Title: Incalescence

Author: Elliott Silver (elliottsilver@hotmail.com)

Summary: Sometimes the cure to heat sickness is more heat.



And fire and ice within me fight

Beneath the suffocating night.

~ A. E. Housman



The first overwhelming sensation is disorientation.

My body is so hot, and heavy. I am drowning in a sea of nothingness, of invisible humidity, more willing to surrender to its mind-dulling lethargy than fight back.

But that is what I do best: fight back.

I literally roll myself off the couch and onto the carpeted floor.

Night has grafted to the world and my surroundings and circumstances have been marred beyond recognition. Only one thing remains clear and that is him.

Christ, it is hot.

I struggle to reascertain my equilibrium. In the heat, and so close to him, it is hard.

I stand and immediately the blood in my brain surges, floods. Panic trails its first knife-blade tendrils as I lose all my sight to a dark chasm of insubstantiality. The blindfolding shadows dissolve from my eyes ever so slowly as my night vision returns, like heat smog wiped away. Even throughout the darkness, I stare at Jarodís decidedly masculine form strewn out on the soft fabric on the couch. I rise from his shelter slowly, uncharacteristically unsteady.

Jarod shifts at my absence, but it is not one of loss. I canít blame him. I canít remember how or why we fell asleep so tightly tangled in the first place. Such close contact and shared body warmth is for preventing hypothermia, not creating hyperthermia.

Pure blood heat.

And it is so ungodly hot.

It should have been raining for days now. But this heat wave has persisted, stubborn. The ground has become shatteringly, concussively hard under our feet, gritty dust and dried cracks of earth.

Any movement precipitates a torrential outburst of sweat.

This heat drives me insane.

Yet I slip away, clad only in my underwear and Jarodís white tee shirt. Humidity blitzkriegs me, and I, tenuously off-guard, swelter under its seething, smothering strangle-grip. Moisture oozes off my forehead, above my upper lip, anhydrous. I feel dizzy. My feet stick to the tiled floor as I wade into the kitchen. I donít bother with lights; it will just generate more heat. Instead I take a seat on one of the high stools and wait. For what I donít know. Lucidity would be nice.

I grab a rubberband out of the junk drawer and thread my heavy, sweat-damp hair through it, toppling it on top of my head. Immediately the back of my neck breaks out in a grateful, clammy sweat.

Jesus, this is hot.

Too hot.

My skin is saturated with perspiration; it drenches me in waves, breakers.

My head spasms internally, imploding ever inward. A fallen star, too bright, and then nothing but a lone black hole, a vacuum of incorporeality.

It lulls on my shoulders and then crashes to my arms, folded neatly, but separately on the counter. Darkness descends again and I donít fight it away.

I travel. To dark lands.

I am alight. Afire. Ablaze.

My body rocks with each beat of my heart, limp and controlled like a marionette. With each arteryís expansion I slide forward; with each expulsion, I glide backwards.

It is surreal.

It is hot.

So hot.

My metabolism falters, staggering under the ballast-like brunt of this weather. Every cell in my body percolates, boiling towards melting point, latent heat, spontaneous combustion.

I let out a long breath, retching out nauseous heat. It evaporates off my body, a shield, a swarm of weather-induced claustrophobia.

Sweat trickles in hot rivulets down the backs of my knees. I barely feel it.

This is suicidal, I rationalize incoherently.

As the worst of this thick, suffocating darkness begins to colonize against me, the back of my neck suddenly blisters with the wet coldness of ice. I nearly choke before I realize Jarod has placed a bag of frozen vegetables on my neck, the kind he loves to stir-fry, in an attempt to lower my sky-rocketing body temperature. I lean back against the frosty burn.

His hands nip at his stolen shirt, and I raise my arms, numbly happy to comply and rid myself of clothes. Immediately I feel blowing cool currents against the exposed skin of my back, and I know he has opened the refrigerator.

Tinkling chimes pop around the planes of my brain but I cannot separate them, their distorted cacophony.

The faucet in front of me sputters to life, distant and near. Jarod presses cool, smooth glass to my lips, and ice water trickles over my chapped lips. I take two swallows and finally find the strength to sit up, to lift my head from my arms. My eyes finally flutter open; contours of earth still blurry and undefined. Jarod holds the glass to my lips again, and I drink deeply. He sets it down when I am done and reaches for my burning hands. The heat between us is nearly unbearable. It takes a minute but finally our wrists are submerged in the running currents, and again I close my eyes to that delicious stream of consciousness. Jarodís hands invade mine, warm and nude, fingers clasping, unclasping. I donít open my eyes. Afraid that this will all melt away, some indescribable delusion of the heat.

I lose track of time just as reality begins to reform.

And then I feel him.

His hands are both cold and hot, firm and soft on my muscles. A breathless sigh escapes my lips as his fingers explore the planes of my back. His skin is chilled from the faucet; it is delicious.

I had nearly forgotten the pleasures of his touch. Because of this heat, we havenít touched each other in days.

He cools every inch of my back: slow, sensuous strokes along my spine, hard, kneading squeezes on the tense flesh of my shoulders, slow, soft massages on my lower back.

Eventually the nausea recedes, the darkness inside me begins to lift.

A droplet of melting ice from the vegetables leaks down the ridges of my spine. I stretch up as it curves downward with the force of gravity. It is so cold, and I am so hot.

