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The food had seemed tasteless to Diane, her mind preoccupied with Michael’s question and her evasion. Where was this relationship going? Moreover, where did Michael want the relationship to go? There had to be a reason behind this sudden desire for direction and Diane fret over it until the pair had begun the return walk to her apartment.
“Michael?” she began timidly. “Why the sudden concern for our relationship? Is something wrong?”
“You could say that.” Michael sighed, the words breathy and nearly indistinct. “I know….” He trailed off into an uncomfortable silence, and then began anew after a pause to collect himself. “I know that this isn’t meeting all of your needs.”
Diane’s breath caught in her throat.
“I know that I’m not tending to the physical, the more visceral aspects of our relationship. You already know the reasons why. I’ve always known you saw other people, but thought that you would tell me in your own time.” Diane began to protest, but was cut-off by Michael. “There’s no reason to deny it. I’ve seen the condoms in the wastebaskets when I’ve been over and can always smell the faint scent of sex in the air beneath the lavender or rose or lily or whatever. I’ve seen the scribbled notes near the phone or next to the fridge or tossed on your chest of drawers.”
Diane blinked in shock. He had known. She had always been careful to try to schedule things during the week, when Michael wouldn’t come over, but had never considered that he might have been aware of her infidelity. As she thought about it, shock began to bleed over into anger. “So you’ve known all this time and said nothing?”
“I don’t recall when I first caught on to what was going on. It hasn’t been that long; a month, maybe two.”
“And still you said nothing?”
“Like I said,” Michael shrugged. “I thought you would tell me when you were ready.”
Diane fought against a surge of tears that threatened to break loose from her. She took in a deep breath and released it slowly. “So, what do you want to do?”
“Well,” Michael began, his eyes uncertain, confused, and looking as if he might be fighting with intense emotions of his own. “I can’t say that I blame you for what has been done. You told me up front that you had been so active with your last love interest that doing without would be difficult; nigh impossible.” Diane’s silence prompted him to continue. “I haven’t been meeting that need for you and it should have occurred to me that you would have found some sort of surrogate. I guess I just wasn’t prepared to deal with the surrogate being other men.”
Diane nodded. “I guess it would come as a bit of a shock, since I hadn’t complained about anything.” It was Michael’s turn to nod. “So, where do we go from here?”
Michael sighed, a soft sound that communicated so much more than words to Diane. “I’m not sure, love. I know what I feel about you and what I feel about what’s been done, but I really don’t know where to go from here.”
Diane looked at her apartment door in dismay, conversation had a way of making time pass more swiftly than she would have liked. “Do you have to get back to work, Michael?”
“No.” He breathed in reply. “Things were really slow today and I’ve been chalking up a lot of overtime, so I was given the rest of the day off.”
“But you’re on-call?”
Diane nodded her understanding. “Would you like to come in for a little bit? I’ve got a feeling it’ll be easier to figure this out if we just sit down and work on it while we’re both thinking straight.”
Michael nodded and the two entered the apartment in silence. Diane prepared some tea while Michael moved about the kitchen near her, finding the scones they had made the previous weekend. Turning to reach for the tea leaves and bags, Diane reached blindly toward their location and found herself pressed bodily against Michael, having pinned him between her and the counter. Her pulse quickened and she swallowed against the desire rising within her; the stampeding emotions that thundered just above her collarbone and sent her into dizzying breathlessness. She glanced at Michael’s face and saw the raw desire there, the barely-controlled creature that lurked behind his eyes; caged and ready to devour should the bolt ever be let slip. She could feel his heartbeat hammering against her, her own bosom echoing and reechoing the cadence his desire beat against his tenuous control.
For what seemed an all-too-short eternity they stood that way; Michael’s self-control held by gossamer threads and ready to topple at the slightest whisper of wind and Diane’s rampant longing pulling at the ties that kept her from being Michael’s soft breeze. She turned abruptly away and gulped down the insistent urge to turn back to him and nudge his desire into action. “You don’t take anything in your tea, do you?” she stammered, knowing the answer as soon as the question was past her lips. Take something in, she extraordinary izle thought, I can think of a few things …. She thrust her will upon the thoughts and brought them back under control. Her imposition of will gave her pause to note the silence that followed in the wake of her wandering thoughts. “Michael?” she inquired, her breath catching as the desire fought for dominion with her will.
