Stupid question really. Does a brick sink?
Secretly she doesn’t want him to let his grip loosen. She never has, but he's never made a move. It’s a rare thing for him to touch her beyond the odd welcome hug or the rescuing hand that pulls her across a busy street; helps her manage a steep incline or occasionally rubs her shoulders.
Secretly he wants to touch her more intimately but he's worried she'll get the wrong idea. He loves her but he's not 'in love' with her. At least he doesn't think so. Then he hasn't been in love so how can he tell? But there's no profit in it. No benefit to either of them to get down and dirty. Still, she has a wonderful neck and broad beautiful shoulders and a regal demeanour that charms him. The urge to slide a hand from her ankle along the inside length of tanned legs is hard to quell.
"Yes. I suppose so...in a minute.” His hand does slide along her inner thigh and she smiles as she becomes lost in the sensation, finally.
"C'mon . . " she urges, and takes his hand, "Don't be shy. You promised..."
They venture beyond the pool gate and he dives in with a quiet splash. The warm water streams across his skin and the freedom of an unclothed and well-toned body feels liberating. As he emerges and shakes his hair, water beads on his boyish and hairless torso. He is lovely, youthful, even when wringing wet. She's already divested the sarong and is descending the shallow-end steps. He submerges again and swims between her legs brushing her thighs and more with wet tresses before coming up and around her. His front to her back as arms finally embrace, and hands clasp gently across her breasts, then slide from dry to wet as they glide into the water, across her belly and down between her thighs. He kisses her neck as she turns, and her mouth presses against his. He sits on the bottom step, chest deep in the dappled dark water and she straddles him slowly. It is heaven. Exactly as she'd planned it. For him, a bittersweet surprise as the merging of liquids bring them both to orgasm. Their pleasure muffled. Little is heard, nothing is said, as water laps at the skimmer box. Now lovers, they hold position for what seems like hours, until she breaks away. They swim silently together. Beyond where her feet can touch the bottom and she smiles.
"I've always loved you," she whispers as he takes her in his arms.
His feet still firmly planted on pebblecrete. Tears are barely discernible against a glistening face but he is crying. He places firm hands upon her shoulders. He kisses her, slow and long. He doesn't want to let her go. He feels her body relinquish and give in to the pressure as she sinks without struggle.
He's often watched her swim at night. Watched her drop the sarong on the steps and seen the line of her shoulders, the arch of her back and the curve of her buttocks. She's curvy, shapely. The face isn't much but she's got a body he'd like to penetrate, and often. Pity she'd fallen out with him after his wife left.
He's watched her since he moved into Culvert Close. A quiet cul de sac with their houses adjacent at the end of the street. He watched her get out of her car and ogled her legs as she reached for the garage door. He watched her hang washing on the line in the flimsiest of covers. He'd even become brave on a couple of occasions and ventured into her yard before she got that yap trap of a dog. Watched her bathe, watched her cook...she was titillating, exciting and roused something in him that riled him up, an anger and a passion. Anger that she'd never fancy a man like him. Passion as he obsessed about being with her.
She was a friendly neighbour once and brought him a 'welcome basket'. They'd shared cofee and chat. He'd only tried to be nice when he attempted to kiss her. Well perhaps his hands were where they shouldn't be and he'd rushed in a little too quick. But it had pissed her off and she'd told him in no uncertain terms that she wasn't interested, when the palm of her hand connected and stung the side of his face. Still, he'd like to fuck her.
She doesn't seem to know that he can see her from the second bedroom. See her body glide through the black liquid. He sees it, lusts after it as the beads of water cascade over her shoulders and straighten normally wavy hair - as she breast-strokes silently from one end of the pool to the other. He sees it all and imagines her a mermaid in the dark. Usually singing just for him.
But tonight, he's getting an eyeful and it's more than he bargained for. Just as he's about to jack off watching the lovers perform on the steps, his erection softens. He watches her sink into oblivion. The menacing hands of someone he's seen with her on rare occasions, are holding her down. A violent act or erotic play? He's getting stiff again and repairs to the bathroom to finish what he started.
"I'm not...I'm deadly serious." Nicky replies, "I can't stand it any more. I can't stand the pain, the ostracism, not having you here to help me deal with it. You're my best friend. I need you."
He takes his responsibility as her friend very seriously but this is an impossible ask, and he's vacillating between hanging up, exploding in anger, or just biting the bullet and booking a ticket to go see her.