Cold and hot.

Hot and cold.

Fire and ice.

Jarodís mouth descends on my skin, blazing not with heat but intensity. The sliver stops its luxurious travels, and then begins to retrace its route; guided by the tip of Jarodís tongue, it skims up my vertebra, melting and melting and melting.

I shiver.

I am not cold.

He reaches the soggy bag of vegetables and relieves me of their weight. Water curls around my neck, pooling in the divot of my collarbones.

I have missed his touch. So much. Too much.

There is a jingling to my left as he steals one of the ice cubes from my glass, our glass. It disappears out of the corner of my eye, and alights on my shoulder. It circles there, around and around, then slides exhilaratingly slow over my upper arm, lingers on the angle of my elbow, and glides over my up-turned radius. It hovers at my wristís throbbing pulse, only to tantalizingly melt away on the tips of my fingers. And then the other arm gets the same treatment.

Again, I shiver. This time I hear Jarodís laugh rumble deeply, punctuated with focus and concentration and need.

A third ice cube begins the journey around my collarbones, gracing my jugular with a pulse point of cold, cold contact, cooling the rapidly heating blood thrashing throughout my veins. My heart, awakened out of its heat-induced torpor, bobs uncertainly as it picks up rhythm, loses it, and goes on only slightly asynchronous.

The cube melts freely, leaving only burning cold skin where it had once been. Jarodís warm wet lips take its place and I shiver back against him, unable to remain still, or quiet.

I need his touch.

I need his warmth.

The fourth ice cube lisps over the rim of the glass into his hand while his mouth still laves at my neck, feeding toward my ear. Its coldness settles on the top of my chest, heaving up and down with my labored breathing, until it too falls downward, sailing in the valley between my breasts, leaving an ocean in its wake. He guides it to the planes of my stomach, and slips it under the trim of my black bikinis with the perfect intention of its complete meltdown.

I can no longer tell what wetness is mine.

The fragmented remainder of the cube lifts to my breasts, circles one rigid nipple and then the other. I reach for him, but he deftly reflects me. This is his, he is saying.

I am his.

So good.

Hot and cold.

The ice has long since perished but his hands remain, thrillingly painful tingles volting throughout my peaked nipples. I arch backwards, not against the pain but the undiluted pleasure, as his hands simmer downward, under the weight of my breasts, where I like it most, to the ticklish contours of my stomach. He moves in closer and I feel him, blazing hot and ready, as his fingers nimbly remove my underwear.

One cube left.

He sets it on my flaming forehead, pounding with the opposites of cold and heat. And then in a continuous line lets it run from nose to navel to Ė

Oh God Ė oh hell yes.

He flicks it against the outside of my exposed folds and I canít help but surge backwards, against him, as my two extremes meet.

The ice brushes against me again, this time harder and more insistent. I knot my arms around Jarodís neck, no longer trusting my stool or equilibrium to give me balance. I spread my legs further, giving him full access.

His breath becomes as erratic as mine, short and thin, our chests blending in synchrony. A perfect metronome of give and take, of thrust and parry.

The ice fades away in the torrent of his heat and mine, until there is but a marble piece of it left. Jarodís lips bite in against my shoulder as he and the ice come inside me.

I see the colors of heat and cold, my world both melting and exploding.

He thumbs my clit once, twice, then plunges his fingers deep into my heat. They slide back slowly, so slowly, then delve forward again. His fingers kiss my clit again and again and the beginning of my orgasm defuses throughout my lower stomach, a trail of human gunpowder that implodes raw heat and ice.

He holds me and lets me fall. He and I, together.

Heat and cold, merged.

The world ends not in fire, nor ice, but both. Simultaneously.


I lean back against him, the last of his heat trailing along my skin. I slide around the stool and immediately bring his head to mine.

His mouth is very wet, and as his tongue sweeps over mine, I understand. A remnant of yet another ice cube swirls gloriously over my lips and into my mouth, as he claims me.

Hot and cold.

Cold and hot.

Fire and ice.

So good.

Cracking his cube under my teeth, and letting the slivers pierce and slice my tongue and his, I touch him and this time, he shivers.

Not from cold.

But from heat. And myself.

He comes into me fully. So hot we meld together, welded by ice.

Ebb and flow. Faster and faster and faster. Again we blend in synchrony. Until we become isothermal, of equal temperatures, of equal insanity.

Until heat freezes and ice becomes hot.

I grip his back ferociously, sparks of motion shattering my recently gained and abandoned equilibrium. Igneous blood wells out of the crescents I have bestowed, seeping so cold against the burn of his skin, the splintering fever of our passion.

His body begins to quiver, trembling as though cold, shivering as through hot.

He loses himself inside me one last time, both of us shuddering with the force of his impact, the deep impact of meltdown and explosion. We combust and drown.

Heat freezes. Ice burns.

The world ends not in fire, nor ice, but both. Simultaneously.

As the last of the darkness vibrates off the horizon, we collapse to the tiled floor, an undefined pool of arms and legs huddling against the heat of the day.

And still savoring, always savoring, this bittersweetness, this heat of the night.





Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice. ~ Robert Frost



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Disclaimer: The characters of "The Pretender" are not mine; they rightfully belong to NBC, MTM, and Pretender Productions, as well as the actors and actresses who give paper and ink a life and a voice. I am making no profit from these writings; imitation is the highest form of flattery.