Kingdom by the Sea

4:15 p.m.

The first time ever I kissed your lips
I felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love . . .

R rated material follows

Ben met Anna at the airport, and after a quick hug and kiss overseen by every airport security guard, he took her home. Anna was delighted to find that Ben’s apartment was almost the same as she remembered. Being apart so long meant she had to constantly imagine him in his cozy nest, and extreme changes meant they had to spend so much of their precious time getting comfortable again. At his behest, she had joined him on the couch with her glass of wine, unable to resist sitting on his lap instead of at the other end.

“Ben, it’s so quiet.” She turned to look at him. “I can hear my heart beating.” It is so odd, she thought. How can I feel so comfortable with someone I only see once a year.

Ben put his arms around her. Anna closed her eyes and swayed gently against his sturdy frame, her small hands resting on his chest. She could feel the rhythmic pulsing of his heart against her palm, and the soft thumping sound it made seemed to vibrate throughout the entire room. She gazed into his eyes and whispered, “I can hear your heart beating, too.”

The steady beating of their hearts grew louder and faster as Ben leaned in slowly to capture her mouth in a long, deep kiss that sent her heart and mind soaring. Anna moaned softly and clung to him as though she would never let go. Ben kissed her again and again, unable to get enough of her. Like a man dying of thirst, he was unquenchable.

Anna’s mind reeled with each kiss. She had waited so long to taste him and she, too, could not get enough. Finally, the need for air separated them, but just barely. She gazed at him, her eyes shining bright with the passion she only felt when they were together.

Ben smiled softly, and as he took her in his arms again, she wondered vaguely just how far Ben intended for things to go this night. After all, he had only offered dinner and a place to sleep. He leaned in to kiss her again and Anna restrained him as best she could by placing her hand on his chest. Her voice was shaky as she tried to get her emotions under control.

“Ben, wait. Are you hungry, thirsty? Just what kind of dinner are you offering?” Amazed that she could find it in the first place, Anna tried to make her voice light, teasing.

Ben lifted her hand to his lips, placing a kiss in the palm as his eyes searched hers for any hint of fear or doubt. Finding none, he made up his mind. He pulled her against his chest, his mouth once more claiming hers and Anna felt her legs turn to jelly. She allowed his hands to begin their exploration. He caressed her back, her midriff, removed her blouse, and found the v-string she had put there just for him. At last, he arranged the cushions, and settled her trembling body back against them.

He kissed her mouth lightly. “Trust me?” Through their bond Ben could feel her still highly aroused state and fought to keep his own desires in check.

She reached up to caress his cheek. “Of course I trust you. I always have.” Her arms came up to wrap around his neck to gently massage the warm skin at the back of his neck. “I always will.” Nuzzling the end of his nose with her own, Anna whispered the same words that had so unnerved him in their alternate life. “Do with me what you will, Ben. I trust you.”

Ben pulled her close and stretched his frame out next to her. Anna held onto his shoulders and tried to still the strong desire she felt to touch him intimately. Whatever would happen was up to Ben. He was in total control and she was ready and willing to give herself to him.

Ben buried his face in the warm curve of her neck and slipped his hands under her to cradle her back. As his mouth gently kissed a path across her neck and shoulders, Anna found herself slipping away from reality and getting caught in a place where the only thing she felt was him.

The roaring sound in her head grew louder and she realized with sudden clarity that it was coming from within her. It was the sound of blood rushing through her veins as every nerve in her body screamed with pleasure at this most exquisite torture.

Anna moaned, giving herself up to Ben’s gentle loving. The hands were now driving her crazy with desire. Strong, demanding, gentle, his hands teased and caressed all the secret, sensitive places she had yearned for so long to have him touch again. Her skin was on fire.

Anna silently spoke Ben's name, her need so great she couldn't find voice to express it. Ben's warm hands were exploring her body from neck to knees, caressing her skin. She trembled with every touch.

His mouth devoured hers in a deep kiss, their tongues meeting and exploring, but Anna wanted more . . . needed more. His arms cradled her upper body while he hungrily sought her mouth. Never could he have enough of kissing Anna. Slowly, he released her and slid down her body, planting soft, nuzzling kisses on her throat . . . her shoulders. The downy hairs on her skin tickled against his lips when his caresses moved over her flat belly. Lightly, carefully, he trailed his fingertips down her sides, raising a shiver of delight from her.

His hot breath inflamed her further. The touch of his soft-textured tongue on her flesh sent a burst of excitement through her veins. She breathed in raggedly, moaning, as Ben explored her with an exquisite thoroughness.

Knowing she was ready for him, he carried her to his bed and settled her trembling body next to his. Anna sighed deeply. "Ahh . . . Ben." Her voice was husky, thick with pleasure, and resonated through their bond with the deep, mellow tone of a cello.

Anna savored the feel of him, his strength and power. His taste, his textures, were uniquely Ben and filled her with joy. After all their intimacies that evening, Anna was still unprepared for the overpowering emotions as Ben joined his flesh with hers. An intense rapture held her breathless even before their bodies began the rhythmic motions of love. She wanted to feel him on every inch of her body, melt into his warmth and power, become a part of him.

Ben felt her exhilaration, her desperation. Even more compelling was the sensation of utter rightness that filled him. How could he ever have thought that this was wrong for him? She completed him in a way nothing else - no one else - could. They were two halves of a whole. They were together this night, and nothing seemed able to separate them, regardless of how far apart they found their physical selves.

Ben felt Anna surround him, flow into him, merging with him until they were one. One heart. One body. One soul. Anna, soft and quivering in his arms, her mouth waiting and hungry for his, her inner depths open to him, her soul blended with his into one seamless whole. This is the way it felt in my dreams, only more.

Anna sought Ben's eyes, seeing with difficulty through the pulsing haze that filled her vision. She called his name silently in her mind, not having the strength to vocalize it. Their gazes locked. Anna's back arched and her mouth opened in a silent cry as soul-deep shudders claimed her. An overwhelming ecstasy she experienced only with him held her immobile in its grip.

Ben shivered wildly at Anna’s response. He cried out as together they reached the completion only they could give to one another.

At last, Ben relaxed into the pillows and held Anna tightly. A sob shook her and then another as Ben pulled back to look at her, brushing her hair from her face. Tenderly he kissed her eyes, drinking her tears with a delicate touch.

Anna stroked Ben's cheek. Her eyes met his, luminous; her lashes were dark and wet. And in silent whispers she thought “My heart has been yours for so long. I love you."

And almost impossibly, she heard in the deepest recesses of her mind the silent reply "As I love you." As she pressed against him their mouths met in a long, tender kiss. They lay quietly together, entwined in a tender embrace, sharing the lingering warmth and pleasure of their love and knowing they had but hours together.

The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart beat close to mine
And I know our joy would fill the earth
And last 'till the end of time, my love.....

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