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Like The Bones Of The Earth

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This, Nicole thinks, is the bliss that feeds her soul. She cherishes her peaceful days, the days where there is no external chatter to rattle at her thoughts, only completion and calm. The days where the world condenses to just the two of them, and she can wrap herself up with her love. With Waverly.

They lie together, their heartbeats quieting, the sweat of their bodies cooling.

“How do you do that, Nicole. How do you always know exactly what I want.” Waverly’s voice comes light, as light as her touch. She lies on her side, her forehead pressed to Nicole’s jaw, and her fingers curl delicately as she traces them across the upper reaches of Nicole’s chest. Her tousled hair drapes over Nicole’s shoulder, just a little bit tickly whenever she moves, and Nicole smiles at the warm, sated sounds of her words.

“Mmm. Because you tell me, baby. Your body tells me.” Nicole, a little restless, shifts the arm that isn't wrapped around Waverly, arranging the pillows. She settles again, and sweeps her hand, soft as silk, across Waverly’s cheek, brushing away a stray hair. The length of her takes up all the bed, so much so that her feet are just hanging off the bottom edge. She stretches, feeling the rumple of the sheets under her back, the warm burn of her muscles. She steadies and slows her breathing. Bit by bit, she feels Waverly start to drift, to droop, how any tension in her comes all the way unraveled, with tiredness or pleasant exhaustion, it doesn’t matter. Nicole smiles down, presses the tenderest of kisses into Waverly’s hair.

Waverly mumbles, not comprehensible; a cheerful muttering that she sometimes does between sleep and wakefulness. Nicole thinks, god, could she be any more adorable, and relaxes as Waverly presses against the warmth of her body. They fit so well together, like the easiest miracle that ever existed, and Nicole is a little overwhelmed by how much her heart swells for this woman.

Her mind wanders. Incongruously, she thinks about climbing.

Nicole imagines herself, clinging to rockface. It’s a tiny bit jarring, and she wonders why it comes to mind even as she effortlessly slides into recollections. The way the physical effort marries to the acute mental focus. How the climb doesn’t happen all at once, but one move following one move following one move. The way the challenge, the adrenaline, lifts but doesn’t overwhelm. Huh. Well, then. Her mind leaps, makes a connection. Now she can’t call up a single thought of climbing, any of the very specific ways she’d used her fingertips to inform her body, to seek and learn and find her way through the meditative puzzle of the sheer face, without also thinking how it feels to sweep searching fingertips over that slender body and learn what lies there.

The thought? Feels like an epiphany.

Maybe climbing has taught her yet another thing she didn’t know she was learning.

This is what she thinks, as she quietly trails her fingertips across Waverly’s shoulders and breasts and belly, always seeking. Always discovering.


*****

There had been rough patches in Nicole’s life, like the time she had fled, making her escape from her family. Lost and a little bit broken, she’d bounced around some, ending up briefly in a lot of different places. She’d been in California for a little while. There had been friends, and a boon companion, a pretty girl who liked to flirt and sometimes more, but mostly there’d been climbing.

Days, they wore themselves out on the rocks in Joshua Tree. They’d climbed so many of the established routes that Nicole practically lost count. Hidden Valley, White Tank, the Geology Tour Road and Split Rocks - beautiful places in that strange, barren landscape. Most nights, when they didn’t need to shower and resupply in town, were spent camped out in the desert, either in the park or on nearby BLM land. They’d be tucked into tents when the wind was blowing, but on the clear warm still nights, they would cowboy-camp under the stars. Nicole kept a little cot in her beat-up pickup, so she could sleep off the ground, declining to be any more intimate than necessary with the local snakes and tarantulas. She hadn’t been there long. It was less than two months before Nicole moved on, leaving the transient lifestyle for something a little more normal in her mind, finding her path.

Still, she never forgot sleeping under that velvet dark sky, and so many stars spilling across it seemed she’d ended up on a different earth altogether. When the moon was close to full, the enormous monzogranite boulders would be washed white in the moonlight, like the bones of the earth, holding her cradled and safe.

There, the rocks had taught her what she needed to know. They taught her to trust herself again. They taught her focus, patience, calm. They gave her what she needed to put herself back together.


*****

Waverly stirs, comes back awake, after maybe twenty minutes or so. Nicole murmurs, “Hey, baby.”

“Uh,” says Waverly. “Was I sleeping?”

Nicole knows that Waverly never got all the way down to deep sleep. She says, “Yeah, a little. Not long.” She moves her body slightly, turning just a bit toward Waverly, inviting her to snuggle in a little closer.

Waverly takes the invitation, burrowing her face to Nicole’s neck like a sleepy, affectionate squirrel. Still sounding a little slow and drowsy, she asks, “How about you?”

“No,” replies Nicole. Her hands run idly over Waverly’s body, slow, the skin warm and pliant under her fingers. “Just lying here thinkin’.”

