IN YOUR ARMS
Ducky comes homes to find Jethro in the basement with his boat.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2007. Word count: 800.
"Hey, Duck," you say, pleasure evident in your voice, as you put down your tools, turn your back on your boat, and stride across the basement to take me into your arms.
I have always liked the fact that I am some six inches shorter than you, as it allows me to fit so perfectly into your embrace. Indeed, when I am in a lyrical mood, I believe that we were made for one another; we fit together so well.
Being in your arms, being held by you, holding you, is my favorite place of all. Being kissed by you and kissing you is my favorite occupation, of which I never, and will never, tire. Being in your arms is home for me; no matter where we are, when I am being held by you, I am at home. And it is a home I shall never wish to leave.
As your lips find the tip of my ear I shiver with pleasure and tighten my own embrace, snuggling even closer to you. Knowing that this is right. That this is where I belong.
"Missed you, Duck," you say, as you continue to nuzzle my ear.
I smile to myself. This is a side of you that even I am not always allowed to see. The softer side of you, the more needy side; the side that tells, not just shows me, how you feel about me. Indeed, it is a side of you that you often do not even allow yourself to see.
"I missed you too, dearest," I say, as I move back a little in order that I might offer my mouth for you to kiss. As always, you oblige.
"Wish I could have come with you," you say, when we finally remember that we have to breathe in order to remain alive.
"So do I, my dear. However, I understood why you were not able to do so." And I did. I do.
An old dear friend of mine, one of my first professors in fact, passed away two weeks ago, and I returned to Britain to pay my last respects to him. Returned to say my final goodbyes to a man who taught me so much, and not merely about medicine. A man to whom I owe so much, not least of all the fact that I am able to hold my beloved in my arms. Am able to be held by him, kissed by him, made love to by him.
"Should have insisted," you say, as you tug me closer to you once again.
I can feel your heartbeat under my cheek, and as always it reassures me in what really is an unnecessary way. After all you are talking, moving, breathing, I do not need to feel, nor to hear, your heartbeat to know that you are alive. I put the excessiveness down to the fact that I am surrounded by death every day; it makes me realize just how precious life is.
"No, my dear. That would have achieved nothing, at least not anything positive. I did not mind going alone, really. Besides," I add, once again moving back a little. This time it is I who pulls your head down, and it is my lips that claim yours.
"Besides what?" you ask, when once again several minutes have gone by.
"Going away makes coming home to you all the more enjoyable," I say, feeling only a little foolish at the overt romanticism of my comment.
However, you do not laugh. Instead you again enfold me into your arms, again put your lips on my ear, and murmur, your voice just a little husky, "Yeah, Duck. It does. It really does."
Another passage of time goes by before you say, "How about we take this upstairs, Duck?"
I smile up at you. "Ah, my dear Jethro, I thought you would never ask."
At my words, you chuckle, bend your head to kiss my nose, gather me closely to you for one more brief, loving hug, before with, overt reluctance, let your arms fall away from my body.
As you take my hand and lead me towards the stairs, I glance at your boat. Not for the first time I feel that she is glaring at me; that she is jealous of me; that she knows that I have usurped her position in your life. Usurped her in a way that none of your other lovers, indeed that none of your wives, were ever able to do.
I almost laugh at myself for anthropomorphizing her, but nonetheless, it does not stop me thinking the way I do. It is how I feel. And just for a moment, I feel sorry for her, because I know what she has lost and I have gained.
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