"Well top yourself then! I don't care!" his voice is mean and he's about to hit the kill switch.
"Don't you hang up on me!" The sobs have subsided and she's now pleading through puffy eyes.
Eyes that were so beautiful, so brown, now reddened and sad. He doesn't have the heart to hang up and his sudden twang of compassion is tearing at his very fibre. He's not normally persuaded by emotion.
"Nicky, you're 35 years old. You can't just give up. There are medications, pain relief, sometimes miracles happen. You're still fit. Perhaps it'll never take hold." He's lying to her for the first time.
She would never ask him to do this if it wasn't real. He's feeling pain in his own chest now but it's not a disease causing it.
"Don't do anything, I'll be on the next flight." He doesn't hear the 'thank you darling' before he hangs up and begins to heave.
They talk about it. Wildly, madly, then softly and sadly. Over three weeks of constant discussion.
"I know someone who drowned." Her tone matter-of-fact, "someone who was brought to the surface and resuscitated...he told me it hurt for a few minutes then...the pain goes away. Ian, I'm in pain. All the time. How much worse can it get? I trust you. Help me. Will you do it?"
Of course he would. He's rarely been able to say no. His own life was falling to shit anyway. He'd never told her how he felt about her. He'd never become the man he wanted to be. He'd never achieved the things he wanted to achieve. Life had lost its purpose, its meaning. If he got away with it, he'd disappear. She'd given him money. He knew places he could go. If he didn't. Tough shit. Not much to live for without her anyway.
They didn't plan when. Just how and why.
"God why didn't we do this years ago?" She asks.
He has no idea because it's perfect.
"C'mon." He trails her tenderly by the hand into the shallows and exits the pool via the steps. He loves the look of her as she ascends looking more like a Bond babe than a dying lover. He holds up her sarong and wraps it tenderly around her, kisses her cheek and whispers.
"Now you've got something to live for yeh?"
Nicola nods and smiles. "Don't leave me."
"I'll be back in a couple of months," he promises and her heart soars.
The night is spent in his sweet embrace. She feels a little better as she drops him at the terminal. She kisses him goodbye without moving from the driver's seat. She's not up for seeing him off and drives away as soon as he slams the trunk. He waves and smiles and she catches what she hopes is not the last glimpse of him in her rear view mirror. He disappears through the sliding doors.
Prison Officer Markus Schwartz is the short-straw man who's been charged with the execution. He whispers to the Chaplain, standing beside him, along with a couple of other guards and a waiting physician.
"I've never seen anyone so calm. Usually we have to restrain them or sedate them just to get them in here."
The Chaplain raises his eyebrows with a supercilious expression. It's the first time he's witnessed such a thing and has no idea what to expect, but Ian's laconic smile does come as a surprise.
"No remorse in that one...." he chirps, Bible in hand.
The smugness in the Chaplain's voice a testament to his conviction that this man is a cold blooded killer about to be redeemed. There's little more 'cleansing' than death and forgiveness of the Divine. The apparent irony in the willingness to break a holy commandment doesn't faze him, not at all.
Ian Carter, the man on the gurney with a soporific smile, had not confessed. Nor had he denied. He'd remained silent after his arrest. An eyewitness account and a voracious prosecutor winning over 12 men and women true, in a State with little tolerance for sexual predators who murder.
The same eye witness who's now peering through the chamber glass with a self-satisfied smirk. The same eye witness just aching to see an innocent man die. The one clever enough to leave his 'seed' dying in the chlorine instead of inside his victim. The one who'd reported the floating body of his next door neighbour. The one who'd punished her infidelity to him, and incriminated the love of her life.
The bitch deserved everything for rejecting his advances. And this bastard? Well he's getting his right now. He just wishes that Carter was distressed. Its annoying watching the serenity on the face of a man about to die. Half the fun is the 'look'. The way they plead and scream in the face of their own demise. His wife had it, a plethora of undiscovered young victims had it, Nicola had it. He desperately wants Carter to have it.
Schwartz presses another button as the green vial empties and a small river of sodium thiopental syrups its way through the line.
Ian swears he feels the brush of her lips against his, and the warmth of her hands on his chest. He smells the sweet Jasmine so reminiscent of that heady summer night and lolls into a catatonic state. He can see her standing there. Naked and smiling. Water glistening on her golden skin. She's beckoning him to swim. She's almost with him, and finally the tyranny of distance is usurped.
Posted for The Tenth Daughter of Memory "Harmony of Liquid, Melody of Light"