I watched her dance in the orange glow of the fire, my hand rubbing behind Nova’s ear, and my butt firmly planted on the ground. With Nova’s head lain across my thigh sound asleep, I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and lifted the volume on the Bluetooth speaker a few notches. How wonderful she looked spinning around under the stars while waving her arms to the night sky. She turned and caught me staring, slowing to a stop to smile in my direction with the most beautiful and vibrant smile I’d ever been exposed to. What a wonderful night. She glanced down to the dog snoring on my leg and walked over to gently lift his head up, allowing me to move and stand. She took my hand and led me to her dance floor of packed dirt.
The clearing made for a great camping spot. She reached over around me to my butt, plucking my phone out of my pocket to choose a song that was to her liking. After a few seconds of observing her face in the white glow of the screen, the song changed and she locked the phone, then gingerly placed it back.
Her hands resting on my waist, she assumed the role of the man. I snorted, reached down to take her hands and moved them up to link around my neck. I couldn’t help but bring her closer in the process, and her eyes lit up as her face got closer to mine. Oddly enough, it kept getting closer and closer until her lips were just inches away from mine. How silly of her.
My memory played catch up until I recognized the song. The one that had played at our wedding. A gentle warmth spread through my stomach and up to my chest. Our eyes locked together and we danced like we had that night. That night should’ve been the best of our lives, only to never quite measure up to the reality of our marriage. Every day with this woman, although sometimes difficult, was always the best day of my life.
Our lips grazing together, the level of anticipation in my chest rising. My eyes closed as I moved in, she whispered with a soft exhale of disappointment, “Joey’s up.” I frowned. Partly because she’d heard it when all I could hear was my heartbeat and partly because of his uncanny ability to ruin our intimate moments.
With that thought I turned to face my son in all his midnight glory. His thin brown hair sticking up in random locations and as he watched us with one eye, he rubbed the fog out of his other with the back of his hand. His black and white star pajamas with constellations brushing the dirt he walked on. His face riddled with fatigue as he stumbled towards his mother who was crouching with out-stretched arms. She lifted him up, then I made my way over to her, kissing his cheek, then blowing a raspberry on his chubby toddler cheek.
He giggled, pushing my prickly face away from his. I laughed. His joyous state of mind was always infectious. I turned to my wife, kissing her, causing her to moan a bit at the show of affection. I then made my way to my four legged pal. He was lying on his side when he noticed me walking towards him. He stood up ready to go.
“Let’s go get some more firewood.” Nova tilted his head side-ways. I turned back to see Vanessa and Joey sitting in the foldable chair. He was as mesmerized by the fire as I was by his mother. She pointed to the fire, asking for some more wood. I nodded, snapped my fingers telling Nova to come with me, and then walked into the darkness of the woods.
I woke with a start, my heart pounding. My eyes darting around my empty room for Vanessa, only to remember she was nothing but a reoccurring dream; a wish made by my subconscious mind. Vanessa and Joey. I thought to myself, tears spilling down my face.
I sat on the edge of my bed like I did each morning, tears rolling down my face at what I had lost. It was torture to feel such freedom, such happiness at night only to wake up each and every morning and having it ripped from your grasp. I got out of my dark room, walked into the kitchen to find my mother making some morning coffee. Today was the winter solstice. The darkest day of the year.
“Morning mom.” I whispered, then kissed her on the cheek.
“Morning sweetie. Sleep well?” She asked.
“As well as I could.” I said.
“Still having those dreams?” She said, half paying attention.
“Maybe one day you’ll meet her.”
“She’s just a dream.” I said, still trying to convince myself. The dreams occurred every night. Sometimes I’d be with her in our beautiful ocean-side home, and sometimes I’d be in a big city, in a penthouse with a random grungy looking person, or on the streets of that city and get a phone call from her. Mainly the dreams revolved around her, but once in a while they would be of another situation; yet she would always be in the dream in one way or another. If she wasn’t there I’d get a phone call, look down and see her face on the screen.
