” you assure her, even though you have no idea. “Just us.” She smiles, her beautiful all-love smile, her perfect perfect mouth—you kiss her softly and finally pull out of her, grumble against her upper lip when she grabs your wrist and wipes your hand on the sheets. “I wanted that.”
“Later, linda,” she soothes, with long strokes along the ridges of your spine. You finally ease off of your left elbow and knee and onto your side, turning her to face you with a tug on her hip. “Later.”
There’s later. There’s tomorrow. There’s the way she winds her arms around your neck and murmurs soft things you don’t understand against your jaw, the way she slips her thigh between yours but holds still, preparation but not enticement just yet. There’s the rest of the visit and then there’s home and forever. There’s her sweet sweet smile and the luxury of holding her, both of you only half-naked because there’s later. There’s time.
“Just us,” she breathes into your ear, and curls her fingers into your hair, tugs gently, gently. “Lay back. I want to look at you.”
You smile, and kiss her, and recline.