No one likes Eden.
She’s always known it.
She knows more when she eyes the labourers along the wharf.
The breeze carries a lick of saltwater over the pier. Shelled wood planks cleave to a sandy dock that was once a rainbow of varnished hues. Most know it’s seen better days. Some reside in the old shacks along the shoreline. Seldom flourish although their planters harbour trinkets and marigolds.
Eden knows these strangers well. They despise change. They internalize the shame that emerges from contempt and constraint as a way to evince their righteousness.
Always raving about the good ol’ days. Days before life as they knew it was speared by the new highway. Days before the woods succumbed to tenements of asphalt.
Eden curls her toes. Her sandals swelter beneath the balls of her feet. There is no repose. Tears want to flood her over, but her throat flares and swallows hard enough to keep them down.
John floats in her head. There’s a catch in his voice. It’s cold and husky. Too honest. Almost intimate.
But Eden knows it isn’t. It can’t be.
While the sea rouses countless prospects, the fog of slumber has yet to lift. She dreams of John. His breath carries the scent of sleep while his lips linger with the unequivocal scent of her musk. He murmurs against her temple as he walks his fingers over her, surveying every expanse, probing each aperture. His caress inscribes the stars that burst beneath her eyelids. She bites. He nibbles. She writhes to draw him closer. He obliges but does not relent. Arousal overtakes her while resolve steadies his pace.
Eden knows this isn’t serious.
The water rolls as it always did, as if time and space are as one in each ripple. Its waves lay paths along the shoreline. Most lead to caverns whose spikes teethe the breeze. The rest distend to grassy dunes. Eden follows one of these. She observes flaxen spates of beach grass whose stalks are stronger when they intertwine. They tickle her calves.
In a matter of paces, Eden finds herself amongst friends. Old friends who have yet to become former friends. They talk around uncomfortable silences. Novelty only exists in the present.
The newly divorced.
The newfound enmity that tears old friends apart.
Everywhere, relations strike a threshold of decline and ascent. Most lay in the shadow of the condemned processing plant, the legacy of a defunct cabinet. Overgrown weeds festoon crumbling asphalt and gutted locomotives. Peals of steelwork halve convoys that are visible for miles. The plant belongs to sunny days when anything was possible. Not a reminder for the townsfolk to be wary of impossible campaign promises, but a testament to their naïveté.
What speaks to Eden is the water wheel. Every now and then, it turns and turns. Going through the motions.
But it goes nowhere.
Eden’s eyes are drawn to the pipes. Their ghosts materialize in steamy tendrils. They waft along moored liners and rooftops. They patronize those who live in untidy ships helmed with odds and ends, amble within shallow waters, and prattle on about nothing. For those who mistake shackles for anchors, they are nascent guests.
The beach is littered with acrid seaware, but the odour subsides when the tide comes in. Eden watches sunlit waves pulse along the shore. She sees two women trudge along the rocks which teethe the beach, one whose lustre takes shape against milky clouds; the other who is illumined by the glare of the distant boulevard.
Eden smirks as they advance. Her lips quiver, but her jaw sets before laughter steals through. She recognizes the women, Ava and Mia, from high school.
That’s the thing about Ava. There’s a husky catch in her voice; a little hearty, mostly sweet. She isn’t a liar, but she can’t face reality. Strangers imagine her to be a paragon of virtue – roseate, cherub, modest – yet the light in her eyes occludes darkness. An avid mouth that harbours an unruly tongue pouts against strawberry blonde tresses and freckles.
The cars she parks in are fast.
But she’s faster.
Palms ease clothes off. The fabric falls before it distends to expose creamy skin. The hair cascades over the breasts; the dusky areolae whose peaks harden under the hair, the hands, then the tongue. Everything glistens beneath the tongue. Until nothing exists beyond the sounds of suckling and the fingers swimming, the livid forepleasure that readies them for more.
Likewise, Mia exchanges pictures with anonymous personals. The most suggestive ones incline her to cruise the backroads in her ancient station wagon. Aliased partners recline their seats, part their legs, lick the flesh until the curls succumb to the tongues. The car sways to the wet unison.
