The Love That Consumes Us
Wind On the Island
The wind is a horse:
hear how he runs
through the sea, through the sky.
He wants to take me: listen
how he roves the world
to take me far away.
Hide me in your arms
just for this night,
while the rain breaks
against sea and earth
its innumerable mouth.
Listen how the wind
calls to me galloping
to take me far away.
With your brow on my brow,
with your mouth on my mouth,
our bodies tied
to the love that consumes us,
let the wind pass
and not take me away.
Let the wind rush
crowned with foam,
let it call to me and seek me
galloping in the shadow,
while I, sunk
beneath your big eyes,
just for this night
shall rest, my love.
The sigh of his beloved's breath is a familiar caress in the darkness, a beacon grounding him in the night; the gentle huffs of air moving in and out of the body draped across his torso bring Jim up from somnolent repletion to contented wakefulness, and his blue eyes open to find his arms filled with happily unconscious anthropologist. Redolent of sweet wine and figs, each soft exhalation of air from his lover's full lips ghosts teasingly now across the small brown nubs on Jim's chest, each one still tingling--still hard and pebbled and hungry--from the attentions of Blair's teeth and tongue earlier. Blair's breath, intoxicatingly warm and fruity with the langorous aftertaste of satiated desire, fans across the hard expanse of Jim's well-toned pecs, raising goosebumps of delighted sensation as the playful zephyr of the younger man's life force alternately soothes and teases Jim's heightened senses into joyful confusion.
Overhead the night sky stretches from horizon to horizon, receding up and out into the infinite reaches of space like a cloak of deepest ebony. Interspersed with the millions of distant stars radiating their cold fire in the vast firmament above are isolated banks of clouds, hovering much lower than their celestial neighbors in the giant bowl of sky enclosing the earth. To Jim's acute gaze each cloud appears as a conglomeration of millions of water droplets, all packed tightly together into charcoal-edged smudges steadily blocking out minor sections of the constellations glittering so far beyond their range. Even dark as they are with the heaviness of pent-up rain, the clouds still look lighter--so much lighter--than the velvet blackness of the night sky through which they travel.
Each one moves at a snail's pace, the staggered line of nimbo-stratus marchers gradually bunching together in one area of the heavens, as if undecided where best to halt and release their collective cargo of life-giving moisture. And as Jim tucks Blair's sleeping form more snugly against him, the older man finds himself hoping ruefully that the rain won't fall on this particular bit of ground, that the clouds will take a pass on this windswept strip of beach which has cradled untold generations of moonstruck lovers and has wisely kept their secrets. He can feel the first, faint stirrings of storm winds in the atmosphere, can smell the electric tang of charged ions and heavy moisture blowing in off the ocean; and though he knows he should wake Blair up and move the both of them back inside their rented beach house, he finds himself merely snuggling deeper into the double sleeping bag beneath him, drawing his partner's warm, quiescent body more snugly against his own as his large hands glide appreciatively up and down the naked expanse of Blair's back.
It amazes Jim still, the absolute rightness of this love between them; as Blair sighs once and nuzzles Jim's neck in his sleep, silky coils of the younger man's dark hair slide like whispers of vibrant energy, of pure magic, across the needy plain of Jim's upper chest. Eyes closing on a stifled moan of desire, Jim tangles gentle fingers in the riotous mass of Sandburg's hair and brings a fistful of it to his face, breathing in the scent of ocean and sky, of shampoo and sweat and of the smoky residue of the small bonfire they'd built together earlier tonight, down closer to the water. Blair's hair caresses the older man's face now, glides and slides and curls in ticklish tendrils across Jim's cheek; the glorious scent of it fills Jim's head, floods into his thoughts, into his heart, leaving him dizzy and gasping with pleasure, with need...The slow, sweet heat pooling in all his limbs begins to spread like warm oil through his veins, increasing his heart rate, his respirations, driving a pulse of growing hunger into the secret center of his soul until the pressure seeks release in a pulse of a different sort.
