I open my eyes to a room that’s not mine. It reminds me of a room a monk might have. The walls are bare, a soft white. Pale early sunlight filters through gauzy white curtains. The bed is bare too, just a clean ivory blanket covers me, smooth against my skin

There’s a space in the bed next to me that reminds me of him. The absence of him. I stretch and look around. He’s sitting on a thick rug in front of the window, so still that I don’t notice him at first. He’s facing the light, and when I look more closely I can see the gentle waves of his breath trace up his naked body and back down.

I move slowly, trying not to disturb him. I take a pillow from the bed and sit next to him cross-legged. The lotus position. My knee is a few inches from his. I shiver when I feel the heat that comes off of his skin. I close my eyes, sit up straight, and turn my focus to my breath. Hundreds of yoga classes echo in my head, each instructor’s voice becoming one as they tell me to release, to let go, to slow down. It’s become easier with practice, the inner work. It’s especially easier now, in this pre-dawn light, with him beating steadily at my side. 

In, out. In, out.

Easier doesn’t mean easy, and the effort of clearing my head soon gives way to thought. Mundane at first, my grocery list, when the rent is due, visions under my eyelids of doing the dishes. No. I pull myself back to my breath.

In, out. In. Out.

But how is he so still? I feel him next to me, his body unmoving, no sound of the air flowing through his nose. I try and turn my focus to the rise and fall of my chest, but now I’ve unleashed my thoughts of him. Soon, I’m lost in memories his voice, deep and commanding, correcting my movements, singing “Ohm” with reverence, the sound waves surrounding me, surging into my heart.  

Of all the yoga classes I’ve been to, his spoke to my soul the most. Every chant that came from his lips felt like it was for me and only me. He radiated calm, made each movement feel graceful. His eyes, a light grey, saw everything I had done, every thought or feeling I pushed away. Even though I had never met him before, I felt that he knew every piece of me and he didn’t judge any of it. Love spilled from him in all directions. 

I had to have more of him. I went to his class the next day, then the next week, each hour more hypnotic and expansive than the last. I absorbed his presence hungrily, and as I did, I found that Love poured easily from me too. He had cracked me open and let the world pour out. His gaze, his words, his joy was intoxicating. Each easy smile he bestowed on me made me feel invincible. 

I had to have more. I had to feel more. My hunger for him finally won against my shyness on a cold winter night when I was the last of his students in the studio. When my fingers stumbled on my shoelaces, I prayed they wouldn’t betray the nerves charging through my body.

“Would you like to get a tea with me? I know a shop around the corner.”

He smiled; he didn’t look surprised. Later, he confessed that he knew I would ask him out, and he was practicing patience when he didn’t ask me first. I was so at ease with him across that small cozy table, then later on our first walk in the park and every time after that. 

Patience was a big word of his. When I first kissed him, “patience” formed on his lips. When I finally got to touch his skin, feverishly running my hands toward his pants, he took my wrist, a smile making his eyes spark. “Patience,” he said, tracing my hand over his smooth, warm chest. In the pause, the moment between moments, I felt his heart beating, steady and strong, and understood. He wanted to get to know every part of me when the time was right, and I was grateful that he made me slow down to do the same. 

Though his will was certainly stronger than mine, I took pleasure when his breath caught in his chest. When it was my turn to take his hand and whisper, “patience” into his ear, he laughed and growled, the vibrations flowing through my body, making me maddeningly wet

The first time we slept together, patience danced over each of our lips. The movements were unhurried and exploratory. When I reached my peak, it felt like I had been lifted from my body. I briefly saw another plane, teeming with light. When I shuddered back and looked into his face, I knew he had seen the same place.

We’d spent the last few months reaching that place over and over again, breathlessly, obsessively. I had always been addicted to him, but now he was addicted to me. Still, we practiced patience, which made each encounter unique and beautiful. We relished our time together like we relished our first down dog of the day, feeling out spaces, tightness and ease, where our breath flowed in this particular moment.

His movement next to me brings me back to the now, the prickling under my skin threatening to break me from my pose. I keep my eyes closed but adjust my legs.

“Keep breathing,” his voice reaches me from across the room, “In and out.” I hear a slight rustling as he makes the bed.

I obey him. In and out.

Now I’m acutely aware of how my morning reveries have affected me in physical ways. My heart flutters high in my chest, my nipples are tight against the cool air, and I shiver at a new wetness between my legs. 

“In. Out,” he says into my ear, his breath brushing the tendrils of hair on my neck. He’s sitting next to me again, and facing me now, his energy warming me. I start to turn, but a well-placed thumb at my jaw stops me. He gently moves me back to see the bright sunlight through my closed eyelids. 

“Patience,” he says, “Breathe. That’s all I want you to do. In. Out.”

In. Out. In. Out. I relax again, trusting him totally.

