Another Thursday Thrill. Hit the blog to read all the participating entries.
I moved the oar rhythmically, my heart and breath both moving in time with the pace Payton set. This was his boat, his hidden shore, his idea of a great date.
The tides were low and not rising again until well after sunset. We would be home by then. I hoped.
The urge to ask, "how much farther?" had been building over the last half hour. My resistance was wearing thin. I would be complaining soon and then he'd know what a wimp I truly was. Biting my tongue one more time, I dipped my oar.
"You're doing great," he said from behind me. "I thought you said you didn't row?"
I didn't answer. If I stopped rowing, stopped biting my tongue, I'd be whining in no time. Thankfully, he didn't take notice of my silence and returned to moving his oar. We didn't go more than a dozen strokes, however, when we turned at his direction. I looked over my shoulder and he smiled.
"You can rest now. I'll do the rest."
The relief had to be clear on my face. I pulled my oar in and slid it between us to lie on the flat bottom of the boat.
Payton twisted his oar, dragged it rather than pulling it. I watched his chest as he worked, the muscles pulling and bunching. His arms were hard as well, flexing. I tore my eyes away, my face feeling warm. Probably just the effort of rowing.
The bottom grated against sand and Payton jumped out, splashing in his sneakers to grab hold of the prow and pull me up on shore. He offered his hand, though I didn't really need it. I took it, of course. Any reason to touch him.
"Here, over here." He pulled me with him to a patch of grass to the west. He sat down and waited for me to thump down beside him. I did and his arm came around my waist, leaning that warm, hard body into mine. He was damp with sweat, but so was I. He smelled so pure. No aftershave, no hair products, just Payton. I nestled my nose in the curve of his neck and inhaled deep.
He sighed and tightened his hold on me. "I know this wasn't your idea of a date. You would rather be having a nice dinner somewhere in candle-light."
It was true. I enjoyed the comforts of the city.
"This is where my grandpa used to bring me when he took me on the weekends, when Mom had to work. We'd build sand castles and chase crabs and climb trees. Well, I climbed the trees."
Looking at the setting sun, the location took on new meaning for me. The palm seemed taller, older, and more imposing. Payton's reverence for all things living was rooted in this sand. That love of nature had first attracted me, something I appreciated and wished I could find in myself.
"I've never brought anyone here before," he told me, kissing the top of my head. "I know the rowing wasn't easy and we can't stay long, but-"
"Stop apologizing," I told him, my finger coming to his lips only to be replaced by my mouth. Our kiss melted the last of the knots and tension from my body. I felt liquid beside him, my shore. "This is perfect. How did you plan to enjoy it?"
His smile was a little sheepish, but his fingers began playing with my waistband. Exactly as I had hoped. Laying back, I pulled him over me, kissing him again. "I'm honored to be here."
"I love you."
Remember to visit the blog! In your comments, would you let me know if 'I' (the narrator) seems obviously feminine? I'm trying to make some of shorter pieces more accessible to both gay and straight readers and would love some feedback.