(A Valentine Story for Incurable Romantics)
“So, what would you like to see tomorrow?”
Lynx’s question rumbled at the edge of my consciousness, but I was busy in the bathroom lining up our shampoos and toothbrushes side by side, and taking an inexplicable delight in seeing them so displayed. Distracted, I didn’t answer.
I’d left her in the spacious living room of the B&B we’d rented, sprawled on the sofa and comfortably perusing brochures announcing “The World’s Best Snorkeling” and “Hidden Beaches by Helicopter.” It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested in sight-seeing, but being with her was the real draw to this vacation – everything else was gravy. As far as I was concerned, spouting volcanoes came in a distant second to my love’s company.
“Darling, what are you up to?” She appeared behind me suddenly, reflected in the mirror. Her expression was amused.
“Oh,” I gestured toward the toiletries with a smile. “Just straightening up a bit. I’m sorry, were you saying something?”
“I asked you what you wanted to visit tomorrow. The black sand beaches, maybe?” She came forward and wrapped her arms around me from behind. “Ooo, you feel good……what was that tune?”
“Mm?” I turned in her embrace and held her too, luxuriating in the warmth between us. Her question registered suddenly – I realized I’d been singing softly to myself, which I did often when happy. Or sad. Or lonely, even. But this time was definitely happy. “I’m not sure…some song off the radio.” I leaned forward to kiss her. “Yes, let’s go see the black sand beaches!”
“Sing it for me?”
“Goddess, no.” My tone was emphatic and she looked at me, head tilted.
“Listen honey, I love you too much to subject you to that!” I laughed. “C’mon, let’s get ready.” I took her hand and started pulling her toward the bedroom. But I reckoned without that feline focus of hers when something’s caught her attention. Very aptly named, is my Lynx.
“Wait a moment, sweetie.” She pulled me back into her arms. “I’d really love to hear it.”
I looked at her in exasperation. “I don’t even remember what it was! Why do you care about some song from the Pop Top 40?” I’d intended my tone to be uncaring and dismissive, but something must’ve slipped past. Those penetrating hazel eyes were more than curious now….they turned suddenly gentle. Damn.
“It just occurs to me that I’ve never heard you sing before.”
“Well, count yourself lucky!” I joked. “I have a terrible voice.”
“No, you don’t. Your voice is lovely – sometimes dark velvet…other times bright silk. I love listening to it.” Her own deeply resonant voice was very crisp. It’s part of her accent, you see. And it happens too when she’s Setting the Record Straight. And every time, it makes me melt inside.
“Oh, you say the sweetest things!” I smiled at her and batted my lashes. “You must be a writer!” She is too – a fine writer. A multi-talented artist, in fact, because she is also a songwriter, musician and singer. Who was born with perfect pitch. Which is precisely why she’d never heard me sing….and never would, if I had anything to do with it.
“What makes you think you have a terrible voice?”
It was clear she wasn’t going to drop the subject, nor be satisfied by my jocular replies. So with a little sigh, I told her. I told her about learning a song as a 7-year-old school kid, and rushing home to proudly sing it for my mother. I told her about my mother’s burst of laughter, her comment that she’d never heard anything so flat. I was crushed at the time, of course. But I eventually got over it. I decided if it gave me pleasure to sing, I would do so. But never when other people could hear me. And especially not in front of my lover – she of the ultra sensitive ears.
“Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry!” She hugged me hard. “Parents can be bastards sometimes. But it’s not true, you know. And I wouldn’t be listening in judgment. I’d be listening in love.”
“Actually, you’d be listening in pain, dearest, but it’s a moot point. I’m not singing in front of you, and that’s that.” And finally, finally, she dropped the subject. I felt a sense of relief, because it caused an unexpected pang to relate that childhood story, though I was certain my matter-of-fact tone gave no indication of it. I guess somewhere deep down it must’ve still bothered me, and usually that’s exactly the kind of thing my perceptive sweetie loves to ferret out. Well, “feline out” in her case, but you know what I mean.
She’s good at it too, because she has the gentlest touch. Plus stubborn persistence. It’s a deadly combination. And I must admit I usually feel better after talking with her about stuff. But in this case I was petrified she’d try to get me to sing for her, and I hated to hurt her feelings, but that is one humbling experience I was not subjecting myself to, even for her. So I was glad that she was willing to let it go.
I should’ve known better.
It was precisely two days later, and we were still on vacation. It was bliss – long days lounging in the sun, giggling over the number of colorful umbrella’d drinks we could try till we were forced to repeat ourselves, and long nights in each other’s arms. I’d been lulled nearly into a state of languor when she pounced.
“Darling, I’ve been thinking. I think the problem with your reluctance to sing is merely a lack of confidence. What you need are a few voice lessons.”
I stared at her disbelievingly. We’d been lying in bed watching television, she making hilarious comments about American programs, me laughing at her silliness. I wasn’t quite sure where her suggestion had come from, but it was time to bury it…fast.
