Please be advised that this story features a M/F/M threesome.
By Anne Roberts
Angel Wells has forgotten what an orgasm feels like. Until now, it wasn’t something she mourned. It wasn’t something she craved or yearned for, or that made her wonder “why?”—no eulogizing, no lamenting. In fact, for the past ten years she had done what she could to forget the orgasm.
She keeps the red ribbon on her person wherever she goes as a reminder of the blood spilled, the life taken, and subsequently, a reminder of her first and last orgasm. Not since she was eighteen has the ribbon been worn in her auburn hair, it’s original purpose. Since that day, she’s been bunching it up and pushing it into her pocket, or if there isn’t a pocket, she might tuck it into the front of her panties or her bra or the side of her boot. Sometimes she ties it around her wrist like a bracelet.
The ribbon is narrow and satin and crowned with frayed edges. It isn’t light, like one might expect. It weighs down her coat pockets, it digs into her wrist. Still, she won’t leave home without it. Nobody but Angel knows why she carries it, but as far as she’s concerned, she’s the only one who needs to know.
In all her years of therapy, one thing nobody could relieve her of was this ribbon. Either they hadn’t noticed she carried it, or if they’d noticed it, she refused to answer questions of why it was with her, wrapped tightly enough to cut off her circulation.
Today, though, something inside of her has shifted. She has left the ribbon atop her dresser. Maybe it’s the anticipation of tonight, the thought of a night devoted completely to her. Her body. Her mind. Her wish. Her fantasy.
Her fantasy did not begin as a sexual one. It began as a need for solace. Christopher would hold her in bed late at night, a hand stroking down her hair. As her sleepy mind opened up to memories of her late father she’d never share, she would imagine another man—as equal in his affection for her as her husband’s—holding her from behind, sandwiching her in between. She’d learned to dream this man up so completely that she could feel the warmth of another body behind hers. Skin and limbs folding over hers the way a chrysalis covers a moth.
Through the years, her fantasy grew. As her husband made love to her, she would imagine the other man there with them, joining in, touching her where her husband touched her, his fingers trailing Christopher’s like a shadow. He would be there with her as she faked her orgasm. He would come as her husband came. The men would pant together holding her tight—one from behind, one from the front—kissing each cheek, each shoulder, each side of her neck. When Christopher whispered “I love you,” just before sleep, the other man disappeared.
This fantasy of the other man only occurred in bed at night, only when her husband was around. It wasn’t infidelity she fantasized about, it was the feeling of being desired by two men, two men willing to share her, wanting to share her.
Lately, in the past year—the past few months, to be exact—she had started musing over what it might feel like to really have that second man in her bed, his hands actually touching her, his lips actually pressing against her curves. This made her wonder, as she sat at the edge of her bed, crossing her legs against the dampening she felt in her panties, if she might be brought to orgasm by way of two men. She began to explore orgasm as an option, and like the fantasy, it grew into real desire, a desire with all the strength of ten years repressed.
But how to even begin to mention such a thing to her husband? And how would he respond?
Perspiration gathering under her armpits and at the backs of her knees, she brought up the subject with a shaky voice over breakfast as Christopher buttered his toast on the other side of the table. As morning sun shone through the big window above the sink, brightening the all-white kitchen, she asked him what his sexual fantasy was. He nearly dropped his knife. He put down his toast, shook hair from his forehead, leaned toward her, his brown eyes burning into hers, and said, “What?”
With a smile and two fingertips to her lips she repeated herself and urged him on. “Come on, just tell me. I might try it.”
He lowered his gaze to the table, shaking his head.
“Come on.” She touched her toe to his ankle under his pant-leg to coax him.
“You’ll think I’m crazy,” he said, eyes still averted. “You’ll never try it.”
“Tell me. Just say it.” Her fingers had dropped from her lips to the ends of her hair draped over a shoulder.
He looked to the side as if examining each dent in their old refrigerator. It hummed along with his response. “No way. I couldn’t. No way.”
“I’m sure it’s no worse than mine.” And trying to keep her voice level, she told him hers. Two men at the same time. Her husband and a stranger. His eyes widened and he cleared his throat. She understood his shock. She’d known all about his early college years, that he’d once experienced two women at a time. She’d been appalled back then at twenty-two, and he’d placated her by promising that it really wasn’t that great, that one woman at a time was much more satisfying. He’d never gone for it again, even though the opportunity had arisen, he’d said.
