Random snowflakes danced and cavorted before her window. Her breath fogged the chilled glass as she looked out into the cold Michigan night. It was Christmas Eve.
A small tree occupied the corner of her small living room. Ornaments from her boys’ childhood hung on the branches. Each one had its own story to tell, its own memories. She smiled, remembering those days. The boys were grown now. They were fashioning their own lives, with strong women to challenge and inspire them.
She sipped her cabernet, a memento of a magical weekend in the California Wine Country earlier that year. The intriguing flavors of the wine transported her back to that time. She closed her eyes, remembering how she had first tasted it—sitting in a small tasting room in Napa, breathing in the first tantalizing aromas, then sipping, letting the wine linger on her tongue.
Her companion shared the experience. They sat at the bar, their eyes closed, as the wine told its story. They looked at each other, wide-eyed, trying to find words to describe this remarkable product of the winemaker’s art. Finally, they gave up trying, and gave themselves over to the experience.
It had been such a rich and fulfilling time, filled with laughter, conversation and new experiences. They felt completely at ease with each other, even in their occasional companionable silences. She had opened her mind and her body to him, without any reservation. He had responded in kind. When had she ever been so fulfilled on so many different levels? She felt as though she had known him forever.
Diana Krall sang in the background: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” She sipped her wine. The tender, yearning message of the song touched her, and she turned away from the frosted window. It was late. The boys and their women had come with presents and cheer, livening the small apartment. Now they were gone, making the rounds to Christmas Eve parties. She finished the wine, turned off the tree and went to her bedroom. She undressed and slid naked between the chilly sheets. It was not so long ago that there was another warm body there with her.
The room is very dark. The furnace hums quietly, keeping the winter chill from her bedroom. She has been asleep for at least an hour. She half-wakes, listening for…what? She lies very still. There may be a small sound near her bedroom door, as faint as a whisper. No, it is just her own heartbeat. She settles herself to go back to sleep.
Another sound—a soft footfall on the carpet? She half-opens her eyes, but the room is completely dark. She holds her breath, listening.
The covers next to her seem to move, as though taking care not to disturb her. She senses a warmth next to her, but she lies perfectly still. She moves her hand slowly to her left, feeling a little foolish—until her fingers meet warm skin. She gasps soundlessly. Her blood thrums in her ears. She turns her head slowly to her left.
The unmistakable scent comes to her. How many times has she breathed in that smell? It is him—there is no doubt. Her memory is flooded with the times they have lain together in her bed in a delicious, damp tangle of limbs, luxuriating in a spent afterglow. That smell…it is his smell—there is no doubt. He is somehow here.
She doesn’t speak. If this is a dream, she fears a single word from her will spoil everything, the way a dry finger explodes a perfect, prismatic soap bubble. Her hand, with a life of its own, moves gently, seeking, finding warm, smooth skin.
She knows that skin so well—her hands and lips have explored every inch of him. How many nights has she lay in her bed alone, aching to touch him, needing to feel his mouth, his hands on her? How many times has she needed desperately to feel his hard maleness in her hand, to feel him respond so gloriously to her touch?
Her hand moves tentatively over the warm skin next to her. Boldly, she turns on her side and reaches for him. As she does, he responds, turning to her, enfolding her in his strong arms, pulling her body to his. She sobs as she clings to him, wanting to be as close to him as she can get.
His mouth is on hers, and she responds, parting her lips to meet his, tasting his tongue in her mouth. Her tears flow now, and she tastes the salt on her lips. She kisses him ravenously, a starving woman who has been in a harsh wilderness for weeks. She feels him respond.
He has always been so patient with her, so deliberate in his lovemaking. He knows where her secret spots are—places no other man ever touched. He has brought her to peaks of ecstasy she had never imagined before, then kept her poised there before joining her in sweet, shared release.
