By Akati Khasiani
On the balcony railing she is a dark silhouette against a starless sky. The only light out there the glowing tips of their cigarettes. Those and her voice, a flame drawing in a moth. She is svelte and gangly and I can’t take my eyes off her. Not now, when it is safe to look. When she’ll come back into the room a heat will rise from my thighs to my belly, bring an itch to my neck and a flush to my cheeks, ensuring I can’t look in her direction.
All arms and legs and sinewy motion. The come back in, the boys and she. She squints her eyes against the light, her brow furrowing, she seeks me out.
She leans; to arrange me on the seat, the better to sit behind me, around me. I am engulfed in her scent-woman and whisky- trapped by her thighs, warm in blue denim.
Picks a frosty glass and lets an icy drop drip on my neck. Licks away the chills.
One arm across my neck and shoulders and she pulls me back into her. Her elbow rests on my breast; her thumb plays with my ear. She chuckles at how I can’t breathe.
I stare, entranced, at her wrist peeking out of red-checked gingham, her bird-delicate bones. Her fingers long, graceful, nails cut to the quick.
Later, when the lights are out and the music fuzzy in a haze of drink and lust, she lies down. Pulls me back against her length and cradles my feet with hers. She slips a hand under my sweater.
Kisses the crook of my neck once. So soft, so sweet, I can barely tell that she didn’t just breathe on me.
She says my name. A puff in the dark that hits me like a punch to the gut.
We lay in silence, face to face. Still, but for her gossamer fingertips tracing electric circles on my back. Those and our eyes, darting over one another’s faces, divining for truth.
My breath catches at the sight of her, wanting to hold on to the moment. Her eyelashes are thick and dark and kiss her cheeks with every slow blink.
She could etch glass with those cheekbones; raise the dead with that mouth.
I envy the shadow that falls from her jaw, caressing her throat before nestling into the hollow of her collarbone. I reach for it, touch my fingers to her button-down. They bask in the sugared heat that comes off her sighing chest.
Grabs a fistful of my springy hair and pivots my head back, my gaze up. Transfixes me with her cognac eyes.
She has a question for me. A rasp in the dark that drifts straight to my snatch.
“Are you sure?”
I move my hand down slow. Over her perfect tits and her thumping heart in her piano ribcage. Over her tiny waist and the arching flare of her boy-hips. I pull her close. All soft hidden curves and unspoken secrets.
I have never been surer in my life.
I tilt my face up.
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