Natural, not metal, I remember telling you. You asked what I preferred and I answered like I knew what I was talking about. So confident. Like the time we first met at the party of a mutual friend—the birthday girl—and I told you my name like it was one you must remember.
And you did.
The chalet sits by a secluded lake that holds the sky at sunset. It’s pink and gold, perfectly still. You whip the air behind me. The switch slices the humidity and the sound it makes raises bumps across my skin.
I’m waiting for you to ask, but you take your time in slow strides, walking until your footsteps leave a circle around my feet.
What can I do? My hands are tied. The skin of my wrists are tacky under the loops of braided rope. You’ve got me on my toes. My legs aren’t tired yet, but they will be.
You’re wearing jeans. They’re so rustic. They sit around your waist and show off your abs, and that V that drives me crazy. You never dress like this normally, and I’ve decided I like you this way. I like the colour of your skin next to your blue flannel, unbuttoned.
But it’s too warm for that shirt of yours. Even I feel it, and I’m wearing nothing at all.
This is a first for us. There’s a first for everything, isn’t there? Like our first date—remember that? We sat under a tree like the one we’re under now, only instead of ropes and switches, we had a thermos of coffee and a sandwich. You hated that sandwich, but you still ate it and kept your opinions to yourself until many dates later, on our first anniversary, when you told me with a smile.
That’s the smile you give me now as you press the tip of the switch against my cheek. It’s a smile that shows your teeth and crinkles the corners of your eyes. That drives me crazy too. I snapshot this sight of you and file it away with all our other memories.
The first time we fought, it was over something so silly, I forgot what it was the next day. But I remembered the feel of our words; barbs from mouth to ear. That’s always how it is, though—how we felt is the part that hangs around after the details fade.
What about the first time we healed together: tears and soft apologies and promises to do better, rolled between layers of sweat and cotton sheets. The sex was so good that night.
Off comes your shirt and I’m ablaze. It’s a fever, but not. Burning: that’s just how I am for you. Too excited to speak, biting my lip while your delicious eyes fuck my naked body, from the points of my toes to my wrists tied overhead.
You kiss me. Anticipation draws a line down the inside of my thigh, as your finger draws a line from my ear to my neck, to my chest. Soon. You’ll ask me soon. But first, we’re tongue to tongue, lips to lips, forehead to forehead. I’m taut and holding on, certain my pulse is rippling the surface of my skin.
But when you pull away, I just see stillness, and the gold of sunset light cast across it. The trees around the lake are part-way to dark silhouettes. A lone bird calls in the distance. I eye the switch in your hands and wonder: how hard can you hit me before it starts to hurt?
Remember the first time you broke my heart? The birthday girl—you said she meant nothing. I asked why you’d throw it all away for nothing. You didn’t have an answer. No way could you hit me as hard as you did then.
I dare you to try, but not with words. It’s in the look I give you when I catch your eye. I told you I forgave you, but did I really? Sometimes I don’t know. Sometimes it still hurts. I hope you can read that on my face.
Maybe you can. Maybe that’s why you spin me around and grab my body from behind. Your fingers cage my breasts and the tightness in your jeans presses into my back. The stubble on your chin grazes my shoulder. It hurts, it itches; I wonder if it leaves a mark.
Your free hand reaches between my legs and I feel you, pressing, gliding, moving across my surface like a breeze across the lake. I try to turn and kiss you, but you escape. You know, it broke my heart a little more when you moved out, and everyday while we lived apart. But we laugh together now and the memory of pain lifts a little.
The truth is, I trust you. After everything we’ve been through, after we healed together, how can I not? Maybe those silly things wouldn’t have happened if we’d been more honest from the start—if you told me you hated my sandwiches, if I told you I wanted us like this. I like that you make me feel something.
So when you reach up and push your fingers into my mouth, I love it. You press down on my tongue and I can’t speak, and I love it.
I bite you, hard. I mean to hurt you. You squeeze my neck and say my name. I let go.
“I think it’s time.” Your words find me between fistfuls of hair. Then, finally: “Are you ready?”
“Yeah.” I look at you and smile. “I’m ready.”