As she lit her cigarette on the steps of the college entrance, her lips curled to a smile, her slight frame bending to tie the laces of her boot before stepping through a cloud of exhaled smoke.
Her final art assignment submitted she soaked in the sunshine and breathed deep feeling the weight she'd felt all year fall away with each step.
Her mind no longer on the one what was, the one her mind and body had ached for. She retreated within, trying to breath and keep her head above water, as every shadow of this world reminded her of him.

A hand against a tiled wall, spread fingers, sinews, delicate muscle structures but clearly masculine. Her final submission. She'd spent weeks trying to bring herself to complete this, to say goodbye in so many ways to the pain which she had clung to in some twisted way. The final connection.
The details still in her mind and again a smile ...

The week before she'd sat on the hard surface of the seats surrounding the pool. During long nights spent unable to sleep she had discovered this place accidentally and guarded it intently as hers in a world that was typically a cocophony of noise and interrupts. The stillness and tranquility of the water gave respite to her tired mind and brought a peaceful calm to the waves of "what if"s, "how"s and "why"s that took turns punishing her tired mind.
She spent hours staring at the still surface of the water.
The reflections of the emergency lighting on the roof and walls, the gentle hum of the heating and the occasional drop of water landing from a tired roof into the pool all familiar and gentle companions.
This evening, she sat with her sketch pad and charcoal, her fingers black from rolling it between her fingers and longing for a cigarette. But she knew it was here that inspiration would come.

From the far corner of the pool came a noise that was foreign to her and disturbed her thoughts. All of her senses attempted to piece together for her mind the sound she'd heard and the dark shape entering her vision under the waters surface. A shroud of water lifted unveiling the shoulders and head of a swimmer, the top of his shaved head bent low as his hands spread in unison forward, as the front of his body disappeared again she could make out his hips rise and fall and then silence. The cycle and rythm played over as he moved up the middle of the pool, the overhead emergency lighting offering lines, muscle structure and the natural powerful movement of his body in tune with the stroke and the surrounding water.
Her hands moved instinctively, scrubbing, rubbing with the charcoal, trying ... breathlessly to capture the right shoulder ? the neck line ? the swimmers chin as his head reached up to breath or simply how the lines of the muscles in his back fired.
A voice called out "Should you be in here ?" towards her direction. "Should you ?" she fired back in defence. And a seemingly endless pause followed.
The figure within the pool disappeared and she saw a shadow underneath the surface again, flicker and a set of hands at the side of the pool initiate a single movement concluded by the swimmer standing yards from where she sat. His body dripping as the pool water fell, a smile hidden underneath a thick beard in contrast to his shaved head.
His athletic shoulders and chest rising and falling as his breath slowly settled concluding with a sigh "Of course not, but hey, I like the shadows and it's quiet here".

A post masters student, a mispent childhood around water and an active mind had kept him awake and as she showed him her sketches he spoke about how it felt for him beneath the water. Silent, alone with his thoughts, surrounded by a protective feeling that he rarely felt, ironically a place to breath. He spoke passionately about the release of the phyiscal restraints he carried. Those to comply, to get along when most of the time he felt like screaming and smashing the mediocrity he found himseld surrounded by. He didn't care what he felt he just wanted to feel. Pain was perfectly ok, as was abandonment and allowing his body to express what his mind could not articulate.
She offered her reasons for being there as they both smiled about the parallels. She found herself pointing with the charcoal at the air and stabbing the page where she'd sketched. He listened and smiled silently. He was observing her rather than simply listening and instead of recoiling in fear for the first time what seemed a very long time she felt sexy again. He was sitting in just a swim suit, his muscular body and the way in which his movements flowed both in an out of the water were speaking to her on a physical level but in the most inviting and comfortable way.
He shivered and politely ended their conversation wishing her every success with her life outside of college and future happiness no matter where her path lead her and walked away from her towards the end of the pool into the darkness.

She sat still again in the silence. She hadnt wanted the conversation to end and felt both unsettled and anxiously curious around this guy and their conversation. She convinced herself she needed to wash the charcoal from her hands and found herself entering the changing rooms. The motion sensor lights gave her presense in the room away and when he emerged with a towel around his waist from the showers he didn't seemed surprised to see her.
"Dirty hands" she offered showing her hands to him now. He smiled and walked towards her stopping to hold one of her hands to his "so they are".
Stripped bare, her body gave herself to him, the warm shower delivering warm water onto and over them as his body held hers in front of his. His strong hands were on her neck lifting her hair, his mouth hungrily kissing, licking, sucking her neck, her shoulders and back as his hand held her hips tighly against his. She'd seen his body but without her eyes looking at it she could feel the hard muscles of his chest against her and his excitement growing against her and between her legs now. Her hand dropped to rub him, stroking and enjoying the feel of owning him and how he felt against her. Instinctively she pushed herself back onto him and felt his hand lower and fingers move himself onto her.
He paused and pulsed as he entered her, holding himself still and allowing her to dictate the movement. She eased back onto him and felt him enter her and the dept and breath of him filling her. It had been months since any humand contact and her body craved it now. In reality these feelings seemed unnatural or foreign since she'd never had a man that consumed all of her in this way and she savoured it, holding him deep within, her body pulsing surrounding him.
As the warm water fell over them he gently began to slide in and out of her. Her body responding in every way to the touch of his hands over her, her mind captivated by this feeling of being taken, the abondonment, being owned in such a public place that seemed like the most isolated place she had ever been in these moments.
His pace quickened and she allowed herself to look back behind, to see the ectasy on his face, the intensity on his eyes, his powerful arms and chest behind her and feel each deep thrust of those hips she'd seen in the pool earlier.
She turned back to the wall, her hands that had been steadying herself were joined by one of his .. holding them under his as another held the wall alone .. her eyes focused on that hand, the droplets of water running off his fingers and over the veins to his wrist ... as she felt him suddenly pull from her and the warm spray of his cum over her back. Her body still moving ryhtmically, tongue licking her lips she turned and dropped to taste the remaining drops of him as the water continued to fall on their bodies. Her mouth and tongue savoured the taste of them both and the feeling in her fingers of him still pulsing and breathing hard.

She couldnt sleep, the image of his hand against the tiled wall and those feelings of him inside her had woken her up from the self serving slumber she'd placed herself in to survive what had been. How her charcoal offering to her project was judged was immaterial. She walked alone and felt awake for the first time. She thought about that events of that night and her times at the pool for years later, taking strength at times to remember the darkness and the good things that come to us when we are able to truly see, hear and listen.


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