Chapter 21 – Updated 1/3/17

I convince her I’m not thinking about Jesse. And that I’m not going to think about Jesse. I kiss her over and over, moving my hands along every curve of her body to prove it. And I’m not lying…at first. When she whispers, “I love you”, though, I don’t hear her voice. When I whisper it back, I’m not really talking to her. My kisses are more passionate, my hands more urgent, my heart more open because she’s not Sam in my brain. Her skin feels only a little different…not enough that I can’t lie to myself and pretend she’s Jesse. Her kisses are seeking and eager. Mine are desperate and needy.

When her fingers are inside me, they feel no different. When I close my eyes and match her tempo, I’m not in my own bed. I’m anywhere else in the world with that someone else. When she whispers her encouragement, I kiss her so that I don’t have to pretend I’m hearing her because I’m hearing someone else’s sighs. I’m feeling someone else’s breath on my skin. Those arms, strong and powerful, belong to someone who’s already held me like this, touched me like that, and taken me to the same place she’s hoping to take me.

There are moments of clear thought that bring me back to this moment, this time, and this lover. I explore her as readily as I she does me. Her body, long and lean, moves against me and drives me crazy. That’s all her. Watching her work her hips in slow circles, grinding harder and harder on top of me, I almost swoon. There’s a tattoo of an eagle on her hip just below her waist and as she moves, it looks as though it’s flying. When she rolls me over and pulls me closer and holds me there tightly, legs splayed and wanton, she goes even deeper, sparking a torrent of memories again.

My back arches the same against her. My body quivers, my muscles contract, and my breathing stops for a moment just the same way …only, she’s not the reason those things happen. Yes, it’s her fingers, tongue, hands, and lips. But my eyes are closed and the lover who takes me to that place-does those things to my body-isn’t her. And although I’m very careful not to call Jesse’s name…I find it easier to not call any name at all.

And when it’s all over, I wait for a while to make sure she’s asleep before slipping out of bed. I tiptoe to the bathroom and close the door without flipping on the light. In the darkness, I stand quiet, unsure what I’m doing there. Then I press my naked back against the wall and listen to that inner voice, Go on and cry, Sara. I gotcha. And, if I close my eyes, Courtney’s arms are wrapped around me instead of my own. I begin to break down slowly because I hate crying. I slide down the wall, drawing my knees into my chest and wrap my arms around them. I go to great pains to sob quietly.

Her face, turned up to me; her lips, curved in a smile; her eyes, dark and light at the same time; her skin, highlighted by the sun; her hair, blowing in the wind a little; her cheeks, red and tear-streaked…are etched there on the backs of my eyelids. Her voice, a little louder than a whisper, repeats, “Okay, for you, I’ll say it again. I love you, Sara.” With words I can’t think of, in a voice I can’t find, with a passion I don’t dare reveal, my heart screams, “I love you, too.”

~~~~
Her heart aches more than her fingers, but they both want the same thing. She clenches her eyes closed, lost in the memory of a moment that is perfect. A shaft of light, a whisper of a sigh, a cold wall against her palm…all of them part of it. When she bites her lip and groans, she can hear a little gasp, one that came from my throat, not her own. She tastes her own tears and pumps her fingers harder…in and out.. in and out. Just like that…just like with me….just like inside me. The name makes her shudder a little and, since she’s alone, she whispers it softly, “Sara.”

She watches in her mind’s eye as I, lying on the shower floor, roll and writhe against her hand. So hot and wet and beautiful…and all hers. Then, like a flash, I’m dribbling down the court, smiling, laughing, making a shot, and slapping her hand. No, there’s no passion there, but any touch becomes special…every glance is an answer to the prayer she whispers every night. Her fingers move faster, the tightening gets stronger and stronger. On the bus, in the showers, around a lunch table, glances and laughs and smiles…all for her. She even caught me licking her lips while staring…at her. She presses her heels into her bed and lifts her hips off the bed to go deeper…get more… feel more.

Now she’s in a huddle, the team’s up by 30 points, and I’m looking at her when I say, “Let’s just have fun.” Then we’re passing to each other, messing with the other team’s defense. Ducking and weaving and laughing and then, putting up that three pointer, I turn on my heel and nod…just for her. Looking right at her. And then I smile…just for her……. Her thumb flicks that spot just right, just the way I would do it…she groans my name again.

She gasps, her toes curling, her body flushed with passion, so ready..so close. Her jaw tightens as much as her left hand does on the fistful of bed sheet it’s strangling. Now I’m standing on a curb, hair blowing, eyes bright, mouth slightly open, breathing, but …shallowly. I wanted to kiss her.. she knew it. She wasn’t hurt that I didn’t do it. She was paying more attention to the fact that I didn’t tell her to go away. That I didn’t push her away. And when she leaned in, getting very close, my eyes closed just slightly. My breath caught…and it was never clearer to Jesse than at that moment… this need, this passion, this love… is not one-sided. She just has to wait…wait for the beautifully torturous end of our story. She grunts, arches, pushes, flicks, gasps, shudders….repeat.

Then, she’s kissing me, hard… fingers there… eyes closed… mouth open and willing.. heart thudding… blood rushing… body rippling like waves… against, away, against, away… And then I open my eyes… Jesse’s body opens and gets wetter… I gasp… Jesse matches me… I whisper so very, very softly, “I love you, too,” …the orgasm hits her hard and she groans but bites down to stifle the yell… and then tastes blood. As her passion subsides, she withdraws her fingers and takes a deep, cleansing breath. Her tongue flicks against her self-inflicted wound. Slowly she smiles… she secretly hopes I notice the injury. And, if I ask what happened… Jesse will say, “You know what happened. Trust me… you were there, baby. And it was magic… just like last time. And next time.”

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