I should tell him good-bye. I’m already running later than I want to be.
Hi, Grandma, I say, hugging her. She can barely lift herself off the couch, so I do most of the work. It seems to me, when you get older, your body goes one of two ways: pleasantly plump or spritely skinny. My grandmother went pleasantly plump. Her face is round and gentle. Her eyes still twinkle. If it sounds like I’m describing Santa Claus, that’s because there is a bit of a resemblance. Her hair is wild and bright white. Her belly, however, does not shake when she laughs like a bowl full of jelly. And I think that’s an important distinction.I sit down a bit too close to her, and the couch starts to sink in the middle. We’re both gravitating toward the center. But it seems rude to move over.
Honey, move over, Grandma says to me. You’re dragging me down off the couch.Oh, sorry, Grandma, I say, as I slide to the middle. How are you?Well, the cancer’s coming back, but other than that, I’m fine. My grandmother always has cancer. I don’t actually know what this means. She’s never really clear on it. She just says she has cancer, and then, when you ask her about it, she won’t pin down what type of cancer or whether she’s actually been diagnosed. It started after my grandfather died six years ago. At first, we would get up in arms every time she said it, but now we just let it go. It’s a weird family quirk that I don’t even notice until there’s another witness to it. A few Thanksgivings ago, we invited Ryan’s friend Shawn to join us, and as we all got into the car on the way home, Shawn said, Your grandmother has cancer? Is she OK? And I realized that it probably seemed absurd to him that she had announced she had cancer again and no one batted an eyelash. I get the distinct feeling she is hoping for cancer so that she can be with my grandfather.
And things are good at home? With Uncle Fletcher? I ask.Things are fine. I’m boring, Lauren. Stop asking about me. What I want to know is— Here it comes. The moment I have been dreading. Here it comes. When are you and that handsome grandson-in-law of mine going to give me a great-grandkid?
Well, you know how it is, Gram, I say, sipping the punch to buy myself some time.
No, honey, I don’t know how it is. You’re thirty years old. You don’t have all day.Colton chases after me until I'm chest deep. Goosebumps break out over my skin as the cool water envelopes me, my wet clothes clinging to my body. The water laps at his waist and we stand there, watching each other, breathing hard. The moon is covered by a haze of low clouds, painting the night sky in a dark, luminous hue.
Colton moves confidently toward me. He is so at ease with his body, so controlled in all that he does, it's hard not to feel small and feminine in his presence. His strong stature commands attention. And he has mine – full and undivided.He's unbuttoned his dress shirt and I watch the waves lick against his toned belly and chest, wondering if he'd taste salty from the ocean spray if I decided to lean down and lick him like my brain is demanding I do. A current of sexual awareness buzzes between us.
He finds my hand beneath the water and tugs me closer.I reach for him and wrap my legs around his waist, relishing the feel of his hot skin against mine. With my legs tangled around his hips, my center is angled at just the right spot to feel the stirrings of his erection.