“What do you see?” he asks, sensitive, strong, sensing your curiosity.

“Water, a lake, smooth as polished glass. The trees reach to the edge. Their trunks, leaves and limbs reflected. The sky, blue centered in a circle of reflected trees. A huge blue eye.”

“What else?” he wonders.

“A blanket, spread by the water’s edge. A nest of cushions, mixed sizes, baroque silks and regal deep purples, burnt gold patterns, opulent and luxurious.”

His eyes follow yours. The slight lift and turn of your head, pulling your curiosity away from the finery, prepared and spread around the lake’s edge. Your eyes reach out across the open water and summon an image all of your own making.

Oak turned oars skull through the silent water. A rowboat slowly draws near with every muscled heave of felled wood. The paddles lifting, dripping shimmering droplets of water, a cascade of diamonds.

Your eyes fix on the broad shoulders of the man who heaves the oars. His hands grip then loosen around the smooth wood of each oar. His athletic arms flex and heave. His forearms thickened with strength and resolve. He heaves an even stroke. No rush. A controlled display of slow, even, confident strength and power.

Beyond his outline, you see her. Majestic. Her long silk gown, the color and sheen so deep and rich. Her lace so light and delicate. Her naked frame wrapped, worshiped and decadent.

Her eyes look out over his shoulders. She’s taking in the romance of the tree line, the leaf filled branches reflecting on the smooth waters. The soft, shallow bank at edge of the water, the nest of opulent cushions, the clean spread blanket. Waiting, all for her.

The boat reaches the soft bank. The man stands and steadies her. He steps out onto the bank and offers her his hand. Smiling, she climbs to her feet, her silk gown, ethereal, floating, hanging perfectly over her otherwise naked body. She accepts his hand and carefully steps up onto the bank.

Her heels are high, fine leather sandals, open toed with tiny buckles at her slender ankles. Your eyes catch a smudge of ink, a tiny, tender rose, a love from long ago still written into her skin. She treads carefully onto the ground, cautious not to sink her heels. She tiptoes to the waiting blanket and coils down into the deep nest of cushions.

The air is warm, with sunlight draped all around her, the spot carefully chosen for its unlimited light. The day still young. The forest whispering with rumors, richly embellished, the breeze brushed trees swaying, telling tall tales, their leaf laden branches all whispering of her arrival. His Siren.

With the boat securely moored, the oarsman lifts a heavy bag up from the shallow hull and turns to attend to her. He kneels and begins to unpack the heavy sack.

He first places then carefully levels a heavy wooden board, a slim butchers block of a dark exotic wood. He places a small silver knife, then a bottle of wine with two hand-carved wooden cups set down on either side. A fresh crusty rustic bread and a charcuterie of prosciutto and soft mellow cheeses.

His hands conspire to cut the foil and uncork the wine. His eyes mirroring the light curve of his mouth as he smiles.

Continued…