Despite my nocturnal activities, I awoke fully fresh. I opened the window and let the breeze bring in the salty air. It caressed my body which responded to the sensation. Every molecule of my being was alive and buzzing. Damn, this had to happen my first day. I shook off the feeling and opened my laptop. A quick email to Rael ‘start of pleasure week, I am such a freak.’ Nothing like meeting new people when everything makes me feel so, ah.
I dressed quickly, hoping I could keep everything in check. Just five to seven days and then I could pretend to be normal. Well for the three weeks before it starts over again. I am a professional, I can do this.
The dining room was empty. I took the moment to slide my chair and place setting further away from my neighbor. I sat down. The others trickled in after. I watched them stretch, yawn, talk about coffee as they came in. No one ignored me but they didn’t open their conversations to me either. I was okay with that. My chair was made of wood. The polish just begged to be rubbed. It took all my concentration to keep my hands on my lap and my butt still.
“I would have thought you’d sleep in.” Thomas sat down across from me, smelling of pine, ocean air and musk. I couldn’t fight the smile that came to my face. I shifted so my hands were folded under my chin.
“I don’t require a lot of sleep.” His shirt shined. I wondered if it was silk. The deep blue played well with the grey of his eyes. Eyes so bright. I wonder what he tasted like. I closed my eyes for a moment. “How did you sleep? I hope I hadn’t disturbed you.”
His lips twitched with amusement, “I don’t require much sleep either. Even less when the house is full of strangers who like to creep around at night.”
“Well, I guess I’ll have to keep my creeping around to a minimum so as not to disturb you.”
“Good morning,” Edward’s voice rang out as he made his way to the table. Thank God for the distraction. “How did everyone sleep?” There were murmurs of ‘great’, ‘fine’ and what not. I chose not to respond.
David leaned into my space. His cheek and chin smooth, scents of cloves and bay came from him. I gripped my hands tighter. “It’s a beautiful morning, wouldn’t you agree?”
I was saved from responding by Edward. “I would like to give everyone a tour of the house after breakfast and then you can all walk around the island. Take today to get to know the area. I expect everyone to be in top form tomorrow.”
An older woman, dressed in a simple dress, came into the room. “Ah, everyone, I want you to meet Rose. She takes care of us.” I watched as she whispered something to our host. She had the roundness of age but tapered due to her physical labor. That was a woman who brought life, strong enough to run a household of such size on her own. I wondered what she smelled like. Would there be pie in our future? I love pie. I love berries and peaches that drip like honey down your chin. Cloves and allspice. My body leaned towards David, the smell so alluring. I took a deep breath and tried to reel myself back.
“Perhaps you are not as awake as you thought.” Thomas’s grin made me smile. I stretched because it seemed like the thing to do.
“It’s just a matter of finding the right stimulation. I’ll be right as rain,” silky, naked rain, “once we start the tour.” I wanted to dance. I looked out the window, I wanted outside.
A bowl of oatmeal appeared under my nose and made its way down to the table. Cinnamon, brown sugar, butter with that nutty grain, so warm. The first bite was better than kissing. My eyes might have rolled right out of their socket. I could barely see past the blur. That was until the second bowl appeared filled with round, red pebbles, no – globes, perfect in shape, marred only by thin green veins giving them a beach ball appearance. I set my spoon down and picked one up with my fingers. They were firm, strong but gave up their juice once pressed with my tongue against the roof of my mouth. The world stopped. No noise in this new dimension, just light and that sweet tart taste of early summer. I shivered and the world righted.
With each consecutive bite, it was a battle between the warm comfort of the oatmeal and the fresh burst of the berry. It consumed my every thought. Once the bowls were empty, I sat back. Thomas’s eyes were on me, pools of algae on the rocks. “I could watch you eat forever,” he said.