She stood naked in the moonlight at the edge of the pool. For the first time, I saw the two wild-eyed horses inked into her shoulders. Instead of legs, they had long tails which intertwined like snakes down her spine before separating at the base of her back where they fanned out and came to rest on her hips. Light reflected off her eyes when she turned to look at me. I was staring. I was out of my mind. I was of my depth.
She jumped, entering the water in a neat dive. I braced myself for, I wasn’t sure, an alarm perhaps? There was nothing, just a brief splash as the liquid made space for her body, then the emptiness of the night.
‘Is it my kelpies you liked, or my arse?’
She was bobbing at the side of the pool now, facing me and grinning. I felt a pull in my shorts but it was gone in a second.
‘Are you sure we should be here?’ She was in the water and I was the wet one. I was shaking, this was everything I could have dreamed and I couldn’t relax to enjoy it. The weed wasn’t helping.
‘Of course, we shouldn't be here,’ she didn’t sound annoyed. ‘That’s the point.’
I opened and closed my mouth pointlessly. I didn’t know who owned this house. I didn’t know when they’d be back. She didn’t either.
‘You gonna get in, or what?’
I slid off my boxers and sat down on the pool’s edge, letting my legs dangle in beside her. She laughed and moved in front of me, pushing my knees apart so she could bob between them before holding herself afloat with one wet hand on each of my dry and shaking thighs. She looked up at me and smiled and the world disappeared. I lifted my hands from the places they’d found behind me and rested them in the small triangle of tile between my legs and her face. I closed my eyes so I could breathe.
The next thing I knew I was mid-air and moving over her as she fell back under the water, my wrists still in her hands. I splashed in with all the grace of broken bird and my gurgled cries mixed with her dampened cackles. We broke the surface together and looked at each other until the world fell still again.
Immediately, she climbed out.
Now it was my turn to bob in the water as she stood above me. Every edge and curve of her was dripping but she made no attempt to dry herself. She simply smiled down and beckoned me out before making her way to the small hill of grass between the pool and the patio doors.
And that’s where I joined her. Side-by-side we lay supine and looked at the stars. Our fingers were millimetres apart but not touching.
‘Let's get married,’ she said after an eternity.
‘We met six hours ago.’
I could feel her smile again, as I did the same.