“Will you take me with you when you go?”
Things are different in the desert. Hotter, dryer, where dreams and drifters come to be alone or find themselves, or find – something, John thought.
John wanted to get lost, and he’d done a fairly good job of it so far. He’d slipped out of his life and into the fittingly impossible task of working as a gardener at the hospital grounds outside 29 Palms. He had a green thumb, he could make things grow – even in the desert.
John showered and shaved in the employee locker room, and changed from his dark green uniform to jeans and a crisp white shirt. The white made him feel cooler in the heat.
It was just three in the afternoon when he hit Dee’s Place, but then he’d started working long before dawn. The thermometer on the front door read one hundred and fifteen. The heat was so dry it made the air difficult to breathe. It was too hot even to sweat, but perspiration dampened his brow as soon as he stepped inside the bar and into a blast of stale air conditioning.
He took his whiskey with ice and sat right under the rattling air vent in the back of the bar, and still he felt choked by the heat, confined by it. The book he was reading described an Antarctic expedition. The descriptions of frozen tundra made no sense; he could not imagine what it would be like to be cold.
A streak of harsh, hot sunlight fell across him. The front door slammed open and Sami marched into the bar. She never just walked into a room, she took it over.
She was a good ten years his junior, and yet she always exuded the air of knowing more than him, being one step ahead of the game, wiser. Her arrogance amused him and kept him very pointedly at arm’s length. That arrangement worked for both of them, he thought. And yet, there was something more between them. He just wasn’t sure what that something was, not just yet. Maybe the way to lose the past forever.
She was blonde and tan, sexy in a short red skirt, black tank top, and sandals laced high like something gladiators wore. She dropped down on a stool beside him, and swiveled her legs close to his, so that their knees were touching.
She took a drink from his glass. “Want to get out of here?” she asked him.
“When the sun goes down.”
She shrugged, and dropped her hand along the inside of his thigh and stroked it. His body responded to her, hardening, tightening inside his jeans. They were not a love song, at least not yet, but they played a fine little melody about lust, he thought.
And this was one of the things about being in the desert. You took whatever would grow, whatever could feed you, whatever could cool your thirst, and you let that fill your parched soul – Sami, whose hand had now inched up to his crotch. She teased him, enjoying how her stroking was making him swell against the denim.
“We could watch the sun set,” she suggested, her lips brushing his neck.
In spite of the heat that he knew was simmering outside the door, he agreed.
His van bumped along the dirt road to the lookout point, throwing Sami close against him. It felt good, having her close.
They parked on an incline above the dry lake, the van pointed west. With no words about it, Sami unzipped his jeans, and took him between her lips. He groaned in pleasure – she made it all so easy to feel good again.
Sami knew John was just passing through. He might not know it yet, but she knew. It was part of what excited her. Maybe he would take her with him when he left. In the meantime, she tried to make him see that she didn’t need him, she just wanted him.
John, skin dark from working in the sun, hands calloused from working the gardens, was mysterious and that mystery allured her, too. He was a teacher in another life; he had lost family, money, friends. Or they had lost him.
The sun sank low in a wash of molten gold, and then it was gone. There in the half dark, she had him in her mouth, she was licking him the way she knew he liked it, she was running her tongue along the tip of cock, plunging it deep inside her mouth, moving him in and out and in, with the desert heat thick around them, the last azure color of the sky sifting in through the windshield.
She cared more than he thought; he cared more than he knew.
He came with a long shudder, and she drank him down, his essence.
“Touch yourself,” he said.
So, she did. She fell back in the front seat of the old van, one leg draped over his legs, his dick still hard and erect, watching her.
She slipped her hand inside her panties and a finger inside her, and she pictured how it would be later, at his place, how he would undress her, or how he would not undress her, and he would just lift up her dress, and pull down her underwear, and, slip his cock inside her, and …
She came. They did this a lot, parked in his van. It was a build up to the fantasy that was later, and became real.
They both lay back in the seat, panting. After a moment, she pulled her finger from her pussy, and it made a little wet pop. She saw as he licked his lips.
“Can I?” he asked.
She nodded, her own lips curling into a smile.
“Put your knees up,” he suggested. “So I can reach you better.”
She shifted her back against the passenger door and bent her knees. He leaned close, spread them apart, and pushed her underwear to one side, rubbing at her with his thumb.
“You’re nice and ready,” he said.
“I always am around you,” she replied.
