Summary: Post-Exodus (the devil's advocate is always
Disclaimer: Their owners were never this sappy. Plus,
written in the wee hours when just about anything makes sense. Oh, and unbetaed,
He didn't wake me. I was ready for him. Awake and waiting, listening. I was
rushing on nighttime drugs that cut my breaths in half and erased the knife's
edge from too-recent wounds. I stood on the other side of the curtain, peeking
out in my mind's eye, knowing if I looked out, it would be just how I imagined
I crept through the house like I had something to hide.
I stepped out into the empty morning air, dazed and
languid, taking my time committing this sin. Like I could still back away
from this if I was just quiet enough, if I just acted like this was normal.
He stood there bold and smiling in leather that matched
the stain of three a.m., holding a glossy helmet in his outstretched hand,
offering it to me with the smallest of shrugs.
I made him wait, knowing what he meant to give me,
knowing any acceptance would be final, that we wouldn't come back from it,
not as us. I made him stand there until the cocky-sure smirk died on his lips
and his eyes stopped knowing what I would do.
It was too early for anyone except him and I knew it.
Too late for anyone but me. Damn being seen. Damn this need to run with him,
damn them all for making it worse by denying us.
Sleek and trim, longer than I had remembered, black
seat narrow like the hips that I watched as they straddled the bike. And after
all this time, mine settled behind his, coming home to a place they had never
known and had always known they needed.
I leaned into his back, slid tight against him, curved
my thighs along his and let my hand twist in the helmet straps beside my knee.
He leaned to the side and turned around, hand firm on my neck, fingers brushing
seductively down my cheek. No words, just lips where they belonged, home after
Breath stopped as I gulped in the connection, tasting
him finally, taking what had always, always belonged to me. It was given insistently,
strong lips fast and eager, like he had never wanted to be away, like I had
pushed him away and he was demanding I take him back.
He was right, I had. And he was. I welcomed the penance,
licked into him and took him until he pulled back and turned away from me.
My heart wrenched with the engine's growl to life and
I looked over my shoulder at what I was casting off, the stone foundations
I was abandoning. In their widowed silence, they accused and convicted me.
I tugged the helmet on and wrapped around him, clutched at solidity, at the
strength he'd grown while I was away. He was the only thing I could be sure
was real anymore, and I let him have him, closed my eyes.
The engine sliced off, the rumbling purr echoing through
the trees and burning panic in my chest. I sat there, holding on until my
hands were peeled away and the bike lifted with the loss of his weight.
I blinked, dumbstruck. Afraid.
"Scoot up. You drive."
My helmet muffled his words and I strained to hear
through the padded walls. He pushed me forward and I moved, automatically
I knew how to do this. Clutch, gas, my hands lost under
his. They moved away, so strong on my thighs, so adult they somehow surpassed
my own in maturity now.
We popped off with a jump, a squeal of thin tires and
left a mark that I knew would remind me for weeks, for months if the rain
The misty fog chilled every inch of exposed flesh.
My wrists ached with the vibrations.
We both knew he didn't need to hold on, but his hands
slid up my legs, curving securely, low on my hips.
My helmet meant rare anonymity, but recognition was
a moot point soon. The roads where people knew us blurred by and we flew alongside
a lazy V of geese that floated over the corn.
He pointed and I edged us to a stop under an oak tree
on a lane I'd never noticed. He wouldn't know what I was thinking, wouldn't
know that I never wanted the sun to rise or the day to start. That I'd had
enough sun to last a lifetime.
The engine died slowly, melting into the soft sounds
of pre-dawn. Before I could move, he reached around and unfastened my chin
strap, lifting the helmet off, setting it gently on the dust beside us.
His hand, work-rough on my anxious skin, turned me
and I met a need I wasn't ready for. He kept my mouth while scrambling to
guide me, to move me.
This new version, this commanding, sure side was something
I understood. With him like this, I jelled and went, I would have gone wherever
he wanted me.
Night lifting too fast away from us, there wasn't time
for pride or resistance. I sat backwards on the seat, facing him, the warmth
of the cooling engine dissipating against the insides of my legs.
He didn't let go, didn't stop, didn't ask permission.