“What are you thinking about?” Waverly turns her face up to Nicole’s, with a small smile.

Nicole chuckles. “Rockclimbing. Of all things.” She leans down and drops a soft kiss on Waverly’s mouth.

“Rockclimbing,” Waverly repeats when their lips part. She catches one of Nicole’s slow-moving hands in hers, caresses it. “Is that why your hands are so good?” Waverly runs her fingertips over the back of Nicole’s hand, strokes across the knuckles there, then brings it up to her cheek. Quiet merriment glints in her eyes, and Nicole feels the spark, the quick flash reminding her of just how well Waverly has enjoyed those hands.

“Good? No. Maybe,” answers Nicole. “Well, you won’t believe me, but that is exactly what I was wondering.” She turns her hand over, her palm to Waverly’s cheek, and strokes her thumb across her lips.

“Because it makes your hands strong?” ventures Waverly. She leans into Nicole’s palm, slightly.

“No,” says Nicole. “I mean, yeah, you need strength, but to be a decent climber your hands need to be able to see. Be able to learn.” Nicole isn’t sure if she’s wording it right; she’s thought about this before, still finds it hard to say a thing that can’t be said, that won’t be nailed down with mere phrases.

Waverly hums, as though she senses Nicole’s uncertainty of words, then breathes out, “Can you show me?”

Nicole looks at her thoughtfully. “No - you show me.” She holds her breath, and holds back her smile, wondering how Waverly will take the small challenge.

Waverly’s eyes widen, just barely. “I … I don’t understand.”

“I know, baby,” says Nicole, “I can’t really explain it. But … close your eyes. Listen to your hands. Listen to what they know, what they tell you.” Her voice comes low and steady, and gentle, all authority but no bite, something one of her academy instructors once called her ‘coaxing-voice.’ Nicole marvels to hear it in her mouth right now.

And Waverly does it. She comes up to sitting as her eyes drift closed, and her hands reach for Nicole.

One of them comes to rest across the flat plane of Nicole’s near hip, the palm barely cupping over the point of the hipbone. It doesn’t move; Nicole thinks, there’s her anchor. The static point that orients the rest of the body’s movements. Waverly’s hand feels warm, light against her skin.

The other hand travels. Tentative at first, as if Waverly isn’t sure what she should be doing, she trails her fingertips lightly starting at Nicole’s stomach, tracing upward between her breasts, then her hand gains certainty, her fingers firmer, spreading wider as they reach up and back to the nape of the neck, barely tangling into red hair like she’s done a thousand times, before stroking the skin under Nicole’s ear and along her jawline. Waverly curls her fingers in that elegant way she has, and wrinkles her brow a bit, radiating curiosity.

Nicole whispers, “What do you see?”

“Your heartrate,” Waverly whispers back, “it went up.”

True. Oh, very good, Nicole thinks, pleased at how perceptive Waverly is, how well she has picked up the beginning of this game. “Go on,” she murmurs.

Waverly now rests the hand that lies against Nicole’s neck and shoulder, her thumb just touching the hollow at the base of her throat and Nicole’s pulse thundering just under her fingertips, and moves the other hand. Her flattened palm and outstretched fingers search over Nicole’s belly, sail slowly across to the opposite side, come to rest on the curve of her hip where it meets the waist, as Waverly leans across Nicole’s body. Nicole can’t help herself - she feels how her body twitches under Waverly’s hand, and the way her breathing stutters, the heat as her face flushes a little.

Nicole lifts her hands, clasping Waverly by the elbows, drawing her gently in. “And … ?” she prompts.

Waverly pauses, thinks. “Your muscles. Jumping a little,” she says, “and I can feel you flexing your abductor, here,” giving a little squeeze to Nicole’s hip.

“Well, that’s you,” says Nicole with a grin, “you’re making that happen.” She’s drawing Waverly in a little more insistently now, angling for the kiss.

Waverly opens her eyes, finds Nicole’s gazing into hers “So, what does it mean?” she asks.

“I don’t know that it means anything,” says Nicole, “just, a reminder to be open to it.” She hesitates, only a moment, then continues softly. “I … just … love being with you so much, I want to do it with every bit of myself.” She blushes slightly at the confession they both already know in their hearts is true.

Waverly leans down, their mouths finally meeting again.

As instructive as the rockclimbing analogy has been, it’s clearly time to discard it; Nicole feels herself sink into the kiss, drowning in the warm pleasure of it. Her lips part under Waverly’s tongue, their mouths slide together, their bodies beginning the dance slowly. Waverly shifts herself to lie full-length atop Nicole’s frame, their legs tangling. With her dancer’s grace, Waverly runs the arch of her foot up and down Nicole’s calf, and it lights Nicole up like a Christmas tree when she does that, the sexy sway of it, the way their hips undulate with the motion. Waverly weighting her down is always the most delicious thing in the world.