Joey was a relatively new addition. He’d only been in my dreams a few times now. The dreams didn’t seem to follow a timeline.
Like, for instance, two nights before, I dreamt I was sitting on the porch of our ocean-front house listening to the waves roll in and watching the night sky. The stars were astonishing. Some wonderful thoughts passed through my mind, and I thought of how wonderful my life had been, how grateful I was to have had this family, this career, this opportunity to change so many lives and impact the future of so many people in such a positive way.
I heard the screen door open up behind me. An elderly woman’s voice spoke, “There you are you old fart. I’ve been yelling your name for the past ten minutes looking for you.”
“You’ve been screaming my name for decades now, Vanessa.” I said dryly, making her laugh. She then walked over to sit beside me on the bench.
“The stars are magnificent, aren’t they?” She more or less stated. I looked at her and smiled as feelings arose.
“The only stars I find more beautiful are the ones in your eyes.” I smiled dorkishly as her face broke out in a, that was cheesy and lame, smile. She put her hand on my face, turning me towards her and kissed me like she used to.
I was brought back to reality when my mother poured fresh coffee into my cup. I’d been watching out the window into the pitch black of not-so-morning. I must seem insane. I was in love with a woman I’d only ever seen in my dreams.
I thanked my mother and took a sip of my morning beverage, then went to get ready for work.
Too soon I was pulling out of the drive way and on my way to work. The blanket of darkness was still covering the roads, and my music was blaring in my truck attempting to keep me awake.
A sharp ringing replaced the music, shocking me and sending my heart racing. My phone was ringing. Yeah, that’ll do it. I hit the answer button on the steering wheel, loudly asking, “Hello?”
“Hi this is Jason with COMP publishers. I’m calling to speak with Josh.” A male voice blared out of my speakers. I subtly turned it down.
“That’s me. How can I help you Jason?” I asked excitedly.
“It’s more like how I can help you. I really enjoyed reading your manuscript, and after I get to hear what happens to Mr. Shane later on, I’d like to speak with you about publishing this beautiful piece of art.” I was jumping up and down in my seat.
“That— that would be great…” I answered, slightly dumbfound.
“Perfect. Well, our office is in Toronto, are you anywhere near here?” He asked.
“I’m in a little known town. It’s only about a four hour drive there,” I stated.
“Ok, sweet. We’ll get you a ticket and fly you out. Someone will be there to pick you up.”
“Wow! OK, that’d be awesome. When would this appointment take place?” I asked.
“I assume you have a job?”
“When’s best for you? Maybe we’ll be able to fit you in.”
“Let’s see. Today is Tuesday? I’ll see if I can get this Friday off. Would that work for you?” I asked.
“It’s a little short notice, but for you I’ll make some room. We’ll have a lunch. Then we can discuss all the necessities and I can pick your brain about the possibilities for Mr. Shane’s fate. That sound good to you?”
“That is perfect. Where can I reach you to let you know if I got the day off?”
“This number is fine. My secretary will answer and you can just confirm with her.”
“Alright. Well thank you, kind sir. Have a nice day.”
“You as well. Bye bye, now.” Click. He hung up.
The music turned back on, and I no-so-casually began to dance in my seat.
The 5 AM sunlight peeking around the earth woke me up. I opened my eyes facing my wall of windows to look out onto the rolling waves of the ocean, right in my back yard. What a beautiful sight. I got up out of bed as silent as humanly possible, moving off the bed slowly as to not wake Vanessa up. I closed the blinds to let her get some more rest, then kissed her cheek before leaving the room. I made my way to the attached garage where I left my wetsuit and shortboard.
In no time I was running down the cliff’s stairs towards my own salty heaven, the shock of the cold water waking me up more than coffee ever could. I paddled out disregarding the cold water. Once I was far enough I sat on my board watching the rest of the sunrise. I sat there, frustrated with myself for oversleeping and missing the first peek of light.
