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night on earth
eight

i stand and pick up the wine bottle in my empty left hand. “come with me,” i say, and then turn and walk to the steps, extinguishing candles as i go. i don’t look behind me; i know you will follow.

i lead you up the flight of stairs to the bathroom. it is one of my favorite rooms, spacious and inviting, not the common sterile space. the tub is large enough for two, with a whirlpool system. i started the water running earlier, and now the tub is almost full with steaming water and mounds of bubbles. a spicy scent fills the air.

i turn to you; my fingers move to undo the buttons of your shirt. you are hesitant, suddenly shy now that the moment is before you. you are thinking that you are stranded an hour outside the city with someone you barely know.

“i’m not sure...” you say. i ignore you, slipping your shirt from your shoulders and kissing your neck, softly sucking your skin. you sigh, letting out a breath that you’ve been holding since the day you were born. my hands go to the zipper of your jeans. i stop.

“would it make you more comfortable if i took off my clothes?” i ask. you nod, and i begin to disrobe, folding each article of clothing and placing it all neatly on the dressing table. you start to slip off your jeans. i shake my head. “no. let me do that,” i say. i pull your pants down to your ankles, and you step out of them. all you have left is a pair of black cotton bikinis. you were not wearing a bra. your breasts are small and upturned, with medium sized nipples that stand hard and erect from your body.

i take your right breast in my hand and bend down to suck on your nipple. tiny shivers course through your body. i suck your left breast in turn, and then remove your underwear. you are naked now before me, your body lightly tanned, petite and lithe. the candlelight catches the curves of your hips and breasts. you look like a goddess.

you stand unassuming under my scrutiny. i kiss you again, my fingertips tracing patterns all over your back and shoulders. you moan softly, an almost inaudible, throaty sound that gives me goosebumps. you reach around my back to unhook the clasp of my black bra, and i help you undress me by shedding my silk panties. you bend your head to suck my breast but i stop you.

“not yet,” i whisper. “i want to bathe you first.” you nod your head and step into the tub, settling slowly into the water. i kneel by your side, pick up a soft washcloth, and begin.

i am quite thorough in bathing you; the washcloth and my hands spread soap bubbles all over. i memorize every inch of your body, learning where your tickle spots are, and exactly how i should touch you to please you. your breasts are incredibly sensitive, and it seems i spend an eternity playing with them, covering them in lather and then rinsing them off, making your nipples stand up and lie back down. i wash your face gently, kissing your eyelids, your forehead, your cheeks as i rinse the soap away. i take your hands in mine and wash them carefully, one at a time. i have never seen fingers so delicate before in my life.

when i have finished, you step out of the water and i pat you dry with a towel. your skin is rosy from the heat of the bath; it seems as if you are glowing.

nine

we move to the bedroom. i bring the wine, and for a few minutes we simply sit on the bed and drink. you look around the room, trying to take everything in at once. the walls are painted a deep matte burgundy, matching the satin sheets on my king-size bed. the ceiling is black, as are the blinds and my bedspread. you get up to peer at the black and white photographs on the walls.

“are these your family?” you ask.

i shake my head. “friends mostly, and lovers.”

“oh,” you say, and step away from the wall. you are disappointed; there is a part of you that wanted to believe that you are the only woman i’ve brought here, or at least a member of a small minority, even though intellectually you knew it wasn’t true. i find myself wanting to comfort you, to reassure you, and i stop myself. i am not here to form emotional attachments, simply to show you what you couldn’t find on your own. yet why do i find myself getting lost in you?

the moment has grown tense. you look at me expectantly as i surface from my thoughts. i rise from the bed and pick up a bottle of lavender oil from the bedside table. i am not a fan of floral scents, but there is nothing that will be as relaxing.

i place a large black towel on the bed and gesture for you to lie down. you spread out on your stomach and i spread out on you. i squeeze a pool of oil onto the small of your back and massage you slowly, finding more knots than i had expected after the hot bath. you relax under my slippery fingers as i knead the tension from your neck and shoulders. i move down to your thighs and calves, and eventually your feet. you flip over, and i massage your breasts and inner thighs. soon, your entire body is slippery and glistening. i begin kissing you, trying not to miss an inch of the soft skin i had washed so delicately. i feel i have to touch and stroke you everywhere. soon you are not content with lying passively; you begin to caress me and kiss me, until we are moving together to the rhythm of the dance that we hold in our hearts. we lose consciousness of everything but pleasuring each other and taking pleasure in each other. your ecstasy grows in intensity until you begin to weep, and i know that you are not only crying for tonight, but for the self that you have finally set free. i hold you as you come down, kissing away your salty tears of incomprehensible joy. you fall asleep this way, cradled in my arms. for awhile, i just lie here watching your belly move with your even breathing before i eventually drift off.

ten

i awaken to the sight of filtered sunlight slicing across the room. your warm body is curled against mine. i lightly brush a golden curl away from your face, and you stir into wakefulness.

you look at me sleepily and say, “i’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.”

i pause for a second. somehow, we both know that you are talking about more than the sex. “neither have i,” i whisper, amazed at the words as they leave my mouth, but knowing them to be truth.

you cock your head to one side and grin. “and how many women have you said that to?”

i return your smile. “just one.”

satisfied, you settle your head on my shoulder. i plant a soft kiss on your forehead; your hair tickles my nose. i think that i could be happy just holding you forever, my love.

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