“I put it on this side of the house for the view.”
It’s a gorgeous view, and the sun is falling in the sky at the perfect angle right now. It’s filtering through some of the higher trees, casting dappled shadows across us and the water. I almost wish it were possible to capture light in a sculpture. I’d ask him to do one of this view for me.
“Does it hurt?” Robert’s voice is soft, gentle, and I realize what he’s talking about. The scar. My back is to him. Some days I can almost forget that it’s there, until I can’t. I can’t stop my shoulders from going stiff, and I close my eyes, fighting down the panic and the memories. “I’m sorry,” Robert says. “I’ve seen some scars like that before, and I know they can sometimes cause residual pain.”
“It’s fine,” I say, turning towards him again mostly to hide it. “It doesn’t bother me.”
Most days it doesn’t. There are some days when it hurts, almost like what I imagine a phantom limb would feel like—only mine is reliving the pain of the accident and everything that it’s caused since. I cross my arms tightly and look back out over the view. It’s such a beautiful day, I don’t want to ruin it with thinking about everything that’s happened. That’s fun for no one.
Robert stands up off the seat in the water and crosses the tub to me. I can’t even breathe when he’s this close. When he’s this close and naked. “Let me see,” he says. His hands skim my shoulders, turning me away so he can see my back again, and I honestly have no idea why I let him. I know what it looks like. It’s jagged and ugly, carving a thick line up from my left side up to my right shoulder.
I stiffen when he touches it. I can’t remember the last time anyone besides a doctor actually did that. The few liaisons I’ve had in the past two years have all avoided my eyes when they’ve seen it, or asked me to hide it so they wouldn’t have to look at it during sex. But Robert doesn’t say anything. His fingers start low on my side, tracing the scar tissue up and over my spine and up to my shoulder.
“Yes.” It’s all I can do not to say it through my teeth.
“I can help with that.”
I bark a laugh, about to make a comment about how there are some things that you can’t help, but I swallow my words, and my laugh turns into a moan. Robert’s hands are on my shoulders again, this time pulling, pressing, massaging them into relaxation and damn, it feels good. I used to get regular massages to help with the scar pain and stress. I can’t afford that now. But I might just have to pay Robert to do this because his hands were made for this.
Leaning back into him, I close my eyes. This is perfect. I didn’t realize how tight my muscles were from bending over, working the garden and helping him with his sculpture. His hands work their way down my back, gliding and stretching over my ribs, straying almost to my stomach. He stops short of being in more sexy territory, but my senses suddenly narrow to a pinpoint.
Some part of me knew that if I got in this tub we would end up here, and even though it could be bad for both of us, I still made that choice. I breathe out again, leaning further into him.
“Anna,” his voice is rough and dark. “I’m going to kiss you. If you don’t want me to, tell me now.”
I don’t say anything. I turn before he has the chance and turn my face up to his, and then we’re kissing, and I’m all fire. I’m like the forest in summer, just ready to catch the spark, and now that I have, it’s going to take something monumental to quench the fire. I’m pressed up against him now, and I can feel him. All of him and god he’s big. So big. and I can’t even think about that because his hand is tangling in my hair, tilting my head further back so he can kiss me more deeply. It’s an overwhelming kiss, full of pent up tension and need.
Robert’s other hand is on my back, pressing us closer. Aching want is running through me, gathering in my pussy and I don’t care that this shouldn’t happen. It’s going to. I want it to. I pull back to breathe, gasping, and Robert doesn’t miss a beat. He pulls my head back even further, running lips, tongue, and teeth along my neck and the line of my jaw. Even in the steaming heat of the tub, I shiver. My nipples are hard, aching against his chest. Exquisite torture.