‘Faith, Hope and Love’ Part 13

As a walked downstairs and into the living-room, I felt myself floating. Arthur was waiting peacefully, seated on the sofa with his eyes shut and his long legs stretched out in front of him crossed at the ankles. For a moment, I was unsure what to do. Before I could think about it, I folded my arms over his shoulders and kissed the top of his head briefly, then walked self-consciously around the sofa and sat beside him.

“Thank you.” His words startled me.

“Thank you for what?” I couldn’t help saying.

“For being here and for being so normal.” The words were a surprise, but I didn’t argue. I sat quietly for a few minutes.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” I asked into the silence.

“No… Not really.”

“Anything else?” I waited for the bomb to drop.

“At the moment, I’m just fine and comfortable, thank you.” A pause, and then Arthur sat up, broke into a sudden grin and winked at me, “Got you, didn’t I? Admit it, you were expecting me to say…”

No! No, I wasn’t…”

“But a little?”

“Oh yes,” I sat closer and snuggled into his chest. “More than a little, actually.”

“I can see that in your eyes. You are very honest, you know, easy to read. Thank God. I have had enough of women who say one thing and mean another. You are…” He looked down at me, considering. “Refreshing. That is what you are to me, right now.” He leaned over and kissed me on the top of my head, and that stung me into sitting up. He kissed my mouth before I could look doubtful with it. Softly, ever so quietly, his lips touched mine and we tasted, we fell into the feeling of being together. The smile of our lips just kept us kissing quietly deeper, until my face was drawn with yearning and his eyes were hooded.

I breathed, getting lost in the tingling sensations that were creeping up my spine and along my arms. My body was trembling all over with suppressed longing.

“Yes.” Arthur’s body was answering mine. “It’s been too long.” He broke away and moved his arms from around me. I felt cut loose, cold.

“Pins and needles” he mumbled, and I relaxed again.

“Sorry.” I said.

“Oh, cut it out, woman! There is no need to keep saying sorry. What did you do? Kill the Pope’s dog?” There was real annoyance behind the joke, so I smiled.

“Neither of us has to go to work in the morning…” Arthur kissed me again. “But…”  I was beginning to fear that word, “Maybe I should go?”

“Can we just…?” I pulled him back to me and kissed him. I needed to feel that connection again, fearing it might become lost behind the politeness of two strangers who were becoming lovers, unsure of the next steps.

“Yes, of course.” His last words were lost as we embraced. This time there was no mistaking our urgency becoming stronger, more pressing. Our mouths met and then touched cheeks, foreheads, tracing the contours of chins and necks. Arthur’s light touch on my throat traced a line down to my chest, and something inside me exploded. I could feel the warmth in my solar plexus, spreading through my stomach and up to my heart. We were very quiet, focused on meeting, connecting and understanding. To his whispered question, “Shall I go on?” I could only nod and pull him closer.

We kissed, going everywhere, gently exploring. I peeled off my top and trousers but did not want to stay on the sofa. Arthur seemed to understand and was content just to hold me as we kissed each other’s bodies endlessly and held on. “Do you like that?” he would whisper. “Yes, more like that…” Watching his smiles and certainty, I grew bolder. And to my nods, mute with longing, he would smile and oblige me with tender, light touches. I could feel my body bucking, ever so gently beneath his teasing.

“You have been so patient, haven’t you, Marian?”

“Shall we go to bed?” I could not help asking.

“Are you sure? Is Elaine a good sleeper?”

“Yes, always has been.”

“Okay, then. Let’s go.” We tiptoed, carefully avoiding the creaking dip in the middle of the third stair. In the darkness I closed the curtains as Arthur dived beneath the duvet. We spoke little, but as Arthur pulled off his shirt my desire grew until I felt myself floating. Because he was so honest with me, I felt my shyness melting. Beneath the covers we warmed, hugging tightly, high on joy and freedom. The intense pleasure of being held, the joy of sharing skin to skin, melted years of reserve. Quietly, we found ourselves silently sharing our discoveries as the pleasure grew. While Arthur kissed my face, he moved his hands in slow, tender circles over my stomach until I was ablaze with longing.

We moved, and Arthur had his legs on mine, holding down my ankles, as I started to say, “I’m so-” but with an arch smile, he sealed my mouth with a kiss. He knew, my desire was so intense, that he looked deep into my eyes and saw. I felt completely understood. His knowing finally melted my inhibition. I was flooded with desire, and more kept coming, more waves pulsed out and down my body. He moved in and through me and I moved with him. We said little, which made the tension almost unbearable. Arthur was so good at knowing from a look. He wanted me, he needed that, and I felt myself responding without any thought. I surrendered completely to the feeling of being known and loved, until Arthur finally climaxed and joyful with release, I followed with another peak, then another. We both clung, stretched taut and breathing fast, taking gasping breaths. Waiting suspended, the sexual release was met with an emotional one, as we wept for our private losses, and the relief of joining them to discover something new.

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