“So what do you think would fill your hunger?”
She became acutely aware of his body the instant his question settled into the space between them. His limbs were long and strong, and she wondered, not for the first time, what it would be like if he held her close, like a lover would. Would he be warm, and would his scent wash over her with the power of an aphrodisiac? Would his arms surround her like bands of steel? Would she feel his heartbeat? Would it echo hers?
Her breathing deepened, as she suddenly seemed to need more air. Her lungs felt tight, as though what air was there was being sucked in by him. And yet, all he was doing was sitting back, sipping his drink, watching her. The smile that curved his lips made her suddenly aware of her own lips, and how they felt heavy with the hunger for his teeth and tongue. Would his kisses make her wet with need for more? Would they drag moans of delight from her parched throat? Would he coax his way into her mouth and ravish her there?
She swallowed at the thought of his tongue in her mouth, and immediately a vision arrested her inner eye, causing her to inhale sharply. If what she saw were ever to come true, he would not be sitting back in a chair across from her, watching her struggle to give voice to her needs. If what she saw were ever to come true, she would be up against the wall, the air fraught with danger around them, the anticipation of his touch a palpable thing between them.
Like a portrait, the scene unfolded before her inner eye. Her head back, so he would not feel the telltale rasp of shaved hairs on her chin, so he had access to the scar she could not hide that marred her throat where they had removed a part of her thyroid. Or so he could reach the little hollow behind each earlobe, where she spritzed a different fragrance each day. Or so he could begin in the valley between her collar bones and make his leisurely way down through the gorge between her breasts to…wherever else he wanted to go for his taste tests.
She could see him lift one leg and wrap it round his hip bone, because he knew it would go no higher — she was not, when all was said and done, a ballerina, but she was limber for all that. She saw his hands wander over the flesh of that leg, felt his fingers admire the hard muscle of her calf as he traced its curved line down her leg to her ankle. He didn’t seem to mind that it was no longer slender, or that her toenails were unpainted.
She could feel that same hand smooth its way back up the inside of her leg, to her inner thigh, where he played with the silky, darker flesh, made so by the rubbing of her legs together, flesh on flesh. His other hand, while he was teasing her, steadied her on the leg left on the ground. And as his hand did walkabouts upon her flesh, as he teased her senses, both their breathing hitched.
She looked up, and his glass was empty. How long had she sat there, a silent witness to his patient demand that she tell him her most intimate dreams? Could she reveal the need for tenderness that rolled inside her, and made her weep with regret at the certainty of its never being hers? Could she expose her vulnerable heart, where fanciful romantic desires had made a home, despite her ruthless efforts to dislodge them?
Someone — the waiter she supposed — refilled his glass, and he sipped again, before placing it on the table before him.
“Are you ready to tell me now? Or will you concede that what I told you is true? Will you agree with me that I know you better than you ever imagined, and that I know what will fill your hunger?”
She looked him in the eye, a moment before lowering it to the vision of his body making one with hers again and again against a wall, in the resounding darkness of a rain-washed night. Her vision assailed her; his passion and power and aching tenderness…his love disarmed her, undid her, fulfilled her. He deployed his hands, his mouth, his teeth, his tongue, his words…nothing was neglected in her seduction. The answer to his question was there, in the things she was seeing, the things she could never hide from herself, the things he already knew.