“Come greet me with kisses if you love me.”
He’s naked from the waist up. His once crisp shirt with its starched collar now lay discarded on the floor, bent and crumpled from the violence of its removal. His kisses are probing and passionate, bluntly asserting his possession as he presses her into the mattress. Beside his shirt lay her glasses, mercifully unbroken and a scattering of the hair pins that had tamed her hair into respectability. He luxuriates in the softness of her skin, in the indecently sensual fall of her hair, and the sounds she makes as he moves against her.
“You may not believe this, but I don’t really come alive until I come home on weekends...”
She cries out and arches against him as he thrusts into her, forcing her back down. They’re completely naked now, a sheen of sweat darkening his flaxen hair and adding luster to their skin. The once cool and neatly pressed cotton sheets are damp and rumpled, wrapped around and bunched between them. Everything is heat and motion, slicked skin and moist flesh. His mouth falls on hers, on her throat, her breasts, suckling and savoring in time to the staccato rhythm of their bodies. Her slim hands slide down the muscles and ridges of his back, further and further and until they reach and cup the firmness of his ass. The mattress, the bed springs, the headboard, practically the room itself reverberates with, beneath, and around them. Other than the slide of skin on skin; other than the sound of her cries and his moans as they escalate to frantic, fevered pitch; other than the potent, pungent scent of sex, nothing outside of them exists. No other people, no other commitments, no obligations, and no betrayals.
“Don’t cry. Don’t feel jealous. You won’t be loved any less.”
They lay still now, side by side. One hand rests possessively on her bare hip. The other is still tangled in her hair, those thick dark tresses that captured him the day they met. She’s sleeping but he’s not. Carefully, delicately he leans forward to kiss her eyelids. After their lovemaking, this is the time between them that he loves best - the time of suspension and stillness in the deep dark hours of the night. In those wee small hours he can briefly, just briefly, rest assured that she is his and always will be - until the next train or plane takes him away from her again.
In the morning, he will once again don his starched shirts and tailored business suits. Once more she will appear in her neatly tucked blouse, simple black skirt, and sensible pumps. His cufflinks will be in place and his briefcase in hand. Her hair will once again be modestly pinned and her glasses perched on her nose. They will jointly consult his date book and inventory the presents for his children. The sterling silver music box will be carefully wrapped.
She will head toward the door that separates their adjoining hotel rooms. And before she can reach it he will drop his briefcase, yank her back, and press her against it. He’ll remove her glasses and kiss her as if his life depends on it, as if he’s saying goodbye to his world. They both know this kiss is a promise and a claim. They have talked about this. Whatever happens he will not give her up. He will not let her go. She is non-negotiable. A fact of which his boss is well aware and the reason for the adjoining rooms in the first place.
When their lips part, she will close her eyes and catch her breath. He knows she’s recalling all the failed arguments she’s mustered before; and the career prospects, miniscule though they were, that she could have had without him, instead of remaining as his...his...just his . He will lean his forehead against hers and wait for the rapid beating of her heart to slow. While he waits, the guilt will wash over him - as it always does - as well as the shame of knowing that such guilt will never be enough to stop him from reaching for her. He cannot survive the week without her. He can’t face the loneliness, the need, the recriminations .
And fool that she is, she won’t let him. He’ll ruin her. He knows he will. Something will happen - whether it will be discovery and disgrace, desertion or pregnancy. And, God what would he do with another child? And no, no, he can’t give in to the fantasy, the sheer male need to own her in that way, to meld a piece of himself to her forever.
He wills himself to take his hands off her and step back. She opens her eyes, her relief plainly evident in them. For a moment he’s stung, but only for a moment. This is their dance. Their testing of each other to see how far the other will go. He started it way back when and now they can’t seem to stop. Or he can’t seem to.
He can’t stop himself dreaming of a life with a woman so steady and strong yet sensual. What would his life be like with a woman who could stand on her own two feet, with or without him? What would it be like to awake and drown in warm dark eyes every morning? Or to have his sleep invaded by a small, somber child with his mother’s dark tresses, keen mind, and kind heart?
He simply stood and stared as she cleared her throat, and put on her glasses, then reached behind her to turn the knob and open the door before quietly slipping through it. He could barely hear the click as it closed. And in the back of his mind, something whispered that he would dream of that child tonight.
“Come greet me with kisses if you love me! ”
Hours later, he strode through the door then laughed heartily as his son raced from his hiding place to pounce on him. After distributing kisses and gifts with equal abandon, his eyes turned to his wife as she drifted forward. Unabashed, their lips met and parted for a more intimate invasion, once, twice, thrice before he finally pulled back to ask “Where’s Cathy?” His wife sighed as she told him the sorry tale.
He nodded thoughtfully as he removed his coat before turning to his luggage to sort through the contents. Minutes later he stood outside this daughter’s room and gently knocked, the beautifully wrapped box with the sterling silver music box in his hands.