Yet Mia curates a picturesque marriage and motherhood that is cheerfully captioned throughout the day. No one sees this for what it is: that she is reduced to her toddlers’ company, how little she cares for them. She cares even less for her husband.
Eden thinks they haven’t changed much since high school. Ava still fucks whatever and whoever she can. Mia still makes love akin to the paper-and-pencil games she inscribed in all of her notebooks.
They both still confide in Eden.
The women trek along boulders and mossy outgrowth. Earthen, muted hues of celadon affix the beach to an escarpment which floods during high tide. Eden eyes the leathery old tourists who idle beneath shawls and parasols. Ava mutters something about how privileged positionalities tyrannize foreigners whose labour affords repose. She recalls how internationals are promised pay and lodging, only to earn morsels upon their arrival and reside in cots packed like sardines. Mia counters that they should be so lucky. She insists that they must’ve had it worse wherever they came from.
Eden wonders what makes this town special.
“It’s better,” Mia shrugs. “Not special, just better.”
Eden snickers after the condemned factory. “Yeah, better.”
The building hangs like a curse over this town and passersby.
Eden can relate. Except she is less brooding than alone. Artifice defines the way one lives. The default is to lie. Anything to effect courtesy or familiarity to garner acceptance. Oblige whatever or whomever comes until they come to pass. Regale them to no end even the means are patently untrue. People come to realize that they are riding their own trains. They are lone itinerants, resigned to exemplars and internalizing the umbrage of their adversaries.
When it comes to John, Eden has a one-track mind.
Ava and Mia chide how Eden seldom stays or smiles. They have yet to grasp the wisdom of reclusion. Everyone, everything is bound to fall apart. Not grow apart. Fall apart. Liars never grow. They just cave in when their charades begin to unravel.
Eden thinks it’s better to be alone for that; when the world shrinks away and takes every lie with it, tearing the liar from reality itself. All alone in her skin to discern the ebb and flow of her emotions.
Eden declines when the women insist they catch up over coffee. It’s been a long drive from the city. She’s already tired after the short walk along the beach, but she promises to check out the party they invite her to tonight.
Although she blames jet lag for her fatigue, it’s really survivor’s guilt. Ava and Mia can hardly call life in this town life at all. Nobody else can either. There is no life in the monotony of parking and playing house, patronizing the same peoples and places amidst paltry pleasantries. Things are jointly stagnant and successive. Those who aspire to evolve are blocked by telltales who are empowered by committees and cliques. Those who prosper subsist by memory, where the past echoes into the present.
Eden is one of the few who ventures beyond this. It was as ugly as people had sworn she was. No one would’ve had her even if she hadn’t kept to herself. Ava and Mia were the only exceptions.
To date, Eden doesn’t know why. She came by Ava at a corner store students would flood during lunch. Ava had somehow broken from her circle, then sauntered over to bum a cigarette. She stayed even though Eden didn’t smoke. Not too long after, Eden found Mia fuming over some guy in the library. Someone swore they’d seen her with him to his girlfriend’s chagrin. Heckled and bawled out, study hall was her refuge. Eden offered mute reassurance.
Ever since then, the women proved to be Eden’s unlikely albeit tenable allies.
Neither of them knew she was an insomniac.
She still is.
All those sleepless nights and she has yet to awaken. Her eyes burn. She is like a heart turned inside out. Not a heart that throbs to love and be loved. No, the heart here is a wave that rolls and engulfs another one. It throbs against the world and undulates through every cell.
When one cannot sleep, one cannot dream. One is held captive to waking hours. Only the prospect of leaving gave Eden repose.
So one day, she resolved that she was meant for more. More than this whole damn town.
Eden barely comes here anymore. Each visit sees her more estranged than the last. Even Ava and Mia cannot escape the swell of disconnect.
Neither can John.
John makes Eden realize that she never really lies. She always tells the truth.
Just not the whole truth.
There is so much unsaid, but she finds herself talking around long silences: the inertia that creeps in after wakeful hours; the way movie scenes change when they can call them from a way off; how the indie songs in her headphones soften the industrious silence of her study carrel.
Eden doesn’t tell him how hot and restless she grows just thinking of him, how she tenses when he presses against her.
