Summary: What will be.
Author: Elliott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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"Thought you were traditional Scotch." He stole the bar stool next to her, instantly waiting for her to knock him off it. Nicholas glared at him darkly from behind the bar.
"Everyone needs a change."
She took a sip, tilting back her head just slightly with the tang of liquor.
Silence and reconciliation, thin and tensile between them.
Jazz, insistent as the winds outside skimming the landscape.
Precursor to storm.
"You never answered my question."
Her voice like jazz, like night and storm.
"What brings you to New Orleans?" Her words like voodoo, entrancing. Not ‘N’awlins’, and not ‘New Or-leans’. But rather half-French, real French. Or-leon. New Or-leons.
Her tongue, playing.
The only word he could think of.
Like a panther, but more so.
And the band playing on.
"That's why I came here. The music." A sip of his own Sazerac when he couldn't think of a real answer and she answered for him. "It acts like white noise sometimes and drowns out everything else."
She was his white noise.
"They came here from le grande derangement." Her voice exotic as she followed his gaze to the crowd. "Exiled." A sleek breath. "That’s why I came here too."
"I never stopped loving you, Jarod."
Exhuming the words from deep in her chest, unwilling to bear their weight any longer.
Her fingers twirling the empty glass, his settling over them. The glass teetering on the mahogany wood, a crystal dreidel.
Jazz tumbling over them like waves on the shore before a storm. Like wind exposing the sheer undersides of leaves.
The scarred floor already marred with commotion. Jazz, a pulse, her hand still anchored in his.
Metallic tang of burnt-out bulbs, insides lit no better than streetlamps in the haunted night. Lost in a blue and black underworld, in the lunacy of the crescent moon masked by storm clouds. Motion, commanded by the music.
Their bodies circling each other.
Energy radiating from her like static.
His hand on the small of her back, damp through her thin shirt, as she spun away from him and he reeled her back. Chaos, stimulating, her fingers threaded through his belt, soldering her body to his with sweat. Absorbed into the other, her cheek on his, her breath rasping against his jugular.
Surrender, bittersweet and new for them both.
Bitters and Pernod.
An accelerant, harsh and sweet.
The music slowing, their breath accelerating. Craving, the subcutaneous pulse, the beat within themselves, the rhythm between their bodies without moving.
With the cure.
Wound on their own momentum, spun on their own adrenaline.
Steam swelling from their bodies and the close confines.
His head collapsing backward, slivers of her breath splintering every nerve in his body. Both hands gripping the small of her back, the curve of her spine, surging over every vertebra to her neck. Her tongue scalping flecks of his sweat, scribbling a path to his jaw.
Flinching as her tongue laminated the crest of the bone, and laid pressure along the seams of his cheek, still sore from her power before. His hands at the back of her neck as her mouth hovered over the hinge of his mouth, then suctioned the skin and the bone below.
Her eyes leveled on his.
Somehow devoured, into the smoky pitch night, sinking into the shade of her walls.
Jazz on the street outside, through the wrought iron gate and garden of nasturtiums and bougainvillea.
Synchrony of old tunes and songs, synchrony of her body against his.
Lost in the dark.
And finding each other.
Stumbling, stripping themselves in a frenzy. The echoes of thunder and wind barely registering in the pounding of blood in their ears.
His hands stroking her skin, his eyes squeezed shut in rapture as he discovered her by instinct. His lungs throbbing with shards of air. Her hands sliding luxuriously over his back, riding the crest of his shoulders.
His mouth circling her throat, learning what he had not at the club. How she tasted on his tongue, coalescence of sweat on skin, faint perfume.
Sinking to his knees, more than half-delirious. Leaking kisses over her breasts and spilling onto the smoothness of her stomach, spiraling the indent of her navel. The force as she fell with him, collapsing into his arms.
Their kiss was like the first sip of a well-made Sazerac.
Melting into each other, slowly.
Drawing one arm around her back and the other over her shoulders, vaguely aware they could defy gravity no more, meld no closer than they already were.
