They were alone in his home after the usual friends had gone. She stood by the bedroom door, a little smile playing on her lips. He walked up to her and put his arms around her waist.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“Sex,” he told her. After a pause to test his courage, he plunged onward. “And love.”
Her smile slipped a little. “How about one out of two?”
His head dipped slightly, and he went for broke. “We don’t have to have sex.”
Her smile returned, but it was blighted by the sweet sadness in her eyes. She drew him to her and hugged him. “Oh, Honey.” She held him quietly for a moment or two, acknowledging his need even as she denied it. She whispered in his ear. “Let’s go in here and make each other feel really good, huh?”
He nodded his head against hers. They went into the bedroom and did many gentle and energetic and passionate things together.
He awoke in the morning just as she was about to walk out the door.
“Hey,” his scratchy voice said.
“Oh, hey.” She smiled. “Go back to sleep. I’ve got to be in the office early today. See you later?”
She bent over the bed and gave him a quick, friendly peck. “Bye.”
“Bye.” And he heard the front door close and her car leave.
He smiled, remembering all they had done together. Then, remembering what she did not – apparently could not – give him, he embraced her pillow, tighter and tighter, trying to soothe the abraded, agonized place inside him that cried out for more.