She doesn’t have to.
John must know.
Eden is the one who’s uncertain.
Which is why she’s come back here.
There is a storm of voices in her head. They belong to past lives. A nautical cobalt obscures the refractions of the words and encumbers them. In the corner of her mind, John quivers against strident indigos. He tempers the voices. His sex is sapphirine. Its tidal strokes bathe her in a ray of light. They make love until Eden eclipses the stars.
Eden refuses these voices. To acknowledge them gives them shape. She reduces them to limbs and devotes herself to a body of research. Only she is no longer engrossed in her studies. Her study corral is walled in by canvas partitions. Inside, she fumes with indecision.
Eden takes pride in scholarship, but John has her outclassed. John has the power of the ocean. Currents enfold undulations of the sex. Each stroke anoints the intimates.
She thinks of his glasses. The luminous curvatures are fraught with iridescent parity. This gives John a coastal quality, like a dream, a sea within. It saltens her soul and floods in her head. He pours himself over her, then swims in her eyes and her bed.
Eden retrieves her cell, swipes to see if she’s missed any messages.
Before she knows it, it’s time to party.
Ava and Mia pull up in a rusty pickup, then coax her in. Ava squints over the dash. She admits she might be lost. It’s been a while since she’s been out this way. Mia retrieves her phone and razes her social media feed for directions.
Eden muses about the car. She can’t remember the last time she was in a pickup. All she recalls are those which belong to the fishermen who parked in vacant lots, turning down the beds for crates that brim with bounties alongside prices sharpied on neon cardstock. Ava bought hers on a whim. It proved cheaper than servicing the cherry coupe her parents got her for graduation. She steers off the main highway some miles later and onto a backroad whose rocks loudly pelt the underside.
Before Eden can talk them into retreat, Mia catches sight of their destination. An avenue emerges from pine thickets and headlights. Flames echo the starlight beyond several cruisers lodged within and against a gravelly drive.
Ava and Mia declare this is a night of freedom. They are intent to celebrate.
Eden feels less than festive amidst thick clouds of hash and diesel. She barely recognizes the host, one of many infamous Mean Girls who stalked wherever she saw fit to roam. Her immaculate complexion has since furrowed from rampant menial shifts. A tiny mole and an almighty flask serve as the remnants of who she once was.
Once or twice, Ava and Mia goad Eden to dance or sing along when the audio shuffles to a beloved classic. It takes no time at all for Ava and Mia to melt into every beat. Even so, they are restless. They float against partners to sweat out what chaos consumes them.
Eden enjoys the odd bout, but she never truly leaves the sidelines. Every so often, she locks eyes with the host. Eden remembers that her name is Louise. Her clique was airy, denim vultures who swarmed and magnified every little thing. She led the pack only to falter when her boyfriend cheated. Then, she would cluck and brood after adversaries, less real than imagined. Her grades began to plummet. Schemes went awry. Inevitably, a new queen hatched once Louise took a nosedive in senior year.
Mia says Louise struggles to remain the life of her own parties, most of which are thrown to recover some semblance of her glory days. Ava adds that Louise’s husband cheats too.
Not that anyone cares. These parties have generous kegs, bunks, and playlists. Louise is merely a small due anyone with a kind word or ear can pay.
But for Eden, the sadness is palpable. She overhears small talk, small minds, and likely smaller hearts. Everything revolves around the realization that life didn’t have to be this way. This heavy insight that what, who, or however love tears us apart; how vainly we pursue approval or intimacy only to realize that we’ve severed ties. Ties which were barely there to begin with, so they’re overlooked or taken for granted; but we’re utterly lost when they’re gone. Then, we all realize we’re alone.
Only to find our suffering is deafeningly unifying.
Eden finds herself at a loss. She cracks open a soda. Some slow songs later, she recovers her phone and swipes to her messages.
Eden swallows her pride. She messages John. I want to see you, but I’m at a party. It took a while to find this address…
The absence of his reply tears into her no matter how hard she tries to force herself to expect nothing in return.
