She turned up her fur collar up, as protection against the wind, sinking her chin and cheeks into its embrace. I smiled: her face looked like it was playing peekaboo with the world—with me.
Kissed the tip of her cold, cold nose.
She pulled away.
“I haven’t forgiven you yet, you know,” she said. But then, presented her nose to me for another kiss.
“I know,” I said. The fur collar hid what I needed to be forgiven for. I dived inside it for a moment—gave it a tug. She slapped at my hands, awkwardly, her hands gloved, her arms bulky, trapped in the sleeves of her winter coat.
“Put on your gloves,” she said. I shook my head. Shoved my cold hands into my pockets—cold, frozen, but useful, useable.
She shook her head, amused.
We walked along the street, whipped by the wind. I let her walk in front for a while, wanting to watch the sway of her hips, the dance of her step, but the winter coats and winter boots hid her almost completely.
I knew what was inside them. I knew what was under that coat.
Sudden hunger in me, for that space on her neck.
“Stop,” I said. Dove into the fur collar again.
“For fuck’s sake,” she said. Fake struggling. Then sinking into me, body limp. “Of all the lovers in the world, I choose one with an arrested vampire fetish.”
“It is not,” I said, mouth still busy on her neck, “a vampire fetish. It is…” I paused, because my tongue needed to explore grooves and crevices more intensely, “a neck fetish. Not even a fetish—how can this be a fetish. God. All your scent, your pulse, your personality—all of it, hidden, contained, right here.”
“In a bruise, soon to become an unsightly scab,” she said. But she didn’t push me away until she felt my tongue and teeth on her clavicle.
“It’s too cold for that,” she whispered.
“I’ll warm you up,” I promised. “Also, the whip of the wind on your naked skin—who needs fucking props?”
“Just stay on the neck,” she said, unbuttoning the top two, three buttons of her coat.
I didn’t listen.
She was delicious, and the colder she got, the more delicious she was.
“Vampire fetish,” she sighed, afterwards, touching her neck gingerly and sliding it back into the fur collar.
I shook my head.
“But perhaps this is the origin of all that vampire sex fiction,” I said. “I mean, the incredible eroticism of the neck. Fucking look at it,” I opened up her collar again. “Just. Fucking. Look. At. It.”
“I’m cold,” she said.
I tucked her in, but kissed my space, again, first.
“Forgiven?” I asked as her face sunk into the warm fur.
“What? You think giving me a couple of orgasms with the help of the wind is how you earn forgiveness for condemning me to a lifetime of wearing turtle necks?” she laughed.
“Also, scarves and what not,” I said. “Scarves are very stylish. And I will buy you scarves, for every Christmas. And birthday. You will have so many.”
I kissed her cold nose.
“Forgiven?” I whispered.
She shook her head, and when she did, the collar came apart a little, and I needed to be in that place again.
“That’s all right,” I whispered as I found it. “I’d just trespass again.”
For Nicole: Cardamom Knob Wool
For Jenn: Piano River Feather
For Lara: Peasant Cicada Pomegranate
For Paola: Stoked Sunrise Ferocity
For Nina: Crimson Brilliant Moon
For Cathy: Elated Chocolate Tears
For Lisa: Collar Forgiveness Wind (you are here)