Jenny’s heart was broken, demolished. That’s the risk you take when you give it to someone else. Hearts are fabulous fun to crush and mutilate and so who could Jenny blame really but herself? It was her own damned fault for thinking she was in love. Her dark mood seemed to swirl about in the sky, a storm threatening to burst.
Her spirits lifted when she emerged from the trees. The path she walked led to a cliff, and at the edge of the cliff loomed a lighthouse, as grey and sinister as her melancholia.
Perfect, Jenny thought.
Sleeveless shivers in the chill winds reminded her how far she had already wandered, but she didn’t care. The lighthouse tower seemed to be answering her anguish, inviting her to its summit. She hugged herself against the cold and followed into the beckoning gloom. The tight skirt of her form-fitting, basic black dress and the four-inch heels on her favorite silver bridal sandals made it difficult to climb, but she tip-toed up the spiral ascent in determination.
The stairs arrived at the lighthouse’ peak. Jenny’s thoughts were swept away by the oddity of a stunningly beautiful stone gazebo. Dance songs wafted from invisible speakers in the tower’s ceiling. A viewing balcony encircled the gazebo and Jenny stepped out onto it, steadying herself on the handrail as the dizzying height flung her equilibrium helplessly over the edge.
“The view’s the same on the other side, bitch,” a girl’s voice startled her.
A couple sat cuddled on the balcony, necking in the stormy ambiance. They were obviously upset at her intrusion. How romantic, Jenny thought, and it would be if you only had someone to share it with, someone who wouldn’t maim your heart. Envy tore at her.
“Hey! Did you hear me?”
Jenny heard, but the words only buffeted her ears as the swirling ocean winds buffeted her shivering arms and legs.
“The nerve of some people! Come on, Baby! Let’s go someplace private.”
The couple stood and disappeared, leaving Jenny to her thoughts. She leaned out over the railing and looked down. Far below, an angry tide battered itself against the rocks at the base of the cliff, sending beautiful cascades of spray up into the wind.
Silver, diamond and Austrian crystal pendant earrings – $459
Ann Taylor cocktail dress – $159
Ellie bridal sandals – $79
Scraping it all off the rocks below – Priceless!
Suddenly, the music changed to the delicate sound of strings. A lively violin solo pranced out onto the foggy night air.
“It is a long way to fall.”
It was a man’s voice, strong, with an Arabic accent. Jenny whirled about. A ruggedly handsome face with black, wavy hair and deep blue eyes rose above her in the darkness. Even in her heels, she barely reached his chin. Grey slacks hugged a slender, muscular figure, outlining him in obvious detail. The top of a white, collared shirt was unbuttoned, revealing smooth skin over a well-defined chest. Her eyes wandered back past the dark shadow on his chin and cheeks, a strong mouth on a slender, chiseled, statuesque face, and rested on his piercing blue eyes that seemed to own the only real color in the moonlit setting.
Fear trickled slowly into Jenny’s body as if from an IV drip. They were completely alone and he stood between her and the stairs to safety.
“That’s sort of the point,” she said with false composure. “It would be like flying.”
“You desire to fly?” His voice didn’t just speak. It caressed her as if her dress wasn’t there, sending new and dangerous chills through her.
Jenny glanced out over the water again. “I just want to feel happiness and die before anyone can steal it from me again,” she said, shocked by the honesty of her words.
“You are beautiful,” he answered, extending a hand. “It will be happiness for me if you will dance with me your last dance.”
The violin intro settled into the sultry rhythms of a tango. Jenny found her hand reaching out involuntarily to take his, and before she could think, she was up against him. A strong but gentle hand pressed her groin against his and a wave of excitement raced through her loins as he stepped between her legs into the dance.
Jenny had never experienced such graceful strength before. He was intoxicating. Their bodies worked together to the music, their legs intertwining in time to the sensual strains of bow fibers on strings.
“Do you own this place?” she asked. Her lips brushed his chest in her imagination as she spoke. “How did you change the music like that?”
When he didn’t answer, she looked up into his eyes to find him staring into hers. His gaze pushed inside her and she trembled with the desire to let him in deeply, to let him touch her aching soul. Crazy blue eyes!
“My name is Jenny. I’ve never seen this place before. Do you come here often?”
Her chatter was answered only by the music and her heels on the stone floor.
“You don’t say much do you?”
His face was stern and intent. “You are beautiful, Jenny. Dance, and be beautiful.”
And so they danced. The lighthouse beacon pushed in and out of the clouds. The rise and fall of the dance steps seduced Jenny’s last resistance. When he dipped her backward, she swooned in ecstasy, wrapping her leg around behind him in a flick and then clinging there.
He smiled almost imperceptibly as he brought her upright and dizzy with delight. She stretched her hands up around his neck. His firm grip slid beneath her leg and drew her tightly against against him as he walked her backward, her weight pressed against the back and forth movement of his steps. The thin layer of fabric that separated them teased her mercilessly.
“How our bodies were meant to be together?”
Jenny couldn’t speak. Her body was rushing with excitement as it never had before. She felt as if their clothes were a mere formality and this dance was much more than a dance. When the music stopped, he stood still, holding her against him in gentle embrace. Breathless, and overcome with desire, she closed her eyes and felt the rise and fall of their chests together. His hands caressed her back and then held her shoulders. She lifted her mouth to kiss him but he pushed her gently away.
“Now you can fly,” he said.
Jenny instantly hated herself for her vulnerability. She let go and walked away flustered to stand again by the handrail, watching the sweeping beacon penetrate the stormy sky in mocking silence.
She felt his hands on her shoulders, and realized he had followed silently behind her. “I will teach you to fly,” he whispered.
Fear raced through her veins. She tried to prepare herself for the fall. It was what she wanted, after all. The wind would be in her face. She would never feel the rocks and her last sensations would be the exhilaration of her last dance and the wet ocean spray.
His hands slid from her shoulders around to her chest, electrifying her, and he pressed against her from behind. “Come home with me, and we will fly as we danced.”
© 2013 Anne Schilde