Slow inhalation, her lips settling back on his, lingering.
Tracing her upper lip, then corner, then her full lower lip.
Opening his mouth, letting her tongue enmesh his, tangle and unknot. Rhythm smooth, like jazz. Sparring with her, curving the edge of his mouth to fit hers more closely.
Whatever followed could only be anti-climatic.
Crimping the edges of her lip like a pie crust, scalloping kisses to her ears. His breath raging, her body twisting against him as he spoke without words.
Pushing her to her feet again, girding her, before he hyperventilated. Stripping away her underwear, the last barrier between them. Tremors of muscle right beneath her skin, right under the palms of his hands as he skimmed the flares of her thighs.
Her fingers clawing into the flesh of his shoulders as she swayed above him like a silver birch sapling, metallic needle or compass in a high wind, a tempest. Her head swept back, her back arched like the moon.
Crescent, taut under his fingers.
And moored to him.
His hands, callused against each indent and ripple of her ribs. Xylophone, echoes of jazz and blues steeped in his kisses.
Night and storm.
Resting his head on her stomach, black sensation ebbing in his mind.
And her arms encircling his head.
Frightening, finding something that was stronger than them both.
Frightening, to surrender.
Jazz only a beat within, a rhythm, a chord.
Just breath, hearts, blood.
Her voice a whisper of rain, of jazz, of storm, of night, of tomorrow.
Bracing her, holding her, as she fell back down his body.
Crackling, the storm outside, the storm inside.
Shock, as they joined.
Electrocution, bold and brilliant.
Holding their breaths against the tension until he dissolved completely into her.
Her head on his shoulder, the bridge of her nose pinching a nerve. Her hands winched across his back, each finger a different pressure point.
Their breathing unreal, hypnotized.
Slowly peeling back, his arms still around her back, hers lightly on his shoulder.
Surveiling the other.
Her eyes, a glaze new from the kiln as he sank to the cool-damp floor with her.
Readjusting, tilting her body so he embedded himself even deeper within her.
Breath rupturing his lungs, blackness behind his eyes.
At its most brilliant.
Each move synchronized, accelerated.
Her eyes lidded, breath rustling through her mouth.
Little shivers under her skin, prelude.
Reaching for her, between them.
Her body flexing in his hold, both yielding to thousands of years of instinct, to each other.
A climax so dazzling it eradicated everything else.
Tousled together on the cool-damp floor.
Her body still humming with aftershocks, vibrating in his arms.
Shivering in hers.
Falling where their pieces could be gathered.
Later conveyed to her bed, lavished with storm-shadows.
Outside a gulf storm, luminescent and elastic.
Contained in one another, her head tucked along his shoulder, her hair damp as he threaded his fingers through its darkness.
Fans of air on their wet skin, the beginning of rain from the open window.
A kiss to her forehead as her arms pulled him closer still, dug deeper into his skin.
It all seemed so simple now.
So simple it was complicated.
The world didn’t end.
But did it go on?
It was why he always hung up on her. Because he was afraid her silence would say things he couldn’t hear. Because words for what this was between them had not been yet invented. Because they could be conjured.
"Did you come here for a pretend?"
Her voice bordering between sleep and awake, her heart too, as it strummed against his chest.
Stay, it tapped against his own heart in Morse code.
"Not in the beginning. But one found me."
Sleep beginning to overtake her. A faint queer stirring of jealously at such intimacy. And knowing such was her trust in him.
Her question. Her answer. Leaving the rest to him.
"It was the hardest one I’ve ever done."
Momentarily roused, the sound and fury of storm outside her windows.
"Because I couldn’t pretend."
She turned over, rolled halfway onto his chest. Venom in her eyes exacerbated and thrashing, now excised. Calmed, with antidote.
"Not with you."
From the beginning to the end, and back to the beginning.
"It is a thing that has no end," she whispered into the grey dawn, a warning, perhaps, a promise.
"Yes." His answer lost in her kiss. "C’est ein affaire a pus finir."
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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.