The idea excited him, and he rubbed her clit back and forth, back and forth until she came again, letting out a little trill, something that was purely involuntary as her body gave way to his touch.
Then he pulled her underwear down past her knees, and he came in closer, kneeling know himself. He ducked his head beneath her skirt and licked her, his tongue circling, his teeth gently pulling. She was gasping now, and when she came, she let out a long, long cry this time. There was no one around to hear.
“Climb on you?” she asked.
He nodded. He didn’t need to be asked twice. She tugged her underwear off and tossed it aside, and then she was on him, aching with wanting him, her back rubbing a little against the steering ridges of the steering wheel as she moved up and down with his cock pulsing inside her.
They were good at this, her moving on him as if to pull the come from his body; John holding back, moving left and right as well as in and out, just the way she liked it.
They came almost at the same time – she was a moment later than him, but close enough, and then she fell against him, the two of them pressed close in a sweaty, wonderful heap.
“Anything else you want?” he asked.
They both laughed.
“I want air conditioning that works,” she said.
They drove away with the windows open and the dust and a hot dry wind coming in. From the road, which followed a ridge line, they could see bonfires dancing along the shoreline of the dry lake spread out below them. Music – salsa, rap – drifted across the night air. Fire, in this heat. It seemed improbable. But kind of wonderful, too.
He took her to dinner at a chain restaurant in Yucca Valley. The food wasn’t good but they went there often for the air conditioning, which was refrigerator-cold, and leached the heat right from her body.
Now she needed him to warm her again.
His house was a small stucco cottage on the edge of the empty desert. He rented it for not very much, and it was remote enough that no visitor could appear unannounced. Sand and stone passed for a yard.
As they pulled up in front, a wind kicked up, blowing sand into their eyes.
“Santa Ana’s are fierce tonight,” he said to Sami, by way of conversation.
“Don’t know how I’m gonna get through another August out here,” she said.
The ‘we’ meant everything.
She caught his eye and he smiled, and she smiled back.
He didn’t know it yet, but she did – they were going to be all right.
The night was filled with crickets and other buzzing things. John held the door for her and she preceded him inside. This was the time, with the darkness all around, the stars full out, and the heat still high, that dust-blowing wind or not, he loved the desert.
Sami was like the desert itself, he thought. She seemed parched and dry, but give her a little love and she bloomed.
He clicked on the light in the hall and led Sami into his small living room,
where he struck a match and began lighting votive candles in glass holders. He had them everywhere, they softened the crowded room and left a sweet odor. He read to their light until his eyes ached, and only then would he turn on the harsh ceiling light.
He tossed the sofa cushions on the floor, and Sami dropped her leggy body across them.
“Want a drink?” he asked.
She shrugged her assent.
He slipped into his narrow kitchen, flipped on the ceiling fan, and returned with heavy tumblers filled with whiskey and ice.
He kicked off his boots and leaned back on the cushions beside her. She climbed on his lap, and put her arms around his neck.
He reached behind her, unfastening her bra. He pulled her tight little tank top low, so that her breasts popped from it, and he licked them softly, pulling on her nipples like taffy, until she moaned. He put his hands under her short skirt and pushed her panties aside again, moving his fingers inside her.
She was wildly wet almost the minute he touched her.
They were good together, he thought.
She unbuttoned his shirt, dexterously unbuckled his belt, unzipped his fly and rubbed her hands over him until he quivered. Then he pushed her off him, stood and stripped off his shirt, his jeans. She raised her arms like a child and he took off the tank top, the unfastened bra. He spent awhile nibbling on her breasts, with her hand tugging on him, making him thick and hard; slipping on the condom, and then he shoved her skirt up. He rode her hard and fast this time; they were careless with each other, both knowing it was only the first time for the night. They’d each have another, slower chance at it. Or two.
They rolled around on the floor, taking turns on top until she came with a low animal cry, and then he came, unable to contain his body, or his words.
“Love you,” he said.
“Did you say you loved me?”
They lay there, spent, in the faint breeze from the fan in his kitchen, the candlelight flickering around them.
“Yes. I said that.”
“Did you mean it?”
“I think so,” he replied.
She laughed, and ran her fingers lightly across his chest. “I think I love you, too. We wouldn’t want to get too carried away and say forever and ever, happily ever after though.”
“No, probably not,” he allowed.
“At least not yet.”
Sometimes she allowed him to really see her, but not all the way clear. Because she couldn’t read him, didn’t know his past or their future, only the now. The desert-flash-flood of sex and feeling that was the now.
