When the water reached my knees, I dove in, not caring how the chill enveloped me like an icy blanket. The air was warm on my back when I resurfaced as I sliced through the water, and that was enough. I hadn’t bothered with a swim cap—this wasn’t a workout, it was triage. It was me forcing my body to hurt so that my heart would stop bleeding out the pain of saying goodbye.
I pulled through the water with the ease that years of training had taught me, but my mind wasn’t on the motion of my cupped hand, the angle of my shoulder, the turn of my head as I gasped for much-needed oxygen. No, it replayed, cruelly, the fight we’d just had word for word, parsing through the wreckage in the hopes of making some sense of it all. I knew, my heart knew, that there was no good to come of sifting through our hurtful words. But it was too busy pumping blood to my extremities to join the fray.
So, I swam.
The buoy was further than I thought; I treaded water for a minute to gather my bearings. And I let the scene of my crimes take place where it could only be used to drive me harder, faster.
You’re only happy when I fuck you.
That wasn’t true, not remotely. I wanted him, craved his hands on my body, but it was the intimacy that drove me to ask him—lately it had taken the form of begging—to kiss me, to strip me naked and prove that we hadn’t grown apart as I’d feared. Sex wasn’t everything, but it had to count for something, right?
Nothing I do is ever enough for you.
Another myth, perpetuated by the constant barrage of stones thrown by both sides. He hadn’t changed, hadn’t honored the promises he’d made me to try harder, to see me, touch me. Hence the excuses, the defensive maneuvers.
The chop in the water rose in intensity, mirroring my thoughts. The pressure in my lungs pressed against the walls of my chest, the strain on my heart almost too much to maintain at this pace. If I were racing, this would be close to a PR. Today, it might just be enough to make me forget.
I crossed behind the buoy, and almost immediately the chop increased, the wind blowing spray across my back.
You’re acting like a crazy bitch, Cammie.
That part was true, and stung as the sob I choked out made way for an intake of saltwater that was supposed to be air. I coughed violently, brought my head above water to try and get out the rest of the offending sea that threatened to betray my mission, keep me out here, where I was vulnerable to the elements.
When the last of the water left my lungs, I struggled to catch my breath, start again. I was headed back to the hotel, to him, and I wasn’t ready. Instead of moving forward, I took in as much of the heavy salt air as I could and bent at the waist, diving below the surface. I opened my eyes, realizing too late that I didn’t have goggles, either. They were with my swim cap, my lap suit. This hadn’t exactly been a planned excursion, but the water had called to me like it usually did, and this time, I’d need to answer or risk saying something worse, something final.
My vision blurred, but I cut below the surface easier than I could with the wind and waves above. A fuzzy shape slid up beside me, curious. It was thin, but almost as long as me. No fin, so perhaps a barracuda? My pulse quickened, my pace along with it.
The carbon dioxide levels rose in my bloodstream, burning. But they pushed out the rejection, the fear of seeing him that was nothing compared to the deep blue beneath me. Finally, the water shallowed, horizontal peaks and valleys in the sand alerting me to the imminent land rising to meet me. The shape beside me turned and made for deeper water, no longer interested in the fury beside it.
I let my head raise and there was Ty, on the edge of the dock, his strong arms crossed over an even stronger chest that was bare and prickled with goosebumps. His board shorts were slung low on his hips, an invitation he’d made on purpose. But to what end? My breasts hardened at the sight of him, the worst betrayal of my body yet. It hadn’t caught up to my heart, my mind, both of which had bid him goodbye on the swim back to shore.
“A storm is coming in.” This I knew. Did he know his words belied a second meaning? Could he see the one raging in my features? “I was worried.”
“I could see it. It’s still a ways off.” I pulled myself up onto the dock, my arms spent from the exertion of the swim.
He extended his hand, but I pretended not to see it, sitting down on the salt and wind-softened boards. Glancing back at the buoy, now a mere speck on the horizon, I knew why he’d been worried. Lightning struck not far from it, and a sheet of rain swallowed it whole. I shivered, knowing that even if he’d watched me out there, struggling, he was too weak a swimmer to have done anything about it.
“Let’s get inside,” he said. This time, I took his hand, surprised by its warmth against my wrinkled, icy skin.
He didn’t let my hand drop until we got to the door of our room and he had to fish his key from the European-style shorts that fell to mid-thigh. When the door opened, his hand found the small of my back. It felt familiar, yet at the same time different. Guarded.
I knew why when I walked past the threshold, the chill of the air conditioner making me tremble. His bags were packed, his suitcases piled by the door. Another shiver rolled through me, unrelated to the cold.
“Come here. You’re freezing.” He walked over to me, pulled me close to him. My head rested on his chest, and I could feel him shake beneath me, his breath uneven like the air outside. I looked up at him and saw the water pooling in the corners of his eyes. He kissed my forehead, his lips like fire as they grazed my needy skin. “You taste like salt.”
I was all brine and sodium, my body as much a part of the sea as the land. If the heaviness of the bags by the door didn’t sit on my heart, I would want to shower off, meet him back on land, where he was most comfortable. Instead, I rose on my toes to press my lips to his, as I was.
His mouth opened, covering mine. His tongue darted in without invitation, but I let mine guide him, tangle with his until our teeth touched. I felt my own moisture slide from between my legs, mix with the briny water that I’d brought back from the sea. I wanted him, knew it was my last time to feel his hands on my waist, his hips grinding into mine.
“May I take off your suit?” he whispered against my mouth. He’d never asked in the three years we’d been together. Our mutual wanting had always been obvious enough. I knew he was gone, then. Only his body remained, but it was a body I needed to satisfy my own pulsing need.
“Yes,” I breathed back.
