And so we go, a short drive to the end of the peninsula, parking the car by the gate at the end of the estate road.
It's an easy walk at first, hardly more than couple of miles of a stony dirt track undulating between a rocky hillside and the sea, with views to the mainland. We turn off the road onto a side trail. This last stretch is steeper and narrower, needing more attention on the narrow stone-made path.
I am climbing down from the log bridge over the burn, making my way around a rock outcrop, when my boot slides and I lean forward to regain my balance. My left hand slips down the mossy stone, catches a sharp edge of something before splatting into a small hollow filled with murky water, reddening now with the blood from the gash that's splitting the fleshy left edge of my hand.
I steady myself, the instinctive movement of my injured hand towards my mouth halted mid-way by the bits of rotting plant matter and dirt that are sticking to it, and stand there, trying to remember where and how deep the first aid kit is buried in the bag.
He's a few steps behind me and when he sees what's happened, dumps the rucksack on the side of the path and comes closer, his eyes on my hand, tracing the rivulets of blood and muddy water dripping off my fingers.
“Let me, please.”
Not quite sure what he's going to do, I nevertheless let him take my hand between his. He drops to his knees, not really ritualistically but because it's practical at this moment, but he keeps his face down, and raises his eyes up to mine, for a moment, as if waiting for permission.
Your lips touch my skin, then your tongue; on my fingers first, one by one, licking meticulously, then sucking; on the middle of the palm next; all the dirt and blood coming off, your saliva drying cool and quick.
You move slowly towards the gash, starting around the cut, slowly, carefully, waiting for my reactions after each lick; your tongue skirting the edges of the wound; slow, feather-light touches from each side, then resting inbetween the ragged flaps of epidermis; a stinging flick to the open flesh in between, a raw burn of pain passing before I really notice it; my blood now cleanly flowing, tasted, scooped up, swallowed.
It's a base, fluid binding, a ritual of purification, a primal, animal-like act that makes my heartbeat pick up all the way to a heavy thump, makes my breathing halt, then deepen.
I lean against the stone outcrop, my left hand still in yours, your lips and tongue still there, licking and sucking my wound clean. I'm getting turned on, despite the dull sting of the cut, my eyes closing, my right hand passes through your hair, stops for a moment, withdraw, moves away and up to my breast briefly, then slips down under the belt of my jeans to the swelling heat of my cunt, throbbing wetter and hotter than my cut hand under your blood stained mouth.
I stifle a moan into a deep sigh, withdraw my hand, remember the tissues in the side pocket, the plasters in the rucksack hood, get you to dig them out, put one on for me before I say anything, your hands shaking just a little when you smooth the edges of the dressing on my skin.
“Thank you,” I say to your back, bent down to pick up the rucksack again.
You turn towards me slowly, eyes down first, then catching mine just before you straighten up, my gaze slipping from your face down your body. I smile and you look away again.
“I'm so hard it hurts, Ma'am.”
“I know. It's good. You'll probably need that.”
I turn round and walk on, the path getting more level and a bit wider along the field fence on the right.
The pasture is empty of its usual sheep and it's only then I realise that we've met nobody on the way, neither tourists nor locals nor the land-workers, despite the halcyon feel of the day. We walk on, in companionable if charged silence, and it's as if we were walking into another world, a quieter, clearer and slower one, an alternative space just a couple of molecules, a few milliseconds, a tiny Doppler shift away from the usual.
I take my eyes off the trail and look at the little cove opening up below us, its white sand and clear water of tropical perfection bound by a semicircle of dark grey rock, the mountains of the mainland rising in grey-blue strata beyond the water east of us, the islands mere smudges of shadows to the south-west. The colours are shifting in my very sight the same way the time and sounds have done, the greens blueing and the blues pearling; the shapes follow, the outlines sharper and yet more distant.
The rocky path merges into a short grassy slope, we walk down and dump the stuff near the edge of the grass. The tide is high and it's clear where the land will remains dry. I sit down on the low rise of stones, light a cigarette, watch you put the tent up, my eyes scanning the higher, not quite straight rock wall opposite me for the steel eyelets I hammered into it a few days ago.
You've finished and sit down on the sand by my feet, look up, follow the line of my sight, look at me again, a mixture of disbelief and realisation in your eyes.
There are two just above the sand, about three feet apart, next two roughly at the waist level, closer together, two more at six feet high and four feet apart.
“Later, though. Make a fire, boy.”
I watch you, the dull throb of the cut on my hand suddenly making itself known in the background. You pick up driftwood, sticks, branches, couple of small logs, build a neat pile surrounded by a circle of stones, light it up, kneel down on the ground to blow at the little flames, your eyes squinting, the smoke blown by a stray gust of the breeze obscuring your face momentarily before it gets lit up by flames picking the thicker twigs.
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