Eden wishes she never came here. She would’ve been better off at home even though Ava and Mia would’ve insisted otherwise. She never gets anything out of these parties. She is always resigned to wait them out because Ava and Mia never want to leave. Sometimes, she’s able to hitch a ride with others on their way out. Eden hopes this will be the case tonight. She needs to go home, plunge into a book or a movie; pile whatever she can, as much as she can, until John is bemused to her periphery. She must forget. The sooner she does, the better.
Eden stares after a mirror-like window. Her throat stings once she catches sight of her reflection: bloodshot eyes, fulsome chapped lips, an intangible mass of curls which seldom neaten. She looks to her hands. She examines the ridges on her nails, the outcome of nervously scratching at her cuticles. Then, she thinks of the fleshy girths that distend her physique: every glaring blemish, pore, and hair follicle. She thinks of her corrugated sex, its enclave and undergrowth.
She thinks of John, clad in his lab coat, who oversees endless experiments; his smirk after she first admits to finding him attractive and the waves of ecstasy which swell and crash in return.
Only to find herself alone and barely afloat in the aftermath.
Eden looks to her phone. It stares back undisturbed.
It’s for the best, she concludes. Better to be adrift than completely sunk.
Eden heads out, paces the driveway. The night opposes the party. Its silence is heavy. All that can be heard is the crackle of a waning campfire. Only after she trains her ears to the sound does she catch a whiff of the muffled highs from inside. She almost laughs at herself, but the mere prospect of mirth makes her ache.
She wants John.
The evening chill wanes because the thought of him kindles her insides. She looks to the stars. As if she can go on like this: consumed with indecision, unsure of whether John overlooks or pointedly neglects her misgivings. In response to her inhibitions, he maintains his patience and an unwavering resolve.
And Eden is alone. She is always alone – tearful, seething, wondering – caught in anguish which John does not share. Maybe this is what marks the tension between them; all the way from the first time they met, all those muted overtones. John refuses to indulge her qualms, each one keen and conscious, to affirm her unsightly figure. He refuses to commit to anything beyond touch, memory, not even words.
If only he had.
But John believes that proffering love cheapens it. Declaring love does not affirm it but renders it a cursory token. He assumes a glacial equanimity, plying her, indulging her like one does a pet that is infantilized by its tempestuous antics.
A storm brews between them in every thunderous thrust, a molten caress, and kisses which pellet. There’s no denying the warmth that surrounds her. It’s what, how he hangs over her like an impassive sky. He doesn’t ride out the storm. He waits until it clouds over and the storm spends itself. Just once, Eden wishes John would cave.
There is laughter in the bushes, delighted and dishevelled, with gaunt eyes. It takes shape under porch lights. Tangled, haggard bodies contrastively undressed. A hush falls over them despite their sultry chatter. Nobody knows what to say. Their carnal knowledge is thought to supplant any other one. Eden knows the illusion will soon wear off. People want to commit but can’t. There is nothing there, so it’s only a matter of time before they drift apart. These comprise the hordes who muse upon how she’s mapped her life out, who never truly grow up; whose youth coexists with antiquity. Eden chases ace grades, references, and bursaries. All these people desire is life itself, to unwind and discover. On some level, she can relate. The ecstasy is there; the kind of pleasure that makes tears spring to her eyes, but there is nothing to temper this. It is something she just swallows.
Eden recalls the stars. Her gaze ascends until the world filters away. Moonlight glares back as if the entire world knows. Sadness is simpler concealed. There’s shame when it’s bared. It attenuates her feats, repurposes her resolve as damage.
Eden wishes she could just drink or drug through whatever for the hell of it. Instead, she resigns herself to the sidelines and muses after the parade of partygoers. Doesn’t look like anyone’s leaving anytime soon.
The evening wears on. Eden parks herself on the hood of a Chevy. After idling on her social media, she starts to take selfies. Only one bears some semblance of beauty: slightly angled, every edge softened by starlight as her hair picks up in the breeze. She whistles to the music that blares from inside. Recent tracks incline her to feel like less of an eyesore.
When the beats hallow, time itself distends to afflict. Slow songs underscore her imperfections in the starlight, pealing the way for what misgivings fell behind, staggering after the upbeats. Doldrums reclaim her as airy convictions patter along limpid scores.
