The Suckling
by Grace

Their lovemaking has been intense. Some might have hesitated to even use that word to describe the expression of passion they had experienced together earlier. It was always like that when there was tension in the air - and things had certainly been tense lately.

She hadn’t planned on joining him on this leg of the tour but day by day the phone calls had seemed more urgent. He wanted her there with him. He needed her there. Despite the enormous numbers of people surrounding him and depending on him, he felt alone. He always did. Even with years of experience and friendships, he still felt like a slightly square peg in a round hole. When she had agreed to meet him the following night, she sensed his relief. She would have to meet him at the show - she was unable to get there any sooner. His response to this had been edged with dissapointment but they both knew there would be too many distractions before then for them to spend any time together anyway. She would arrive sometime during the performance and see him afterward.

When the cab dropped her at the venue she entered through the VIP entrance, clearly expected, and proceeded into the arena itself. The show had been in progress for half an hour and she stopped at the edge of the circular stage and looked for him. Her eyes fell upon him and she felt her chest expand with her intake of breath. It had been three weeks and there he was, covered in perspiration, singing and dancing his heart out for a crowd that was ignorant of all the turmoil that surrounded him. She knew he’d be looking for her.

His eyes darted over the crowd trying to find her - to see if she had arrived yet. He finally did spot her at the edge of the stage but there was no smile, no wave, no grin from him. She caught, instead, an ever so brief glance of longing and relief which had replaced the look of anxiety she had witnessed moments before.

She stood watching until the last number began and then headed backstage. The people there knew her and had always been kind. They seemed relieved to see her and she wondered how bad things had gotten on this tour. When the show was finally over, the guys came backstage to greet the privledged few who had obtained special passes. His eyes again circled the room looking for her. They found her standing alone against a wall waiting patiently, as she always did, for this to be over. He continued to glance her way throughout the next hour of small talk and thank-yous and he always found her eyes on him. She knew that he needed her desperately - not only in a physical sense, but more so in an emotional one.

She went ahead to the hotel knowing that he wouldn’t be far behind. He arrived not long after and she was ready for him. Still, there was no greeting, no chit chat, no foreplay, no games. He needed to control this. He pinned her arms against the pillows on the bed and took her. He was direct, he was forceful, as she knew he would be. His eyes never closed and he watched her as he moved on her until the end when his hips pressed tightly against hers and his head collapsed into the crook of her neck with a sigh.

She had been so caught up in his intensity that she had been unable to let herself go, yet their encounter had still left her deeply satisfied and relaxed.

After several minutes, he moved out of her and to her side. She turned towards him slightly and he placed his head on her upper arm. He gazed at her as her fingers stroked the back of his neck at his hairline and he closed his eyes again. Soon she felt the familiar sensation of his slightly parted lips brushing back and forth against her hardening nipple. She continued to stroke his hair and watch him as he lay there, eyes still closed and perspiration slowly evaporating from his neck and shoulders.

Then she felt the clasp of his mouth on her breast as he suckled her, the stubble on his chin rubbing against the underside of her breast. She knew that this was a ritual reserved for her alone.

This was not a sexual act but an act of comfort seeking. For a few sweet hours he could be content and at peace. He could release his vulnerabilities and feel protected. When these hours had passed, he would once again take on the harsh cloak of responsibility - often a self imposed burden. He had taken that role on early in his career and now so many people seemed to depend on him for strength, confidence and reassurance. Sometimes the weight of it all bore down on him to the point of implosion and it was at these times he had to pass the weight someplace else - to her.

She shifted slightly on the bed, causing him to become detached from her. The large hand on her stomach moved to her back and unconsciously pushed her towards him, that he may be able to relocate his emotional nourishment. She smiled slightly as she watched him. Still asleep, his brows had furrowed and his now empty lips turned down to form a slight grimace. Even in his sleep, he had become agitated at this brief interruption. Once again, his lips brushed back and forth on her until he found his target and latched on, sucking forcefully. Immediately she saw the tension release from his forehead and closed eyes as the contours of his face relaxed. He was at peace again.

She marveled at the fact that he trusted her so completely. He did not give this gift easily. People who thought they knew him would never be able to imagine him like this. Her eyes began to burn with wetness for in few hours this closeness and expression of the true intimacy they shared would end.

They had yet to speak a word to each other.

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