The woman stood in the sunlight, swiping the beads of sweat that smarted her eyes to tears. Her tongue licked her parched lips. Her hands plucked at her t-shirt, pulling it away from her saturated skin. She puffed hot breath down her shirt front, but only succeeded in hastening the roll of perspiration down her cleavage.
“You could strip down,” her husband teased from the open doorway as he yanked his own soaked t-shirt over his head. Swiftly, he unfastened his Cargo shorts and stepped clear of them as they pooled on the deck.
The look she shot his way momentarily heated the air another degree or two, and then a smile broke across her face. “You’re right, of course,” she agreed as she hastily kicked her sandals aside. With an ease her husband admired, she freed herself from t-shirt and shorts. For a moment, she hesitated as her eyes held his in challenge. Then she stripped down to bare skin. She pivoted on the deck, raising her arms in supplication to the hot July sun. Closing her eyes, she whispered an incantation calling for the slightest breeze to tease across her heated skin and dry the moisture that slicked her figure.
“I think I’ll take a walk in the woods,” she held out her hand to her husband. “Are you coming?”
He took her hand and swiftly guided her into the cool canopy created by the trees. Once out of direct sunlight, he felt a subtle shift in temperature as shade and shadow played across his skin. A breeze as gentle as a sigh whispered to him, and he grinned crookedly at the cross expression that still played over his wife’s countenance. Bird song encircled them as they moved further down the path, and eventually he sensed the easing of her tension. His muscles relaxed, and he shortened his stride to match her more leisurely pace.
In silence, they walked hand-in-hand. Carefully, they picked their way over the trail and eased out of the hard work they’d done all day. So many days, they rushed through obligations and responsibilities. Today, at this single moment, they set aside their toils and troubles, stripped away their stress, and took a simple walk in the woods.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman