Happy new year, lovelies! I’m alive and beavering away at a little something I hope to have ready for you next month. Don’t hold me to that, though. I’m digging deep for this one and don’t want to rush it.
It’s still in its first draft stage, so please excuse any rough edges, but I couldn’t wait to share what’s coming up. Here’s a little taster of my latest book, The Only Question That Matters.
The music stops. The whirring fades as twelve spinning wheels slow to a stop. At first, I think I’ve fucked up and my face and neck are warm — warmer than they would normally be after a spin class. When he leans over the handles instead of looking at me, I think maybe he just didn’t hear me. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse. I step off my bike, but before I can leave, his hand is on my arm.
“Wait.” The word falls out of him between breaths. He is drenched in sweat and the heat emanating from him ripples the air around the surface of his skin. He squeezes my wrist while he holds his head in one hand, shoulders rising and falling.
The studio walls glow with a dewy light. It’s morning, almost our last. Just under twenty-four hours until the ship reaches Planet Paradiso, the end of my journey. Or perhaps the beginning. But Alexei will take the return trip home — wherever his home is. The universe is a big place. We may never see each other again.
And so, even if I wait for the answer to be no, I suppose I am glad to have asked. I would have opened by asking him, will you go to bed with me? But we barely know each other beyond light conversation and laughter, three times a week or less. A spin class here, a yoga class there — jokes and commiserations, captured in forty-five minute snapshots and passing glances in the establishments around the ship.
After one final, deep breath, Alexei looks at me. His eyes hold a smile that connects us before it travels to his lips. His hand moves to my hand and he gives me another squeeze.