Break It Open


I had never experienced anything like what he gave me. Nothing. I stood at my sink, hands in dishwater long cold from the roaming of my own mind, I thought of him. The sweetness of his bottom lip, the command of his voice. I felt the entirety of my body open and unlock.

I didn’t know how this happened, how the commanding happened. I concentrated on the wine glasses my mother had given me as a wedding present. I had been two years without a husband. Without being touched, held or kissed. All that was me and woman and sensual was dying. I poured myself into my work. I researched articles that I new backwards and forwards.

I rinsed the glass, soothed by the warm water over my left wrist.  I bit my bottom lip remembering the soft restraint of his hand to it only days earlier. I threw myself into my work when I needed to. “Thomas.” I whispered his name, scared to admit the ache for him aloud.  My agent reminded me of the novel that lay desk, unfinished. Like the other three in my office. Unfinished. Like my life at present.

Delia, my agent gave me Thomas’s number. She thought it would be a good thing to get out. To see people. “Dennis is already dead, Erynn. Dating is not going to kill him again.” I put the glass on the red tea towel by the sink, careful not to chip the lip of it. We met at his house, a dinner party he was throwing.

He was charming as he lead the guests out, sweet when he asked me if I wanted another glass of wine. Red, my favorite. He knew that I was writer by heart, and a journalist by trade. We talked about his clients at his literary firm. We talked about my current work, a murder mystery. “I think it’s going to be shit,” I took a deep sip, watched his green eyes flicker with specks of gold, with the features in his caramel brown face harden, as if he were hunting. “but, like a good agent, she wants me to keep going.” He leaned forward, his right hand on the back of the beige sofa. “She knows you can do it, Erynn.”

He looked at me, held me there, as the glass moved from my hand to the coffee table. I looked at him, all of me quivering and immovable. I don’t know how I got from the couch to the bed. I wasn’t drunk. I knew where I was. He took me from the couch, gingerly, kissed me. I had known Thomas over a decade. Laughed with him, celebrated his agency opening. The christening of his daughter before the divorce from his wife. We moved from the couch to his office, and the strength of his wide oak writing desk.

The blue sundress I wore only wrapping paper as he moved to lick and lap the treasure he found between my thighs. He knelt before me, as if I were a holy fount, and pulled my lacy panties to the side with a ripe. He suckled my lower lips, coaxing me open with two wingers and my mind swam. I knew he didn’t drug me, would never have to with me or any woman. The bottle was clean, I checked. My habit since college. I only had two, three glasses.

We had gone from desk to the chaise lounge in his office, with a single scoop of his hands. His lips found mine again, hungry and sating. We kissed so hard I thought I was breathing for him. “Erynn.” he said, but more like a growl. I’m sure it was a growl. Positive it was a growl. As he adjusted me on the lounge and his kisses over my collarbone, I heard lust coat his voice. “Always in control, Erynn. Always careful Erynn. Just feel.” He kissed my mouth again.

The decade of platonic memories came back. I was a bridesmaid at his wedding to Halle. I remembered how pretty she looked and the picture Dennis and I had taken that morning. He had called me his Caramel Dream before I went to go change with the other bridesmaids. I had been a part of his life, and yet, had no desire to stop this from happening. I was in submission to all I felt, all he coaxed from me. His hands on my wrists and the welcoming of his body into mind, stopped any allegiance to memory. I squeezed around his erect manhood. I kept him there, quelling thoughts and ghostly memory. “Thomas.”

All I could manage was his name.

I rinsed my last glass, putting in on the red tea towel, letting the water out of the aluminum sink. I thought of him again, willed myself not to fear those thoughts. Not to fear wanting to see him again. I dried my hands, and went to my office. I thought I would work to still my mind from memories of the week before. When I opened my white door, I saw the roses he had sent me that morning. I wondered if he had done so with other conquests. I went to smell them, cradled the card that said, “If you be mine, then all is well.”

I looked out the window, watched the rain fall and wondered if it was indeed going to be well.