She was tough, a desert girl. She could withstand a long drought, she thought. If she had to.
They lay there a long time, sinking into the silence in the growing heat. At last Sami threw on his discarded shirt, and knowing he was watching, made an exaggerated sashay into the kitchen for more ice.
She loved that he was watching. She opened the fridge and bent over a shelf, looking for something, but there was nothing to find but the coolness. She just wanted him to get a good look at her buttocks, at the curled edges of her damp pubic hair, of how ready for him she was when he was, loose and ready and waiting.
She set the tumbler under the ice maker and piled it on top of what was left of the whiskey.
She turned around and she saw him watching her. She stood in the kitchen doorway jangling the tumbler of whiskey with fresh ice in one hand. With the other, silhouetted by candle light, she touched herself again. She moved one finger, then two, then three, in and out, and gave a soft moan. When she came, she spread his shirt and rubbed her wet fingers across her own nipples.
Then she walked over to him like nothing had happened at all, and snuggled up against him. She saw how hard he was again, and she smiled, and took a long swallow of her ice and her whiskey.
He’d grown hard just watching her fine, firm ass moving beneath the edge of his shirt. He knew that was exactly what she’d intended. She wanted more; and he always wanted more with her. Always.
Would it ever be enough? That was maybe the question.
Watching her touch herself, put on that show for him. He held his breath, only slowing releasing it when she came, feeling the intoxication of the drink and the heat.
“Hey, John. Why do you read so much?” she asked, looking at the bookshelves stacked high around the room. She’d never asked before.
He could’ve said he read because it filled in the silences, when she wasn’t there. But he didn’t say that.
“Thirst,” he told her instead. He took a serious drink of his whiskey.
She drained her glass and spread eagled herself on the floor. Waiting for him to do whatever he would do.
He climbed on top of her this time, spreading wide the folds of his shirt. He splashed a little of his whiskey on her torso. He moved his lips across her breasts, and in the warm hollow between them, licking it up. Sami laughed.
“Still thirsty, huh?”
His lips moved lower down Sami’s chest, across her firm belly. Without lifting his head he murmured “Now I’m hungry…”
She tasted sweet to him, like dusty honey.
His tongue circled her inside, thrust deep in her, the way he did when he fucked her, and she clutched at his hair with her hands like she’d never let go.
After she came, they held each other, but loosely, because the heat was so dense around them. The sweat evaporated from their bodies but clung to their damp hair.
They moved into his room. It was the only air conditioned room in the house. Although the machine in the window was so old it strained and hummed and rattled the glass, it still did the job, at least, sort of.
He took her standing up this time, against his dresser; her legs wrapped tight around them as they bucked and heaved, watching each other in the mirror.
He picked her up and lowered her to the bed; he pressed a finger in her anus, and they heaved together his cock inside her open, oh so open, wet pussy. The coyotes howled outside the window and the air conditioner sputtered and choked.
They took a cold shower – or what passed for it, the water still lukewarm and unsatisfying. Their hands just barely grazed each others’ bodies, but apparently that was enough.
She was always a little bit surprised by all the things they wanted to do to each other.
They didn’t bother with a towel, just stepped out of the shower and lay down on the bed again, the air conditioner cooling the dampness of their skin, the soft smell of soap mingling with the headier scent of their sex as they touched each other again.
He stroked her with his hand, his fingers, and with his tongue, slowly this time, everything slowly, it was very late now. He rubbed her nipples into hard little nubs. He probed her pussy with his fingers and her spanking clean bottom with his tongue. Gave her a light little slap across her buttocks, two times, three times.
She took his cock in her hands and she rubbed him between her palms, making him come just from her touch. He groaned.
She rubbed his come from her hands on her body and his, painted them with it. Then she pressed down against him, rubbing herself against his balls and his dick, getting him improbably hard yet again. She got up again to shower one more time, and he stepped in after her, as she knew he would.
He sucked her nipples in the shower, she turned away and rubbed his dick against her buttocks, and he took her from behind this time, her hands pressed up against the slippery tile.
As they lay drowsing in bed, only their fingertips touching – the air conditioner didn’t work all that well, did it – the first light was slipping in through the curtains.
“Will you take me with you when you go?” she asked him.
“I’m not going anywhere, baby.”
But he would go, and he would take her. She smiled as she drifted off to sleep.
He just didn’t realize either one yet. But he would, soon.