The Angels Weep, стр. 183

They went into the storm as green-horns and when the wind dropped as suddenly as it had attacked them, they were sailors utterly exhausted and gaunt with the terror through which they had lived, but with a new pride in themselves and the vessel that had borne them.

Craig had just sufficient strength to heave the yacht to, and let her ride the smooth but still mountainous swells on her own. Then he dragged himself to his bunk, dropped his stinking wet clothing on the deck and fell back naked on the rough blanket and slept for eighteen hours straight.

He woke to a new tumult of emotions, uncertain of what was fantasy and what was reality. Where before there had been no sensation at all, his lower body was locked in an agonizing spasm. He could feel each separate muscle, and they seemed pitted against each other to the point of tearing or bursting. From the sole of his foot to the pit of his stomach, his nerve-ends felt as though they were scraped raw. He cried out as the pain threatened to swamp him, and then in the pain found suddenly the beginnings of exquisite, almost insupportable, pleasure.

He cried out again, and heard his cry echoed from above him. He opened his eyes and Janine's face was inches above his, her naked body pressed against his from breast to thighs. He tried to speak, but she gagged him with her own lips, and moaned into his mouth. Abruptly he realized that he was buried deeply in her heat and silken elasticity, and they were borne aloft on a wave of triumph higher and fiercer than any that the Atlantic had hurled at them during the gale.

It left them both clinging to each other, speechless and barely able to breathe.

She brought him a mug of coffee once he had Bawu sailing again, and she perched on the edge of the cockpit with one hand on his shoulder.

"I want to show you something," he said.

He pointed at his bare leg that was thrust out in front of him on the deck cushion, and as she watched he wriggled his toes back and forth, then from side to side.

"Oh, darling," she husked, "that's the cleverest thing I've ever seen anybody do." "What did you call me?"he asked.

"Do you know something?" She did not reply to the question immediately. "I think that you and I are going to be all right-" Only then, she laid her cheek against his, and whispered in his ear, "I called you darling, okay?" "That's okay by me, darling," he replied, and locked in the yacht's self steering vane, so that he had both arms free to hold her.

The End