Now, her need for him is too intense for delay or subtlety. She pulls him on top of her. She spreads her legs, then guides him inside her. She is so wet, there is no resistance at all. He plunges deeply into her without a moment’s hesitation, then rests there, his full hard length sheathed in her body. She takes in a long, shuddering breath, savoring the fullness of him inside her.
He shifts slightly, pulling her hips upward with his hands on her ass. He begins to move inside her, slowly at first, then finding a faster rhythm. She moves with him, the perfect dance partner.
In their earliest days as lovers, they had their moments of awkwardness as each learned the other’s movements. Even those times of learning each other’s bodies was joyous. Now their exploration of each other was on a deeper, even spiritual level.
Their bodies weave together now perfectly. Their mouths lock together, and they breathe in harmony with the movement of their bodies. She has learned to read his arousal and knows that he will be with her, inside her, for a long time. Her womb sings, welcoming his presence inside her. She feels the heat building inside her, seeking release.
He knows her so well. He thrusts faster, in and out, moving the full length of his hard penis inside her. Her heart is bursting with happiness as she climbs this mountain with him.
Their breath comes in short pants now. She clutches at his back, pulling him to her, wanting to be closer to him, ever closer.
Suddenly, she feels the ecstatic release, along with a warm flood that bathes them both. He utters a long, keening cry as he comes inside her. He is sobbing uncontrollably. She has learned that his tears are part of his complete comfort with her. She holds him tightly as his thrusting slows, then stops. She feels him inside her, slowly softening. She wills him to stay inside her for just a minute more. He does. Finally, he rolls from her to lie by her side. They are still locked in an intimate embrace, arms and legs intertwined. They kiss and murmur wordlessly as their breathing returns to normal. She feels the heaviness of sleep overtaking her. She nestles against him, content and satisfied.
Christmas morning dawned crisp and clear. A single shaft of sunlight made its way between the gap in the curtains. She awoke, slowly at first, then abruptly as the memory of last night returned to her. Her eyes snapped open as her hand groped the side of the bed. Empty. She felt as though she was suddenly alone. Maybe if she closed her eyes tight and went back to sleep, he would still be there when she woke. It could not have been a dream; it was much too real, too vivid. Besides: you can’t smell anything in a dream. Can you? And do women have wet dreams? Because last night was certainly a wet dream.
She was alone in her bed. She sighed. At least it had been a nice dream.
As she started to throw the covers aside, she heard a noise from the kitchen. Was it one of the boys, surprising her with a Christmas breakfast? No, that was not their style. As she reached for her robe, she heard steps coming down the hall. She clutched it to her breasts, as the door swung open.
He stood there, completely naked, holding a tray with orange juice, coffee and bagels. She stared at him, slack jawed. He grinned back at her.
“Care for a little breakfast?” he asked, solicitously. Her mouth opened and closed, as though she were trying to force words from it. She was not succeeding. He put the tray down carefully on the bed and poured two cups of coffee. He stirred half-and-half into one and handed it to her, then poured a cup for himself. Her eyes were locked on him as he got back into bed beside her.
“Oh,” he said. “You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here.” She nodded, her mouth still open.
“Well,” he said, “it didn’t’ seem right for you to be all by yourself on Christmas, so I managed to get a last-minute flight to Detroit. So here I am!” He took a sip of his coffee and grinned at her innocently. “I hope it’s okay. I mean, I did kind of drop in without any notice.” Another innocent grin, now accompanied by fluttering eyelashes.
“Oh, and I made a wax impression of your house key last time I was here. I would have been a good cat burglar.” Sip, grin, flutter.
“Put that coffee cup down and move that tray,” she said sternly. He put his cup on the nightstand and moved the tray. As soon as everything was safely placed, she threw herself at him, covering his face with kisses. “I’m so glad you’re here!” she cried, laughing and sobbing at the same time.
“I’m glad, too,” he said, once she gave him a second to breathe. She moved to lie on top of him. As she did, she felt him harden against her. She guided him into her, sighing as she did.
As they became lost in each other’s bodies, Diana Krall began to sing in the living room, as if by magic: “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.”