“Iris?” August’s frown, the concern on his face, in his voice, remind me where I am. “Baby, you okay?”
I blink down at him dumbly, swallowing my tears, eating my memories whole and digesting a nightmare from long ago. I nod, my lips a cold, wobbly curve.
“Kiss me,” he whispers, his eyes so tender, so intent.
I remember a magical night under the stars, under a streetlight on the eve of greatness. A night filled with laughter and confidences, pregnant with promise. And I see him so clearly, my prince, asking for a kiss.
And I do.
I kiss him like the world might end tonight because I’ll never take this for granted. Not his kindness, when I’ve known cruelty all too well. Not his tenderness, when I’ve been handled roughly in the past. Not his love, when I’ve been possessed and owned and mistreated.
He thaws me with his kiss, my prince, and I melt into him. We’re chest to chest, with August’s number crushed between us. I take his cock in my hand, aligning our bodies, and two become one in a carnal slide of flesh. I anchor myself by my elbows hooked around his neck, and we kiss until I’m dizzy and our breaths tangle in a cloud of bliss. Under the jersey, his palm spans my back, digging into the naked flesh as our hips lock and roll and grind. My body clenches around him, and we pray, we curse, we moan, we mate like our bodies were made for this moment.
Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever. This moment may die, but this love never will. Time is not a line. It’s a circle, and we, August and Iris, we stand at the center.