I zipped up my hot pink running jacket, turned the music up on my phone, popped it in my bright yellow arm band, and headed out for my run. The country air was crisp and cool, but I knew that running down the several miles of dirt road that lay ahead would get me warmed up quickly.
The crunch of my shoes on the sandy earth kept time with the music. I hadn’t been to my grandmother’s house since the spring. The quiet solitude is something I had missed. Nathan came with me this time. Thoughts of how well he mingled with my family swirled in my head. But a mile and a half into my run my mind calmed and morphed into quitely absorbing the tranquil nature surrounding the road.
Another mile later I heard a truck approaching. It didn’t surprise me. I’d been passed by two trucks on my four mile run the day before. Though it’s been a decade and a half since I’ve lived in these woods I still caught myself wondering if I knew the people who passed me. The truck I had heard crested the hill I was approaching. I kept running, but eased to the side of the road for safety. The closer it came to me the slower it seemed to go.
And then it stopped.
I didn’t know if I should keep heading toward it or turn and run the other way. Running away wouldn’t get me very far, I reasoned, so instead I slowed to a walk to delay my approach. When I was about 25 yards away the truck door swung open and a familiar looking man clad in worn denim, a long sleeved blue polo shirt and a baseball cap climbed out of the cab.
“Marian?” he said, “Is that you?”
The voice was one I had heard on the phone only a month ago. The man walked toward me with a confident swagger.
Surely this man who was bridging the distance between us with more than a little haste was not the high school crush who had found me on Facebook recently. The very one who claimed to have been searching for me for 16 years. But it was.
“What in the world are you doing out here?” he asked, his voice incredulous as he came to a stop in front of me.
“I’m here for Christmas. And I’m out running,” I said simply, “I can’t believe it’s really you.”
Cameron closed the two-foot gap between us and pulled me into a tight embrace. My head rested on his chest and I breathed in his scent. He smelled of soap and pine and sawdust.
“I’m actually holding you,” he whispered.
I pulled away and for the next few minutes we peppered each other with questions. We had done a signifcant amount of catching up via text and with a couple of phone calls before I had slowed down our communication, so it wasn’t like we had 16 years to retrace. But the shock of coming upon each other so unexpectedly seemed to make time completely fall away.
“So things are good with you and your man?” he asked, the sideways smile I remembered so well gracing his face.
“Yes,” I said, “Really good. You know that’s why I eased up on talking to you.”
“I know,” he replied.
We both suddenly ran out of things to say. I looked down at my shoes willing my heart to slow down. He gently pushed my hair off my forehead, bringing my gaze up to meet his.
“I’m sorry I’m so sweaty.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said huskily.
And with that he pulled me to him, bent his head and brought his lips to mine. Finally.
I willingly succumbed to the moment. Our bodies pressed together as our mouths explored. Shamelessly we made out like teenagers in the middle of the road. His hands ran up and down my back before dropping to my waist and then running up the front of my running jacket.
As he grasped a breast I broke the kiss, the intimacy of the touch triggering my mental brakes.
“We have to stop,” I choked.
“I know,” he sighed, “but damn I want you. I want to take you right here out in the open.”
We walked together toward his truck, perhaps because it offered a semblance of shelter other than the woods that flanked the road. We stood there for a while, leaning against the hood, just content to be in the moment together.
“Of all the dirt roads in all the backwoods of this county, you had to be running down this one,” Cameron said.
He put an arm around me, and kissed my temple. Then he began to leave featherlight kisses along my jawline and a neck. With each kiss a fresh crop of chills covered my body. Longing and desire swept through me. And Cameron felt it.
In a swift movement he was behind me, pressing me against the truck. I could feel his erection straining against his jeans and pressing against my ass.
“It would be so easy,” he whispered, “I could pull down your leggings and slip inside you right now.”
I arched against him, wanting it. Wanting him. Wanting the raw roughness of it all. I turned quickly and caught his mouth with my own. He unzipped my jacket and began to kiss down my neck toward my heaving breasts.
A large warm hand reached in my sports bra and pulled out a creamy mound. In moments he was at my nipple, sucking, teasing with his tongue. My pelvis ground into his. He freed the other breast and went back and forth between them. I ran my fingers through his close cropped hair, desire mingling with primal need. I felt his hand between us, unzipping his jeans.
“No!” I cried, coming to my senses. “I can’t. I can not do this to Nathan.”
I stepped away, trembling, while he struggled to zip his jeans back up.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
“Marian,” he said, “it’s okay. I didn’t mean to take it so far. I know you aren’t available. You just drive me crazy.”
“Please don’t be sorry,” he said. “I didn’t look for you for 16 years to drive you away by thinking with my cock. Please don’t disappear on me again.”
“I have to go,” Cameron said, “I’m 15 minutes late to pick up my son.”
“Okay,” I smiled, “and I have a run to finish.”
He hugged me once more and gently kissed me before climbing into his truck and driving away. I stood in the road, listening to the sound of him leaving. And then, with a deep breath began the long treck back to my grandmother’s, and back to Nathan.