“You’re the singer in this relationship, hon. And I leave the stage to you gladly!” I threw in a laugh to emphasize what I thought of her idea, and stood up to get a drink. Lynx pulled me back down immediately, angling me so that I landed across her lap. Usually I like being there, but this time I put up a struggle. “Hey!”
“Hold on a moment, hear me out,” she said, half laughing. Her arms around me were firm, but gentle, and I subsided, waiting. “You hardly ever raise your voice, even when you’re furious. I’ve seen you swallow back things when you should’ve let loose a blue streak!” Her voice softened. “Even those delicious sounds you make when we’re making love are always a bit restrained. Don’t you ever feel like raising the roof? I know I certainly do.”
“Mmm, you do,” I agreed, feeling suddenly warm as I remembered. I leaned in to kiss her, and silence reigned for a long, sweet moment.
“So…about those voice lessons….”
“Arrrgh, woman, you’ll be the death of me!” I couldn’t help laughing, despite my sincere desire to leave the subject behind. I tried once more to get up, and her arms tightened around me again. I started to wrestle in earnest, but found myself held fast. Lynx works out and her muscles are impressive indeed, even overlaid as they are by luscious curves and silky skin. It always thrills me to yield to her…she is expert in the most loving forms of restraint you can imagine. But in my growing arousal there was still a drop of apprehension. I hated denying her anything, and this was something I knew I couldn’t fulfill.
Somehow, she sensed it. Perhaps it was a bit of stiffness…a barely discernable stillness. She says my body speaks to her, and I believe it. At least, she certainly does listen. “Yes, you can, my love,” she whispered in my ear. “Especially if you have the right teacher.”
I knew immediately of course who she was referring to, though I still didn’t know what she had in mind. “Hah! What makes you think you’re qualified?” I challenged her. Bluster is a good tactic for covering uncertainty, I’ve found.
“Who better? The body is just one big instrument, and I’ve certainly had practice on this one.…” Her fingers were at my waist, stroking slowly. I bit back a moan. Did I mention she’s a skillful musician?
“The first thing is your breathing,” she continued. “It’s much too quick and shallow.”
“You’re to blame for that,” I pointed out hoarsely, but she ignored me. She shifted me onto the bed next to her and leaned over me, slowly drawing my t-shirt up and off. We’d been lounging, so the shirt and my blue Calvin Klein bikini jockeys were the only things I had on.
“You, like most people, are breathing from here.” She placed a very warm palm between my breasts. My nipples immediately became erect, and that didn’t help my breathing at all. “Where you should be breathing from….” her hand moved down slowly, so slowly…”is here.” It stopped right over my belly button. “Try it for me.”
“Ahh…what?” My concentration was definitely not on breathing.
“Breathe for me properly from here. I want to feel it….deep and slow, please.” She kept her hand where it was. I tried very hard to slow down my breaths, to draw in using my abdominal muscles. I had achieved some measure of success, at great cost I might add, when her hand moved again.
“Now, the root of your power, and therefore the best place for any great vocal effort to originate, is here.” Her palm was now right above my pubic hair. It began to move in slow circles. “This is where your chi resides….feel it? Uh-uh, don’t speed up…your breathing is becoming shallow again, sweetheart.”
“Really? I can’t imagine why!” My tone was a touch sarcastic, but she just smiled sweetly and waited. Damn it, was she really going to keep that up till I complied? It seemed she was. I closed my eyes, and with superhuman effort, slowed my breathing once again.
“Very good. I knew you could do it.” Her tone grew softer. “Now you see, the voice should travel up this path,” her hand made its way back up my body, leaving goose bumps in its wake. “Helped, of course, by your lungs,” here her fingers circled almost carelessly around my breasts. Slow breaths be damned, I was nearly panting now. But she avoided my nipples, which she knew were highly sensitive.
“At this point it’s important to open your throat, to relax and give the sound a place to reverberate.” Delicate fingers began caressing my neck. I felt like purring. Her fingers continued along my jaw line, and when my mouth opened in a small exhalation, they moved to my lips.
“Then, of course, it travels out through here.” Her fingertip traced the outline of my mouth, ran back and forth along my lower lip. I couldn’t stand it any longer and captured her finger in my mouth, began sucking on it. My eyes were still closed as I savored the taste and feel of her skin.
“It’s absolutely vital not to suppress your body’s natural utterances, but to let them flow out.” Her own voice was sounding slightly husky, I was pleased to note. I murmured in pleasure and suckled even harder.
“Are you paying attention, darling?” A lightning pinch to my left nipple and I gasped, my eyes flying open. Her own were heavy lidded as she met my look. “Did you hear what I said?”
“Don’t suppress…let it flow,” I managed to choke out. My reward was her finger moving to my outraged and burning nipple, painting it with my own saliva. Now it was glistening as well as hard. A groan escaped me.
