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Part 36: Dance Naked
We both looked out into the orchard and its vast darkness. You could see a few trees up front, but beyond that it was pitch black. “No blues tonight,” Summer noted. “No. Too bad. I really enjoyed that.”
She smiled and snuggled closer. “Me, too.”
“It was nice dancing in the dark.”
She nodded. “It’s so dark out here in the country you could just about get away with anything.”
“Yes, I guess you could.”
“Uh oh, I feel a spontaneous moment coming on.”
“What do you mean?”
She looked at me and her eyes were trying not to reveal her mischievous thought. “Still up for a dare?” she asked.
“Um…well…I don’t know. What is it?”
“Have you ever gone streaking?”
I laughed out loud. “Oh no, wait just one minute…”
“Yeah, once. A buddy of mine dared me to go streaking around the yard.”
She snickered. “Did you do it?”
“Broad daylight or night?”
She sighed. “Well, this won’t be much a challenge then…”
“I was twelve years old.”
She laughed. “Well, I think it’s time to relive your childhood.”
“Let’s dance in the orchard.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. “We did that the other night. Not that I have a problem doing it again.”
“Yeah, let’s dance naked in the orchard. Our spontaneous, out of character moment for the evening.”
“No way. Nope.”
“Oh come on, you’re turning down a dare.”
“It’s silly. Streaking through the orchard. It’s so…”
“So what? Adventurous? Naughty? Against your religion?”
“No, it’s just…”
“I think you’re scared. Embarrassed even.”
“Okay yeah I am. I’m a shy person.”
“Well I can be too, but you forget I’ve already seen you naked.”
“The first day I met you, remember? You came out of the shower and Bam! Happy birthday to me!”
I must have turned several shades of red because she laughed so hard she nearly fell off my lap.
“I don’t think this is such a…”
“You’re a big old chicken,” she teased.
“I am not.”
She got up from my lap and put her hand on her hips. “Then let’s do it.”
“Summer,” I protested.
“You can’t be that shy. Come on, you’re not going to be alone. I’ll be there with you. Just as exposed as you.”
“No, this is ridiculous,” I said, heading for the door. “I’m going in.”
“Hey, wait,” she exclaimed, coming in after me. She tried to catch up but I went to the bathroom and shut the door behind me, turning the lock to ensure I would be alone.
“Matthew, wait, please…” she pleaded from the other side. “Look, if it bothers you that much…” I heard her heavy sigh. “Okay, look forget it. We’ll just…”
I opened the door and came out. “No, we won’t forget it.”
Her jaw dropped open, and a smile spread across her face, seeing me wrapped up in just a towel. “Oh my,” she said. “Does this truly mean no dare goes unchallenged?”
“Yep. Come on.” I headed for the rear door, pulling it open. Jackson lay there on the small porch, his brown and white bulk nearly blocking the way. I stared out at the dark orchard.
“Time to put your money where your mouth is,“ I said, turning to face Summer again. But she was gone. I laughed. “Now, who’s the chicken?”
I opened the screen door and stepped over the dog. The first thing that struck me was it’s kind of chilly on summer nights when all you are wearing is a flimsy bath towel. I took it off and draped it over the porch railing. Without looking back, I stepped down to the cool grass and ran into the orchard. I went about five trees in, just enough so I would be out of the direct light of the porch, and turned. I was alone and stark naked, but out here in the dark it didn’t matter. I could see the white of my skin, but parts of my body were unseen in the dark shadows. I knew to her inside the house I was invisible, just a vague form on the edge of the orchard. Though I could see her standing in the doorway, I was like a ghost in the night. But from where I stood, I could see her clearly; her beautiful freckled face in the light cast from the kitchen, how those freckles spread across her shoulders disappearing beneath the floral bath towel that was wrapped around her lithe frame. As she opened the door, and the towel fell from her body, I could see her perfect, naked and exposed in the artificial light. As she stepped off the porch, her sweet porcelain skin touched by the moonlight, I knew that I would never, as long as I live, see anything as beautiful as this. From head to toe she was everything I could have imagined and more. From the swell of her firm uplifted breasts, to her smooth round belly where a pierced ring glistened, down her bare, shaven body to her long smooth legs, she was a beautiful vision of angelic beauty. No sight could compare with seeing her step off the porch and coming towards me in a slow sultry walk designed for me to get a good long look before she too entered the darkness of the orchard.
She hesitated at the edge of the first tree as if pondering if this was the right thing to do, and then she smiled. She stepped towards me, and as I stepped forward to meet her, she broke into run and ran past me, a giggle trailing behind her. For a moment, I was reminded of a Monty Python moment where two lovers run across a field towards each other only to run right past in opposite directions. I turned and watched her go, her hair flowing out behind her, the movement of her hips and legs carrying her away from me, her bare back and shaking butt a teasing sight in the restricted light of the moon. I ran after her.
