Love and Other Words

Page 48

His smile curves the single word: “Good.”

I fumble for him, his belt, his zipper.

“Wait,” I tell my body. “Oh God, I’m close.”


Hold on. Wait.

He doesn’t stop what he’s doing when he pulls back and looks up at my face. “You want…?”

His fingertips glide over me, tighter, faster.

Clumsily, I dig in, finding the heavy heat of him, closing my hand around it, shifting so I’m there, tilting him up, making him wet with me.

He groans as he sinks in, and the sound hits me somewhere ancient and savage.

The relief of it – of him thick and hungry, finally sliding deep in and out of me – is a melting star, spreading fire into my bloodstream. He gasps that he doesn’t want to come, never wants to come, doesn’t ever want to stop. I’m already on the sharp edge, and our instant, frantic fucking gets me there through a jagged set of thrusts. Him up, me over.

The crickets and Elliot go quiet at the sharp, aching cries tearing out of me.

In the silence that follows, I can feel the drum of his pulse where my lips meet his throat. But then his hands come to my jaw, cupping, tilting my face to his.

“Yeah?” he whispers. I nod in his hands, feeling the weight of him inside me. “Holy mother of God,” he says into a kiss, “this is unreal.”

Everything narrows down to the tiny shifts of my hips over his, and the soft sucking kisses. I’m barely moving. Just rocking, squeezing. It means I’m not expecting the tight way he tells me he’s close.

I press the question against his lips: “Do you want me to stop?”

“Only if you’re not on something.” His tongue meets mine and he groans. “Macy, honey, I’m so close.”

I’m not sure why it’s this moment that makes the reality sink in, that we’re making love, still mostly dressed, somewhere in the gardens at his brother’s wedding. But when Elliot comes, I want his hands and the cool, humid air on my skin, not on the crushed silk of my dress. Every time we’ve touched each other, we’ve been mostly dressed.

I reach back, unzipping, pushing the straps off my shoulders and quickly doing away with the tiny strapless bra. My dress falls to my waist.

His mouth is there, and his words of approval – for the heat and sweetness of me, for the feel of my breasts on his tongue. Against my belly is the scratch of his open, starched shirt, and inside I feel him climb, feel him need more than the gentle shifting he’s getting, and his hands find my breasts, holding them for his open mouth.

We are a crescendo again, faster now, I’m bouncing on him three,


four five six times


He bites me,



Elliot stills me when his iron grip drops to my hips, and he’s jerking into me, his mouth open, teeth bared on my breast.

It will leave a mark.

But even after he’s finished he grazes his teeth back and forth, tongue stroking the tight peak, soothing the site of his gentle attack. I feel the way he spasms still. His breaths are tight puffs of air against my breast.

My fingers make a tangle in his hair, holding him to me. Goose bumps spread across my skin as his hands slide around, cupping my backside, holding me tight against him.

He came inside me.

He’s still inside me.

What did we just do?

And how have I gone this long without him?

Making love to him suddenly feels vital, like air and water and warmth.

He turns his face up to mine, expectantly, and it’s only a tiny shift forward for my mouth to meet his in this new, lazy relief.

It’s both familiar and foreign. His skin is coarser with stubble, his lips stronger. Inside me, I know, he’s thicker.

I start to move off him – worried about making a mess of his tuxedo – but he holds me steady, his hips to mine. “Not yet,” he says against my mouth. “I want to stay here. I still don’t believe this is happening.”

“Me either.” I am lost in the lazy sweep of his tongue, the tiny kisses that melt into deeper ones.

“I might want to do it again.”

I smile. “Me too.”

He moves his mouth to my neck, his left hand coming up to cup my breast.

“Is it weird,” I begin, “that I felt like I was having sex with someone new and old at the same time?”

This makes him laugh, and he bends, kissing my chest. Leaning back, he whispers, “Want to know something even weirder?”

My eyes fall closed. “I want to know everything.”

And for the first time in over a decade, I really do.

“It was years before I was with someone other than you. You were the only woman I was with until I was… well, for a long time.”

His words hit the blank wall of my sex haze, and then dread falls over me like blackness.

“I’ve loved you my whole life,” Elliot continues, his lips moving against my collarbone. Slowly, I open my eyes, and he looks up at me. “At least from the minute I ever thought about love, and sex, and women.”

He’s still inside me.

He smiles, and the moonlight catches the sharp angle of his jaw. “I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want you. It took a long time before I wanted anyone else, physically, at all.”

It’s a little like being in the eye of a tornado. All around me, things are happening, but inside my head, it’s so quiet.

At my silence, his eyes widen first, and then fall closed. “Oh, my God. I just realized what I’ve said.”


monday, january 1

eleven years ago


ust off the Richmond Bridge, I called Elliot, listening through the speaker as the phone rang and rang, eventually going to voice mail. About ten minutes into my drive it had occurred to me that I didn’t know where in town Christian lived, and I didn’t know how long Elliot would be there. It was after one in the morning now – he might even just be home, in bed, and I wouldn’t be able to get to him without waking up the rest of the house.

Highway 101 stretched out dark ahead of me, dotted with the occasional burning taillights of another car. It was otherwise empty, with clumps of drivers getting on and off the freeway around the dotted small towns: Novato, Petaluma, Rohnert Park… In Santa Rosa, I tried calling again, and this time an unfamiliar male voice answered.

“Elliot’s phone.” Noise blared, drunken and raucous, in the background.

A sour combination of relief and irritation twisted in me. It was nearly two in the morning and he – or at least his phone – was still at the party?

“Is Elliot around?” I asked.

“Who’s calling?”

I paused. “Who’s answering?”

The guy inhaled, and his answer came out tight, like he had just taken a giant hit off something. “Christian.”

“Christian,” I said, “this is Macy.”

He let out a long, controlled breath. “Elliot’s Macy?”

Someone in the background let out a sharp “Dude.”

“Yes,” I confirmed, “his girlfriend, Macy.”

“Oh, shit.” The line went quiet, muffled, as if someone was holding a hand there. When he came back, he said simply, “Elliot’s not here.”

“Did he go home without his phone?” I asked.


Confused, I pressed, “So how is he not there if you know he didn’t go home?”

“Macy.” A slow, drunken laugh, and then, “I am way too high to follow that.”

“Okay,” I said calmly, “can you just give me your address?”

He rattled off an address on Rosewood Drive, adding, “Second house on the left. You’ll hear it.”

“Chris,” someone protested in the background, “don’t.”

Christian let out another low laugh. “What the fuck do I care?”

And then he hung up.

Christian’s house was new, and therefore large for the Craftsman-modest Healdsburg, set on a hill and overlooking a vineyard. He was right: I could hear it as soon as I turned onto his street. Cars jammed the long driveway, fanning out messily toward the curb. I parked in the first empty stretch of street, several houses down. Zipping my puffy jacket over my dress, I left my heels in the car, grabbed some flip-flops from the trunk, and trudged back up the hill.

Tip: You can use left and right keyboard keys to browse between pages.