The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
Notebooks of My Other Selves: Intimate Memoirs of Three Women
Chapter Ten. The Kiss

     By the time they got back to the cabin, Kate and David were holding hands. It seemed so natural, the way his hand covered hers, touching her fingers lightly. Kate returned the clasp, touching his fingers until they were intertwined. As he swung open the wooden door, he turned back toward her and put his arms around her back, picking her up with a hug to swing her over the threshold. Kate let herself be lifted, and the sensation of being in the air and in his arms was delicious.

     She wasn’t sure what she felt. Not the urgency she felt with her lovers. She had discussed this with Charles not too long ago one day when he stopped by her loft.

     “Spring is in the air, darlin’ Kate. I always have a new affair, usually with a longtime friend. Last year it was your friend Irma.”

     “That doesn’t make any sense to me. How can you go from being friends to lovers? That doesn’t work for me.”

     “There’s something about the season, the fresh greens and buds, the sap rising in the pines, Persephone calling to Orpheus. I’m first attracted to people I already know.”

     They had had their fling and were still friends. Her response was subconscious, “I’m more intuitive. Though it doesn’t happen often, there is something that draws me like a magnet, some overpowering alchemy that makes my heart flutter. When I’m attracted to someone, the beginning is great, but it always gets better and better.”

     Yet this situation was different. She was not being her usual impulsive self and did not know why. Kate moved over to the fireplace and quickly built a triangle of logs and kindling to ignite as the evening got cooler. 

     David was watching with a quizzical expression. “What are you thinking about?”

     “Nothing. Such a perfect day. I’d love a long swim. Want to join me?”

     Down at the lake, Kate dove in, then David. They swam the circumference of a mile together in slow easy strokes, sometimes talking as they swam. Then Kate jumped out, with David close behind, and they jogged back to the house. At the door, David put his arms around her waist and held her loosely against him. “How about a shower together?” She was tingling from the swim and his light pressure melted the final knot of reserve, indecision.

     “Yes,” she murmured, raising her wet mouth to within a few inches of his lips and putting her arms around his broad, muscular shoulders, letting her fingers meet at the base of his neck, “yes,” as their lips moved imperceptibly to meet.

     The next kiss was even longer. She was drowning, melting, burning, flying as his lips circled and his teeth nibbled and his tongue entered her mouth and held her there, pulling and circling and caressing. Finally she gasped, took a deep breath, and smiled into his eyes while thinking, “But you’re not my type!”

     His laugh – was he thinking the same thing? – was part sarcastic, part amused. He was kissing her again as their bodies pressed against each other. They ran a large bath and touched each other the way lovers touch. She wanted him very much now but was still brooding mentally, not letting herself go wild.

     She was wrapped in a large terry cloth beach towel with Miro symbols snailing in red, yellow, and black across the white rectangle. He rubbed her dy through the towel as he steered her into her bedroom and placed her in the center of the kingsized pearl grey satin comforter quilted with goose down. She let her body absorb the softness as he kissed her lips, then her breasts, inching her legs apart to bury his tongue in her pussy. Each pleasurable sensation made her more open to the next until she was moaning softly, waking to the quickening pulse of her own body, easing into different positions as she began to touch him, to learn his body, to kiss back with more playful delight.

     The kissing continued. He eased into her as they were kissing, her body and his rocking together as she moved her legs around his and up his back to bring him closer, deeper. His cock did not need extra attention, kissing. She touched him inside where he was pulsing against her and as she pressed against him, he moved fast on top of her, making fire inside as he came hard, making her groan. They held onto each other, gentle and close, talked softly about nothing much. She blew out the candles he had lit and soon he fell asleep with his arms around her. She liked the way his breath felt against her neck, the fact that he did not snore, the easy strength of his body that was so naturally controlled and civilized. He was a tame lion. She did not think any more or notice her own body as she held onto the feeling of still wanting him and closed her eyes, trying to rest into sleep even though her heart was still pounding.

     David answered the early morning phone call then came back to bed, drawing her close, kissing again as he fucked her sideways. Again, she was aroused, melting into him this time, ready to come if only he had waited a bit longer, settling back into him for a few minutes, then being the first to get up and take a shower.

