The trail went straight up, or so it seemed. It taxed them both, their lungs burning, the muscles in their legs aching, sweat running down their backs. She ran ahead of him, her small buttocks firm with each powerful stride. He noticed. He also noticed the swing of her muscular shoulders and the soft, confident, placement of her tiny feet. She floated over the rocks and roots and mud. From his angle, it appeared that she expended no energy. He, on the other hand, was nearly wheezing. He had asked her on this run, dammit, and he was going to keep up with her!
Finally, they made it to the top of the interminable climb. She had peeled off a layer and had only the small jog bra covering her nipples. She stopped as the trail came to a high lookout. Below was the Columbia River, winding upstream to the east, flanked by layer after layer of receding basaltic bluffs. The sun reflected off the water like the silver scales of salmon. He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to his chest. Their lungs panted in unison in the luxury of each others’ heat. “Do me a favor,” he nearly whispered.
She turned to look at him, her blue eyes deep as the Gorge. “What?” she asked.
He took her head in his hands. “Kiss me.”
Her mouth gave itself to him and their lungs exhaled into each other with an ache that went far deeper than skin, muscles and bone. She wanted to crawl inside of him, and he into her. For a few seconds, they flowed into one another, a single river of want and desire.