She looked up and locked eyes with Michael once again. Behind his eyes she saw a tumult of emotion; animal hunger conflicting with chivalrous design, love in the purest form she had ever known holding back a torrent of undiluted lust; noble and ignoble, spiritual and carnal warred for control over the man she saw before her and the slow shaking of his head was both answer to her question and effort to bring his will to bear upon the chaos within him.
She sighed, a thrill of urgency running through her frame and she shivered it down as she asked Michael to take the scones to the table. His eyes smiled and he nodded, moving deliberately over to the small table to set the scones down and take a seat, settling silently into his chair. His gaze remained downward as though he were trying to conceal the desires raging just behind the sheer curtain of his eyes.
Diane set the tea kettle to boil and placed two cups on the counter. She opened the cylinder of tea and scooped a portion of leaves into each of two bags. She folded the bags carefully and set them next to the tea cups, then turned and replaced both the unused tea bags and the now-closed cylinder of tea leaves in the cabinet, her mind flashing back to the recent press of bodies and ill-concealed lust. She flushed crimson and shivered slightly before moving over to seat herself at the table while waiting for the water to boil.
“So…?” she began. “We have some thinking to do.”
“Indeed.” His voice was less than steady, but a glance showed that his self-control was back in place. “We need to decide how this will end.”
“End?” Diane queried, afraid to raise her eyes to meet his. She didn’t want to lose Michael. Her thoughts ran in frantic lines, like bullet trains to undisclosed destinations. She would not give Michael up. Whatever she had to endure to keep him, she felt that she was willing to do it. If that meant that the others had to go, then so be it.
“Yes, end.” Michael’s voice cut in to her rampaging thoughts. “Either my celibacy ends, your liaisons end, or our relationship ends.” He paused, but Diane waited, finally looking up to see an expression on his face that told her he still had more to that thought that was bubbling up to the surface as she waited. “Or some combination.” His breath sighed out as he fought against a tide of emotions Diane could not even imagine.
“Do you have a preference?” Diane snapped, clipping the last word in her surprised haste to stop. The venom in those words was aimed at Michael’s seeming composure, but she knew better than to think he was all cold calculation and statistical analysis of the situation. She knew he was being torn apart by even needing to have this conversation; she could see it in his eyes. What was worse, his eyes clouded with a tinge of hurt at her angry retort that sent a stab into her core. “I’m sorry, Michael. I didn’t mean to snap like that. I just ….”
Diane’s words trailed off as the tea kettle whistled. It was Michael who rose and poured water into the tea cups, settling the bags of tea in gently and bearing both cups to the table. He set hers down before her, and turned around to reach and retrieve the honey and sugar from the counter, knowing she liked her tea sweet. He finally seated himself and stared absently at the bag steeping in his tea cup. Diane looked down into the swirling diffusion of flavor in her own cup and wondered what Michael was thinking.
“I prefer not to lose you.” Michael said, his mellow tones sliding gently into the silence, rather than piercing it. “We have had a good relationship. One concealed aspect is hardly enough reason to end it, though it does make it necessary to take a step back and look at things.”
“We haven’t concealed anything else from one another.” Diane murmured, defeat and hope mixing in her voice like the diffusion taking place in her tea cup.
“No, we haven’t.”
“Looking at things doesn’t mean doing anything immediately – just looking.”
“Like an examination or an x-ray.” Diane nodded, her understanding of Michael’s thought process finally coming into focus. “We need to look for the problem and see what can be done about it.”
“Exactly.” Michael agreed. “And the problem, as far as I can see, is that your physical needs are not being met.”
“Most of them are.”
“Which needs are not being met by me?” Michael asked, his tone and manner clinical. Diane knew it was safe to talk at this point. Michael was treating this portion of their conversation forecasting love and weather izle like a consultation with a patient.