I turned my head towards the cliff and took in all the detail of the rock, the grass spilling over the edge, the staircase I ran down so often and reddish tint of the sand those stairs rested on. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, rushing the salty air into my craving lungs. My happy place.
I watched the ankle busters roll onto the sand. One last look around then I was paddling out to the impact zone.
I glanced back, noticing a wave coming towards me. I paddled hard and caught the wave, causing a thrilling feeling to course through my body. I quickly got to my feet, balancing myself on my board had become easy. A smile broke out on my face, not being able to contain the joy coursing through me I yelled at the top of my lungs, “WOOO,” causing an echo. Too soon the wave began to slow until I came to a stop, my board sinking under my weight. My heart racing, my smile had become a permanent part of my face. I shook my head, sending water in every direction.
“You ever going to hang eleven?” A woman yelled from the beach. My eyes locked on Vanessa holding Joey in her arms.
“In this cold water, it’d be ten and a half,” I joked as I paddled the short distance to shore. Walking towards her, I ran my hand through my hair and gave her my million dollar smile. She held out Joey for me to grab before I could give her a kiss. I put my board down and took my grinning son from her arms.
“Can we go into the water, daddy?” He asked slowly.
“We sure can, but you need to suit up first. The water is really cold.” I watched his smile grow. “But may we go eat breakfast first, sire?” I asked my prince.
“FORWARD NOBLE STEED!” with a struggle on the word Noble, his voice rang in my ear. I jogged up the stairs, then towards the house, Joey bouncing in my arm, holding on to my neck, all the while trying to keep the surfboard from hitting the grass. Not as easy as it sounds. I quickly made my way to the garage to drop off my board, put the boy down telling him to go inside and play with his toys, and then made way to my bathroom.
By the time I peeled myself out of my wet suit my wife opened the door and sneaked her way into my arms. She cupped my cheeks, no, not my face, and honked my bum. “What a gentleman,” I stated sarcastically.
She pulled back giving me that 'psh, please,' look. She quickly dropped out of her dress, her beautiful pregnant belly attracting my gaze immediately. Six months pregnant and the most beautiful woman I’d ever lain eyes on. I reached out to cup her belly, then fell to my knees pressing my ear trying to hear anything I could. Tears welled up in my eyes. Vanessa’s hands ran through my hair, then to the back of my head pressing me into her belly. I wiped my eyes then got to my feet.
She smiled, and I leaned in to kiss her. It began as a gentle kiss but it quickly heated up. Tongues in a battle for control, she then distracted me by slowly pushing me into the shower. The warm water startled me as it ran down my back; she kept pushing until it was over my head, then over hers. I took in a sharp breath as my back was pressed onto the cold ceramic tiles. My hands began to explore my favourite playground, gently grazing her skin. She pulled her face away. I opened my eyes to see a look I’d gotten many times before. We can say a minimum of twice, due to concrete evidence. My hand slid down her belly moving in between her thighs. Our eyes locked as my middle finger slipped into her, drawing a gasp from her open mouth. My finger found its way to a bumpy patch causing her to grip my shoulder as I simultaneously rubbed my thumb on her clitoris. As the sensation increased she gripped me with more strength.
Soon she began to push my hand down, trying to escape the torturous pleasure. I spun us around so she was against the tiles. The water making her brown hair cling to her face and shoulders.
As my left hand kept her pinned to the wall, my right hand was at work. Her mouth agape, she watched my eyes surf over her body as it pulsed with ecstasy. Her grip was now slacking as soft moans escaped her lips.
“My god,” I whispered, bringing her attention to my words. “You’re just… A work of art.”
Too caught up in the moment, all she could muster was a smile which quickly gave way to its previous state.
“And those dimples…” I said, then she pushed down gently on my arm, slowly removing my hand and quickly turning around. Softly she whispered two words.
