We almost would have preferred to share this tale on a cool winter night -- reading it in August might just cause heatstroke! Phew! Says Gaelin, "I wrote 'The Dance' several months ago and had planned to use it in a future Soulmates but will forego that for the sake of the premiere issue of apocrypha. I wouldn't miss it for the world. The opening scene came to me one night while watching -- what else? -- Law & Order." So get out a fan and dig in below....

The Dance
By Gaelin

As he spoke to the older man standing in front of him, his eyes continued to drift towards her. Even after his companion bade him farewell, he remained off to the side, watching her. There were any number of beautiful women in the room, some perhaps even more beautiful than she, but he had eyes only for her.
As she glided throughout the room, with a smile and kind word for everyone, the dress of forest green, sandwashed silk, seemed to shimmer intermittently in the dim candlelight.
The dress was deceptive in its matronly design, with a high, standup collar and long sleeves; but far from old-fashioned was the back slit that tantalized more than revealed, and the multitude of tiny, fabric covered buttons that lined its front, which made his fingers tingle at the thought of undoing them.
In an instant, she turned and her gaze collided with his. A rosy flush crept up her neck and blossomed in her face. She quickly glanced away.
The song changed to a slow, romantic ballad and he made a decision. He turned slightly to his right and placed the half consumed glass of pale amber liquid on the table behind him. Taking his left hand from his pocket, he straightened his tie and made his way across the crowded dance floor towards her, as she stood in a circle with three other women.
He stopped just outside that circle, to her right and slightly behind. "May I have this dance?" he asked.
She turned and looked up at him. She was even more captivating up close. She had high sculpted cheek bones; a small pert nose; a strong determined jawline that ended in a stubborn yet delicate chin. Her eyes were clear green pools, deepened by the color of her dress. He found himself slowly but happily drowning in them. As he awaited her reply, his eyes lowered to her mouth. It was generous and full; the type of mouth made to be kissed. He longed to dip his head and experience its flavor.
"Yes." He heard her say as her mouth curled into a smile that added fuel to the fire already heating his blood.
He took her hand gently into his own and led her out onto the dance floor. When he pulled her into his arms, he was jolted by the feeling of completeness and contentment that engulfed his soul.
He tightened his arm around her waist, pressing her firm softness more closely against his body. The light, delicate, but nonetheless heady fragrance of her perfume, filled his nostrils, and the warmth of her body permeated his, as he continued to stare down into the depths of her emerald eyes, while their two bodies gently swayed to the music.
"Hey, Logan," a voice called out.
Mike reluctantly lifted his eyes and turned to look into the face of Tony Profaci. "You gotta stop looking at your wife like that. You're gonna give the rest us married guys a bad name." Tony chuckled and his wife, Shirley thwapped him on the back of the head, and the two of them danced away.
Mike grinned sheepishly and looked back at Katheleen. "What do you say we get out of here?"
He sucked in a harsh breath when her tongue quickly glided over her bottom lip and her mouth slowly curved up into a seductively knowing smile. "All right," she agreed.
The two of them quickly said their good-byes, picked up their coats and made their way out to the car. They touched nowhere except to clasp hands.

The two of them entered the darkened bedroom. He walked over to turn on the bedside lamp, and she to her dressing table to remove her jewelry, beginning with her earrings.
He moved over to stand behind her. He placed his hands on her shoulders and pulled her back against his body. He brushed her hair back over her right shoulder and lowered his head to nuzzle the side of her neck. He kissed her right ear, using to tip of his tongue to gently caress the delicate area behind the lobe. He drew the lobe into his mouth.
His hands moved across her stomach and hips, softly massaging the muscles there. His fingertips skimmed teasingly over her breasts as he raised his hands to the collar of the dress. He took a step back, just far enough for him to be able to un-hook the two closures at the top and draw the zipper down. He placed his hands on her hips, inside the dress and slowly drew them upward. His hands caressed as they slid over the satin that covered her curves.
He pushed the dress forward off of her shoulders, his hands following its path down the length of her arms and across her hands. It rustled to the floor. Again he lowered his head to place soft, nipping kisses along her bare nape. Dropping his hands to her shoulders, he turned her around to face him. He lowered his head to hers and captured her lips in a slow, gentle kiss. Tenderly, he moved his mouth on top of hers, gently exploring its depths with his tongue. He pulled her nearer.
She drew her hands up along his arms and shoulders to tangle in the soft, curling hair at his collar. His hands glided up and down her back, over her buttocks, drawing her impossibly closer.
Unbreaking of the kiss, she pushed his jacket off his shoulders onto the floor. She pulled back, not far, but enough to move her hands between their two bodies. She removed his tie, dropping it onto the floor with her left hand as her right started on the buttons of his shirt. That too, soon fell to join her dress. She lowered her hands to the belt at his waist. Unbuckling it, she moved onto the button of the pants and then the zipper, smoothly drawing it down. Slipping into the waistband, her hands glidedaround his waist, pushing the pants down over his hips. They fell to heap at his feet.
