I’m seeing someone new, in an undefined sort of way. A friend. We’re sleeping together. I suppose that’s what the term “friends with benefits” is for. He’s said so little about what he thinks or wants in terms of our association, though, that it’s hard to be sure.
He’s wary. He’s seen jealousy with poly folks before. Been hurt. Seen others hurt. It makes him cautious. I’m glad of this, that he thinks of risk and moves slow to avoid it. It’s frustrating, too: too much caution holds him back. It isn’t shyness. I like shyness, all tongue-tied softness and blushing and peering up through eyelashes. This is different, wary, a fox hiding in the brush, waiting to see if I’m predator or prey.
There’s violence, just under the surface. I see it in the narrowing of his eyes when he laughs, in the set of his teeth when he smiles. This is a man used to being in control, who finds it not only comfortable but natural as breathing. But he turns docile when my teeth find his throat, makes soft sounds that send shivers across my skin. What was straining muscle a moment ago turns pliant and soft.
It makes me want to tear him apart.
We’re new to each other, tentative and shy. I see violence in him, reflections of the savagery I feel. The feedback breeds intensity. It grows into growling and bared teeth. I shove him hard against the wall only to hold him there, close enough to feel his shaking breath against my lips, not close enough at all. He is a mirror, or I am. If I crash into him, one of us will surely shatter.
I look at him and I see violence. He wants teeth in his flesh. He wants bruises on mine. But we’re too new for that. We’ve explored skin without learning the muscle and mind underneath. I don’t want to hold back. He certainly responds eagerly enough when I’m aggressive. I hold back anyway. We need to talk, not about what he’ll accept (“Don’t wait on an invitation or opportunity, take what interests you,” he says) but what we both want.
I have a feeling this conversation will be happening at least partly over text message. I seem to have a bad habit of kissing him and not being willing to stop once conversation steers that direction in person.