“What has gotten into you?”
There was no way of answering that question. She herself could not decipher what exactly had gotten into her.
“All right,” he said, and he let it out. His fantasy was to take her in her mother’s house, with her mother home, with the danger of being caught. By her mother. “Not that I want to be caught by her. I don’t. I just want the danger of it. The possibility.” He took the first bite of his toast, the crunch seeming to punctuate his explanation. Crumbs fell from his lips to his plate.
Angel knew that if she hoped to get her husband to agree to try out her fantasy, she should offer to return the favor. As she contemplated his fantasy, she thought more of her poor widowed mother’s reaction to catching them than she did of her own.
Two weeks later, after fourteen more orgasmless nights, she took Christopher’s hand under the covers and said, “Okay. But we definitely can not let her catch us.” She hadn’t prefaced that statement with anything, yet still Christopher had known precisely what she’d meant.
“And for you? Two men?” he asked into the dark, his voice aimed at the ceiling. “Are you sure?”
She nodded, though of course he couldn’t see her. He didn’t ask her if he wasn’t enough for her, but his hesitancy worried her that he might think such a thing. “It’s just a fantasy. I don’t want it forever. Just once. Just to know what it’s like. You couldn’t possibly have four hands and two mouths no matter how hard you wished it.”
That made him laugh. He turned and kissed her forehead and said that they had a deal.
On the day they went to visit her mom, she wore her ribbon around her wrist. She hadn’t even given it a second thought as she wrapped it around herself three times, the way she so often did, with the help of her teeth in working the bow.
Her mother no longer lived in Angel’s childhood home, which had set Angel more at ease whenever she’d visit her mother.
In the only home she’d known as a child, on a particular February day, at eighteen, she’d chosen to have sex with her boyfriend rather than doing her chores, one of which included the mopping up of the kitchen floor where snow from outside often pooled in a small dip at their kitchen entrance. It was the door they most used, closest to the parked cars.
Upstairs, while the snow down in the kitchen tracked in by two pairs of boots melted into water, Angel wore nothing but a red ribbon in her hair, her boyfriend, Jack, pushing into her while deep groans vibrated from his chest. It wasn’t their first time having sex; it was maybe their tenth, but it was the first time she’d ever felt what was coming over her just then. Something inside seemed to burst into hundreds of pieces, shards of excitement beginning in her stomach, tingling through each limb and all the way up to her scalp, and this was all that had become of her. She, herself, had ceased to exist. Gravity had certainly gone missing.
As she began to regain her senses, to remember there was a boy with her, on top of her, all of his weight against hers, she smiled, and held him close. They leaned from side to side together as if they were one, and laughed.
They dressed. Still perched somewhere on her own private cloud, she snuck him downstairs. When they approached the kitchen, she dropped to earth as if she’d been hurled. Her father was lying there on his back, two broken paper bags and groceries spilled out around him. He’d slipped and fallen on the tile. And there was blood, the same color as the ribbon that was still in her hair, the ribbon she’d taken time to retie up in her room before making her way down with Jack. Jack, whom she’d never invite over again.
But Angel didn’t think of any of that as she entered her mother’s house, Christopher behind her. She didn’t think of it as the three of them prepared dinner together, or as her mother left to use the bathroom.
“Hurry,” she said, unbuckling Christopher’s belt.
She pushed him onto a kitchen chair, lifted her dress, moved aside her panties, letting her fingers glide over herself back and forth, just enough to wet her, and straddled him.
“Oh, God,” he said, voice strained and in her ear as she helped him to slip inside. She moved over him fast, in a rhythm she knew he liked. “God.” His arms wrapped her waist, his mouth searched for her breast through cotton fabric.
She breathed heavily into his ear, with a “Yes, Christopher,” knowing exactly what to say and how to sound to convince him she was close to finishing, to spur him forward.
And even though she hadn’t once thought of that day in her childhood house, there would be no orgasm. She knew this without having to think it. She concentrated on her husband, trying to get him to come as quickly as possible. She bent to take his earlobe into her mouth, grazing with her teeth, tugging with her lips, kissing down the side of his throat until his breath found that familiar pant, his voice that familiar low moan.
She jumped off of him, righting her panties, smoothing down her dress, and told him to hurry again, as he was still spent in the chair, legs straightened out in front of him, his pants still unbuttoned and unzipped.