Gripping her by the waist, he lifted her up and took a couple of steps backwards, stepping out of his shoes and the quickly growing pile of clothes.
Finally breaking the kiss, he stared passionately down at her, devouring the desire laden, half-lidded eyes and the lips swollen by his kisses. He drew the straps of the dark sage, satin slip, slowly over her shoulders and torso to her waist. There he hooked his thumbs beneath the waistband of her panties, intending to push them along with the slip over her hips. She stopped him. With the slight shake of her head, she placed her hands on top of his, and withdrew his fingers from the lace. Together they pushed the slip down to pool at her feet.
He dropped to his knees before her, his hands going to the gold buckle of the thin, dark hunter, suede strap that encircled her ankle. Slipping the right shoe from her foot, he gently massaged her instep, before moving on to the left and repeating the action.
With deliberate slowness, he moved up her legs to removed first one black, silk stocking and then the other. He stopped only long enough to allow his fingertips to brush fleetingly across the satin covered warmth at the apex of her thighs. A second time, when his hands strayed beneath the elastic leg band of the panties to stroke the moist heat hidden there, she placed her hands on top of his, stopping him. He looked up into her eyes, and she shook her head.
Reaching around her, he cupped her buttocks in his hands, and pulled her body to his open mouth. He placed a trail of wet, sucking kisses on her belly, before moving to do the same to first her right then her left thigh.
Her hands fisted in his dark, wavy hair, trying to draw him back to his feet. When he began caressing her through the deep sage satin with the tip of his tongue, her movements became more frantic. "No, not yet." she begged breathlessly, tugging on his hair. He relented, but not before planting two more kisses.
He kissed a trail up her body, stopping only to lave the flesh spilling over the top of the matching sage satin bra, then moving up along her collarbone, across to her neck, up its column to her mouth. Cupping her face in his hands, he drank softly, deeply from her lips, his tongue gently exploring before mating with her own.
Moving in reverse, she led him towards the bed. She lowered herself onto the thick, black and gold, marble-patterned, cotton comforter. Staring up into his eyes, she drew him down next to her.
Rolling onto her back, they continued to kiss. He tasted the flesh of her face and neck; her ears and throat; her nape and chest. He bathed her breasts in kisses, teasing their peaks to painful stiffness with tongue, teeth and lips through the delicate fabric. Each time his hand would cease its feather-light caress of her hips or thighs and seek to move between her legs, she would reach out drawing his hand away. He continued to kiss a path down her body. When his lips sought the prize, his hands could not , she reached down grabbing his ears and pulled him back to her mouth for a long deep kiss.
She clasped her fingers in his, and gripping his hips with her knees, forced him over onto his back. She straddled his hips, pressing their clasped hands against the bed on either side of his head. She explored his mouth, before moving on to kiss his strong, square jaw, the high angular cheekbones, the aquiline nose, the passion hooded eyes, and the smooth wide forehead. She traced the contours of his right ear with the tip of her tongue before moving back to his mouth for another passionate kiss.
She opened her eyes and pulled her mouth away from his, waiting for him to open his eyes. He did, and she stared intently into his normally hazel depths, now darkened almost black by passion. Her breath mingled with his as she teased his lips with her tongue, licking at the moisture that beaded his upper lip. Each time she darted her tongue quickly over his lips, he would open his mouth to draw it in, but she would pull away. He groaned in frustration. Her responding chuckle was deep and throaty. Seductive. She felt his body stir in response to it beneath her pelvis. She chuckled once more, before lowering her mouth to his for a deep, but quick kiss.
She pulled back, capturing his full bottom lip between her teeth. She tugged slightly and then released it, moving down to cover his neck and chest with kisses. She moved back up to look into his eyes. She released his hands. "No touching," she commanded.
He nodded and agreed, "No touching." His voice was a hoarse rasp.
She retraced a path with her lips and tongue back down his body, tasting the saltiness of his skin, the thin film of sweat that covered him and the intoxicating flavor that was his alone. She licked, sucked and nipped his nipples to hard buds, all the while using her nails to stroke his sides and circle her pelvis over his. He arched against her. Each time he reached up to stroke her thighs or grasp her hip, she would push his hands back to the bed.
She continued down his body, eventually slipping off the side of the bed. When she reached the waistband of his boxer shorts, she continued kissing him through the white cotton. He groaned and his body jerked in response and she gave another throaty chuckle. Reaching up she grasped the elastic in her two hands and drew them down and off.
Lightly scraping her nails across the crisp hairs of his thighs, she moved her mouth to within inches of his body, close enough for him to feel her warm breath fan against him.
Without using her hands, she placed several light kisses along his the center of his body. She then moved along that same path with the tip of her tongue.
Leaving that part of his anatomy, she moved to his left inner thigh, repeatedly nipping with sharp little teeth only to lave the hurt with her lips and tongue. She reproduced the same movement on his right. Each time she moved, she turned her head in such a way that the silken length of her hair brushed lightly against his groin. His groan was a cross between one of abject pleasure and torturous agony. He gritted his teeth against the intense sensations. All of this earned him another deep chuckle.
