The heat between their bodies was like invisible friction setting off sparks and flames within them. From outside, a blaring taxi cab horn broke the spell, and they snapped to action.
Elaine twisted a tube of red lipstick, and swabbed a dab with her pinky finger. She applied it to her lips and then spread it on Tessa's, too, before kissing her. "Let's go, beautiful."
The cab ride was sublime. Elaine rested her hand on Tessa's knee, and stroked her ticklish spots. "You're so hot."
Tessa's playful giggle had an addictive quality, and it stirred Elaine's ravenous libido. "So are you."
"I wish we could make love right here in the backseat." Tessa quivered from Elaine's exploring hand, caressing under the hem of her skirt. "We don't have enough time. The airport's only a few blocks away."
Elaine leaned in, and whispered, "My panties are soaked just being next to you. I'll have to change them before getting on the plane."
Wow. Just wow. I don't know what I am more fascinated with here, the explicit sex or the traumatic recovery of our two main characters after a tragic and life-changing airline crash. Did I just say airline crash? Yes, normally I would say something so incredibly libido-suppressing as an airline crash would make me blink and think twice about a book's heat level, Kay Brandt proves me wrong and through recovery we find love, and through love we find recovery.
And one of the hottest characters in the book in the early going does not survive this event, and her memory becomes a connection between the two women here trying to deal with what they lost.
Her vision blurred with tears. "I try to not see their faces, though. In therapy I will, except I won't see the faces... of the ones I want to."
Steven took the cup from Jessica and held her in his arms with a gentle, rocking motion. "However long it takes, and whatever we have to do, we're going to bring you back to life. I'll be right here for you after the session today, and however many more. We can order dinner in, maybe share a few glasses of wine, and talk out your feelings, or say nothing at all."
"I'm not drinking, remember? Makes the anxiety worse. Are you sure your boss won't be mad about taking more time off? Don't lose your job over this. The last thing we need is for the two of us to be hanging around depressed."
"It doesn't matter. Your healing is the only thing I care about. You need to care, too."
Jessica wondered if she did care about getting past the darkness, or if she ever would. What she felt was more than depression, it was guilt over being alive. "I just want the noise to stop, the grinding sound of metal, and the plane ripping to shreds. I even hear the dead engine, even though it didn't make a sound for the last half of the flight."
Steven cupped his hands over her ears and kissed her head. "I wish I could take it all away."And throughout, we attend therapy, we watch them cope, and we cry along with them as they deal. Life is dealing with it. Dealing with loss. Dealing with tragedy. Dealing with that knock on the door or that letter in the mail. That photo on the wall of that person we know will never be coming back.
Yet, we are expected to.
Those we lose would never want to see us tear ourselves down because of them.
So how, do we come back? How do we live a normal life? How do we move from someone in a constant state of mourning to a happy, productive, living, sane, and normal person again?
And you know what, part of that becoming normal is enjoying sex again. You can't imagine how hard that is if you have never been through it. Coming back to just be able to come without feeling guilt or remorse. Letting go of that guilty thought in your head that you can't enjoy life because something terrible happened and you blame yourself for it, so therefore any time you really start to enjoy yourself guilt kicks in and you punish the hell out of yourself just for allowing yourself to feel normal again.
So this book explores that, and takes us along for the tear soaked and lustful ride.
And the sex is graphic, and the raw emotions are just so as well.
Tempted but not swayed, Jessica wasn't up for free-styling. "I promised Steven I wouldn't go places without telling him, and he's expecting me to go to therapy."
"And he wouldn't understand?"
"He'd understand, but it's not a conversation I feel like having. I'm not good at living in such a strained environment with him and I don't want to create more stress."
"You're right," Elaine said, halting her persuasions. "I break my own rules for following through with commitments sometimes in favor of spontaneous whims."
"I'm not the spontaneous type. A planner by nature." Jessica spotted a fresh bruise on Elaine's neck and wondered what it was from.
"Correction, you weren't that type," Elaine chirped. "Who you and I become in the weeks and months ahead remains to be seen."So we live on, and these characters do as well. The trauma is forgotten, but the dull pain of loss never fades. We get moments like this, little tastes of dealing, little snippets of recovery, and little times when we pretend we are normal again. Loss defines us, and yet we stay strong yet we feel weak inside in the endless stretches of loneliness which define how we feel when we realize we are alone but must carry on.
And we can pick ourselves up, smile, flirt, and laugh again some day.
We can find that inner goddess inside us who enjoys those moments of total passion and bliss. She returns to us and smiles. Life. We can enjoy her again and wrap ourselves in her sensuous arms.
To share that kiss. To allow ourselves a moment of guiltless arousal. To feel passion again in her arms.
And the book takes us on this journey, letting us forget those terrible moments which define us, and to thrust us deeply between the sheets of two lovers, lost in the storm together yet completely forgetting about it as the winds and trees lash at the windows and the rain comes down in sheets outside.
Yet what happens between the sheets inside our bedroom defines us.
And the storm outside is forgotten.
And the passion inside brings us back to a place.
Which we call.