JL Peridot

love letters to the future

The Rhythm and The Drum

A naked embrace

“Shall I continue?” he asks me.

But before I can answer, he starts again, firm hand pounding on stretched skin. Deep and hollow, warm, wooden sounds fill the room.

And I can’t help but move, taken by the beat while I watch the snakes on his shoulders writhing, full of life. It’s in my belly, the rhythm of his drumming. He plays it at his tempo, this rhythm he’ll fuck me with later when this show is over. We both know it. I’ve given him the look, given him the idea.

I don’t know where he’s from, but he wears his facial hair in a sculpted line around his lips and chin. His attitude screams with every strike of the hide and frame. I wonder what his body would look like on mine when we’re entwined and writhing, tan snake, brown snake; wonder what his sly tongue would feel like, flicking at my tender clit in the shadow of my thighs.

The spotlight shines on us; we are black and white and mad with fever in the wispy smoke that rolls across the stage. All we have is his palo and my shoes following his percussion song, conversing in the oldest language we know. I push the straps of my dress off my shoulders. It falls, lands like a pool of blood around my feet. My offering.

When he stops, I stand before him, naked in silence in this empty theatre. He offers me the stick, the one that clips the drum and turns it frantic. I kneel and hold it between my teeth. My hands rest on his knees. His eyes rest on me; he would devour me.

“Shall I continue?” he asks.

“I love your tattoos,” I tell him. I told him to meet me here so I could hear him play. We called that business. I cast the drum aside—I ask a favour now. “Please, continue.”

The stick lands on the floor. Its echoes die.

He has swept me, and we tangle together, firm hands roaming across hot skin. The spotlight swings around; we cast shadows on the curtain—arms and legs like serpents shedding clothes, pulling hair, grasping at flesh. He wraps his shirt around my eyes. Then, he enters me.

Our undulations pause. We wait in the stillness between the beats.

Then, we continue.

We are sweat and breathing, teeth and tongue and drum and clutching, grinding, thrusting, fucking, stealing glances down the wing, then up the stairs. We hear footsteps, echoing somewhere.

Someone’s coming.

I rip his shirt from my face, reach for my dress, but he grabs my wrists and pins me to the stage.

“Hold still,” he says.

We wait.

A door opens.

“Hello? Joao, you still here?”

It’s Rao, doing the rounds.

“Just wait,” Joao whispers, close to my ear. He takes it between his teeth and sucks the skin.

“Anyone in here?”

He sits up, brings a finger to his lips, licks his thumb and lets it land between us. He presses my clit and slowly, quietly continues to fuck me. He grinds. I tremble. My chest pulses, but I keep my throat squeezed shut, hands clamped over my mouth.

Overhead, the spotlights swing one last time, then go dark. A door slams shut. A lock clicks into place.

“It’s all right, I have a key.”

Then, the footsteps leave.

We erupt in quiet chuckles. It’s pitch black and late. He’s on overnight; I have early shift tomorrow. We should get going, but he still circles me and I don’t want to leave. Inside, I squeeze and meet his hard resistance. He doesn’t see me smile. I wind around him, then he is on the floor.

This time, I grind a rhythm of my own with him inside me, his thumb still placed to give me pleasure, other hand locked on my hip to help me move. Faster, harder; with his help, my tempo for the oldest dance we know.

In a breathless burst, I come—the voice over the drum, the imploding body around his throbbing cock. I can’t see him watching me, but I know he takes it in. Every heartbeat, every flicker, every sound.

I am devoured.

“Fuck, Joao,” I whisper, gasping.

He presses one last time into my clit, then reaches for my breast, begins a slow massage while I return to rest. When the intensity fades, he sits up. I curve my legs around his waist. He’s still hard inside me; hands on my back, drumming on my spine. There’s attitude in his kiss.

“Had enough?” he asks. There’s a smirk in his voice.

“No.” I laugh, a little. “Please, continue.”

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