One Last Night in the Cabin Nikita Mirzani 1

Nikita Mirzani knew this was a bad idea. She’d known it when she’d turned her car off the highway and headed for the lake. She’d known it when she passed the “For Sale” sign at the end of wooded drive.

She’d known it when she got out of the car and smelled the early autumn air, with its melancholy reminder that the seasons changed, that time moved on. That the past was lost.

She’d known it when she twisted the key in the lock and opened the front door. The realtor hadn’t bothered with a lock box. The open house tomorrow would bring a slew of interested buyers, and there would be a bidding war for the vacation home.

Nikita Mirzani had simply wanted to see the place one more time. No, not simply. There was nothing simple about divorce. She and Zack had agreed to sell the cabin prior to the final paperwork and split the money. Neither of them wanted the other to have it.

As far as Nikita Mirzani knew, Zack didn’t want the place anyway. God knew she didn’t. Too many memories. Too many reminders of how happiness could drift away like autumn leaves falling from their trees, to be trampled underfoot and turned to dust.

Inside, late afternoon light slanted off the lake and through the wall of windows and glass doors that led out onto the porch, filling the room with a warm glow and turning the wood to a gleaming deep honey. This had always been her favorite time of day here. She loved the play of the sunbeams on the water as the sun sank.

She could sit on an Adirondack chair on the porch for hours, sipping a tart chardonnay, listening to the outboard motor hum of boats on the water and the occasional shout of an enthusiastic skier. Other than that, the rustle of the wind through the trees, the chatter of a squirrel or call of a bird was all that broke the peaceful silence.

If the sliding glass door was open, she might also have heard Zack banging pots and dishes in the kitchen as he made dinner.

They tended to make simple meals when they came out here for the weekend: pasta aglio e olio with a salad of tomato and freshly shaved Parmesan. Omelets stuffed with feta and basil and garlic. Grilled chicken, the occasional steak. Fruit and cheese for dessert.

Nikita Mirzani shook her head, trying to dislodge the remembrances. She shouldn’t have come. And yet she stepped inside, shut the door behind her.

The cabin wasn’t tiny, but it was a comfortable size for a weekend getaway. The open plan meant that the view from the door was straight out the back to the lake. In the living room, simple Mission-style furniture gathered around a stone fireplace.

Over the mantle was a painting of a proud buck (they had joked about hanging a deer’s head, but neither of them had really meant it), and boldly striped Indian-woven blankets were draped over the sofa and chairs.

To the right was the doorway to the master bedroom and bath, and a wide wooden staircase that led upstairs to the loft, with bedrooms and a bathroom for guests.

The kitchen was along the back as well, open to the living room, with windows looking out on the lake and the tangle of trees to the north: stately pines, poplars, birches.

If she woke before Zack, Nikita Mirzani had enjoyed the early morning solitude of brewing coffee and watching the shadows diminish; more often than not, however, she had been the night owl, watching the stars prick the sky and the moon leave a shimmering trail on the water as she nursed a brandy and put away the dishes.

Nikita Mirzani set her purse on the small half-round table by the front door, hung her blazer on a wooden peg just above.

Too familiar. Even with the realtor’s changes, the place felt like home. Oh, it felt bare—no magazines on the coffee table that they’d bring to read and never get around to (same as home), no stack of empty wine bottles to recycle, no towels draped over the porch railing to dry after a late-morning swim.

Or a late-night swim. She sat down hard on the sofa, half-feeling like an intruder, half-feeling lost and very, very small.

Remember when they would sneak down to the lake, under the full moon? They’d shuck what little clothes they had on—their wardrobe was so much simpler than when they were in the city—and dive into the water (chilly even in the height of summer), stifling their squeals, laughing breathlessly.

Zack would complain that he’d lost all feeling between his legs, but it wouldn’t be long before it became apparent that he was feeling very well indeed. His cock would rise, hot in the cool water.