The metal of the folding chair squeaked eerily under her shifting weight as she stretched out her fluidly long, taut, naked legs to rest on the rod-iron balcony. The air was warm on her skin as she felt a gust, a hazy summer breeze, blow under her, making the lace-trimmed floral-print shorts of her pyjama flutter. She leaned her head backwards in total abandon, her mane of fine, silk hair cascading down her back, tickling her shoulders. Even if her eyes were closed she could feel him staring at her; that was her utmost favourite, feeling subject to his penetrating gaze. The knowledge of his unsatisfiably hungry eyes running down her neck, across her moonlit chest, along her soft midsection, and slowly, painstakingly down every milimeter of the golden creamy skin of her legs as they shone in the twilight, made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She lifted her head and shifted her gaze, locking eyes with him invitingly, menancingly, playfully, as she had a tendency of doing. Pretending she had any sort of control in the fate of their evenings together was always an amusing, futile little game she enjoyed playing.

In reality, he was for her like the Syrah she was sipping: spicy, warm, with a lingering softness at the back of her throat, in the back of her mind. "You're beautiful", he said bluntly and seriously. His frankness made her giggle; it was refreshing and had yet to grow old. When he parted his lips to speak, the room would grow still. His words, carried by the lull of the summer wind, wrapped around her head in a comforting squeeze. His sultry stare made her skin tingle and as usual, unable to avoid touching her lips in his presence, she licked their tart skin that had been somewhat dried by the acidity of the wine. She took another long, slow sip, never unlocking eye contact. She watched him as the warmth of the alcohol heated her from inside, "a soon to be familiar feeling", she thought.

She didn't answer his compliment; she simply slowly and deliberately put the glass down with a firm clink on the hardwood floor, her breasts plunging forward beneath his gaze, only centimetres from his leg; he was on a creaky folding chair beside her. They had sat there all evening discussing the energy that electrified the streets they walked on during the day as they discovered the historical writers' quarter of the city. As two writers themselves, they couldn't help but revel in the magnetism of the place- the type of magnetism you only encounter in truly beautiful places that seem
to be at once empty yet hold all of the world's magic. The cobblestone roads lined with turn-of-the-century buildings rang in echo of verses come to pass. And here they were now, sitting still, in the hush of the night, being craddled back and forth by the same creative energy that had tormented many a writer, as they wove a story of their very own.

That's the funny thing about "stories" though, she mused in a furious, quick, and stormy tangent of thought. Stories are much like people; they are born before they gain an identity. They are written in symbiosis with the events that unfold around them; a story does not come to life when a pen hits a paper. A story comes to life the moment one decides to listen. It follows the winding road of experience along with its characters, not as a product of them.

She suddenly realized she was in that daze again, that daze she gets in when she spontaneously finds her mind being seduced by some curiosity, some word, some event. The daze lasted but a split second before she was compelled to uncross her legs and turn towards him, as if he had read her mind and summoned her. She got up, turned towards him and ran a hand, with its long fingers that would be elegant were it not for the gentle pudge they proudly wore, down his sharp jaw. Awake from her momentary musing, they locked eye contact once again, now standing in front of him, the look of otherness entirely consumed by the present moment. Ever so slowly she inched herself over his thighs, one leg on either side of his chair, and lowered herself onto him. There was a slightly comforting feeling under his airy trousers. She let the weight of her body and her thoughts fall onto him in search of support, and sat, the light of the moon tickling her back, caressing his face with one hand while the other wrapped around his broad shoulders. Eyes in eyes, she brought her lips to his, slightly parted, so that only the faintest feathery touch could be felt, and they sat like that, in the still of the night, letting their breath synchronize. As he exhaled, she inhaled, lips none but an eighth of a millimeter apart. They rested, minds exhausted from the day, as if posing for the picture that was the story unfolding before them, neither here nor there, just present, in each other's arms.