Angel couldn’t meet her mother’s eyes the rest of the evening, and barely spoke. But she’d kept her promise to Christopher, and as she twirled her fork through her spaghetti, she thought of her own fantasy about to be realized.
She bought new makeup today. Leaning over the bathroom sink, hair falling over her shoulders, she adds sparkles to her eyelids and red stain to her lips. She bought this magic lip lacquer stuff that’s supposed to make the lipstick stay on the lips. It claims to be kissing-safe. She laughs at that, thinking of how tonight it will be put through twice the test. She slips into a black skirt and a white silk blouse. Gazing into the full-length mirror, she looks more like she’s ready for a business meeting than a night in a club. But this isn’t a night on the prowl. She only needs to find one man, one who’s already agreed to join her and Christopher.
She touches the ribbon, bunched up on her dresser and lets it stay as she leaves the room to meet Christopher by the car.
She spots the stranger, Shane, seated at the end of the bar, just where her friend Chelsea said he’d be, dressed just how Chelsea described—black slacks, gray button-down shirt. In the dim light, his near-black hair looks like a shadow over his head. She glances around the crowd of dancers back at Christopher who’s waiting at the entrance, leaning against the wall, arms crossed in front of him.
She’s heard about the meaning behind that gesture. He’s guarding himself. Maybe he doesn’t want to do this, maybe he’s just wishing to get it over with.
She continues on, approaching Shane, and says hello. They lean close and speak loudly over the music. She can feel every beat vibrating through her. She wonders if he feels it, too.
Despite the circles under his eyes, she finds Shane quite handsome—his strong jaw, his wide mouth, his eyes a deeper shade of brown than Christopher’s, almost no variation in color.
He orders them both a cocktail. As she reaches for her glass, he lifts her wrist, fingering her ring. “Married?” His voice is deep in a way that almost seems forced, but she doesn’t think it is.
“He’s over there.” She points over his shoulder. Shane doesn’t look.
“He’s into this?”
“For me.” She nods.
“You love him?”
He turns toward the bar, takes a drink, turns back to Angel, his lips wet. “What do you love about him?”
Bringing her glass to her mouth, she thinks back six years when she fell in love with Christopher. An electrician, attractive in a very average way, by no means unattractive. She feels like shrugging and saying, He’s Christopher. Because that he is. She thinks of his generosity of self. All that he gives, to her, to others. After college he’d moved here, to her town just so that Angel could remain close to her mother. He could’ve gone anywhere, he could have insisted they live somewhere else, a city where he might have had more opportunity for a stronger, more lucrative career. She’d have gone with him, she loved him that much, but he did not push her. “Family,” he’d said, “is just about the most important thing in this world.” So while there was nothing remarkable about him to impress a stranger with, he was remarkably Christopher.
“His devotion,” she finally says. It’s true and certainly seems appropriate for this moment.
“I don’t know. I mean, married. Chelsea failed to mention that.”
Angel drops her gaze to her hands, cupped around her icy glass. “All right. Well… thanks anyway.” She swivels off the barstool, and begins to walk away. He touches her elbow.
“Wait. I’ll do it. I’ll just have to… change my game a little.”
“What do you think this is, honey?”
Headlights pass over the car, slicing through the windows. Angel’s staring at her lap, watching it light up and then dim again, her knee bobbing almost in a tremble.
“When did you start?” Shane asks from the back.
“Start what?” Christopher says, flipping on his blinker, stopping at the light.
“Making love to her,” he says like it should’ve been obvious.
“Uh… six years ago.”
“No, man. I mean today, today.”
Christopher looks at Angel and laughs a little. “Uh… not sure if you’ve noticed, but we haven’t started yet.”
“Wrong answer. Making love begins in the morning. This is for your wife, right? Let’s do it for her. Touch her knee.”
As he accelerates the car, making his turn, Christopher reaches over and puts his hand on Angel’s knee.
“No,” Shane says. “Graze, just graze. A light touch.”
Christopher glances back at Shane and then at Angel, his touch lightening. Just fingertips. Grazing, like Shane said. Her legs part.
“Now go ahead. Up her thigh. Slow. Tease her. Make her want it.”
His hand makes its way along her heating skin. Her legs open more. She wants it.
“Stop before you get there. Just before.”
He rests his hand at the fullest part of her thigh, his fingers inching closer, closer. Angel’s eyes close, her head tilting back against the seat. She’s thinks about scooting down just enough to get his finger in the right place. The place where she’s throbbing to be touched. But then there are more fingers, coming from the back along the side of her headrest, knuckles brushing her neck, pushing away her hair. A low voice. “You like this,” Shane says, and she does. All she can do is nod, and her hips lift on their own, her husband’s fingers on her thigh, too close for not touching.
