The alarm barely registered in my consciousness.
I didn’t hear the shower running.
I was sprawled across the bed and snoring when Meg returned to kiss me goodbye, her wet hair on my cheek as she quietly wished me a happy birthday.
She closed the door behind her around six thirty, leaving me in her bed and Shelby on her couch.
Meg had four hours of sleep behind her, and a day with students ahead.
Under her covers, I dreamed that my younger son and I were on a beach, tracing our names in the sand. His name was much longer than my own.
We laughed that this had never been true before, but the more we wrote, the longer his name became. His name extended as far as we could see; “Jefferson” was scrunched and minute.
“Jefferson? Get up, baby.”
I opened my eyes. A smile took my lips as I focused on Shelby, wearing only her small t-shirt. Her hair was disheveled on the right side of her face, exposing her ear.
“Good morning, baby.” I rolled over on my back. “Is it late?”
“It’s about nine, but we need to get going, man. I need to get you back to the city.”
I reached for her hand.
“Come lay with me for a bit first.”
She scratched her head. “You need to slide your ass over, sleeping beauty.”
I moved my hips over to one side of the bed. My torso followed. I tossed back the blankets and crooked an arm under my vacated pillow. “Right here, baby. It’s all warm for you.”
Shelby sat on the bed, and swung her legs to the side. She fell back into my arms.
I snuggled her into a spoon, pulling the blankets over us.
My free hand slid under her shirt to her breast, my forearm resting against her belly. My nose nuzzled into her neck, smelling her hair.
My cock grew into small of her back.
My eyes closed. I drifted.
“Are you falling asleep?”
“No, honey.” My eyes remained closed as I adjusted my weight, trying to bring my body closer to hers.
She laughed. “You were snoring, honey.”
My tongue flicked her hair from my mouth. “I don’t snore and you know it. That is a pernicious fabrication.”
She elbowed me gently. “There’s only one liar in this bed, and it isn’t me.”
I kissed her shoulder.
I kissed it again.
She wriggled under my arm. “Come on, we really need to get going.”
“Yeah, let’s go. But let’s fuck first.”
Shelby pushed her hips forward and parted her thighs. She put a finger to her labia.
“Yeah, I’m wet, so sure, let’s do it.” She rolled back. “But no marathons, man, we have to get on the road.”
I reached over her to take one of Meg’s condoms from the nightstand. “Short and sweet, coming up.”
I freed the hand under her head and tore open the condom package, keeping my arms around her. I kissed her cheek as latex emerged from foil into my fingertips.
I lay back. Shelby watched as I balanced the condom on the head of my cock, then rolled it down the shaft.
She lifted her eyes to mine.
“You okay there, tiger?”
I leaned to kiss her. “I’m fine and about to be a whole lot better. Spread your legs, you.”
I lifted myself to give her room. I sat back, looking down as my fingers guided my cock into her body.
No foreplay, no extended touching. We could take care of that as we fucked.
I lowered myself to her, allowing my belly and torso to graze hers gradually, so that the touch of our flesh expanded as my body went deeper into hers.
I touched my lips to hers, just barely, just enough to let her know my kiss was hers.
I took the base of her skull in my palms and held my shoulders still as my hips slowly rotated into her. My cock mined for her wetness, bringing it to the surface.
I was not after her orgasm, nor concerned with mine. I simply craved this closeness, this being together, as we woke to the day after sleeping apart.
It was a hallmark of our love that we made our bodies completely accessible to one another.
In my warm apartment, whatever the season, we wore no clothes, so that as hours folded into days, our nudity was simply a fact of being together.
Our nudity was easy; so too was our love making.
Shelby took my cock when she wanted it, jerking me to hardness as I read a book or sat talking, my legs wrapped around hers.
If I grew bored watching her watch anime, I would spin her hips to the side and fuck her, my eyes taking in her profile as she kept her mind on cartoons.
Sex was intense and intimate at times, snug and comfortable at others.
I came to understand that sex could be normal, even commonplace, between lovers.
This remains a revelation after so many years of regarding sex as something given grudgingly, doled out on those rare occasions when my wife wanted me.
My touch was always available to her, always ready to satisfy her if only she was open to it.
If she took my arm to her waist as we fell asleep, I drew a breath, waiting to know if she might want more.
If she accidentally brushed my hip as we worked in the kitchen, I froze, wondering if I might dare to follow that with a kiss.
Now, with Shelby, all that seemed so hopelessly pathetic. How could I possibly have lived with someone so incapable of affection, I wonder.
It so much easier to live like this, I thought, pressing myself into Shelby’s flesh for no special reason other than our easy, ongoing desire for one another.
Shelby put her hands on my shoulders. “Yo, birthday boy, you wrapping this up? We need to travel, man.”
“Just another moment,” I sighed. I traced her lips with my finger, resting my cock inside her. “You are into me, right?”
“Yep, sure am.”
“Good, ‘cause I’m all about you.”
“All right,” I pulled out. “Enough mush already, we need to get to the city.”
We dressed and made Meg’s bed. On the road, we picked up coffee and hot dogs for the road.
I held Shelby’s hand as she drove.
My eyes followed the traffic as my mind wandered to plans for the orgy just a few hours ahead.