“The only need that comes to mind is sex.” Diane confessed openly. “You are definitely attentive in every other way. You hold my hand, hold me when I need it, listen, talk, walk with me … if there is anything I need that you don’t attend to, I can’t think of what it might be.”
Michael nodded. “How do we attend to that need?”
Diane inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. “Well, so far I’ve been finding others to attend to that need.” Again Michael nodded. “But I’d rather not have any other. I want you. I’ve wanted you for so long that the ache for you finds its way into my dreams at night.” His mouth twitched in the hint of a smile as Michael nodded yet again. “Unless you intend to end your celibacy or I decide to find alternate means of satisfying my need, there really isn’t another course of action.”
The silence stretched out until Diane could barely stand it. She sat in the silence, secure as she waited for Michael’s deliberation to end and his words to be forthcoming. Still the silence lingered as her endurance faltered and she glanced down, drowning her comments in tea. Self-control near breaking point, she finished the last of her tea and rose to refill her cup with heated water.
She moved automatically, fear making silence almost preferable to the possibilities. Somewhere in her mind, she distantly noted Michael’s rise from the table and movement behind her, presumably to rinse his cup or place it in the sink. Water poured, she turned to find Michael standing immediately behind her. Startled by his proximity, she raised her hands and began a backward movement, but was prodded forward once again by the counter and ended her movement pressed against Michael, her hands resting on his chest. She swallowed hard, trying to get her bearings, but found that their earlier conversation had her mind turning circles and her body responding to the last topic of conversation. Heat suffused her frame and she was both eager to push away from Michael and longing to press into him. She stared at her hands for what felt like an eternity before forcing her gaze up.
What she saw in Michael’s eyes startled her. In those depths she found a holocaust of passions and a war older than civilization; she saw the man she loved and the man she desired side-by-side in those eyes and the new parity shocked her, made her pause as Michael leaned down and brushed her lips with his own. The contact, like a plucked string, set both nervous systems to shuddering in harmony. Words became useless and Michael leaned down at the same moment Diane reached up to begin a more passionate kiss.
Silence reigned, the shallow sounds of muffled breathing and the whimpers and muted groans of lust unleashed thrummed through the apartment.
Diane slipped out of her shoes, sliding them off to a corner of the kitchen with a swift motion of her foot. Michael’s hands explored, reading the gooseflesh Braille of her desires and responding accordingly. Her shirt unbuttoned and slid to the floor, followed swiftly by her skirt, her body taking little notice of the loss except to redouble its efforts to let Michael know that warmth was needed. Her skin prickled with electric light as she unbuttoned Michael’s shirt and pushed it from him and began to fumble with his belt buckle and pants fastenings while he alternately tickled with warm breath, nibbled, and softly kissed her neck. The nibbling was playful and erotic, everything she had come to expect from previous sessions of passion that ended too soon for her. His soft kisses were so soft as to be kindred to running feathers along her skin and they teased at her body’s growing awareness of Michael’s proximity and heat. His warm breaths on her neck set her nerves afire, sending ripples through her frame and shuddering her, disturbing the coordination of her hands. When Michael’s pants finally came free, Diane pulled them and his undergarments off in one swift motion and kissed her way down his torso.
Michael watched Diane with a muted fascination buried beneath a desire without description. Words failed, senses were his only truth. As Diane’s eyes broke contact with his, he watched as she knelt and looked on him in wonder. He stood awestruck, no matter how many times he witnessed this, it always caught him by surprise. He watched a familiar dance, fire ripping through him, a blaze unchecked and wild in the dry brush of his desire. Sensation snaked upward through his body on the heels of fire and chilled him, an icy pleasure that made him shiver. Urgency charged the air like lightning before a strike and Michael pitched forward to brace himself against the counter as the strike arrived and the urgency in the air coalesced into a focused point. In the aftermath, he sank slowly to his freeridge izle knees and kissed Diane, tongue probing tentatively and being answered. Passion rekindled flames that had burned down to glowing embers and set the room alight with energy.