“Fuck me,” her head looking over her shoulder, she watched me move into position as she bit her lip. I grabbed her by the hips and lifted her up until she was on her tip toes. She reached down grasping me, guiding me to my forever destination. Slowly she teased the both of us, bringing my head back and forth around her entrance.
The sight of her, the pleasure I’d caused and now this teasing. It was all I could do to not rush into things. She placed my head at the entrance. As I slowly glided in, she grazed my shaft with her nails and when within reach, she grasped my sack. Still looking over her shoulder she matched my exhale of relief.
I slipped my hands from her waist navigating her curves with familiarity and grasping her breasts with my next slow thrust. Bending down I kissed her neck as I exited, then bit her as I thrust in once more. The moan sounded sweet, but on the exit she lifted herself up letting me fall out. She turned, put both her hands on my chest, pushing me to a seat. The entire celling of the shower rained down warm water, washing away the lubricant I’d accumulated on my manhood.
I watched in awe as she got down on her knees.
“You don’t need to, ohhh—“
She looked up, watching my expression as she gave me a glimpse of heaven. She pulled the skin down, licking lightly the link to the foreskin, twirling her tongue, then making her way from between my sack to the very tip, only to take it all in in one quick drop. My need for her began to grow. She began to bob up and down. God, I need her now. The impatience in her eyes had grown until I made her stand. She crawled up onto me and sank on my member. I wrapped my hands around either leg, my eyes glued to her as she glided up and down. Impatience met with euphoria and quickly overtook me; I began to help her along. Judging from the sounds she was making it was the right thing to do.
Suddenly she began tightening up around my manhood, pulsing and moaning her bliss as I began to thrust harder and faster. The “oh face” she wore so beautifully combined with the feeling of her around me, combined with her god given beauty was overwhelming. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I began to pulse in sync with her sending out wave after wave of little soldiers, causing her to cry out in sweet bliss. My pace slowed to a stop, Vanessa limp against me with her heart racing. She began to stir. She sluggishly moved her head in for another kiss, this one filled with that bliss she was feeling which matched my own.
Her breath slowing as she began to relax, she let loose a long exhale as her tongue danced with mine. She wiggled her hips on my still hard rod, bringing it back to attention. She always had a way of turning me on. Even when I had no more to give she found a way to get me going again. My hands slid up her back, bringing her closer into my embrace.
My heart raced so loud it was all I could hear. Thump, thump, thump. I somehow managed to hear her whisper, “God I love you Josh” and was silenced once more with her sweet tasting tongue.
That Friday I left for the airport. An hour after departure, we landed in the Toronto airport. It was around 10:45 AM, and I had some time to kill before I needed to leave for the publishers', so I hung around the terminal, and decided to shop a little bit.
I spotted a book store in the distance, and decided I could go and pick up a horrible book to help me learn what not to do. As I descended on the escalator, a peculiar feeling took me by surprise. I’ve felt this way before… As if a switch was flicked in my brain. Could it be? I began frantically looking around trying to spot her anywhere. I grasped the hand rail to keep my balance and when a hand grazed over mine, my heart just stopped. I looked at the opposing escalator and saw her face for the very first time, a playful smile on her lips as she watched my expression. She made a come on sign, then stepped off the moving track and waited for me.
The smile she wore said, finally, like she had been waiting for this day.
I made my way up the escalator walking up a few steps where I could in an attempt to get to her faster.
I looked up and saw her giggling at me. I’d never been so happy to be laughed at.
As I stepped off the escalator she pulled me to the side by the shirt, and asked, “Josh?”
“Vanessa?” She laughed out her relief, then she hugged me. A warmth was emitting from my stomach, and my eyes closed as I leaned into the hug.
“Are you hungry?” She asked.
“I could eat.” My face felt like it would never look the same again.
“Let’s walk and talk.”
This was more awkward than you’d think. I wasn’t sure if I should hold her hand or not. I wasn’t sure if she’d been having those dreams, and if so, which ones? That one from last night was rather intimate.
