The sky was turning dark. They stood together at the crest of the hill and looked out over the rolling countryside. There was very little traffic on the highway. The sun had set minutes ago. There was a red glow to the west. Behind them, the motel’s neon sign winked on and off, on and off.
The motel was on Route 28, a two-lane state highway that curved through the Catskills. They had left the throughway at the Saugerties exit and had driven this far before he decided to call it a day. They spent the afternoon by the side of the motel pool, ate dinner at a roadhouse a few miles down the road to the east
She said, “I can’t believe it, you know.”
“That it’s over?”
“That it’s over. Or that it happened at all, the crime or the punishment. Neither one seems real now. Just eight days, I can’t believe any of it.”
He slipped an arm around her waist. She leaned against him and he smelled the fragrance of her hair. “After a year,” she said, “we won’t be able to believe it at all, any of it. You’ll be a very very promising young attorney and I’ll be a charming young married in the social swim and it will seem so completely unreal we’ll think we dreamed it.”
He kissed her. She looked at him with the biggest eyes on earth and he held her close and kissed her again, and when he released her there was no need to say anything, not a word. Together they turned and walked to their room. The door was not locked. They went inside, and he locked the door while she drew the blinds. Together, they took the spread off the bed and drew the covers down.
They undressed slowly and silently. He took her in his arms and kissed her again, gently, and she sighed, and he drew her down upon the bed and lay down beside her. She was incredibly beautiful.
“My wife,” he whispered. “My love.”
There were tears in the corners of her eyes. She blinked them away. His hands filled up with the warmth of her body, and desire welled up within him, a living force. He had never wanted anything, ever, as much as he wanted her now.
The bars were gone, the blocks were kicked aside. When it was time, her thighs opened to him and her breasts cushioned him. He took her, and she gave a small sweet cry of joy, and they were together.
Whole concepts fled — time, space, memory, self. Love lived its own life, an island to itself, and sleep came quick on its heels.
They spent four days at the motel. Almost all of that time was spent in the room, in the bed. Their need for each other was overpowering, irresistible. They would laugh about it and tell each other that they had turned into sex maniacs, and suddenly the laughter and the banter would die in the air and they would fall hungrily back into bed.
Once she said, “I’m very good, aren’t I?”
“And modest too.”
“But good,” she said, yawning. “Am I the best you ever had?”
“The only one I ever had.”
“Ah.” She yawned again, stretching her arms high overhead. “But I don’t mind the others,” she said. “I’m not even a little jealous. They couldn’t make you like this. Only me.”
And another time, after a meeting that was fast and furious, she put her head on his chest and cried. He stroked her hair and asked her what was the matter. She wouldn’t tell him. He held her in silence, and after a few minutes she looked up at him with tears in her eyes, tears staining her cheeks. She said, “I wish—”
“That I could have been a virgin for you.”
“But you were,” he said.
She thought that over for a few minutes. Then, slowly, she nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I was, wasn’t I?”