“Dance with me,” he said.
“We’re just going to move together really slowly and see what happens.”
This lanky, slow-talking stranger with long fingers and salt and pepper in his tousled hair.
The music started. Slow and soft. Not loud or fast enough to drown out my racing heartbeat. He pressed against me and I closed my eyes. Trying to relax as he gently swayed with me. My shoulders felt like they were up to my ears.
His fingers played over my arms and torso, softly along my arms, all the way to my fingertips. And back. And up. To my neck. Deliberately missing my breasts. His hands kneaded my shoulders and I jerked. I was so tense.
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I swallowed. “A-huh,” I squeaked.
He teasingly and painstakingly slowly undid the knot above my breasts. Letting it slide slowly along my body and down onto the floor.
But I’d given him more barriers — I was still in my bikini top and underwear.
And 10 minutes later, when he finally and slowly removed those, there was still one barrier left…
It had been a manic effort to get here. This ‘back to the body’ retreat. Taking the week off had meant two weeks of very long hours, trying to get on top and ahead of all my work.
To top it off, my on-off-on-off-rinse-wash-repeat boyfriend was finally giving it a real shot at getting sober. After two weeks of no contact, he’d turned up on my doorstep after a meeting.
In a moment of weakness, he’d stayed the night.
Then the following night.
Then I went to visit him the night before I was leaving. I got home at 1am, still needing to pack before my 8am flight.