They stir in the bed next to me without waking. Dawn is hours off yet, but it feels like I should be up already. The hotel bed is firmer than my mattress at home. It’s not bad, just different. I turn my head to look at them, watching the slow meter of their breathing. They’ve relaxed and settled down again. Dark, bristled hair is pressed against my shoulder, gently pricking at my bare skin.
Connection “Hey, love. We’re here,” Chris calls into the kitchen. I put down the snacks I had been preparing and walk over to the door. Chris is leading her new friend from work into the house. “Hi there! I’m Liv.” I hold out my hand to her and give her a wide smile. Making new friends is hard—I’m putting in the effort. “Mel. Melissa.” She even seems unsure of what she wants me to call her.
“Feeling a little squirmy?” I snuggle in next to her on the couch, where she is lounging in a tee shirt and panties, scrolling through something on her phone. She’s been wiggling against the couch for a little bit. It’s so cute that all I can think about is watching her. Encouraging her. She blushes bright red and puts down her phone. “Maybe?” The way she says it, it sounds like a question.
The musky scent of the candle fills the room. The combination of warm wax and spices always puts me in a mood. I imagine that after all these years together it does the same for her. The candles and the fire in the stove splash yellow and orange on the walls and makes it bright enough for me to see what I’m doing without any light bulbs on. It’s warm and comfortable.
We barely enter the club and she grabs my hand and tugs me away from the bar. Before I know it, I’m in wedged into a bathroom stall with her hands on my shoulders, pushing me down to my knees. My linen skirt bundles up around my knees and overflows out into the next stall. This would probably be embarrassing if I thought about it. She giggles and her hand leaves my shoulder.
I drop my phone onto the bed and start pulling my clothes off in my dark bedroom. I’m exhausted. These long days are killing me. It’s after midnight and all I need is a full night’s rest. Sadly, I can only manage about six hours. I have to be back at work in the morning. I can’t wait for this project to be over and done with. My sweater lands on the dresser, or at least that’s the intention.
I snuggle into her anonymous embrace a little tighter, aiming my mouth for her ear, I come very close to brushing my lips on the exposed skin on the side of her neck. “What’s your name?” “Does it matter?” Her tone isn’t dismissive. It merely tells me she’d prefer not to say. I lean up, taking myself far enough away from her that I can see her face and she can see my smile.
“I wish you would just get inside of me,” she whispers across the dimly lit hotel hallway. The ice machine humming behind her. It is so casual, so quick, and so unexpected that I have to check if I heard right. “Excuse me?” After all, we had only barely exchanged glances. “Oh. Um… never mind. I thought you were… you’re clearly not interested.” Her face flushes and she turns to go.