Breathe Into Me

CONTENT NOTE: this post contains erotic and explicit writing

The first thing I noticed about you? Your breath. As you spoke to me on that crowded Tube train a sweet-sharp waft of peppermint snaked its way inside my nostrils creating a sudden and unrequested intimacy.

It was odd that you were talking to me. Strangers don’t speak to each other on the Tube. Except perhaps in an emergency or when some unexpected event unites them. But there had been no sudden plunge into darkness, no crazy person bursting into song; you had simply turned to me and begun to tell me your story.

We had been riding side-by-side for a good ten minutes and I hadn’t noticed you eating your peppermints. I was zoned out in that typical London commuter way: intent on getting to my stop and finally getting home and away from the crowds and noise.

But as soon as you spoke, as soon as your flavour reached me, I forgot about the no talking rule, and I forgot about the quiet sanctuary waiting for me at home. Your voice – your breath – wrapped me up in an insulated bubble; the sweetness of you made me salivate, while the sharper notes gave me an uncommon clarity. I inhaled your breath and I knew how your tongue would taste.

The narrowness of the Tube seats gave us no choice except to sit close. I usually ignored the unbidden pressure of another’s thigh against mine on my journey home, but this evening I shifted my focus directly to it. The heat from your body contrasted deliciously with the coolness of your breath. Safe in our anonymous bubble, I shifted a little closer, leant a little closer, inhaled a little deeper.

When you stopped talking I was suddenly bereft. The scent of your words had been my oxygen supply, making it possible for me to breathe easily in this cocoon we had created. I felt a wave of panic begin to rise as the noise and movement of all the other passengers began to infiltrate our safe space. I felt vulnerable and exposed: too many people, not enough space for me – and you.

My eyes darted to the scrolling sign at the end of the carriage: where were we?

Your voice told me the name of the approaching stop and that one word was enough for me to breathe again. Then your lips were on mine, your peppermint tongue tasted my own, and we were alone again.

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