Eden looks to the trees. Their limbs twine like spokes of a wheel which centre a crescent moon. She turns to a car that sputters to a stop some feet to her left. Its high beams cast her in a league of luminous wonders.
The slam of the car door pierces the evening, but Eden is too bemused to flinch. An umbral figure emerges. It bisects the spool of light beyond her shoulder, but a familiar gravelly voice burnishes a silver lining wreathes into her every crook and crevice.
Eden cuts a furtive look.
So does John. “I thought you hated parties.”
His glasses flare with crescent alcoves. Light and intrigue play upon his face like countless pages without a seam. He stands before her, the end of heady continuum that the rest of the world stammers to catch up to.
Eden dodges his eyes. Hers fall to his pulse quivering under his collar. The hollow at the base of his throat, the little notch. She must’ve run her tongue over it a thousand times, but the sight of it still makes her lips twitch.
She swallows hard. “What are you doing here?”
“What do you think?”
“That I’m hallucinating.”
John chuckles. “Well, I thought I was a few miles back.”
“Did you drive here all the way from the city?”
He shrugs. “You gave me an address.”
Eden never thought that John took her seriously. When she reaches out, people seldom reach back. Even those who do are frivolous. They ask too many questions she can’t answer. Not can’t, just won’t. No one can handle the truth.
Eden’s not a good liar.
John might be honest, but she bets high rollers would kill to have his poker face.
So, she lets him see what lays beneath. She obliges all else that awaits in her inbox to an artful degree. Quirks. Cliches. Getting laid, getting hitched, getting the fuck out.
Just a bunch of nothing. White noise until silence resumes.
Until John sends a message. He ignites a tender spark that grows to shine. Eden absorbs herself in his shine. There is so much she’s buried that the light makes clear.
Which makes John all the more unnerving. He never digs yet unearths countless things. Desires. Regrets. Memories.
Like how Eden has always hated parties. They proffered a sea of abandon. Ava and Mia could ride the waves. Eden found the bodies clammy, hardly torrential. Her eyes never strained to focus despite the dozens of people who danced and mingled in between. She saw every pore, smelt every stench. It was ironic: Mia and Ava were painstakingly intent to emulate whichever celebrity or fairytale they were obsessed with, and croon over such that scandalized their circles – only to be rendered senseless in a matter of songs or drinks.
Eden couldn’t relate.
But parties served another purpose in the countryside. They provided ample cover for pursuing an object of interest. Someone who wasn’t there. This could never be done if the one and only was present. Everyone knew each other in small towns. They just didn’t know how to make themselves known. People forced conversations, then scored a number or email after they made nice with mutuals. Crushes could be broached. Connections could be made or spurned in a matter of messages. Not after the party, but therein.
How many times had Ava or Mia resigned themselves to their phones after they’d made an entrance, raptly typing as they giggled to themselves? They would banter all night, goad the absentee to come. Often to no avail. Seldom would make an appearance. If they did, what ensued was anyone’s guess.
A one-night stand.
Necking that led to something meaningful.
Eden’s mind wanders to the party at hand. Everyone else is so beautiful. Vibrant. In love. In the moment.
John is with her.
“I can’t believe you came,” she gulps. “It’s an hour’s drive…”
“You said you wanted to see me.”
John comes closer. The evening is heavier, warmer, a smoky fusion of pine and free rein. Eden looks at his mouth. Maybe he does care. Maybe that’s why he came. Her heart throbs against the wishful thinking. When her eyes flick to his, he pauses, searching her gaze to discern what’s more: intent or excitement.
She doesn’t give him an answer, just hoarse laughter at his perusal. “Do you want to get out of here?”
“You look at me a lot,” John muses. “I used to think that was something all women did, but it’s only you.”
“Is that right?”
His gaze searches the uncertainty in hers. “You tell me you want to see me, when you see me all the time.”
“I hardly see you, John.”
“You know what I mean.”
No, she doesn’t.
“I like it,” John admits. “The way you look at me, I’d feel like something’s wrong with me if it came from anyone else.”
“You’re real nice to look at.”
Eden wonders where her words go. Straight to his heart. Straight to his cock. Even further when disbelief claws into the afterglow.