"The rain is coming," he whispers softly into Blair's sleeping ear, fingers moving almost regretfully from his lover's hair to begin a gentle but persistent stroking along the other's strong, beautifully sculpted jawline. "Wake up, Chief; feel the wind with me...listen to it calling your name...Can you feel it, babe, dancing along your skin, flirting with you, tangling in your hair? It wants you,Blair, wants to see you naked and wanton before it, wants to kiss every inch of you and make you moan for more..."
"Mm...no, Jim...you, it wants you...but not as much as I do."
Blair's sleepy murmur rasps like raw silk against the heated skin of Jim's throat as the younger man comes fully awake and slides one warm, willing hand down across the flat, hard-muscled plateau of Jim's stomach. A satisfied smile curves Blair's lips as Jim groans once, low and feral and already thoroughly aroused; and as the younger man begins a slow, tormenting caress of fingers circling and stroking around Jim's navel, his voracious sentinel growls deep in his throat and arches helplessly upward into the incredible, velvet heat of his lover's hand as Blair trails teasing fingers down into the patch of wiry curls nestled below Jim's belly.
"I was dreaming just now," Blair continues reflectively, closing his fingers around Jim's straining length as his lover thrusts slowly into the exquisite sensation of the one touch he craves beyond any other. Almost whimpering with the force of his love and need, Jim reaches for Blair's free hand and draws it to his lips, sucking two of the younger man's fingers into the molten heat of his mouth as Blair's wide, lust-darkened eyes zero in on the sight and become impossibly wider and darker with the force of his own desire.
"Dreaming; what were you dreaming?" Jim murmurs breathlessly around slow, succulent sweeps of his tongue up and down Blair's fingers; his hips are jerking langorously, helplessly into the maddening glide of Blair's hand up and down his rigid erection, and Blair's soft groan of excitement joins Jim's as the older man suddenly bites down on Blair's index finger, the sharp scrape of his teeth sending a white-hot explosion of lust straight from Blair's taut body into his own.
"God!...Oh, God, can't think now, can't remember..." Blair's words are a drunken slur of need as he gently tugs his fingers from Jim's mouth and replaces them with his tongue, the wet heat of his kisses temporarily driving all coherent thought from both men's minds.
"No...tell me, tell me your dream..." Jim gasps after a timeless interval, moaning into the sweetness of his lover's mouth; one hand snarls possessively in Blair's tangled mane as his other slides down to wrap around Blair's hand on his cock, their fingers rubbing and stroking and sliding together along the silken, steely heat of Jim's desire.
"Wind...the wind was whispering secrets, telling tales," Blair groans into Jim's hungry kiss, his own arousal pressing painfully, insistently, into the warm crease between Jim's thigh and groin. "It told me...it said..."
"What; what did it say?" Jim hisses, biting back a cry of rough ecstasy as their combined stroking drives him to the edge, as Blair's sweet, hot breath on his face fills him with such sudden, overpowering love he's afraid he might shatter into a million pieces.
"Ah, God, Jim, that's good, so good!..." Blair whimpers as their sweat-slicked bodies press and writhe and move together; it's so hard to think rationally now, so hard to speak coherently, to concentrate on anything beyond this incredible, intoxicating rush of sensation washing through them both, binding them together heart and soul through the medium of their bodies, through this heady musk of lust and sex and need. But Jim wants to know Blair's dream, demands in a low, seductive growl to hear the rest, seeking details even as their bodies plummet helplessly, hungrily toward the edge of the fathomless abyss of love and lust waiting to take them both. So Blair forces the words through lips swollen with Jim's kisses, pushes sluggish thoughts up from the desire-hazed corridors of his mind and talks, talks in short, breathless snatches intermixed with sighs and groans as Jim touches and strokes and loves him, as he holds Jim in his hand and brings him to the brink again and again.
"It said...the wind said that once...once upon a time it might have taken you, could have swept you away, lost, forever lost...it saw you storm-tossed, rootless, unanchored to anything...to anyone. It still calls you sometimes, still longs to whip up the leaves at your feet, to suck you up and up into that void of emptiness, of darkness, that your soul once craved. But it can't; it has no power over you now, can't move you in directions you don't want to go...you're stronger than it is now, you're anchored, immovable. The wind said I should tell you to listen, to listen to its voice for the truth that would set you free completely, for the word that you hold in your heart to keep you strong. Do you know it, Jim; do you know that word?"