He kisses my forehead, his lips pulled into a smile. I welcome the anticipation, then turn back inward, feeling my breath.

In. Out.

His lips are feather-light, landing like butterflies on my jaw, my collarbone, the inside of my elbow and my wrist, then each of my upturned fingertips. Goosebumps rise on my skin and I know he loves the power he has to ignite these feelings in me.

Christ. In. Out.

He moves behind me, his warm, bare skin a whisper away from mine. His fingers caress down my scalp, meeting at the nape of my neck, over and over until I feel a release. Then he moves to my shoulders, my arms, my back, lighting a fire under my skin as if I’m in a steaming hot bath. I gasp when he reaches my hips, going from the crease where my thigh meets my body back toward my ass.

“In and out.” His mouth is at my ear again. 

In. Out.

The quiet is comforting, closing in on me. A submerged fuzziness fills my ears. His touch is hypnotic as he works his way down my body again, so that I forget my anticipation, frustration, the senses flooding my body. What overtakes everything is my need to breathe.

My breath flows in and out. In. Out.

His hand comes around my shoulder, tracing down the front of my breast. I try to fight a shiver down my spine and fail, and he takes it back. “In. Out,” he says.

In. And out. 

He starts again and I concentrate on the rise and fall of my chest as it meets his hand. I want this so badly. 

In. Out.

His hand glides over my belly, resting strong and warm against my pussy. “Release here,” he says, his words trailing over my shoulder. I relax completely and feel the anticipation course through the rest of my body, lighting up my limbs. 

In. Out.

It’s difficult to ignore the sparks of energy running through my skin, and even harder to control myself when he dips his fingers into my swollen pussy. 

Oh, fuck. In, out. In. Out.

Good girl,” he murmurs. I can hear the amusement in his voice. “You’re very patient this morning.”

In. Out. God. In. Out. 

His fingers are shallow, just the tips filling me up. He knows exactly what he’s doing, teasing me, but I can’t let him get to me. Not yet. My breath moves in and out. His fingers move in, out. Stirred by my lack of response, he works deeper into me, and with my heightened awareness I can feel each ridge on his rough fingertips. 

“Are you ready for more?” he asks. He doesn’t want me to break the silence, so I nod my head just barely. He moves to my side, supporting my head as he lays me down on the rug. “Keep breathing,” he says, but I haven’t forgotten this time. 

In. Out.

He stretches my legs long in front of me and runs his hands over the places that have tightened from my prolonged pose. Then he takes my hands and turns my palms upward, his touch leaving a trail of electricity in its wake. My eyes are still closed, my chest rising and falling, when I feel him settle between my legs. His lips brush my soft inner thighs. 

I try to focus, but a twitch of my finger betrays me and he pulls away. “Patience.” The word glides gracefully over my stomach and settles there, a gentle weight. He resumes his place.

In. Out.

He takes his time making his way to my throbbing pussy, where I’m aware of the pulsations of blood with each beat of my heart. Finally, his tongue flicks over my clit, so lightly that at first I wonder if I’m imagining it. I contain a gasp when he does it again, then again, over and over. I can’t move for fear he’ll stop and it feels so fucking Good. Then, one broad stroke of his tongue breaks me. I arch my back, letting the air pour from my lungs. He stops. My face twists in agony, and the cold that replaces his mouth is a blinding white torture.

“Just breathe, Love.”

In. Out.

I feel his body cover mine, his lips against mine, tasting of me as he pushes my mouth open. I feel connected to him, and when he pushes the head of his thick cock into me, nothing else matters but the in. And the out. I release the muscles inside of me and let go. He reaches deeper. 

look at me.”

I open my eyes to see his, soft and calm, the morning light streaming in behind him like a halo. He smiles and kisses me, moving slowly, steadily, patiently. 

“Touch me,” he says.

My arms are heavy after holding them still for so long. It’s like I’m swimming through honey when I wrap myself around him. My hands stroke his back, feeling his hard muscles move rhythmically. 

His breathing gets more intense, and I match him. 

In. Out. In. Out.

“Come with me,” he whispers. 

I gasp, his cock pushing me apart, filling me up with heat so powerful that for a moment I think blue flames are licking up my skin. I squeeze my eyes closed and see pure white and feel beautifully weightless. 

I arrive softly back down and he’s looking at me with shining eyes. We lay there, simply, happily, until he stands up and breaks the spell. I stretch my arms over my head, my body still melted into the floor. 

“You’re so fucking perfect,” he says, throwing his blanket over me and lifting me onto the bed. I laugh and pull his face down to mine. I don’t want to let him go. I kiss him, enjoying the moment until we’re interrupted by a rumble in my stomach. 

“Pancakes for breakfast?” I ask playfully.

A short laugh escapes him.

“Patience,” he says, and walks to the kitchen. 

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