“Go ahead, Chris,” Shane says.
And his fingers are there, rubbing over her panties, pressing, while Shane’s finger brushes along the edge of her earlobe. Her legs widen, her breathing shallow. Shane drags his finger from behind her ear down her neck, following the path a bead of perspiration might take. “Ar-are we almost there?”
“You hear her?” Shane asks. “Imagine if you started in the morning.”
As the threesome walk toward their hotel room, Shane prompts Christopher to walk beside Angel with his hand on her lower back. Shane’s own hand is above Christopher’s. Even if Chelsea hadn’t told Angel what a pro Shane is at this, it would be evident.
Once in their room, the door closed behind them, all the work Christopher and Shane had started in the car has evaporated. Thinking about getting naked in front of another man—a real one, not a fantasy—her hand drifting to the top button of her blouse, she contemplates calling the whole thing off.
She takes in the bed, king-size, a floral quilted comforter in deep colors of burgundy, wine, evergreen. Scalloped edges. The comforter turned down. Four large pillows. Somehow it feels like the bed knows what’s about to take place here, like it’s waiting in anticipation to be lain in, rolled around on, pulsed in rhythms against the back wall.
She hasn’t even noticed Christopher’s nervousness until Shane speaks.
“Loosen up, you two. If you’ve changed your minds, I can go.” He jerks a thumb over his shoulder at the door. “Or we can start this. I’ll run the show if that’s how you want it.”
Christopher and Angel trade a glance and both nod. Shane pulls Christopher to the corner of the room and Angel watches them exchange whispers, their faces close to one another. From a different angle, they could be kissing, sharing mouths and tongues instead of words. She can’t make out what’s being said. Christopher heads into the bathroom.
“What did you say to him?” she asks Shane.
He approaches her. Drawing a finger up her sleeve to her elbow, he says, “I told him that if he didn’t think he could hold out long, he should take care of himself.” Shane’s finger glides down to her bare wrist “This is all about you. Yeah?” His finger now on her forearm, under the fabric dips into her skin.
She swallows. “That’s what he’s doing in there?”
“Well, he needs to last, doesn’t he? You want this to be over before we even get started, hon?”
“Why couldn’t I? I mean, I could have… for him.”
His hand wraps around her wrist, his thumb pressing into her pulse. “Honey, in this room, you’re the one getting undressed first. Capice?” Staring into her eyes, he brings her knuckles to his lips, his breath against her skin. Perspiration has gathered at the back of her neck.
When Christopher exits the bathroom, all clothing intact, hooded eyes, looking a bit sheepish, Shane says it’s time to get started.
Christopher begins by kissing Angel and reaching for her breasts.
“Hold up. What are you doing?”
Christopher’s arms drop and then rise at his sides. “Getting started.”
Recognizing the frustration in his voice, Angel puts her hand on his arm.
“You don’t start there.” Shane wags a finger, pointing between Angel’s breasts. “You work your way up to that. Her whole body-” he gestures at Angel up and down “-will get plenty of attention. But you wait until you’ve got her so hot she’s practically shoving her breasts in your hand. Now, slow way down and begin again.”
With a hand at the base of her neck, his thumb at her jaw, tilting her face where he wants it, Christopher kisses her lips. One soft kiss after another. Parting his lips, the tip of his tongue touches hers. They’re familiar lips in an unfamiliar kiss, and Angel opens her mouth wider, pressing her tongue against his, rounding it, wanting more of this newness. He runs his hand from her neck, down her chest and just breezes over a breast. She barely feels it and she steps forward, but the hand is gone. And then it’s back, a light sweep of his knuckle, before grasping her waist, squeezing. Angel holds his shoulders, their kiss grows hungrier, the insides of Angel’s legs burning just like the nape of her neck.
Fingers reach between them and begin unbuttoning her blouse. Until Christopher slides his kiss from her mouth down her neck, to her chest, she doesn’t know whose fingers are fumbling with her buttons. But when she opens her eyes, she sees that they’re Shane’s. Christopher nudges the other man’s hand out of the way and takes over, kissing his way down, inch by inch. He relieves a button and follows with a kiss. Opens another button, following with a kiss, a lick. Her breath catches. She watches. She feels.