Michael lifted Diane to the countertop, shoving bric-a-brac aside and settling her on the counter’s edge. Diane gazed at him as he trailed down her stomach with soft kisses and hot breath. Nerves shimmered like a lake set to rippling by a gust of wind. An exploration began, something that had not happened in previous encounters, neither with Michael nor any other partners. The exploration was gossamer, almost surreal to Diane and she found herself switching between moderate disbelief and outright doubt that this was happening. Her nerves shouted their protest at her lack of belief in them, a tsunami washing away doubt in its path. Sensation rose and fell; waves on the open sea of her awareness that threatened lost control and promised far more than mere words could explain.
She heard her breath coming in shorter gasps and catching in her throat. A disconnect occurred between body and mind. Her body activated a sort of autopilot: stimulus led to response; action to reaction; Michael’s explorations of her depths to a surge of heat that rose as inexorably as the tide and with as much purpose and languor. Her mind observed the proceedings with detachment, rendering a value judgment of each stimulus and evaluating the appropriateness of her biological response. Michael was inexperienced at this, his ascent from ignorance to a fair command of knowledge notwithstanding. Michael had always been a quick learner and that he should learn swiftly what things pleased her was no new revelation. She basked in this dichotomy for a time, exhilarated by the novelty of what transpired and the possible fruition of a dream. Reality seemed, so far, to be all that her dreams had hoped. A twinge of pleasure-pain snapped her back into the moment and plunged her headlong into sensation. She was heat and light, electricity and kinesis; she rushed madly toward the central focus of sensory input, lightning drawn to the rod, and yet ruminated within the light and heat of her self. The focal point compressed, the singularity at the core of some private anomaly, and suddenly radiated outward throughout the fibers of her body as though every neuron, every synapse had suddenly sprung to new and glorious life and was relaying to her one sensation: pleasure; the honey-sweet nectar of release.
Diane was only vaguely aware that Michael had moved, his eyes now on a level with her own. There was a question in those eyes that she could not – or would not – read. She smiled blissfully, her body still enlivened and felt the focal point reassert itself. Her still-echoing being registered a new sound, a new pleasure sweeping through her. Her mind, still reeling from trying to assert itself over the chaos of her unbridled release, now dimly informed her that something different was happening.
Those recesses of Diane that Michael had been exploring so gently before were now fathomed, the sounding rod plunged to their very deepest point. Diane registered the withdrawal and resounding of her self with moderate interest – only the center remained; only that oh-so-focused point of eager bliss that promised to wash over her at the next high tide of her own warmth. Each time the measurement was retaken, her depths fathomed and known, the instrument was removed and she, a deep longing for this sounding, followed up … forward … direction was meaningless. She moved toward that instrument which sounded her, fathomed her, knew some hidden part of her being that none other ever could or would.
Her tidal heat rose once more, the waves breaking over her and within her and through her. She was the wave; the trough; the crest; the undulating sea that caressed the land so aloof in its rigidity. She yearned toward her moon, an ocean longing for that distant lover whose empty seas beckoned her waters. And Diane, the wave, crested and came crashing down upon the shore in a cacophony of sensation; begging the stoic land for some reminder of her love. Michael, the distant moon, the stolid shoreline, responded to Diane’s earnest entreaty and his warmth reached out to embrace her; an embrace that began in her core and spread outward. His warmth was cold, a soothing tingle throughout her tortured being that brought one final turgid wash of languorous warmth.
Diane settled into the warmth, reeling and drunk on the sensation. Her body still sparked, still danced with lightning jumping between the clouds of arms and legs and mouth. Leaning forward, her body pressed into another whose heartbeat matched her own; a duet of rhythmic pulses keeping time to the tune of sated desire and descent into aftermath. She leaned gently into the warmth, the contentment that radiated from her and returned.
“That was incredible.” she breathed, her voice wispy in the electric silence. Michael’s continued silence caused her to look up and see a look half of rapture and half of self-inflicted torment in his eyes. “Oh, no. Michael, don’t tear yourself up over this. It’s been a long time coming.”
Michael nodded, the movement all but imperceptible. “I know.” came the whispered reply. “You know why I don’… didn’t.”
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