The Lioness

The ocean laps black water against our feet as I strain to see the coast in the dark. It must be nearing three but I lose all sense of time on this island; with this man. I turn around and reaching up on my tip toes I lose myself in one of those never-ending kisses that threaten to swallow you whole, the kind that could last all night–and will until you force yourself to break away. Which I do and grinning sidestep out of arms reach.

¨What do you think?¨ I question him playfully as he peers over my shoulder at the dark sea.

¨Bit cold don’t ya think?¨ His Australian accent does what it always does, rolls up under my skin and sends shivers down my spine. I don’t even mind when he calls me ¨Bro¨.

I look around me. The beach is empty and dark. There will never be a better time. Just do it, I tell myself. I peel off my shirt–still damp against my back from dancing with him for hours. I throw it at him and can just make out the glint of his smile in the moonlight. Next comes my pants and then I toss my bra at his head as he scrambles to follow suit.

¨Girl, you are so sexy.¨ The most over-used phrases find new meaning in his mouth as the words climb-tripping over themselves-out of those perfect lips. I don’t wait for him. I am already wading into the cold water and then ducking under. I am gazing up at the starry sky allowing myself to float with the waves and contemplating my drunk when I feel his arms around me. Spinning around I lock my legs behind him as he lifts me dripping out of the water and walks further, deeper, into the ocean.

Our kisses are laced with salt water as the sea pulls at us, tempting us further and further from shore. I send a blessing to Neptune and slip once more out of his grasp when things progress and I begin to lose my otherwise thoroughly maintained control. He groans and follows me. I am a fish. Silver-scaled in the moonlight. Slipping in and out of his hands until shivering I find myself face to face with him–and myself–reflected in his eyes; this girl I thought I had left behind, years ago. I had last seen her falling, tumbling, over the side of the MacDonald bridge. I left her then, to die, and thought she had.

He pulls me to him and carries me, hypnotized back to shore. Arms around his neck I stare back over his shoulders the black water rolling over and in on itself. Clinging to our skin in droplets like barnacles or souvenirs. I’m convinced I had been overreacting and allow a small sigh of relief to escape me–but, too soon–I choke on it. Spluttering, I see her dark shape pacing back and forth along the waters edge. Eyes glinting, waiting for one wrong move or one miscalculated step. Waiting; like a lioness in a cage.

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