Standing tall again, Christopher pushes her shirt off, his fingers trailing along her skin.
Silk hits the floor.
She takes a shaky breath.
Christopher lays warm, wet kisses down the center of her torso to her stomach and over a hip as he unzips her skirt at the side and lets it fall. And then Angel’s standing there in front of two fully-dressed men in only her bra, panties, and boots. She doesn’t have time for shyness, though because Christopher’s lips have made their way to her thigh and they move all the way down the inside of one leg. He unzips a boot in a slow, controlled motion. He stops to meet her eyes before helping her out of it, tossing the boot aside. She puts a hand on his shoulder to steady herself as he does the same to the next boot. Angel forgets there’s another man in the room, unable to take her eyes off her husband as he rolls her stocking down her leg and off the ends of her toes, giving the tips of them a kiss. His finger travels up and down her calf, the skin once covered by the boot and stocking. He kisses his way back up the opposite leg and around her hip, dragging his mouth across her waist. Her breathing picks up while her legs liquify. Standing again, Christopher traces lines along the underwire of her bra.
Shane reminds Angel that he’s still here by moving behind her and unclasping her bra. She feels the light touch of his fingers. They tickle the backs of her arms as he slides her straps down. Lips meet shoulder.
Without her bra in the way, Christopher’s fingertips still moving along the curve of her breasts, she really is about to shove her chest into his palms or take his hands and place them where she wants them. “Chris,” she says, and it’s almost a plea. Her nipples are aching to be touched. But before she makes a move, his hands are gone.
Four index fingers tuck themselves under the straps of her panties and slip them down her legs. There is a set of lips at the base of her stomach and a set on the small of her back, both making their way up her body. Warming her. Heating her. With a moan, she faces the ceiling. She steps out of her panties, in need of lying back, her legs no longer strong enough to hold her. Shane guides her to the bed. He pulls the sheets away.
“Spread your legs,” Shane says, once she’s lying down. She does, though tentatively.
“Touch yourself,” he says.
“Wh-what?” She lifts her head.
“Feel yourself. Tell us if you’re wet.”
She already knows she’s wet without feeling anything, but she does what he says.
“Are you?” he asks. “Wet?”
“Move your fingers just how you like them.”
She follows his orders, sliding her fingers up and down, slow at first, and then in circles. She feels herself swelling, her own want warming her fingertips and melting her inhibitions. Her other hand is at the side of her throat, her knuckles pressing.
“Watch her,” he says to Christopher. “Not her face. Watch her fingers. That’s how she likes it. See? Note the pressure, note the pace. Look how she speeds up and slows.”
Angel watches Christopher adjust himself, palm to crotch and her legs bend on the bed, her fingers circling faster.
“There you go, Angel.” Shane’s voice has softened. He pushes damp hair off her forehead. “Get yourself off. You have the perfect name. Doesn’t she have the perfect name?”
“Perfect,” Christopher says, eyes glazed over.
She doesn’t take her eyes off her husband. Watching him watch her, Angel’s stomach tightens, her back arching. Her hips rise, moving with her fingers at the pace she needs. Attempting to stifle her moans, they come out in hums as her fingers speed and add pressure until she has no control over them. She can no longer keep her eyes open. She’s the only one in the room. The only one anywhere. Her head’s heavy and her body’s light. She’s pulsing around her fingers. Her mind is pulsing too, erratic beats. Her eyes scrunch up. They’re definitely closed, but nothing’s dark.
As breaths settle down, her eyelids blinking open, she barely recognizes or remembers where she is. Was it just like this the first time all those years ago? It had to have been. But maybe not. Maybe each one is unique. Through what seems like a tunnel, Shane tells her not to hold back again.
“Holding back your reactions, that takes thought and control, that takes some of the pleasure away. Do you want the ultimate pleasure tonight, or not?”
“Yes,” she whispers.
“I want the ultimate pleasure.”
Shane turns and starts unbuckling Christopher’s belt. He says something low to her husband Angel can’t make out. Side by side, they unbutton their shirts, unzip their pants. Shirts on the floor, the men drop their pants simultaneously.
“Husband and wife,” Shane says with a shake of his head. “And both of you timid. I’m staying above the waist and below the chin.” When both men are completely naked, Angel tries not to look, but can’t help herself. She will not compare them, though, she won’t. Even though at first glance it’s hard not to. Shane tells Christopher to put his fingers on Angel. “Touch her the way she touched herself.“
When Christopher does as he’s told, Angel flinches, still sensitive.
