Title: One Hundred Lines
Warning: No spoilers. Happy Land of Denial.
Summary: Two bodies. One night. One hundred lines.
Notes: This is not a sequel or a preview or a bit of anything larger. I was challenged to write a 100-line love scene and this is what I’ve got.
Her body is compact and round. Her body is warm and soft. “Your body,” he says to her, “was made for fucking,” and she just laughs because he is between, inside, wrapped around, sheltered by her little feet and strong arms. He is allowed to say things like that when they are like this.
His body is long and lean. His body bears more scars than hers. “Your body,” she says, “is like a Greek statue. Your body is beautiful,” she says to his disbelieving face, but he smiles and kisses her.
Her presence makes all things beautiful, even him.
Their bodies move together slowly. Not quite tandem – they are still learning each other – but getting there. Hers is the rhythm of the sea, easy, gentle. He has been land-bound all his life, but he thinks as he moves in her that he could learn to sail.
Their bodies burn for each other, yearn for each other. When they are not lovers, when they are decorous and polite partners, he thinks he can still feel the imprint of her hands on his skin. When he touches her through her clothes, just a hand between her shoulders, she shivers.
This is more than passion, he thinks. He wants to call it love.
He sleeps a bit, pillowed against her breasts, and then wakes to her movement. The moon is out, silver beams casting over their bed. “Magic,” he whispers.
“Hungry,” she answers, and slips out of his arms to her feet. Her body is pale and ghostlike in the dark. In the dark she has no need of clothes and walks, naked as Eve, out of his bedroom.
“You’re creamy,” he says, and she laughs at him from down the hall. He frowns for a moment, then smiles and gets up to follow. He’ll explain it if she wants: that she is sweet and mellow and soothing, that she cools his desires and slakes his thirst, that he wants to hold her taste on the back of his tongue.
Or he won’t. Maybe he’ll make her guess. Maybe he’ll make her wonder.
In the kitchen she has taken out a loaf of bread, a tub of butter and a jar of jam. She covers a slice of bread and hands it to him. “Eat.”
“Yes’m.” She takes care of him. That’s what she does. He wonders if she even thinks about it or if she’s so accustomed to being the caretaker she doesn’t ask if he wants it or needs it.
Needs, probably not. Wants, oh yes.
She has not turned on a light, and the kitchen is silver with moonlight and golden from street lamps. Her fingers are sticky when he kisses her hand. He sucks up a remnant of jam from her fingertips. In the dark he can be tender. In the dark she lets him love her. In the dark they are two different people than in the day.
She gives him milk and says softly, “So I’m creamy?”
“Yes.” He drinks, studies her a moment. She’s luminous. He feels like a jungle cat prowling his territory, ready to leap on this morsel. “You’re like Belgian chocolate.”
“If I didn’t know better I’d think you’re drunk.”
“Nope. Just in love.”
There. There are the words, out loud, not just in his head. She does not smile but does not turn away. “Oh,” is all she says.
It’s better than he hoped for, and he decides to take advantage of her sleepy eyes and relaxed shoulders. He dips his fingers into the jar and spreads raspberry jam over the tops of her breasts. Her breasts heave once. She grips the counter. “Oh,” she says again, but it’s a breath this time, it’s a sigh this time, and she holds herself upright as he lowers his head to clean her. “Oh,” even softer, even longer.
Sticky fingers trail over her hip, and he gets on his knees to follow the berry-colored path with his tongue. The berries are tart, her skin is sweet – the perfect vehicle for jam, he thinks with a chuckle. He paints spirals on her abdomen, zigzags on her hips, lines on her thighs. “This is my name,” he tells her, drawing a symbol below her left breast. “My name in Hebrew looks like this.”
Her eyes meet his. “This doesn’t make me yours. Putting your name on me -“
“I know. It doesn’t matter.” His tongue wipes his name away. “I’m just playing.” Zigzags are water – her symbol. Lines are earth – her buried lover. Spirals for the baby – he remembers reading, long ago, that spirals meant woman, birth, the power of the moon and the power of monthly blood.
She is a labyrinth and sometimes he’s afraid his thread will break.
He shows her another symbol, on her arm. “Your name isn’t in Hebrew. This is close. Dan. Judge.”
She whispers, “Is that what I am? Your judge?”
He adds a tiny jot and says, “No. This makes it from Dan to Daniel. God is my judge.” He licks up the name and paints another. “This is what you are.” Star. Angel. In Hebrew they are the same.
“What does your wife’s name look like?” she asks, her voice soft.
He glances at her. “Ex,” he reminds her gently, but draws the name anyway. Sarah. Princess. And before she can ask he adds Luke, and the Hebrew word for Fox. Three losses written on her – two to the earth, one to her own new life – and then he wipes them away. No one exists in the moonlight but the two of them.
“Kiss me,” she whispers, and her eyes are sad.
He rises and holds her face in his hands. Her eyes, her nose, her lips. Oh, her lips. Thin from anger or swollen with kisses, gnawed with worry or wet with tears, he loves her lips. The first time he kissed her he was afraid he’d leave bruises. Now he knows she is stronger than that.
He kisses her until she sways, her arms going around his neck, and then lifts her off her feet to the counter. She gasps but relaxes, trusting him. She lies back at his touch, shivering at the cold countertop, and opens her legs.
He has more stories to tell her, if he thought she would listen. Burial mounds from the ancient world, meant to represent what he sees here, the swollen belly, the opening to the womb. Rebirth from a symbolic woman made of soil and stone. He sometimes wonders what will be reborn from her.
But instead of speaking he bends to her and tastes her, where she is tart like the berries and creamy like the milk and warm like her hands and smoky like a dying fire. He has not told her this but he wants to be there when she gives birth. He wants to guide the baby out of her body. He wants to lay the baby in her arms with the vow nothing, no one, will harm her or the child as long as he’s alive. She has extracted no promises from him but this is one he makes every day, with every kiss, every time he enters her, with every glance and touch.
No one will hurt you. Not on my watch.
She wants no promises from him and what she does want he can give easily. This. His body, pleasuring her body, with fingers and cock and tongue. He wishes he could pretend they were just bodies, that there is no history or pain or grief to hold them back from each other – but then, he would not love her if there was nothing to herbut her body. Her beauty besieged him but it was her soul that opened the gates.
If it is not love at least it is sweetness and tenderness and care.
Her thighs shiver and her toes clench. “Oh,” she sighs, happy in this moment. “Mm.” In the dark he can give her this – he can write I love you over her clitoris and she will sigh “Yes,” he can mark her with hieroglyphics and script, words written with his tongue and burned into his soul. You are my star. I love you.
And when she cries out his name he is hopeful, because if it is not love it just might become so, someday, when she wants more than just his body.
e n d
“Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”
— Pablo Neruda