Blair's voice is a liquid caress against Jim's burning skin, his mouth a holy oracle dispensing the secrets of the universe as their breaths quicken together, Jim's groaning sobs of pleasure, of love, spiralling up into the darkness, disappearing into the massing clouds above as his hand and Blair's together send him over the edge into mind-shattering, body-blasting paroxysms of release. As Jim cries out roughly, jerkily, his hands lifting to crush Blair against him, the first, hesitant drops of rain begin to fall from the heavens, their plump coldness splashing down onto the back of Blair's head and trickling down the graceful column of his naked spine. A sudden gust of chilly air swirls around them, flinging up damp grains of sand and blowing stray tendrils of hair into Blair's eyes; as a low crack of thunder splits the night around them, heralding the bright but still safely distant flash of lightning that erupts immediately after, Blair instinctively claps a protective hand over Jim's sensitive eyes and feels his lover tense momentarily beneath him.
But then Jim is laughing, his chest rumbling almost silently beneath Blair's as he lifts a hand to gently but firmly peel Blair's fingers from his eyes; Jim's gaze is bright, exuberant, almost wild with a strange, sudden joy as he pulls Blair's face down to his and kisses him,
so long and hard and deep that Blair forgets the storm building all around them, forgets breathing and thinking and knows only that they were meant for this moment, meant to be blessed and baptized and forever joined through the touch of the wind and rain and the restless, longing voice of the ocean tumbling over and over in symbolic representation of the infinite cycle of love and life and spirit surging everywhere in the universe, even in the blood flowing through his body and through Jim's.
"The word, Jim," he hears himself murmuring now into the side of his lover's neck; as more and more drops of rain begin plummeting from the onyx sky--their chill raising helpless goosebumps along Blair's exposed flanks--the younger man lifts his eyes to Jim's steady regard and feels his heart turn over at the magnitude of love he surprises in the older man's thoughtful gaze. Jim smiles up at him now, his fingers rubbing lightly, comfortingly along the nape of Blair's neck; and as the anthropologist pulls himself upright astride Jim's nude body, the sentinel sees his guide clearly in the next, distant slash of lightning, taking in the wild beauty of wind-tossed hair and love-sated eyes, the elegant play of bone and muscle beneath Blair's alabaster skin, the expression of startled, strangely shy wonder flitting uncertainly about the younger man's mercurial features. A rush of love so strong that it takes his breath surges over Jim as another, half-painful rumble of thunder rolls across the cloud-obscured dome overhead; and before Blair can ask his question again,
his lover wraps strong arms around Blair's waist and lifts himself to press a string of fevered kisses down the side of the younger man's neck.
"Blair," he murmurs into the night, into the rain, and as Blair pulls back just enough to gaze uncertainly down into Jim's blue eyes, Jim grins back at him and says it again: "Blair. That's the word, Chief; YOU'RE the name in my heart, the source of my strength...you're my protection from the wind, from the rain, from everything that would tear me loose from the roots your friendship has given me. The wind spoke true to you; your love has made me more than I thought I could be, has consumed so much of the bitterness and darkness that held me back before from really living my life. I love you, Blair; I love you so goddamned much."
Blair's eyes are bright, incandescent, blazing like a thousand suns beneath the surreal flares of distant lightning that outline the horizon in zigzags of neon heat; his skin is cold and wet from the rain, his hair a stringy mass plastered to his neck as he throws his arms around Jim and presses his forehead to the other man's. For a long moment they sit there like that, two naked men on a soggy sleeping bag in the midst of a summer thunderstorm; legs entwined, heads pressed intimately together, groin touching groin, they bask in contented silence in the rain, hearts settling into a strong, synchronized rhythm, souls melded in perfect understanding. All fears--all doubts--are consumed in the purifying fire of love burning steadily within the core of their joining; and though Jim knows they'll have to rise soon and leave this place, for now he just wants to hold Blair close--his guide, his word made flesh and sent to walk beside him in reverence and in light. Together forever, inviolate and complete. And God, isn't the ocean beautiful tonight.