“Rain Delay” by Rachel A.G. Gilman

We drive out for a weekend in Provincetown, co-curating a playlist for the 5-hour trip. Your songs are much cooler than mine but I still sing along to the ones I’ve added. With my shoes kicked off and my feet pressed to the dashboard, I reach across the gearshift for your hand when the traffic slows. I’m bursting with anticipation. I’ve planned everything.

We’ll start the days with breakfast in bed then head to Race Point Beach with a blanket, books, and bags of popcorn and pretzels, lazily reading and sleeping, rubbing lotion into our shoulders a little too frequently as an excuse to touch, your fingers toying with the straps on my green bikini and mine dancing against the waistband of your pastel swim trunks. We’ll dip into the water when our urges overheat, coming up to the sand to let the sun dry our hair in kinky curls and freckle our thirsty skin. Late afternoons will then be spent with wine and snacks in the room before heading into town for the evening, tipsily walking around and trying to decide where to eat dinner, dipping into the general store to buy salt water taffy or the bookstore for some new reading material.

One afternoon, though, we get back to the room and it starts to rain. This wasn’t in my itinerary. I don’t know how to make a beach town enjoyable when it’s gone grey and blustery. I take a shower to wash away my disappointment, ridding the saltwater from my skin before working lotion over every crevice and tying myself up in the inn’s monogrammed bathrobe. 

Stepping out, I find you’ve uncorked the wine and changed (barely) from trunks into boxers with silly looking whales, sitting and staring out at the rain. I walk over and you look up with a dopey smile. ‘I poured you a glass,’ you say.

I take the Chardonnay and sip. ‘I’m sorry it’s raining.’

When you start laughing, I sort of pout. ‘I didn’t know you controlled the weather,’ you say, cheekily.

I roll my eyes and take another drink. ‘I just wanted everything to be perfect,’ I mumble, plopping down on the bed. ‘Instead I got rain and a sunburned nose.’

You walk toward me with the wine bottle in hand, filling up my glass (I had hardly realized it was downed), then yours. ‘Everything is perfect,’ you say, sitting down next to me. Leaning in, you add, ‘Plus, I like your sunburned nose,’ pressing a kiss to the tip as your forehead touches mine. Still, I’m impossibly stubborn. ‘Maybe this is actually a blessing.’ Your hand starts traveling up my arm. ‘Gives us some time to, you know…’

‘No?’ I reply, playing dumb, but you easily call my bluff.

You move your arm back down and bend your head into my neck, pressing a kiss to my skin, your lips lightly over a delicate mole. It sends a plunging heat through to my stomach. I extend my head up to give you more access. You take your time, your mouth enveloping my earlobe before traveling down my clavicle to the hollow valley between my breasts. ‘Can I…?’ you ask as I am already helping your hand undo the tie in the robe so you can have full access to my dewy body. It feels like something worth being kind to in a way it usually doesn’t. Your mouth continues its journey down my ever-more stinging skin, hitting all the checkpoints: nipples, ribs, my stomach that I really don’t like.

When you get between my legs, you notice I tense and you stop suddenly, looking up. I flush, embarrassed to ask for what I want next because I’ve never been in the position to do so. ‘Is this okay?’ you ask, a hand pressed to my thigh.

I pull my legs apart slowly and nod. I tremble a little as your mouth gets closer between my legs, full on jumping when your tongue makes contact where I am wet. I reach down and knot my fingers in your hair as you start to lick up, the slit in your tongue just barely teasing my clit in a way that sends a dizzying desire down to my toes. I’m already arching my back up off the bed and flinching underneath you. I can feel you laugh a little against me when you notice.

‘I’ve barely started,’ you say.

My brain feels like it’s aflame as you continue to tease, acquainting yourself in places that make me fume just considering, your fingers gently outlining where your mouth cannot be. I’m not sure how they are working together but they do, and with each small rush of pleasure I moan a little louder and drag my fingers with a bit more force through your hair. When your tongue does find its way to the clit, I completely unravel.

‘Oh my god,’ I say, the words muddled in my mouth.

You flick it back and forth slowly then pick up the speed, sensing as I wriggle underneath that it’s having its desired effect.

‘Oh my god’ continues to be most of what I can get out, but as I feel the crash of a pleasure wave flooding forward, I barely manage to add, ‘Michael, I’m going to come,’ before my moan cracks and something hot and good and overwhelming completely shudders me slack.

You slowly make your way back up my body then, kissing softly until your lips are back on mine. Still dizzy with ecstasy, I reach up, looking through sleepy eyes as I try to smooth your hair that I have completely mussed into a mess. You don’t seem to mind. Your glasses fall down a little as your nose pushes into my cheek and you ask, ‘Are you relaxed now?’

I tilt your mouth to mine and kiss you in response, hoping it might convey the next thought, that I want you inside me and I want it now.

Rachel A.G. Gilman (She/her)
Rachel A.G. Gilman’s work has been published in journals throughout the US, UK, and Australia. She is the creator/EIC of The Rational Creature, a columnist for No Contact, and was EIC for Columbia Journal, Issue 58. She holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and is currently reading for an MSt in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford.