I like a little vulnerability with my heat.
A long-time poly couple is living in Goa, India, and receives a friend’s visit with open arms. She has recently ended a long term relationship of her own and they get more than they’d expected, though exactly what they’d hoped.
by Dena Hankins
Twice the Pleasure
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Thomas and I waved to get Cybele’s attention in the airport. When she grinned and headed toward us, I squeezed his hand in relief. We’d been worried about her state of mind. The full day of flying to get to Mumbai and then Goa beat the stuffing out of most people, and she’d been going through hard times. Cybele and Willa had split up after an eight year marriage and the end had been excruciating for them both. Right after Cybele moved out, she had applied for a passport so she could get away from Baltimore. India was about far enough.
We exchanged long, tight hugs and gave each other smacking kisses on the lips.
Rather than stay in our tiny, one-room rental house, Cybele had insisted on having her own hotel room for the two weeks she’d be in Goa. We had arranged a good price at a place on the best beach. We reached the hotel quickly and took Cybele’s luggage to her room. I produced her welcome present and handed it to her with a kiss on the cheek.
She took the rectangle of fabric between her hands and looked up at me with a frown. “No, Molly. You shouldn’t have. I know you’re living close to the bone.”
“Don’t you worry about us, Cybele,” said Thomas.
“We’re good at budgeting, honey.” I stroked her arm. “Open it.”
“First we have to agree. I buy all meals and pay if we go out places.”
Thomas dropped the drape over the open door leading outside to Colva Beach. Punjabi music beat softly from the bar out there. He came to Cybele and took her upper arms in his hands. Leaning down to meet her eyes, he spoke with quiet authority. “You can pay if you like when we go out, but you must accept our gifts with good grace.”
Cybele nodded and pulled the tuck loose on the bundle. It unfolded in her hands, revealing two sarongs, one wrapped in the other. Cybele stroked the intricate wood-block dyes and the tension of maintaining a cheerful façade fell away. Her breathing roughened. She began to cry and Thomas gathered her up in his arms, tossing the fabric on the bed behind him.
I hugged her from behind. She held Thomas with one arm around his waist and reached to pull me closer with the other. “I’m so happy to be here,” she said on a hiccup. “It’s such a relief to be with people who love me.”
Cybele turned in our embrace, pressing Thomas back against the wooden bedstead. She put both arms around me and leaned her forehead into my shoulder. Thomas wrapped his arms around us both.
In Baltimore, we had gone out as a foursome. Cybele and Willa ate and drank with great appetites and we assumed they were also sensualists in other ways. When they split up, Cybele called me on Skype and poured her heart out. Willa didn’t want sex. Cybele was faithful to her promise that she wouldn’t sleep with anyone else, but Willa couldn’t believe her. When Cybele told me that they hadn’t made love in three years, I could hardly believe it myself. It was Willa’s suspicious, unreasonable jealousy that had ended their marriage as much as the discrepancy in their sex drives.
Thomas and I talked about their breakup and how much we each found Cybele sexy. We’d been poly for ten years and were accustomed to honesty about our attractions to other people. It had been a while since I’d been with another woman, though, and I was turned on by Cybele’s soft, round body against mine. Standing in the hotel room with jasmine scenting the air, holding Cybele close, I met Thomas’ eyes and knew that he was experiencing the same sexual response I was.
I raised an eyebrow at Thomas and sighed. This was the emotional turmoil we had expected, and I wouldn’t take advantage of her volatile state. Thomas wasn’t even sure she would be interested in him. She’d been nineteen when she’d last slept with a man. She and Thomas were the same age at forty two, so that was a long time dedicated only to women.
While Thomas and I held our silent conversation, Cybele stirred. Her breasts rubbed against mine and my expression turned wry. Thomas smiled at me and raised one hand to stroke my hair. Then Cybele did the unexpected.