     She made sandwiches as he showered; then they took off for another hike in the high country. Driving up the mountain along the crest, Kate looked into the valley below. Soon they veered off onto a road that cut a perpendicular through the terrain, edging into the valley among the trees and then climbing into the next range. The next road narrowed and turned from gravel to dirt as they reached the edge of a vast meadow studded with wildflowers and surrounded by huge granite boulders and cliffs. 

     As they followed the dirt trail through the meadow, David lifted her hand gently into his as though it were a flower. She liked holding his hand and walking with him this way. He was wishing life could always be this fresh, this simple. As the canyon meadow ended, there were more trees, tall sugar and pinon pines with thick-ridged red bark and a few aspens mixed in at the edge of the meadow. The aspens had wide trunks and seemed old but were not as tall as those at higher elevations in the Rockies. Kate and David tried naming the birds and between them could identify most they saw. They crossed a few streambeds and kept climbing a gentle slope through the trees. Finally, they reached a stream with water tumbling over the rocks. David stopped to smoke a cigarette, “How about lunch?”


     They left the path, crossed the stream and climbed through the layers of pine needles, brush, and trees skirting the stream. Kate had told David she would follow him but kept ambling ahead as they each found footholds in the rocky hillside. Finally, Kate found a tiny waterfall and pool in a shady spot with large boulders to sit on. She picked a lower rock and took off her shoes and socks, jeans and t-shirt, stepping into the pool in her flamingo swimsuit. With her red-gold hair and tan skin, she looked like a misplaced tropical bird, David thought, as they splashed each other to cool off after the hike. David, unpacking the lunch, offered her a sandwich, unwrapping one for himself. Kate placed her sandwich on the rock and continued to douse herself with water that felt like melted ice.

     “I love water. It’s freezing!”

     He was comfortable watching her, eating. He took a second sandwich, sipped some champagne from the bottle, passed it to Kate, and put it in the streambed to keep it cool. Kate had already told him that she liked to make love outside but had purposely picked a place that was impossible. She was sitting on her rock, he on a larger one just above it. As they stood up, preparing to go on, he put his arms around her, touching the place in the small of her back that made her quiver (that no one else had ever noticed) and they began to kiss.

     She loved to kiss him. She pretended that she was getting lost inside each kiss, letting go a little more each time. Because she wasn’t used to someone this easy to love, she tried to make herself easy too, even though she wasn’t. “I’m beginning to relax,” she said softly between kisses. “We can’t do anything here,” she added.

     “How about that flat place on the other side? The pine needles look soft; I can move the fallen branches.” He cleared a space for them and laid down the giant beach towel with two black horses galloping side by side on auburn ground. He drew her over to him and they lay together kissing and touching. Finally, she started to slip off the straps of her swimsuit and he began to undress and to help her slide out of her suit. 

     When they were naked, she finally let herself go releasing the uncontrollable shaking as he entered her and let her rhythms carry them above the pine needles. She felt the excitement as her belly reverberated against his, as he began moving faster and faster, coming in almost the next breath.

     As they lay together afterwards, she was thinking that this was their moment, as close as they could come as lovers. The wild part of her wanted him again. He was feeling good, daring, satisfied. He usually shared the outdoors with men, and this was his first time doing this in the forest. He looked at her like an animal, his affection edged with pity as he kissed her cheeks, forehead and eyelids.

     As they were getting dressed, Kate went to the pool to cool off. “Look, a dipper!” she whispered as a brownish bird darted under the little fall just below them then moved rapidly downstream.

     “It went by too fast for me,” David sighed.

     “They move so fast; they’re quite difficult to photograph,” Kate reported, recounting a photographer’s story that he needed a special camera to get a fast-enough shutter stop.

     The walk back brought new discoveries from nature. Seeing the places the second time, feeling closer but not holding hands as much, they seemed to have new observations and stories to share. Kate opened up and told David about her past. She was unselfconscious, relaxed and happy for the first time since she had been with David, and he was amused the way people with pedigrees are amused. She had put things in a new light. Her natural sensuality was overpowering. He thought to himself, I can have her any time I want.