No Man’s Land It's cliché, but damn is she beautiful. Ice clinks in her glass as she raises it to her lips. She asks me what my story is, and I tell her, purple lights prancing all around. Everything else fades away: the frenzied dancers, sweating out vodka; the young couples in their early twenties, grinding on each other with honeymoon eyes; the shirtless bartender, pouring glass after glass with a skilled hand. It's a little bit magical, in the way that every gay bar is. But it's nothing compared to her. Looking back, the night plays out in vignettes. The bartender muddles fruit for Nanouk's drink. The lights are blue now, bathing us all in ultramarine. I notice the way she angles her body toward me, like she wants me. Like she's hungry for me. I wonder if it's all in my head. Another woman shows up behind her, in the coziest outfit I've ever seen in a bar. The woman in pink glares daggers at some unseen whistler, then puts her hand on the small of Nanouk's back. She rubs it like a lover, tender and slow. I wince and pull back, thinking I've made some sort of mistake. These two are together; she's going to beat me until I flee, tail between my legs. I picture this new woman shifting before me, from sugar-sweet partner to threatening domineer. She's tall. She could stand up straighter, square her shoulders, end up taller than me, spitting curses from her lips with a wounded edge. But the next words are spoken with reverence. Her name is Kallik; they're polyamarous. My heart races. Kallik is the first to ask me to dance, surprisingly. I say yes, and she pulls me onto the dance floor, now whirling in red. I study her black-brown hair and white feather earrings, and when she reaches out for my hips, I suck in air, breathe her in. Soon enough, I'm dancing with her, and I can't help but notice the ptarmigans fluttering in my chest. She's cuter than I first realized. I find beauty in her high cheekbones, in the gentle folds under her eyes. I love the way they dazzle as she presses her body close to mine. Nanouk is next, tucking ringlets of hair behind her ears, then lacing her fingers between mine. I can scarcely breathe, can scarcely take my eyes off of her. She dances like it's just the two of us, like no one else is watching. We're alone for a long time, dancing in that living room way, in the way of couples sharing sacred, bleeding-heart moments together that will come to define their love. A rainbow of colors falls over our bodies. I feel bound to her in a way I may never be able to explain. Her warm breath is in my ear, asking me if I want to come home with her and Kallik. Something about a cabin out in no man's land, with a generator for light and warmth, and a queen-sized bed. I nod feverishly, and she guides us, over the old oak floors, away from the dancing crowd. I notice the bartender's top surgery scars for the first time, the way he wears them so proudly. We're in the car now, an old boxy thing, and I have no idea how it runs this well in the snow. The sky is a cocktail of royal purple and black, late night and early morning, on each other, breathless. I'm hot and burning in the back, despite the blustering snow outside. Folks here are in winter coats. I didn't bring one; I'm from New Mexico. But the cold doesn't bother me right now. Pleasure owns the night. Nanouk's lips are on me first, warm and needy. Kallik's hands reach into my pants, rub my aching thighs. I can't help it. I quiver and moan beneath her touch. Nanouk's tongue traces my jaw; her head disappears beneath my shirt. I feel it swirl around my nipples, already hard like stones. I buck up against her touch. Soon her head is lower, right where I want it, as she eats me out the way a starving dog downs a meal. She's the one who first pulls out the strap-on a little later, who enters me and fucks me until I'm dizzy from ecstasy, until the room whirls like snow. Kallik gives it a shot after that, holding her wife’s hand, and I grab her ass as I scream, unleashed. # I wake up between two beautiful women, their bodies curled around me in this sweet, tender way. Nanouk's right leg is hooked around my left, and she rests her head in the crook of my neck. Kallik, on the other side, has her head tucked beneath my chin, her face pressed against my chest. The affection is overwhelming, and I start to cry. I can't know this now, but before I leave for the bus station, Nanouk's kiss will brush my waiting lips. Her worn hand will cradle my cheek while she paints my throat red, purple, blue, and my heart will thump at a dizzying pace. Her wife will watch with a flickering, waiting breath, as our bodies warm and drip. We'll all be animals there, together, and there'll be something so haunting about it, so real, as Nanouk relieves me, hand dipping down into my soaked pants. Kallik will sit beside me, stroking my hair and getting off. When it's over, just a couple of hours from now, when my whimpers quiet, when I’ve spilled onto Nanouk's tongue, we'll hold each other, the three of us. I can't know this now, but I'll feel warm and full, something I haven't felt in a long, cold while.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
A.E.S. (she/her) is a 23-year-old lesbian with a bachelor’s in Media Communications. She currently lives in Chicago, her dream city, where she enjoys playing video games, reading, exploring, making new friends, and having fun adventures! She has previously been published in Webster University’s student magazine, Ampersand, and The Blotter Magazine.