She took my hand and placed it on her breast, through the loose desert robes, I felt the scent of her hair in my face, and seized her mouth like a well of unimaginable sweetness. Her flesh was like bread to a starving man, musky incense from cold ashes.

A long time later we lay in each other’s arms in a place outside time. Her body was unimaginably perfect – soft and rounded, hard and honed. My lust was slaked, my inventiveness exhausted. I wanted to hold her only, rejoice in this lunar beauty.

“But …”

“But what?”

“But how did you …”

“I am a Jinniyah.”

“You are a what?”

“I am not of the race of Adam. My people were born of air and fire, not earth and spit.”

Clearly she was mad. She was mad and beautiful. She was mad but I was in love with her, had been from (it seemed) the first moment I had seen her unveiled eyes. She was mad, after all, to take up with me. She was mad, yet she had somehow extricated us from the clutches of a band of robbers, the kind who slit their victims’ throats and bury them every day in the desert.

If she was mad, so was I.

“But … where?”

“Sssh,” she stilled me with a hand across my mouth. “Is this not sweet? Is this not better than thought?”

Her fingers on my manhood brought me again to potency. Her sweet lips descending compelled me to unimaginable heavens of dark bliss.

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