“Use your tongue,” Shane says. “Light and slow for now.”
Angel’s eyes dart back and forth between Christopher and Shane.
Lifting one of her legs to rest over his shoulder, Christopher drags his lips along her inner thigh, lowering his face to meet his fingers.
Shane moves to the side of the bed and glides a hand over Angel’s breast, palming her nipple, pulling it in a few soft circles.
Angel closes her eyes with a tremble and a tremored sigh.
All at the same time, Christopher’s fingers and tongue are moving slow, teasing, while Shane’s mouth is playing with her nipples, rolling, flicking with his tongue.
There’s a hand cupping her breast, one on her thigh, fingers inside of her, two swirling tongues in two different places. All of her skin and the hair at her scalp are rising. It’s like she can feel her bones quivering under her muscles.
She’s about to dissolve a second time, hands looking for something to fist, finding sheet.
“Christopher,” Shane says, sounding far away. “Now.”
Holding himself on his forearms, Christopher pushes himself into Angel with a groan, and another one.
Angel feels each long slide in and each long slide out, feels her husband pressing close—moving faster at Shane’s command. She takes in a sharp breath and grips Christopher’s shoulders. The bed is quaking and her mind is gone. And it’s happened all over again.
“Slow it down before you come,” Shane tells Christopher.
Angel hadn’t noticed until now, through bleary eyes, that Shane has been stroking himself. He catches her looking, holds her gaze, and grins. “You want another one?” he asks.
Another orgasm? She can barely breathe. She knows she can’t speak. She nods. Of course.
“Get on top of your husband,” he says, still pumping, slow with a twist of the hand at the end. He makes a grunt sound and slams into his own fist. “I like when you watch me, Angel.”
When she’s straddling Christopher, she cups his cheek in her hand and they smile at each other. He slips into her easily and Christopher releases a strangled groan as she starts rolling her hips against him. His hands meet her breasts, thumbs running over their tips.
Shane whispers, hot and jagged breath in her ear, “When you’re close, when you’re on the verge, tell him how good his cock feels. Just like that. Say ‘cock.’” He licks her jaw and kisses down her neck. A shiver jolts through her.
A finger has found its way between Christopher and Angel. Angel opens her eyes to see that it’s Shane’s finger touching, pressing, shooting sparks throughout her body. Christopher has to be feeling the pressure, too. She can tell by the look on her husband’s face that he’s trying to hold back. He’s not breathing.
As she feels herself chasing a high that’s now become familiar, feels herself so close she’s almost there, Angel says, “Your cock feels so good, Chris.” She can’t recognize her own grainy voice. “Just. Y-yours.” She drops, palms on his chest for support, pushing herself to keep moving. “O-only yours.” Her words turn into fast, panting breaths.
“Angel,” Christopher says, and it isn’t much more than a grunt. His fingers grip her hips pulling her tight, moving for her, and she lets herself go, loud moans, Christopher’s name. It’s like she can feel every nerve in her body, tingling from her scalp through the ends of her fingers and toes.
She falls forward on top of Christopher’s heaving chest, and there’s groaning from two men.
Christopher’s still inside her, neither of them moving, aside from his chest, up and down, with his heavy breaths. Her hair is all over, covering her face, sticking to her shoulders, her back.
“My work here’s done.” A hand sweeps away strands of hair, a kiss to her cheek and she forces her eyes open. Shane is already climbing into his pants. “There’s still time to find an unmarried woman to get myself into tonight.”
“Don’t you need a ride?”
“Cab.” He lets himself out.
When he’s gone, Angel rolls off of Christopher and snuggles into his side. He holds her close and tight, his fingers running up her sticky spine and back down. A light touch. A tickle. Tender. Love.
“You’ve never… come like that before,” he says.
“No.” She’s honest about it for once.
“From now on, you will.”
The next day at home, dressing after a shower, the night before is fresh in Angel’s mind, bringing gasps from her lips and tingles up her spine with each flash of memory. She picks up her ribbon from the top of her dresser. She draws it through her fingers, and, while she can’t bring herself to throw it away, she does not wrap her wrist with it or stuff it in a pocket. She opens the bottom drawer, saved for knit winter hats, scarves, and mittens, and tucks it in a back corner, covered by cotton wool.
She thinks of her father.
She closes the drawer.
Photo: 19-01-10 Red Ribbon: Bethan