Nicole’s hands range over every bit of Waverly, skimming over soft skin as their mouths continue the lovely exploration of tongue and lips, the touch a pleasure she never wants to end. She revels in the play of sleek muscles under her searching fingers, how the shoulders flex, how the back bends, how the thighs bunch up and stretch out again. She blesses her good fortune, over and over, for the gift of the chance to touch that magnificent body, to please each other, to soar together. Nicole hasn’t known this intensity of feeling, didn’t know it existed, before Waverly. She drinks it in deeply, now.

Waverly, breathing harder, breaks away a little and sighs into her mouth, smiling. “I feel like I could kiss you all day and all night.”

“Yes, please,” breathes Nicole. Maybe they’ve been kissing for five minutes, or five hours, or maybe the sun went down and came up again and when it sets again they’ll still be wrapped up in each other this way, forever. It doesn’t matter; all that matters is that Waverly is pressed against her, and Waverly’s hands are all over her, and she is groaning and arching into Waverly’s hips, the fire between her thighs building to a roar.

Waverly licks along the underside of Nicole’s jaw, long and slow and teasing, before returning to coax Nicole’s tongue inside her mouth, gently sucking. The pleasure rises, warm and honeyed. Nicole takes Waverly’s breast in her hand, catching the nipple and feeling it harden between her thumb and the edge of her palm, as she strokes and kneads. Waverly raises up a bit, and Nicole bends her leg to bring her thigh firmly to Waverly’s core. Waverly lets out a small gasp and matches the action with her own solid leg, and now they both can find delicious friction, grinding into their arousal.

It’s languid and unhurried between them, and feels like it might go on forever, heated and swaying into each other with fever, until Waverly is reaching between Nicole’s legs, asking, “Can I?”

“God, yes,” says Nicole panting. She reaches down as well, and asks, “Me, too?”

“No,” says Waverly decisively. “Let me. Just … let me.”

Nicole shifts back, acquiescing. She moans and writhes with the raw sensuality of the sensations filling her as Waverly slips inside, as she feels the stroke of her fingers. Then, her focus returns to the beautiful face hovering above hers, and she sees. She sees the tiny knot of concentration on Waverly’s brow, and the way the rest of her face goes slack, and her eyes off to middle distance, and Nicole knows. Waverly is learning, learning with her hands. She’s had this in her the whole time. She is teaching herself the thing they’d just talked about, she is discovering a new way to discover and it’s written all over her face, the mix of fascination and lust potent and plain to see.

Joy runs fierce and instant through Nicole, along with so much pride. She feels herself bloom and open under Waverly’s scrutiny, and aches to give herself over as completely as she possibly can. Because it gives her so much happiness to see Waverly expanding, and knowing it’s a gift she helped give her in some small way, plus the intensity of Waverly’s explorations is … really hot. Every deliberate twist and curl of her fingers is somehow heightened, amplified, and Waverly is really, really thorough. Just as she had tried earlier, she listens. She listens to what makes Nicole sigh and what makes her shout and what makes her moan, listens to what makes her arch and what makes her shake. It’s slow, and some parts are gentle and some parts are not, and it’s blazing so high, impossibly high, and Nicole knows that when Waverly finally takes her over and lets her fall, she’ll fall forever. She needs to fall.

“Please, please, baby,” she gasps.

Waverly’s hazel-green eyes come focused back to hers, and she brings her face close to Nicole’s, whispering, “Okay, baby, okay, baby,” as she takes Nicole into a steady strong stroke, their bodies moving in perfect sinuous rhythm.

Nicole’s eyes draw closed and her head rocks back; she arches violently, crying out Waverly’s name as the fire in her core floods through her, her orgasm like molten gold, sparking through her fingertips, flashing redlight behind her eyelids. She shudders, clenching down again and again, gathering sheets by the fistful as Waverly clings atop her, gradually slowing, never faltering, and they ride out the pleasure together.

It takes a long time before Nicole even begins to relax and Waverly slips out of her - Nicole moans at the dearth of her fingers - and even longer for her heart to slow. By then, they’ve arranged themselves a little more comfortably, with Waverly tucked into Nicole’s side. They lie together, happy, drifting down. Nicole sighs, a sigh with all the contentment in the world in it. “Waves. Intense. So good.”

“Yeah?” says Waverly.

“Oh yeah,” says Nicole. “I think you’ve wrecked me, at least for a little bit.” She turns her head to plant a small kiss on the crown of Waverly’s head.

Waverly, quiet and still, says, “I should thank you. I’ve learned so much from you.”

Nicole says, with a wide sweet smile, “Oh, baby, you already knew,” as she gathers Waverly in her arms, her heart swimming with love, wanting to hold her forever.