You've all been here...the point in a relationship where you've been intimate, but, before the "L" word is spoken...
The pungent scent of musky perspiration heavily laces the quiet room. Their passionate embrace of moments before lingers softly, like a persisting echo in a canyon. Still faintly heard, but fading fast.
She rolls over amid the jumble of twisted and tangled bedsheets, still damp from sweat. Tosses one long naked leg possessively across his warm torso. He smiles at her and it’s a funny smile, full of so much meaning in such a tiny gesture.
How can there be so much meaning when there are no words said?
He reaches over and brushes a sweaty strand of brown hair out of her eyes. She feels vulnerable, completely naked to her soul, as she stares steadily back at him. She is afraid to look away, afraid not to.
“What is it?” She finally asks softly, nervously fidgeting under his gentle scrutiny. Goosebumps dance like ballerinas along her flesh and she suddenly shivers despite the heat from moments before.
“I really like you. I like spending time with you.” He traces the contour of her neck with his finger, down her collarbone, and it tickles.
“I feel the same way.” She replies. Even though it is the truth, she feels guarded, afraid to reveal too much, too soon. She shyly lowers her eyes. It strikes her as strange that now, naked, after so many intimate moments together, she suddenly feels inhibited.
As if reading her mind, exposed like a piece of slate scrawled hastily with her thoughts, he whispers, “I would never hurt you.”
He kisses her softly on the lips and she smiles. His lips are warm, comforting. His eyes draw her into their liquidy brown embrace.
She starts to feel her fear and apprehension lift little by little, like a cumbersome blanket that has been smothering her for too long. She shrugs it away. It feels good. Freeing.
He wraps his strong arms around her and she burrows her face into his chest. She lays her head on his shoulder and falls asleep to the calm and steady rise and fall of his breath.