Because she was curious, she’d let him pull down her jeans. They were twenty-one. His fingers dug into her hips as he worked the material from side to side, a smooth technique she noted from somewhere behind a vodka fog. The way his mouth followed every place his hands touched was a skill she would not have assigned to him, even though he was her oldest friend. Since middle school, she’d known all of his girlfriends, was hated by them all. One had attempted to include her in threesome, a move to entice him, an act of desperation. But in declining, she’d made that girl the biggest enemy of them all. Because she’d known him for so long she was a threat. She’d known what he was scared of, what he dreamed of, who he’d wanted to be, but sex, well, that was kept safe inside a ring of salt.
It had been cold down in his parents’ basement. And when she’d let her head fall back to rest on the top of the musty old couch, she could see snow piling up against the only window in the room. Little hairs raised with a shiver on her upper thighs bringing with them a moment of fleeting doubt. If he had been another man she would’ve been embarrassed she hadn’t shaved. Instead she’d felt as unconcerned as if she’d been standing in a women’s locker room, and maybe, that wasn’t the way a woman should feel about a man with his head where it was below her waist. Then the pants were gone completely and he was murmuring to the sensitive flesh behind her knees. “Relax.” Then she was warm, everywhere.
She’ll never forget the self-assured way he brought her to orgasm—not the next day, not the next holiday when she was back in town, but didn’t call him. And not the following year when she saw him just across the street, but didn’t call out. She’ll never forget the silken texture of his hair between her fingers as she pressed herself to his mouth. She’ll never forget how he made a sound, an almost growl, when she was close, and how it had brought forth a companion sound in her own throat. She’ll never forgot the way he looked when she finally opened her eyes: his chest rising and falling, lips swollen, and hair wrecked and regarding her the way he always had—across rooms and tables—like she was the world.