At that one word, his hands became frantic, pulling at the string of my bikini like it was our first time, not our last. When the bow holding my breasts tight inside the thin triangles of fabric was loose, my breasts fell heavy with lust. He traced his tongue along the water that still speckled my skin, branding me with his moisture instead. My nipples hardened into peaks as he drew them into his mouth, flicking his tongue along the ridges.
“Tyler,” I called out. “Tyler, I want you.”
“Shh,” he said, his breath a blaze of heat on my breast. “You can’t boss this situation. Let me taste you.”
The words were foreign to me, but the motions were not. I relaxed against him as he moved his mouth to my other breast, his tongue making quick work of the beaded moisture he found there. I couldn’t help the moan that escaped, nor my hands that fisted in his hair.
One of his broad hands held me firm against him, and the other felt blindly at my hip for the string that held my bottoms up. When he found it, his fingers expertly untied the simple knot, then found their way to my sex.
I gasped as a finger slid into me, swirled inside me like the storm that beat against the jalousie glass windows of our room. My room, it seemed. “Jesus,” I gasped. Another finger joined the first, this one moving independently, pulling against my clit. I felt my thighs, already tight from the swim, shake with desire, which Tyler used as ammunition.
He spun me around with the hand that had been holding me up, using it now to press me against the teak-lined wall. My cheek and breasts were pressed against the cool wood, my legs spread. Three of Tyler’s fingers fisted in my opening and I cried out in the most exquisite blend of pain and pleasure I’d ever experienced at his hands.
“Shhh, Cam. These walls are thin. I don’t want anyone to know what I’m doing to you right now.”
Where had this man come from? His fingers moved in and out of me, his thumb trailing along my ass. I arched my back, pushing my backside into his hips, then did that again, harder the second time. I could feel his cock hard against his suit, and reached a hand behind me to help him lose his suit the way he’d so deftly removed mine. They hung on his extended cock, so I pulled harder, until the fabric fell to his feet. He groaned, a feral utterance against my back.
“Fuck, I want you.”
He’d never admitted that, and I felt shame at the liquid that poured out of me at the words I’d waited three long years to hear.
“You’re wet,” he growled against my ear, his tongue trailing up my lobe, sending shivers up my spine.
“For you,” I told him. My voice was heavy, thick with salt-laced lust.
“I want to taste what the ocean does to you.”
Before I could respond, his hands were on my ankles, moving my legs apart even further, and his mouth was open over me, his tongue where his fingers had been only seconds ago.
“Christ, you taste like the sea. You’re fucking delicious, Cam.”
I let loose another cry of pleasure as he sucked at my clit, his tongue caressing my opening. He’d never sucked me off, considered it beneath him, beneath me to want such a debasing act.
“I’m gonna cum, Ty.” It was a warning, a whisper that wanted to be a scream that would tear me in two.
“Ummm,” he said into my pussy that was so wet now, I could hardly tell if it was his saliva or my juices running down my leg. He broke his grasp on me to run his tongue along the liquid, sucking it into his mouth that he placed firmly back on me with renewed speed and pressure. I pressed my palms flat against the wall, holding on for dear life. A branch hit the window, but I barely flinched, my body in full mutiny now.
As an orgasm rolled through me, the sound that came from my body could not be held back. It was laced with the pain of my heart breaking while my body was satisfied in a way it never had been. I felt it echo through the walls, reverberate back through my body.
His tongue relaxed and his hands used my hips to pull himself up my length, his hard, erect cock nestled between my legs that gushed with evidence of my pleasure.
“Can I fuck you?” It was framed as a question, but before I could bring my voice back from the edge of the abyss it had gone over, he was inside me with a violent thrust. I let loose a whimper as he drove into me a second time, this time filling me. My ass shook with each thrust, and his hands found their way to my swollen breasts.
He squeezed them, the flesh pouring out from between his fingers. Any gentleness was gone, but that was a mercy I hadn’t considered. If he showed my body any kindness, it would break me, finish the job he’d started with his words before my swim.
The sound of him smacking against me with his hips was lost to the wind that howled outside. He sped up, his hands sliding back down, one of them teasing my clit. I shivered, threatened to come again. This time, I didn’t warn him it was coming, but as my pussy clenched around his girth, I knew it was getting him off at the same time.
He fell against me, his cock still inside me as his legs trembled. How both of us were still standing was a mystery.
He breathed into my back as his cock went limp and slid out of me, followed by his cum. He didn’t move, though, just placed a single kiss on my shoulder before pushing off the wall and grabbing his shorts, leaving me where I stood. I was naked and alone, my hair still damp and tangled from the sea, from Tyler.
When he came from around the corner, I didn't meet his gaze that took me in from the bikini discarded at my feet, soaked with cum and saltwater, all the way to my head, throbbing with the questions that swam into my thoughts.
Would you fly home alone tonight? Would you move out or would I?
His shorts were back on, a shirt mercifully covering the washboard stomach that had just been pressed to my back. Tyler bent over, kissed the top of my head, and with one move slung his backpack over a shoulder while heaving his suitcase behind him. He paused at the door, and I willed him to go quietly, to not speak. My name on his lips would be too much, and I didn’t have any strength left.
He sighed, opened the door to the rain, to the wind that tore at the walls, and with a slam of the wood, he was gone, the room hollow and empty, a shell to keep the storm inside and outside, at bay. I sunk to the floor, shut my eyes, and listened to the sea take my rage and make it her own. It felt comforting, my body sated and my mind at peace, finally. I would be okay, the storm would pass.
Kristine is a university English instructor by day, and a romance/erotica author by night. Her first erotic romance novel is due out in December, and in the meantime, she spends every free minute exploring her own writing and sexual limitations, as well as concocting happily-ever-afters for other strong, fierce women.