A picnic by the lake

In the summer the heat is oppressive and the humidity is cruel. But sometimes there are days when a breeze kicks through rustling the leaves in the treetops and we can walk barefoot from the shoreline of Lake Jocassee, past the trees into a clearing of cool short grass. It’s cool between our toes, and we feel connected to the generations of people who used the lake for a food source, and came to this clearing to build a shelter, or gut their fish, or maybe start a fire to cook a meal. I throw our blanket down and the breeze tries to carry it away. But Esther is there smiling at me as strands of hair falls across her face. Her dress waves, flashing the tattoos on her thighs. And I’m taken by her legs, how long and smooth they look; how her skin shines in the sunlight.

She places a rock on each corner of the blanket and we sit down. I inhale the scent of the cherry trees and the azaleas, mixed with some dogwoods. Esther opens the basket she had been carrying and pulls out a box of crackers and a Tupperware container of sliced cheddar and Swiss. I reach into my back pocket and pull out my leather-bound flask. I unscrew the cap and take a couple of gulps. I hand it to Esther and she tilts her head back. She has a long sleek throat and I can see the liquid travel down and her neck muscles flex. A little of the whiskey drips along her chin but she catches it with her thumb. Giggling, she hands the flask to me and then licks her thumb. I screw the cap back on and set the flask on the blanket.

And this is good, good in the way that we are above the chaos of life and I wonder if there’s a way to make this feeling last when we inevitably return to the real world. Esther lays on her back and rests head on my lap. Staring up at the sun she puts on her sunglasses. Without looking, she grabs a slice of cheese and a cracker. She stacks them and then lifts it to my mouth. I eat the snack from her hand. She makes herself a cracker and cheese. And the shadows of the trees move slowly across the clearing as squirrels chase one another and rabbits nibble on the grass. And I take another drink from the flask. Esther hands me another bite.

It occurs to me I haven’t spoken in over an hour. I haven’t heard Esther speak in at least that long. I pet her hair and she hugs my leg. Her hair is soft. It feels weightless between my fingers. Esther grabs the flask and takes a drink. She hands it to me. I take a drink. The whiskey burns. I feel a bit buzzed. Sweat beads on my brow.

My hand slides down to Esther’s face. The backs of my fingers skim along her skin to her neck and to her breasts. She inhales. I feel her chest expand and she lets out a long satisfying sigh. I brush my fingers up and down her arm, over the tattoos that go from her wrist to her shoulder. Esther reaches to my lap and massages my erection. She turns to look at me. She lifts her sunglasses. Her eyes are this soul-shattering green. I reposition myself to lay down next to her and we stare at one another.

I could kiss her but there is no rush because I love her and when you love someone you intend to always love them, but you live in fear that one day they will stop loving you, or worse, you stop loving them, and if that happens you will be alone again, but here right now I have everything I need, and that fear is still there but it doesn’t matter because her eyes are ruining me much, in the same way, the rest of her ruins me, so I finally kiss her, and I think she wants to cry, and I am uncertain if it is a good cry or a bad cry or maybe I’m projecting, and it is me who wants to cry, but I don’t and neither does she and we keep kissing, and her hands are on me and my hands are on her, and our bodies are getting closer together and I have forgotten all about the possibility of either one of us crying.

Esther’s tongue is in my mouth and my cock grows harder, but this impulse comes over me out of nowhere that I just want to taste her, so I move lower; she spreads her legs and lifts her dress like she had the same thought I had at the same time, and I pull her panties down her thighs, kissing her tattoos. I take my time working my way up under her dress. She runs her fingers through my hair, her fingertips knead my scalp. Soon I’m using my tongue to part her lips and her hips are grinding against me. I lick her clit around and around and she lets out a moan. It isn’t just us. It’s the grass and the earth. It’s the trees and the sun. It’s the lake and the sandy shore. I feel all of it when I’m between Esther’s legs. I kiss and lick, and her juices soak my face and I love that feeling. It feels like she is literally covering me with her love.

I could stay there until the sun sets and the full moon rises, but another impulse comes over me. I unbuckle my belt and unzip my fly. I climb on top of Esther and we both stop moving. She presses her lips to my soaked mouth. She tastes herself on me and her hips push up trying to find my cock. We look right into one another. I can feel myself against her. I’ll be inside her soon but much like the space between kissing and not kissing there’s an even bigger space here. My mind wanders and I wonder if this is the best it will ever be? It’s hard to believe anything can be more perfect than this. But Esther can sense my anxiety and though I haven’t said a word she holds her finger up to my lips, telling me to be quiet. And she smiles because she knows me so well, and I hate her in that moment, but I love her more than I have ever loved her before. And now my cock is inside her.

She cradles my head into her neck. I bite and kiss. I slide in and out. She’s so warm and wet. Her body moves with mine. I go slow. I pull almost all the way out. And then I ease back in. I want her to feel every inch of me stretching her. Each thrust is its own thing. It’s like I’m entering her for the first time every time, but it is also the last time. I grab her soft full breasts. I squeeze them and thrust, and she arches her back and moans. She knows me well but I know her, too. I press down with my body and push my weight into her clit. She grinds against me, and overhead two birds fly by, their shadows cast down upon us. A hard breeze blows in off the lake. The trees rustle and I heave into Esther with everything I have. She shakes and trembles. She pulls me closer to her. I hug her closer to me. Her deep breaths blow past my ear and I clench my eyes shut and groan.