“That’s a good start,” she praised. “We just need it a bit louder.” A quick pinch of my other nipple, and this time she soothed it with her lips and tongue. A second groan followed with no effort at all. I reached for her, ran my fingers through her hair as she lavished kisses on both breasts. Now her hands were at my Calvin Klein’s, pulling them down and off. She has a way of undressing me that’s arousing in its contradiction – a graceful restraint that’s full of leashed impatience, as if she’d just as soon rip off my clothes, but enjoys too much prolonging the act.
“You too,” I urged, wanting to feel her silken skin against me.
“Mmm,” she agreed and let me divest her of her own shirt and knickers.
She moved over me, laying herself down on top of me. Her body heat is especially intense at times like this, and the sensation of her covering me cause an immediate surge within me. My thighs slid further apart, wanting to feel her closer.
She groaned. “Oh, my love….”
“Kiss me, darling.”
The kiss we shared was slow and hot. I reached around, began running my palms up and down her sides, her back, everywhere I could reach. She began to make little thrusting motions against me, and my body responded with slow undulations. My hand framed her face as we kissed, lips open and hungry, tongues moving against each other. I stroked the back of her neck, reached down to cup her buttocks. That caused a particularly sharp thrust of her hips, and an answering ache between my legs.
“Please….touch me,” I gasped.
“Oh yes.” She reached down, began carefully sliding a finger over me. “Mmm…so slippery, my love.” She drew the liquid up to my clit, spread it lavishly.
“Oh…” My legs spread even wider, back arching off the mattress. “Enter me….please.” One finger did….so slowly I held my breath.
“Squeeze me, baby….oh yes, just like that.” Even slower back out. A pause. And now back in. I could feel every ridge of her finger, and the lingering friction over all of those delicious spots inside of me was driving me crazy.
“More,” I pleaded. And suddenly two fingers were filling me, causing me to gasp. But when they had moved nearly all the way out, she paused.
“Sweetheart? I’m going to fuck you.” The words were breathed against my ear, and I moaned my assent. “And when I do, I want no holding back from you. I want to hear you, darling. Do you remember what we talked about? Do you understand me?”
“Lynx, for God’s sake—” The woman was using sexual blackmail! I expressed my opinion of that tactic by squeezing her buttocks….hard. This usually drives her crazy, and I got my wish when she growled deep in her throat and thrust hard. Oh…heaven. But the stroking continued for just a few minutes more, enough to start me on that long, slow spiral upwards, when it paused again.
“I’ll have your answer now, madam,” she said softly.
“What??” It took a moment to register. “Why…you bugger!” Simultaneously frustrated and highly stimulated by her teasing, I grasped her shoulders and began trying to push her off me.
“Ah-ah, we’ll have none of that!” She grinned at me, knowing the last thing I really wanted at that moment was for her to leave, and remained firmly on top of me, firmly within me.
I fought her for awhile, hoping to provoke her into some kind of action, but though her breathing sped up at the feel of me writhing under her, she waited. And gradually it became clear to me (as she knew it would), that I was increasing my own torment by struggling – making myself even more aware of my straining muscles, my open and vulnerable position, how wet and sensitive I was at that place where her hand was buried.
Desperate, I took hold of her silky hair and brought her head down, kissing her hard. She responded with one smooth in and out thrust, and I moaned into her mouth.
“Answer me, darling.”
“You have a wonderful voice…”
“…and I want to hear it.”
I began whimpering, my body moving helplessly, shuddering, my hips rocking with every stroke. Another pause.
I cried out. “No, don’t stop!”
“I didn’t hear you….” Her fingers played right at my entrance, dipping in, but not quite entering.
“Yes,” I gasped, nearly sobbing. I was so close.
Thrust. Faster now. No more pauses, just blessed stroking. The contractions started from deep within, and increased in intensity. So did the cry I usually held back.
“Yes, my lovely, sing for me,” she crooned in my ear, taking me over the edge. “I love you…sing for me….”
And then, I was alight. I was the sun….the stars….the great roaring ocean….the hot spring geysers at Yellowstone. Blood pounding in my ears, coursing to every extremity in a flood of liquid fire. I wasn’t aware of anything beyond the pulsing of my body and the sweetness of her voice in my ear.
She held me as the trembling subsided. Lifted her head and looked into my eyes, quirking an affectionate brow at me. “See? I knew you could do it. That was the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard.”
I burst into tears.
Later, much later, after she’d coaxed me back from that emotional peak, after I’d managed to regain some movement in my limbs again, Lynx would describe the sound I emitted as “part lioness, part seagull, part echo-y gale, and wholly sublime.”
I have to admit I still wince to imagine what I must’ve let loose with. It’s a good thing the B&B was in isolated territory, or I’d never be able to look the neighbors in the eye. Lynx says after a few more voice lessons I won’t care what I sound like, or who can hear me, that the joy of expressing myself will outweigh everything else.
I highly doubt it.
But then again…there’s something to be said for the practice sessions, y’know?