Once she knew I was in pursuit, she let out a little squeal and took off faster, casting a look back over her shoulder to ensure she wasn’t running so fast I couldn’t keep up. I’ve always considered myself fit for my age, and I guess I was right in that assumption. I was able to follow close on her heels, and I feel I could have caught her if that had been my desire. But my desire lay in the joy of watching her run in front of me. The thrill of the playful chase made me feel as if we were teenagers, and I was once again a kid on a dare streaking through the yard. This time however, it wasn’t prankster boys who had set me on this path, but the most beautiful woman under all of God’s creation.
Into the orchard we fled, as she dodged around trees, skipping to the next row, playfully spinning around like she was chasing her own shadow. She jumped over a small irrigation ditch and I jumped after, nearly colliding with her, but when I righted myself she was dashing once more amongst the apples and peaches. Watching her ahead of me, catching glimpses of her beautiful nude form, I was reminded of a John Mellencamp song. Dance naked. I laughed. I had never felt so alive and free as I did right now.
She did another mad pirouette and her body moved gracefully like an angel fallen to earth. Seeing her like this was exciting. Not just in a sexual attraction kind of way. While her shape and form, and all the curves it contained, were the most beautiful I could have imagined, in this moment it wasn’t just her body being free, but her spirit as well. Everything about her seemed to explode into the night air, like a bottle that has been sealed up for so long, once it’s opened there’s a big whoosh, as what is inside escapes and blossoms outward from where it was enslaved. Seeing her this night, like this, was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen, and I just wanted to confess my adoration, my attraction, my love for her right then and there as loud as I could. But instead of letting it burst forth from my lips, I reached for her. She dodged my grasp, skipping down the rows as we made our way back to the vicinity of the house. We had returned to where we started our chase, about five trees into the orchard.
Summer stopped, and spun to face me. A part of me felt like a charging bull, but I stopped myself and laughed. “This is crazy,” I said. “I have never done anything like this before.”
She laughed too. “Me neither.”
I looked her over head to foot, but my gaze wasn’t a lecherous dirty thing, it was adoration, a sweet admiration of how God made the beautiful girl standing in front of me. Every line, every curve, every freckle, every gleam in her eye was pure heavenly perfection. I’m sure she could tell me a hundred things she didn’t like about her body, but I could have told her a hundred more that were perfection.
“You are beautiful,” I said, as I took in this sight of her. As her eyes took me in as well, I wondered if she was having similar thoughts about me. To me, I was definitely flawed. My abs was nothing what they used to be ten years ago. The hair on my chest, once blonde, now was looking like a skunk trail running down the front of me. Age lines, those things they called Crow’s Feet, had begun to form around my eyes, but seeing Summer look at me I hoped she saw none of these imperfections.
“You are the most beautiful man I’ve ever known,” she said, as if reading my thoughts.
I reached for her, sliding one arm around her waist. Her bare skin was like lightning beneath my hand and I pulled her close to me until our naked bodies touched, her full breasts resting against my chest, her smooth round stomach touching mine, her soft cheek pressed to my own. And like this we began to sway in time to an unheard song, one that dwelled within us, instead of being carried to our ears on the night air. And if John Mellencamp’s song, Dance naked, had been on the soundtrack of our lives as we streaked through the orchard, it was now something by Chris Isaak, slow and sensual, lonely and bare.
My lips found hers and right away the kiss was different. There’s a marked difference when you kiss someone for the first time and when you kiss someone you know you are madly in love with. The butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, nervous jitters…all these things melt away when you know this is the one. Summer and I had moved beyond the point of lonely friends sharing a kiss because we liked each other, or thought the other attractive. We had entered a new phase of our relationship. We had fallen in love. I could feel this with every fiber of my being, from the blood in my veins to the pores of my skin, every essence of me cried her name. And I knew she felt the same way. From the way her body leaned so easily and comfortable against mine, how her head tilted back to welcome my lips upon hers, to the slight tremors of her flesh, the soft breath of her body inhaling this newfound sensation that neither of us had ever felt before. With her melting against me, and I like the proverbial putty in her hands, we sank easily to the ground to lie upon the fine grass.
Before Summer, lovemaking had seemed an almost forced act, high in expectations, disappointing in results, but in her hands here beneath the apple trees there was nothing more natural and expressive, nothing more gentle and passionate than how she welcomed my hands to her body, and I into her loving embrace. She cradled me to her bosom, as I kissed her, my lips lingering on nearly every freckle that painted her beautiful skin. And as we wrapped ourselves around each other, sinking into the most ecstatic of entanglements, the stars above us seemed to blink out one by one, leaving us to our private moments and intimacies, just as you should now.
“Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.