I turned to her, stopping our walk in the process, and asked her, “How did you know my name?”
Her eyebrow rose. “How did you know mine?
“Um… I asked first?” She rolled her eyes at my comment.
“Alright. This is going to sound super strange, and slightly creepy, unless you’ve been having them too, but I’ve been having—“
“Dreams?” I asked.
“Yeah! Oh my god, you’ve been having them too?!”
“No, I just guessed. You’re right, it is kind of creepy.” I joked, relieving some of the tension. She scrunched up her face and slapped my arm. I laughed. “Yes, I’ve been having dreams about you.”
“It does, doesn’t it? Sound creepy, I mean.” She said.
She was checking me out. Her eyes were scanning me top to bottom. I kept my eyes on hers, waiting for her to realise I was laughing. Maybe she had been having the exact same dreams as I’d been experiencing.
“What exactly did you dream about last night?” I asked her.
Her cheeks flushed immediately and she looked away. She began to walk again, this time though, she held out her hand. I gladly took it. Her fingers were warm. Almost sweaty. She’s nervous… So was I. I could feel my heart pounding in my neck.
Despite the nerves, this was going rather well… Considering all the circumstances. We got ourselves a table at one of the restaurant, without a word being spoken. I mean, what would you say to a girl you just had dream sex with?
Hey, I had a lot of fun last night. The dream you feels great! So how about that growing old together dream? What about the kids?
“So, um… How about we start from scratch?” She asked.
“Yeah. I think that would probably work out best. Hi, my name is Josh.”
“Vanessa. Nice to meet you.” We shook hands.
“Nice to meet you too. So if you don’t mind me asking, why are you at the airport?”
She hesitated a bit. “I slept in this morning. I dreamt that I was in a cab on my way here. I somehow knew you would be here, I was running late. I looked down at my phone than said to the cab driver, 'Can you hurry up a little bit?' I should have been there for 10… When I woke up, it was 9:45. I live near Oshawa. So that left me very little time to shower and stuff.”
“You took, a 45 minute cab ride, to come find a guy that you’ve only ever seen in your dreams.” I sat back in my chair. “Talk about a leap of faith…”
“If you’re not here to meet me, then why did you come?”
“I got a call on Monday from a publisher. They flew me out to meet one of their agents.”
“Oh…” She looked disappointed. It was about time I shared something. She’d been carrying the conversation.
“I had a slightly different dream last night.” I regretted it as soon as it came out of my mouth.
”Oh?” She perked up a little. I noticed a little mischief in her eyes.
“I woke up to a sunrise, you were lying beside me, and I made my way to the ocean in our back yard. I’d brought a surfboard with me, and surfed. You came and found me with—“
“Joey…” Her face broke out in a wide, white smile at the thought of our son.
I leaned in a little, keeping my eyes locked with hers, I reached over and took her hand.
“I’m sorry about cutting this short, but I’ve got someone picking me up—“
“A woman?” She asked.
“The agent really liked my manuscript.”
“What’s it about?”
“I was going to ask if you would like to come with me.” I got up, took her hand, and we began to walk.
When I got near the exit, I found a man, his cardboard sign with my last name written on it sitting beside him on the bench. He was slouched back on the wooden bench, face to the ceiling as he waited.
“Excuse me? You’re looking for me?” He sat up quickly.
“Sorry it took so long…”
He shrugged and held out his hand. “My name is Ethan.”
“Josh,” I shook his hand, “and this is Vanessa.” She shook his hand.
“I wasn’t aware that you’d have company.” He said.
“I wasn’t supposed to, we actually just met.” I answered.
“Will she be coming with us?” He asked without batting an eye.
“Yes, if that’s no trouble.”
He shrugged, then motioned for us to follow. Soon we were sitting in the back of a white Tesla Model S zipping down streets on our way to a lunch. The driver was sitting back, letting the car drive us to our destination. I sat there, so totally in love with the car that I’d not spoken in minutes.