It seemed like an eternity but finally she took him into her hands, alternately stroking and squeezing. He contracted the well- defined muscles of his abdomen in anticipation when he felt her breath fan across him. Again she teased, kissing and then licking from base to tip, lingering there only long enough to flit her tongue several times. She returned to the base, tarrying there for a very long moment.
Moving back up, she closed her lips around the tip, drawing ever so slightly in a light suckles. His moans became louder, as she took as much of him as possible into her mouth. His hips gently rose and fell in unison with the movement of her head.
When he felt himself approaching the brink, he reached down, fisting his hand in her head, pulling her away.
She softly kissed his neck and chin as she waited for his breathing to calm. When it did she straddled his hips, rubbing her satin clad warmth against his now fully engorged body. "I said no touching," she whispered against his lips.
"Sue me," he replied reaching up to un-hook the back closure of her bra, drawing it down over her shoulders. He tossed it over his head onto the floor.
The rubbing of her pelvis against him was driving him insane. Rolling over, he pushed her onto her back. Pinning both of her hands above her head with his left, he used his right to drive her beyond the limits of madness.
He kissed her, as his hand kneaded the firmness of first one breast then the other, gently pinching the taut peaks. He stroked and massaged his way across her hips and belly. He squeezed her left thigh as he approached the apex of her body. She grunted half in pleasure, half in protest, as he caressed her through the satin. She dug her nails in the back of the hand that held hers. His other hand rose to the top of the satin and then slipped beneath the waistband. Her own desire already evident, he stroked her everywhere, but that one place that would push her over the edge.
Finally, he drew his finger ever so lightly across that slick nub and her body shivered in response. He returned again and again, to glide over it but never applying any pressure. Still her hips arched upwards and she felt the delicious heaviness spread deep in her belly. He eased one finger inside of her body, using another to stroke in earnest. She knew he wasn't going to stop until he had sent her into the abyss. She tore her mouth away from his . "Not fair...I stopped," she groaned breathlessly as she fought the growing wave.
"All's fair," he told her. His voice was equally breathless and hoarse. A triumphant smile played on his lips as he kissed her on the chin. "Besides," he continued. "I want to hear you purr for me."
"I don't purr," she denied in a half-hearted protest. Her breaths came faster.
"Yes, you do." He captured her mouth in a kiss.
The movements of his hand became more intense. He increased the pressure and speed. A purr-like moan sounded in the back of her throat. He grinned. Nothing turned him on like that sound. Her hips moved to the rhythm set by his hand, until her heard the breath catch in her throat and her body stiffen only to release in a series of jolting convusions.
He continued to his kiss her softly until she settled. Only then did he release her hands. He sat up just long enough to lift her hips and sweep the remaining undergarment from her body.
Starting with her left knee, he kissed a path down along her inner thigh to the place his hand had been just moments before. With his lips and tongue, he again aroused her to the point of breathlessness. When he heard the purr start in her throat, then and only then did he draw that swollen, hard nub into his mouth and begin to suckle. Almost immediately, he felt her body begin to tremble, and the hips that had arched to meet him began to quake. Her nails dug into the back of his hands as he clasped her fingers in between his. He gave one more flick of his tongue and a final long, hard pull with his mouth. With a cry between a gasp and a scream, she exploded into thousands of tiny pieces.
He kissed his way up her body, stopping to gently suckle on each breast. Reaching her mouth, he joined his body to hers, very slowly. His own body trembled with the restraining effort. Pulling her thighs high up around his waist, he began to move.
He started slowly, but when she locked her ankles around him and dug her nails into his sweat slicked shoulders, what little control he still possessed snapped. He pressed his body in and out of hers with fast, deep but rhythmic strokes. He swallowed her moans of ecstasy when he lowered his mouth to hers and his tongue duplicated the movements of his lower body.
She frantically clung to him as she felt the heat build once again deep in her loins. Piece by tiny piece she broke apart, her body repeatedly tightening around him, pulling him, caressing him. With one final long, deep thrust, he froze and then shuddered. His cry of release began as a low growl but ended in a roar. He spasmed again and again as the warm, life giving fluid of his body flowed into hers.
The feel of that liquid warmth, pushed her beyond the brink. Her entire being quaked with the force of her climax and her nails bit into his shoulders, producing eight crescent shaped lines of blood.
He collapsed on top of her. Though he was heavy, it was not a weight that she wanted to be free of. When he could breath again, he raised up onto his elbows and kissed her slowly, deeply on the mouth. Pulling his body from hers, he lifted his weight off to move to her side, drawing her into the cradle of his body.
Nuzzling her damp honey tendrils, he asked, "Do you still think you don't purr?"
"No." She grinned mischievously. "I know I don't."
"Do I have to prove it to you?" He drew her ear lobe between his lips.
She reached back, taking him into her hand. "Only if you think you can."
"Oh. I'm sure I can." His right hand deliberately drifted down across her belly.


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