Although the path continued on into the woods she spied a large stone, placed on two smaller uprights - a small Stonehenge, man-made, but fitting into the natural way of things - a perfect resting place. She brushed the few dead, crinkled-up leaves from the top and gingerly tested it, putting out her hands to support her body. It didn't even wobble and so she relaxed on to it. She breathed in the freshness of the air and relished the pleasure of just sitting and being lazy.
Anna closed her eyes for a few seconds and listened, picking up the sounds that broke the silence - the stream slipping over the water worn boulders, and the flutter and flap of the birds in the trees overhead, going about their daily chores. The refreshing scent of the pines, carried on the pure Limousin air, reached her nostrils. She opened her eyes to see a couple of brightly, coloured jays, hop amongst the grasses, then spread their beautiful wings and disappear heavenwards.
Eventually two brown lizards caught her attention. They stalked out onto the flat stones that edged the stream - the stones now warm from the sun. The lizards extended their toes and tested the surface and each other. One chased a small beetle, the other followed, grabbing hold of the first one's tail. There was a scuffle in which the beetle got away, and after running in rings for a few seconds, the lizards fell off the stone. Anna gasped at their fall and laughed at herself, a little embarrassed at her reaction to the tiny reptiles. She moved and they scurried into the dark crevices of the stones once more.
Hearing a noise, Anna looked back along the path as Matthew, in jeans and pale blue sweater, walked towards her. Her heart missed a beat just looking at him. He must have had a shower. His hair was damp and reflected the sunlight. As he came closer she smiled and watched as he responded with a broad grin. He was so vital to her happiness.
He stopped behind her stone seat and placed his hands on her shoulders. She leant back on him, her right hand reaching up to touch his.
'Where is everyone?'
'They are having Sunday lunch with Claude's family in Toulouse. We have the day to ourselves.'
'Misty gone as well?'
'It's so beautiful here, Matt - so peaceful.' She was content and the silence that developed increased her awareness of his hands gently caressing her shoulders, bringing her whole body to life. And, at that moment she made her commitment, willingly. Slowly, she moved her body round and looked up into his longing eyes. His hands moved to her arms, and he gently encouraged her to stand, her face raised to his. She held his gaze until she closed her eyes as his lips touched hers. His kiss was gentle, yet firm - demanding, yet allowing her to respond. And now she had no doubt. She loved him. Oh, how she loved him.
Her heart was singing. Surely he must hear it. All nature's sounds were echoing in her head. Her legs felt weak as her arms slid effortlessly around his neck, her fingers threading through his hair. This felt so good. She knew it was right. Matthew held her close - she could feel his heart beating against hers. Their kisses deepened. She needed Matthew to love her. Anna eased herself back and looked searchingly into his eyes. And, exhilarated by the depth of his desire she smiled.
'Make love to me,Matt.' She held his gaze once more, seeing the wonderment there.
'Are you sure?'
She answered with a kiss. She walked back towards the house, Matthew holding her close, and this time she entered through the French doors to his room. She slipped off her coat and Matthew placed it on a chair near his bed. And then she waited while Matthew closed the doors and had to adjust her eyes to the change as he pulled down the honey-coloured blinds. The room took on a golden glow as the morning sun seeped through the canvas.
Matthew pulled off his sweater and walked back to her. He took her once more into his arms and Anna happily received his embrace. Her fingers spread out touching the firm muscles of his back. He bent his head and softly touched her eyes with kisses.
'Matt, I …' How could she tell him she was a teacher who needed to be taught.
'Anna, I want you. I want to make love to you, too.'
She shivered involuntarily, and he pulled his head back to look at her. 'Have you changed your mind?'
'No, no. Oh, Matt, I haven't had a lot of experience in this sort of thing.' She wanted him. She wanted to please him.
He smiled at her and held her close, and then slowly he lifted her sweater over her head and dropped it to the floor.
© Rosemary Kramer 2011