On Wilder Shores
by Caryn Law
|On Wilder Shores © 1998 Adhara Law. All Rights Reserved.
Do not reproduce or distribute without the expressed
written consent of the author.
|The simple act of pouring coffee became a delicate ritual under her
careful ministrations. He smiled as she handed the cup over to him
and counted his change into his outstretched palm.
He chose a table by the window, the same table he sat in every
afternoon. His routine began -- sip the coffee, turn the page of the
day's newspaper, gaze out the window at the activity on the street.
"Looks like a nice day."
He was interrupted by the tinkling melody of her voice. He turned to
see her cleaning the table next to his, her narrow hips swaying as she
pushed the damp towel across the table. She was a new sight in this
place that he'd been coming to for the past eight months.
"Yeah, I guess it does." He winced inwardly at his lack of creativity.
He tried not to let her see his eyes linger a little too long on her
pleasant form, but she noticed him staring anyway. She smiled back.
Her long, dark brown hair flipped over her shoulder as she started
back into the kitchen.
Weather makes not for good conversation, he thought.
* * *
She was there again the next day, this time with a smile that held the
glint of familiarity in it. As she handed over his coffee, he stumbled
over thoughts of what to say to her, desperately thinking but coming
up with nothing. The English language suddenly seemed like a foreign
tongue to him.
He settled into his routine, but not without minor disorder. The paper
wasn't all that interesting, and the street looked the same as it always
did. The sights inside the coffee shop were much more interesting.
Again, she began cleaning the table next to his, the towel in her hand
swishing silently back and forth.
"So," he began quietly. "You're new here?" He hid his reddening face
behind his coffee mug.
"Yeah, just started yesterday." Swish. Swish. Hips swayed.
"That's great." He fumbled.
She flashed a smile as she turned back toward the counter.
That night, he lay in the warm darkness of his bedroom, drifting off to
sleep, trying to recreate the image of her swaying hips in his dimming
consciousness. As they moved, delicately and enticingly, back and
forth, almost in a dance, he saw that she wore jeans just tight enough,
and a red shirt that seemed sewn just for her body. She smiled at him
as he sipped his coffee, her lips just barely stained with dark pink
lipstick. But then his boss came into the coffee shop and asked him
what he was doing there when he should have been working. He tried
to explain that he had just finished work for the day and that this was
his off time. But the coffee shop morphed into the office and the girl
faded slowly out of existence as he reached across the dream toward
The next day, she was wearing tight jeans and a form fitting red shirt.
He chalked it up to coincidence as he took the coffee from her, her
eyes latching onto his while she smiled with the same pink lips from
the dream. The coffee mug shook on the way to the table.
That night, sleep came later than usual. The image of her hair falling
across her face as she leaned across the tables wouldn't make room
for anything else, but he didn't really mind. It did make sleeping
But it came, eventually. And she came with it. This time, she wore a
dark sundress that fell in forest green folds to her calves and left bare
her pale shoulders and smooth back. She sat next to him on the
ground, which felt soft and movable beneath his hands. He looked
around to notice that they were on a long stretch of beach, alone for
miles. The burnished sun hung low in the sky, as if its own heavy
weight were dragging it down. Her face was inches from his, and she
leaned in, putting her hand on his cheek as she kissed him. It seemed
natural, kissing this woman whose name he didn't even know. He
immersed himself in her presence completely, letting the feel of her
wash over him like the waves on the beach on which they sat.
But she pulled away from him, and no matter how hard he tried to see her,
she faded out of his vision.
Her voice wrapped delicate tendrils around him. "Tomorrow night."
He nearly tripped headfirst over the counter when he saw the dress
she wore the next day.
He swore to himself that he wasn't going crazy as he carefully and
deliberately carried his shaking coffee to his usual table. This is not
happening, he told himself. But it was happening, because she was
wearing that green dress.
"You look like you've got a little sunburn there."
Drops of coffee splattered to the table as he jumped, startled by her
"Looks like you were at the beach." She smiled coyly as she cleared
dirty plates and mugs off the table in front of him.
"B-beach?" He stammered. "No, I uh, I didn't go to the beach
Her smile stretched across her pretty lips even further as she turned
away, leaving him shaking and sweating and staring after her.
