I am lying in Jim Ellison's bed.
Clarification. I am lying in Jim Ellison's bed with the biggest grin of my entire life on my face. And I am completely and utterly sated and happy.
I am in deep shit.
I've never gotten involved this deeply with anyone before in my life, certainly not with someone I only met three days ago.
Three days. It doesn't seem possible.
I learned at an early age not to get too attached to any one, courtesy of my mother's gypsy lifestyle. Naomi, the original free spirit, was never content to remain in one place too long. We'd settle in a place for a few months, a year at most, and then Naomi would get the urge to travel again. I learned a lot about moving on and letting go - "detaching with love", my mother called it.
I'm not complaining. It was a good life, and I got to see a lot more of the world than most kids ever see. I just never knew what it was like to have a best friend.
Or an attic.
Funny how attics always fascinated me. When I was about six, my newest friend in whatever town we were in that year lived in an older house - his grandparents' - one with an attic. Not those crawlspaces with pull-down ladders like in modern houses. No, this was the real deal with a door and a spooky set of stairs that stretched up into the darkness, that led to a vast room filled with treasure. Old pictures and old books. Trunks with school papers and letters. Trunks with old clothes and photos. Dressmaker dummies and hat boxes, old rocking horses and abandoned dolls.
I loved it.
From then on, wherever we went, I looked for attics to visit. I'd befriend elderly ladies for a chance to explore their attics. I'd explore and speculate on the lives of the people who'd owned these things - the woman who'd worn this hat, the child who'd played with this toy.
Not in the least surprising that I became an anthropologist, huh?
Now I roll up on my elbow and look down at Jim. He's sleeping soundly, and I allow a smug grin to cross my face. It's safe enough - he'd definitely down for the count and I'm tickled to have worn him out. And while he's sleeping, I can look my fill on him without worrying about embarrassing him - or how much of myself I'm exposing. In repose, he is even more breathtakingly perfect, a male Galatea waiting for the spark of life. But this is no cold marble under my fingers. This is living and breathing flesh, and he is mine in a way that no one else has ever been.
The memory of being buried deep within this man stirs my flesh again, firing up my hunger. I can't wait for him to wake up again. This time, I want him to take me, and I want it face to face. I want to see his face as he thrusts deep within me, to see passion cloud over those crystal blue eyes. I want to taste his lips as he comes, to swallow up his cries within my mouth, within my body, within my soul.
Jim doesn't have an attic. There's not much of a place to put one in the jungle. But I've looked deep into those crystal blue eyes, the ones that reveal the complexity of his soul, and I've seen - attics. Enough for me to explore for a lifetime.
And - for the first time in my life - forever doesn't seem too long. It sounds just about right.
End of Song of the Wolf