She swears she knew him then, back when life was full of dreams and promises, and cotton candy blossoms so big they smeared on her nose when she bit into them. Back when unicorns were real, and pain was not a word that exhausted her vocabulary in its bitter streak across her world, molding a quiet wake in the thin, wired lines that sprouted from the corners of her eyes.
But she didn’t.
It’s just that, in the touch of his hand now, in the way he closed it around hers and pulled her into the swell of his chest as he slid his fingers into her hair, it was too easy to forget she hadn’t. That Josh hadn’t always been there, watching, encouraging, and loving her. He’d heard it all, seen the scars that ran along her side, knew in the occasional manner she jumped when he walked too swiftly and surprised her how fiercely that life had embedded itself inside her. It had branded her even through the rosy smile on her lips, and the chime of laughter she regularly exhaled with him. It was for this she loved him, treasured how he drew her nearer, somehow pulling her close enough it felt like they could become one by the sea that swept onto the sandy shore, swirling around and between their bare toes as if promising to take them away with the current, into the wide open space of their love.
“Can I kiss you, Anya?” he asked.
Always, this question. Despite her gaze into his eyes, surrendering everything to him because it was so easy, so right. Josh took her chin in his fingers as she nodded fast, leaning up on her toes to try and fall further into him when their mouths met. His tongue and hers weaved like coils of algae drifting to and fro, in, between, around, lazily surrounded by the kiss of the tide. As the wind gusted around them, rustling the fabric of her dress, seizing her hair and whipping it around their faces, it was hard not to feel herself disappearing with him, fading into the night, into the sea.
“We’ve only an hour,” she whispered. But his lips covered her sigh, smothered the truth that kept breaking them apart. She was hers, he was his, and yet they weren’t. Still, this, too, was easy to forget as he kissed her with so much love. As the two of them dropped to their knees, oblivious to the grit of the sand digging into their skin, to the wind warning them beneath the moon that lit them up on the shore.
Josh did not stop kissing her as he pushed her back, his hands slipping up her skirt, trailing along the smooth lines of her legs and caressing the fleshy rounds of her thighs. His tongue stayed heated against hers as he tucked fingertips under the sides of the flimsy underwear she wouldn’t wear at home but had donned just for him. His breath came sweet on her cheek as he pulled the fabric down, pausing as she swayed her hips for him to work it over her bottom, then down past her knees. He discarded it beside their bodies on the shore, a crumpled ball of lace that might, in this wind, be blown away, carrying the secret that bound them as it tumbled to the water and drifted out to sea.
“I’ve missed you,” Josh said, and he kissed her once, hands slipping back up her thighs, pushing up her skirt, revealing Anya to the night sky. She loved his stare, torn between two views—that of her face, and the wetness waiting for him between her thighs. It was when he looked there that he slid two fingers against her, tracing the silky cleft only partially shown in the moonlight, but so clear to him as he eased them inside. This is when she moaned, craning her neck, her lips falling apart in more whimpers as his fingers sank so far within her. Josh cupped her knee with his other hand, pushing it aside, bidding the split of her thighs be visible to him, the truth of how they loved divulged once more. Behind him, the water swelled and rolled, but she was lost in the sounds that fell from her throat, in the surge of love for him. For this man who understood and knew her, who made her feel like the rest was nothing but a faded memory she didn’t need to revisit, despite the relentless hold it still had on her.
Josh slipped another finger inside, gliding all of them in, out, kissing her knee, staring into her face. When she reached for his shoulders, begging him to sweep into her, he wrestled down his pants to settle between her thighs. Anya weaved her fingertips around the side of his neck, urging him, and Josh rested against the heat he’d stirred up in her, asking again in his whisper if he could take her in the way they both loved.
“Yes,” she gasped, the sound so crisp in that night with the sudden thrust of him into her, in the movements of him inside her, and her movements with him. Anya dug her feet into the sand and lifted her hips to meet him, arching against his deep thrusts as she caressed his shoulders and he sighed her name. He heaved above her and she swayed with him, needing him in her, with her, part of her, for as long as she would be allowed. As his motions grew faster he brought his lips back to hers, kissing her as though she was his princess and he was her prince, as though they truly were familiar then, when those dreams existed. Josh curled one hand around her arm, and the other slid beneath her dress, clutching at the skin of her side and mindlessly tracing the scars that weaved down to her hip, where he gripped her tight to drive faster, deeper inside. And in all this Anya never hesitated, never stopped arching up to meet him, gasping for the seal of her cunt around him, for the pulse of her lust shaking her, filling her, making her desperate for him like she was and believed she forever would be.
“Anya…” he said, the name a bite on her cheek before his breath caught, a moan that echoed hers beneath him. Together they thrust, caving, coming, his love meeting hers as she shuddered around him, tucking her nails into the sides of his body as the feeling washed through her and lapped at her skin like the moist, salty air. The waves rolled on behind them, a whisper to the whish of their breaths, to the soft kisses they played on one another’s mouths.
In time, their hearts settled. Their breaths fell still. Josh swept his fingers back and forth over the skin of her thigh as he kept his forehead against hers and gazed into her eyes. They would lie like this as long as they could, treasuring each quiet minute until it was time for her to stand and leave him there. The perfect fairy tale of their love would be held once more, a story in their hearts as strong as the tide, as bright as their very own moon, and deep as the ocean they would drown in, together, if they could.
“By the Sea” is the first installment of a three-part series. Click here to read part two, “Driftwood.”