“Sorry. A Tesla has been a dream of mine for a while. I’m absolutely fascinated with these cars.”
She laughed a bit.
“I can read you like a book,” She said.
“Hah. Punny,” Said the not-so-driver.
“Heh, because he’s about to sell a manuscript and become a published author.” She was bro-ing out with the driver. She reached over and touched my face, “It’s nice to finally see this look on your actual face.” A kind smile on her face.
I found myself leaning into her hand. I took a deep breath, then her hand fell to her side.
Too soon we were arrived at our destination. A small diner with a nice little seating area outside. I looked over to Vanessa and said, “Dinner… Tonight.” I half stated, slowly getting out of the car.
She looked up at me from the car, as I stood and said, “Sure.” Proceeding to pluck my phone out of my back pocket, just like that night we danced under the stars. I thought back to the dream; to the vision.
She quickly added her information on my cell, then gingerly put it back in its pocket. Lightly patting my bum before leaning back into the car, allowing me to close the door for her. I watched the rear end of the Tesla disappear around the corner.
I sat down outside, enjoying the sun through as it peeked through the clouds. Taking a deep breath feeling the wind on my face and then hearing “Josh!” from afar. I turned to notice a man wearing a navy blue suit, with a black tie. A good looking man in his thirties, with a grin on his face like he owned the world. He showed true self confidence, strutting his way towards me.
He stopped before me, “Are you Josh?” he asked.
“How are you Jason?” I greeted him, recognizing his voice.
He grasped my hand in a firm handshake and a smile broke my lips. I was infected by his energy.
“Did you have a comfortable ride?” He asked.
“How did you know I’m into Tesla’s?”
“I might have stalked your Facebook page. I wanted to make your stay was pleasant. I’m somewhat trying to bribe you into working with us at COMP publishers.” He winked, pulling his chair out. As he sat down, the waitress came around to take our orders, then briskly walking away.
“The fancy cars, the plane ride. I wonder how you treat your wife,” I said, joking.
His image broke for a second, only to quickly recover with a smile. Odd.
“So tell me, because I’m dying to know… What happens to Dawson?” He asked, honest excitement on his face. I chuckled a bit.
“Well he’s trapped on an island.” I stated, he rolled his eyes.
“Well what happens after that? Cruel way to end the first,” He spat out.
“I don’t have much on the second yet. I’ve hardly started, if I’m honest. I have this general idea of where I want to bring the story.”
“Like you know how you want it to end?”
“Yeah, that. The second starts with Dawson getting thrown back into his bed. He was always mildly crazy, but now that he’s in prison, being tortured on a regular basis, he snapped. The mask he was delivering when he got caught, well that was an old relic of an old god. Ra, Egyptian god of the sun.”
“Yeah, he was hearing voices by the end. Nice touch.”
“Thanks. Yeah, so as he’s tortured, he becomes delusional. One day he sees a woman get thrown into his cell. Figures she’s his new cell mate. He falls in love with her, then later figures out she’s a hallucination. He’s been having sex with her, touching her and everything, so he’s out of it. Then he finds out she’s the incantation of Ra.”
“Ra chose a female form?” He asks.
“He saw Dawson needed a form of gentleness in his life. Especially at that point. So he gives Dawson the chance to be with the love of his life… Before they meet. She’s in a coma, 'cause Ra pulled her conscious soul from her body so she could save him. He’s daydreaming her."
His cell phone started ringing. He pulled it out of his pocket, looked at the name and his image broke again. He muted the call, then poised himself to come back to our conversation.
“Unfortunately, I need to leave.” He slid a folder over to me. “I really want you with us. So I’d like to make another date so that we can spend some more time talking it over. You can read through the contract, in the envelope there’s a room key. I got you a suite if you don’t mind staying in town for another night. I’ll have my secretary move some appointments around tomorrow, and she’ll call you with a time. Is that alright?”
“Yeah, that sounds good to me. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
Part two is on its way.