We didn’t make it back to the boat ramp before dark. In fact, we ended up having to hurry down the path to make it to the boat before dark.
Not to mention that we were a mess. My back was clawed and my body was sore from lying on the hard ground, not to mention a surfeit of sexual excess. The thin towel and discarded clothing kept getting shoved aside so we spent most of the afternoon in intimate contact with leaves and sticks and forest debris. But I didn’t complain. Chai bore the brunt of the abuse, bearing my weight and hers both for much of the afternoon, and she wasn’t complaining.
It was sex like I’d never experienced before. Two minutes after I entered her the first time, I was no longer Rick and she was no longer Chai. I was the sky, she the earth. I was the elder druid, she the high priestess. I was satyr, she the nymph who had succumbed to my pipes. I was cock, she was cunt.
There was also no showing off of prowess learned over past encounters or tricks garnered from how-to books. No compulsive desire to give pleasure. We were possessions to be possessed; we took and we used. In a way we rutted like animals, just as she had described the rites of Beltane. And we rutted like animals in other ways as well, so I’m certain her knees were as abused as her back (mine certainly were).
There were also no emotions belonging to the love family. No romantic love, no courtly love, no puppy love, no genuine affection that might become love, not even any like-you-a-lot. None of those emotions that normally engender lovemaking, or which often result unbidden from intimacy. But it would be wildly inaccurate to say that there were no emotions. We were awash with emotions; they just mostly happened to be more cosmic than mere love between two insignificant mortals. The residual lust of the gods, I suppose.
Here’s another funny thing: on the way back down the path and in the boat, there was none of that discomfort between two people who have had sex the first time and aren’t sure about their new relationship. Sex changes all relationships irrevocably, and it had definitely changed ours. But there wasn’t any forced conversation or phony displays of affection. On the slow ride home she rested her hand on my shoulder, but it was natural as it should have been. We knew what our new relationship was: sky and earth, etc.
All of that pretty much evaporated when we got back to my place. Back in the real world, we really had to define our relationship in more worldly, usable terms than elder druid and high priestess, or even cunt and cock.
“Gaia, I’m a fright. Be a gentleman and let me at the shower first.” She’d brought an overnight bag in from her car. “And perhaps you’d consider making martinis while I start the restoration process? Whatever you have is fine; at the moment, I’m not a bit picky.”
“Would you like to stay over, Chai? I’d hate for you to have to drive the road from hell in the dark. But then, you have . . .” what was the name of her prissy excuse for a dog? Named after some old movie stud. Errol, Cooper, Bogey, ah got it. “. . . Valentino you have to take care of.”
“Valentino is having a little sleep-over tonight. He’s so sensitive, I didn’t want him to have to live with having disrupted whatever destiny our date was headed toward.”
Hmm. Condoms in the picnic supplies, dog sitter for the night. It was beginning to look like the outcome of this outing had been previously decided and I was just an unwitting participant. The contrarian side of my personality started to get ornery, but really, what was the point? I’d had an afternoon of the most interesting sex of my life, and it looked like there was more to come. Getting pissy about it seemed childish.
So I shut up and fixed the martinis. Took one in and handed it to her through the shower curtain.
“Starting the recovery process” took more than an hour. I prowled for a while, then took my drink to the back porch and just sat. Didn’t read or anything, just let my mind wander where it would. Which was pretty much back to the magic of Avalon.
Chai came out and kissed me on the top of my head. “I didn’t use all the hot water, although I wanted to.” She laughed a throaty chuckle. “I have an impressive display of bruises in some of the most interesting places.” She pulled up the hem of her long shirt and displayed one on a buttock, coincidentally demonstrating that she hadn’t bothered with panties. Ever the gentleman, I kissed the bruise gently.
I took a second martini into the shower where, as promised, there was hot water. I didn’t linger to find out how much.
Safely dressed in shirt and slacks—and underwear—I showed Chai the picture of the necklace George had commissioned from Stedman’s Jewelry. She stared at it for a long time, her face showing some of the same distant preoccupation she’d had back on the island.
“This is the triple goddess. Or rather, the goddess in all three of her aspects: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. It’s the theme of the amulet that I wear as well, although mine is a poor relation of this magnificent piece.” She pulled up a silver pendent from among the tangle of beads, a mounted moonstone flanked on either side by a crescent moon.
“Poor relation or not, it is still the goddess. We should give her more prominence.” I gently removed the beads from her neck, leaving only the pendent. And all the while wondering: where the hell did that come from?
“Did you notice the picture of the woman he had it made for? It’s in the bedroom.”
“If you’re trying to seduce me by showing me your etchings, sir, you’re a bit too late.”
It was indeed a bit too late. Standing beside the bed and gazing at the portrait of the pregnant golden-haired woman, I was as aware of the bed as the painting. We were going to end up there, and how would it be after the raw power of our mating on the island?
Chai spoke as if she was reading my mind. “Yes, it is the elephant in the room, is it not? Having fully experienced the wonder of Beltane in November, what is mere mortal sex going to be like? Will the memories of how it was inside the circle be enhancing or distracting? Worse, will we be bored? Yesterday it was exciting to anticipate. But now?” She took my hands in hers. “Well, dear one, I suppose there’s no time like the present to find out.”
I can safely say that I wasn’t bored; if she was, she hid it very well. We were gentle and polite. We concentrated on giving pleasure, and I was aware of a certain showing off prowess on both our parts that had been absent before. We savored and explored, things we had not done on the island. We discovered things about each other’s responses and preferences we hadn’t learned that afternoon. We got up and found something to eat, and afterward the second time was better than the first had been.
Neither time came close to our afternoon on Avalon. But after awhile, it didn’t matter. We’d experienced that, and now we were experiencing this, and it was all good.
Reminded me of the old joke. “I just had the worst sex I’ve ever had.” “Really? How was it?” “Great.”