Voices filter through from the party. Eden finds herself in John’s passenger seat. Her tension unravels much like the limbs of the backwoods. Leaves shiver and hiss along the breeze. Branches entangle to drag one another down. John keeps his eyes ahead. Silence hangs in the space between them. The road evens as the forest thins.
Eden recognizes the motel on Truro Heights Road, a rambling slat inn that overlooks the tidal bore in the valley. Its walls are thin, mottled, scalded by heatwaves and numbed by winters for decades. Residing atop rolling green fields which tear into a sandy coast, a psychedelic twinge comes from the colourful lawn chairs. Ochre and ivory scripts twinkle its name while inky blue letters declare vacancy, refrigerated air, and free Wi-Fi.
John turns orange and red in front of the neon sign. All this driving numbs his legs. It feels good to walk the parking lot. But Eden feels shaky by the time she reaches the front desk. John accepts a key without question, but the clerk still yammers on about rooms, rates, roadside attractions. He eyes Eden all the while. The black frames of his glasses complement the midnight tendrils which kiss his temples. While his eyes are aslant, it is feral intrigue that heavies them. It weighs Eden down. She forces herself to keep moving, one foot ahead of the other, to follow his lead.
His pulse catches her eye again as she studies his profile. The tiny throb is a flash of heat in his neck. It flickers along his shoulders whose breadth strains the fabric of his shirt with each heave of breath. But the shirt is soon discarded. Eden doesn’t see him take it off, but hears it rustle away. She aligns the door’s chain lock.
Her back is turned. “Why did you really come here, John?”
He catches the end of her hoodie. “This beats driving all the way home.”
She stiffens as the material bunches in his fist. “Why did you come at all?”
Eden ventures a look from the corner of her eye, but it stings. Her cheeks burn while her breath catches. The world begins to blur. She presses her legs together.
“Look at me.”
More rustles. Slight thuds. The unmistakable click of glasses laid to rest on the nightstand.
Eden doesn’t turn around.
John unfastens the clip in her hair, runs his fingers through the waves that fall around her shoulders. “Look at me, Eden.”
Sharply inhaling, sniffling, Eden obeys. Her throat is dry. She drinks in the deep cuts which mark his shoulders, the ridged plexes of his chest which swell to his waistline, and the wiry curls that bristle below. A small window fills the room with inky hues from the night sky. Light punctures waxen drapes. The sight of him thrills Eden in a way she can’t deny.
When her eyes dip, so do his lips. “Like what you see?”
“This is too much.”
John leans in. “Too much what?”
“I want too much,” she admits. “I want you too much.”
“You know, I want you too.”
No, she doesn’t.
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve wanted someone like I want you.”
Eden has her back against the door. Her hands hang at her sides. “I want you to be mine. I want to be yours.”
There’s a veneer of inertia around John that has nothing to do with fatigue. He’s thinking. Asking himself too much that’s never enough. Eden thinks of how everyone comes together somehow, someway only to be wrecked by vain attempts to keep it from falling apart. Like their hands. Fingers that hesitate before they lace. Hers wander to his chest. Their palms come to feel his heartbeat. Wondrous arousal glimmers in the amber mines of his eyes.
Hers smolder back. “Do you want me to say it?”
John looks likes he wants to smirk, but his jaw sets. Eden starts to undress. Remnants of the party’s anthems frisk in her hips. She bites her lip, mentally humming, and discards the last of her clothes with a crisp snap.
“I want you, John.”
Her own pulse grows rampant enough to drown everything out, but she can still hear what matters.
So can John. She knows in the way that his hands rest on the door, on either side of her, as he holds his breath so as not to miss a beat.
“I want you so much.”
John cradles her face. “I want you too, Eden.”
Eden hooks her hands on his shoulders, puts her mouth to his chest, pecks against the strong and steady core. She recalls how Ava and Mia bemoan the time element of their partners, how agonizing and crucial it is to wait for everything to be just right. John gets it right in the space of mere seconds. Warmth forms deep within and spreads through her. The bands of muscle and veins beneath her fingertips inclines her closer, lower.
