The word that came to mind when
you made that sound,
he said, was
I shuddered. Agony. The word pierced me to the core, and I looked down, unable to meet his eyes, betrayed by the sudden evocation.
Agony. Used to mean a suffering of immeasurable depth. It fit the circumstance, key smoothly sliding into lock – at least superficially.
Agony. Why did the word elicit such a strong reaction?
And then I realized. Because that, at its simplest, at its purest – that is what I crave.
He finished securing the rope. Knelt down, level with my head, beard brushing my cheek. I felt the heat of his breath against my skin and turned my face, eyes closed, towards him. The rope burned its tendrils into my calf, clenching down on jeans, skin, muscle. Friction against friction.
I breathed through gritted teeth:
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”