That night, he feared his bed. He found every excuse not to get into it,
though he knew that he could only fight off sleep for so long. His plan
was to let himself get so tired that he had no energy for dreams. But at
one o'clock in the morning, he finally succumbed to slumber.
Waves. He could hear them crashing close by, but he couldn't see
them. Then he realized it was because it was dark; pinpoints of
sparkling light dotted the night sky, and behind him rose the full moon.
And she stood under it, not a shred of clothing on her beautiful body.
Breath caught in his throat. Somewhere in the back of his mind he
knew he was dreaming, but the texture of her skin, the way the
moonlight glinted off the beads of sea spray that dripped like melting
wax down the hills and valleys of her body it was all too real. Too
breathtakingly, wonderfully real.
She stepped closer to him and put her hands gently to his face. "Are
you scared?" She asked, her words so quiet that the sounds of the
crashing sea almost took them before he heard them. He could only
nod, his eyes closed.
He felt himself being gently pulled to the ground, his knees sinking
slightly in the soft grains of sand. She guided him onto his back and
straddled him, placing her palms on his stomach and moving them
slowly, deliberately, over his skin and up to his chest, where she gently
caught his nipples with her thumbs. He'd never felt a more real,
concrete sensation, dream or otherwise.
He laced his fingers behind the small of her back and she leaned
down, her long dark hair tickling his stomach enough to make him
gasp for a breath. Her lips placed a row of minute kisses from his
navel to the hollow of his neck as she worked her way up his body,
and all the while her hands were massaging him to life, although by
now it wasn't a difficult job.
"I like water, don't you?" She asked, her lips grazing his ear. Before
he could answer, he felt water flowing over his legs and stomach. He
looked down and noticed that they were now in some sort of pool
created by the tide. He leaned back against smooth rock, holding her
against him as she took the soft folds of his earlobe into her mouth,
sucking gently. The incoming tide created a slow rhythm in the shallow
pool that became their metronome.
His pulse raced from nervousness and fear. She sensed it, reaching
behind her to take his hands from her waist. Grasping them lightly in
hers, she placed his palms on the softness of her breasts and
pressed. The tiny beads of her nipples as they bit into his palms
called his adrenaline out of its hiding place. She pulled his hands
slowly down her body as her eyes stayed locked on his. When they
reached the soft down between her legs, her head rolled back and a
moan wafted out over the beach.
He gingerly pushed a finger into uncharted territory, the water eddying
around it as he moved gently with the tide's rhythm. As she moved her
hips against his hand, he leaned forward, the sensations overriding
any hesitation he'd felt before, and slowly licked the beads of
seawater that dripped from her nipples. If moonlight has a taste, he
thought, surely this is it.
She reached down to remove his hand and replace it with a different
part of him. Water coursed in and around them as she slid him into
her, her hips meshing with his as they fell into the natural rhythm that
the crashing waves beat out. Dream time took over; seconds
stretched into minutes, minutes into hours. The tide rose with them.
The crashing waves, the rising tide, her snaking hips. He rose to a
crescendo, afraid that it was too soon, but she dug fingernails deep
into his shoulders moments before his own release, and cried out as
she threw her head back. Her lips locked with his for interminable
minutes, and then she shifted to stand in the small tide pool.
His breathing attempted to level itself as she leaned down to his ear.
Her hair tickled his shoulders as she spoke. "Tallia," she whispered.
She turned away and stepped out of the pool, moonlight flowing down
her legs in tiny streams of seawater. She turned and walked away
from him down the beach, fading out of his vision with every step.
* * *
The door to the coffee shop seemed made of iron as he pulled it open
the next day. He'd considered not coming back. Ever. Something
changed his mind.
She was there, but in the back, partially hidden by the corner of the
kitchen. He took his coffee and politely thanked the woman behind the
counter, the woman who had always been there in the last eight
months. He tucked the folded newspaper under his arm and headed
for his table.
He scanned the headlines. Might as well read sports before the
depressing stuff, he thought.
She was sitting across from him. A beautiful purple sundress draped
on her, curving where she curved. She was smiling at him, and it
wasn't the normal coffee shop employee smile.
It was now or never, he thought.
"Tallia" he ventured. Her smile rose higher in the corners of her lips.
"Would you like to have a cup of coffee with me?" He swallowed hard.
"I would like nothing more," she replied.
Coffee never tasted so good.
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