John guides them, reassuring but urgent, inhaling his need while breathing out his intent. He kisses her forehead, then purses his lips down her temple to her collarbones. Their mouths cease to break contact once his tongue touches hers. They stagger toward the bed and melt into the sheets. John wraps his hands around her forearms and draws her closer.
When Eden slides forth, he lowers his weight and parts her legs with his thigh. They’re in a daze — eyes to their slits, panting, gasping — as their sexes begin to swell and strain for relief. Eden succumbs to a wet, feverish heat when John strokes her breasts. He tears himself away to tease them, thumbing the peaks while he kneads the undersides. When he ascends to push his sex to the valley between the globes, her tongue darts to graze the head.
A vanity comes into view as she arches into his appraisal. She stares after their reflection. The image of John making love to her breasts is effaced by the moisture that comes between her legs where desire seeps along shadows. John moves to stand over her, tendering his shaft back to her chest and she instinctively licks the balls, softly handles the base.
John stiffens his finger, strokes it into the folds. Another finger glides alongside the first, then a thumb nudges her clit. He purposes her sex as a song to strum upon and within, even plying the curls which thicket along the mouth, to bring forth a crescendo. He uses his mouth and his fingers, delving each or both to swim in the moisture.
Eden and John roll like waves: pungent, toothsome masses which climb and crash against earnest hands and tongues. One mouth seeks another in the absence of a nipple, a clitoris, a crown. The hands always find a pliant orifice. Always tempering, probing, yielding — as if it’s okay for their bodies to do what their hearts aren’t ready for. They say, “I want you.” Each kiss and caress is punctuated by every syllable.
Eden wonders if this is what love is. Just one long, hard train of want. She knows that even if things go wrong, even if she locks her heart away forever, nothing will ever be the same.
But she doesn’t want things to be the same.
Once they fall apart, they cease to touch. They share looks, glassy eyes which drink in the moisture. But John is spurred like always, driven as much by desire as intent, to lick and to surround. Everything is made manifold. He admires Eden with countless hands and tongues. Eden grows desperate. She tries to satisfy herself, attempting to occupy her sexual with whatever is within reach.
John doesn’t let her.
He pries into her, front and back, to counter the folds. When she hisses, he curls his tongue against hers. Eden comes to respond in kind, groggily searching him out, fondling everywhere until his sex seethes in her grasp. A new song breaks their composure, rhythmic and torturous, a cadence for which their pleasure may burst.
Before it does, John touches her mouth with his fingers. “Give me something I’d like to see.”
Eden sucks them hard and instinctively. When they withdraw, she hurriedly catches on. She reclines and glides her fingers along her sex, spreads the folds as he strokes his shaft. “See something you like?”
John fists his cock as if it’s never burned with want before, as if anything before simply primed him for now. It juts towards Eden. She continues to knead the lips even as he returns to her breasts, plying the peaks until they pucker. The irreverence of her sex, rivulets of musk glaze her mound, taunts and beseeches him.
Eden reaches for him. Her grasp is wary. As desperate as she is, she struggles to muster the courage to guide him in. John offers some auspice. He nears to impart his own longing. Eden feels him with her, no longer an impassive intimate but an equal afflicted by an ache to which they are each other’s salvation. The warmth of his embrace makes her clench to hold on. His sex coasts along the dewy furrow of her own.
Then, he thrusts.
She thrusts back. John moves faster, in and out, rasping how she’s everything he wants; how she lingers in his mind’s eye: in his lab, haunting the periphery of arduous calculations and experiments; in his palms, after top roping until the world is at his soles; or elsewhere wreathing the blur of his fist. She offers her depth in return — slick, warm recesses of her pussy — which tightens around him.
Until Eden bites into the tender flesh of his shoulder. Then, John cries out. He is too far gone to feel the teeth. Moments pass before his hands, then chest stray to hers. Their breaths mingle, falling and rising together before they steady. The window casts a shadow over their embrace. It spills across their planes of flesh until the very last peal of bliss ebbs away.
The next morning, Eden wakes before him. She figures he would leave her. The realization that he remains comes in shouldering the breadth that weighs her down.
When she shifts, he awakens. “Good morning, good looking.”