He knew, somehow. Knew I'd let him do this, knew he could use me and knew,
too, that I'd let him.
He took my hands and slid them inside his jacket, put
them on his waist, closed them into fists on the hem of his thin white shirt.
I lifted, breeching cotton for the first time, touching
greedily underneath. Soft, smooth skin, like it was brand new and this was
its test-run. Muscles flexed under my fingertips, ones I'd never felt on anyone,
not even myself. His shirt felt cool and damp stretched against the backs
of my hands, but his skin was dry warmth, whispering electric sighs as I memorized
it. Braille to my sense-starved nerves.
He shifted under my hands, and I knew he couldn't stop,
could never, ever stop now. From now on, anything less than this, than us
like this, would kill him. I was a long time dead from that brand of self-denial.
A tractor sputtered awake somewhere across the field
behind me, and I froze for an instant, but he didn't. He was driven, desperate
and taking and sure, hands everywhere and nowhere long enough. Clothes open
and so much skin exposed, our breath forced and hitching. His fingers dug
into my thighs, pulling at them, then hands curved under me and I was on his
lap, straddling him straddling the bike, slacks impossibly tight from the
spread. Control lost, given without hesitation, lifted and moved like I was
nothing, like he was everything. Him beneath me, pressed against me, making
it worse, making it better.
We claimed and moved and struggled together, but couldn't
go anywhere, the shortness of our time keeping us from going too far, from
getting far enough away that I wouldn't remember. Reality wound in between
us, tangled in pants that wouldn't come off in this obsurd position. No time
to finish and no way to let go and give up.
Rocked and felt and kissed breathless, he leaned away
from me. Our hands slowed then stilled and we gasped against each other, our
half-clothed chests clinging together, weight or realization so heavy now
that his thighs shook underneath me.
He closed his arms in a full circle around me, his
unsteady hands spreading wide on my ribs. Face tucked into my neck like a
child, young and scared like he used to be, before we'd gone too far alone
and had to turn back to each other. Power slipped from him too quickly, it
always had. I held on, held him through it, one hand brushing through his
hair, my fingers tingling with the touch I'd imagined a thousand times. His
mouth slid hot on my neck and that fast, he was someone else, someone more
precious to me than I could ever accept.
Not pure or moral or right. Just an answer to my short-comings.
A receptacle for my accesses. An equal. Someone who needed me. Someone I could
need. Two jigsawed souls whose pieces somehow fitted together, added up into
Like this, he was attainable. Like this, he was mine.
My lips spilled whispered promises, promises I'd screamed
during the fevered dreams and lost hope of my isolation, words that I'd screamed
until the meanings were lost and my voice rasped them on and on, until they
were just a mantra to keep me sane. Heart-swollen vows that choked me now,
spoken to flesh and blood, the real thing this time. I meant every one of
them, all over again.
I opened my eyes to the burning red digits of the clock.
Aching from the slap of honesty the dream had delivered,
I shivered against the cold sweat and climbed from my empty bed. Empty because
she was lost, dead, gone. The why and how of her absence mattered only to
The rest was potential now. Rooms full of no one were
everywhere. Comfort and safety and draperies thick enough to pretend night
wouldn't end so soon.
If dreams were wishes fulfilled... we had somewhere
to go now. He could fill every room, every void in this place.
I drove fast and recklessly, ignoring his disapproving
voice in my head, my focus narrowed so closely that the sides of the road
blackened and melted away. I slid on his gravel, stopped short of his gate.
The morning mist prismed his porchlight, making it an unnecessary beacon in
From the shadows on his lawn, I could see that his
light was on and I knew he was there, awake. Maybe waiting. Lonely. Wondering
why I hadn't come, why I'd left him in the first place.
Or something else: why he hadn't been driven to find
me, dead or alive.
I knew the answers. I could tell him.
No reason not to do this tonight. No one where I'd
come from now, holding me back. But this close, this obvious, I hesitated
and was caught. The ghosts of guilt and fear slipped up my spine.
His form silhouetted the window and I moved back to
the road, to my car.
He had a second chance, but I knew. It wasn't the same
as my own.
Dawn slid up over the fields and the sunburnt stalks
leaned away from me, bowing in my wake as I drove by.