The key slides into the lock and is turned. Its mechanical release echoes into the hallway. They both enter quickly, her then him. He turns to lock the door from the inside, she walks into the room, flipping the switch, bathing them in soft light. They set their bags down. He asks softly if she wants champagne.
“The cheap stuff is fine.”
He prepares two glasses from the small bottle in the fridge while she opens the blinds. The night outside is complete. They are above the skyline, facing south. The room’s view is of only sky and distance. He studies her outline against the window, her figure from behind, facing outwards, reaching, drawing the light blinds open. It somehow seems to make the room larger but darker.
She comes to him, they kiss. They each drink. They kiss again, then drink again slowly.
She heads off towards the bathroom, taking her glass with her. He crouches at the stereo and puts on some music. It’s music that the hotel has left in the player, a collection of songs that are meant to be heard. It begins, innocuous as possible, a modest defense against silence. He can hear the water running in the sink. He sits on the edge of the bed and considers their evening.
She asks for her bag, her voice muffled slightly by the water and the music. He obeys. He brings the smaller of the two bags, knowing. At the door to the bathroom he notices that she has already taken off her shoes and belt, they lie tossed aside and coiled together on the floor. He approaches her from behind and holds her, looking at her in the mirror. She leans forward and laughs, putting her hands face down on the counter, turning her head to look back at him.
She holds her head in profile for a moment, her mouth open as if she is about to say something for him to consider. She stands up, placing herself against him. He wraps his hands around her and buries his face in her neck, in the hair around her neck. His hands slide to her waist. He steps back and out of the room.
She emerges seconds later, as she was. They each abandon a few more pieces. She playfully leans onto the bed as he drops his belt next to his shoes. Her hair has been let down from the mystery that held it. Each motion she makes leaps forward in time. Their abbreviation of restraint dissolves in front of them.
She moves towards him. Time stops. There is a flurry of motion, then they are united.
They undress quickly, standing closely together, as if they are traveling together through airport security. All the while they are staring at each other, face to face, rushed hands offering to help one another. They move together, naked enough, towards the bed. His hand slips behind her and then moves lower, pulling her into him. They fall onto the space beneath them. Time passes and begins again, though slowly.
Together, underneath the covers, the soft light soaks them in tandem, in shared fever. Beneath this sheath there is just the pungent smell of sweat, of them. He raises up, the light floods in from both sides. In that light a secret between them escapes. The fresh air reminds them. More. He lowers himself towards her, into their shared shadow. A drop of sweat lands on her chest, her neck, and then her chin. She closes her eyes again. Their lips meet over and over. He moves onto his his elbows. From just above he admires her, relieved to be able stare.
As they move together again there is a look of determined concentration on her face, almost childlike in its soft intensity. Her jaw tightens. Sighs burst forth, exasperations in breath. She turns her head towards the bed, her profile to him, the twist of her neck. Her mind constricts around its hidden idea of pleasure, her body follows. He pulls back, adjusting, he holds her legs in the corner of his arms, then leaning far forward in to hang closely above her face, breathing into her. Her eyes open mid-pulse, in fever.
There’s a sound in the hallway, they both stop moving, as if they were just caught stealing.