She rested her head on his chest. It was like listening to rawhide breathe.
“I can’t hear your heart beat,” she said.
“It’s there, baby,” he cooed, “beneath the lotion, beneath the bronze silk made by the licking of the Sun. Listen deep.”
She did. ba-dump. ba-dump. ba-dump. Yes, it was there, like some deep snuff-coloured planetoid floating in a crimson void. And on it was a civilization of sensual intellectuals whose culture was steeped in a copper-toned mysticism that radiated out across the universe uplifting the spirits of any and all lifeforms that were bathed by its waves of mahogany goodness. She imagined Jesus himself, lying out on the beach by the Sea of Galilee with Simon Peter and a couple of the other apostles, maybe Phil and Judy and Jimmy the Lesser, soaking up some rays, and these magical vibes giving him a solid tan and inspiration for the Sermon on the Mount.
She looked up into his bisterous face.
“Teach me to tan,” she whispered.
His eyes looked into her, into the well of her soul, sending a bucket of knowing into its waters and he intoned, “I will teach you. I will tan you. We will become one. In ecru.”
She knew then that she had finally–