The sun was barely up and already muggy; more August than October. That’s why I hadn’t gone out that morning-had humped and sweated two thick, buggy ridges the day before and felt wrung out. Didn’t feel like archery season. I liked the woods in the fall; not the summer, so I let them go without me-I’d hunt the evening; spend the day reading and chilling. That’s what I was doing when Jerry’s girlfriend Lynn padded softly into the kitchen. We were all staying in her grandparent’s decrepit farmhouse in the foothills of the Adirondacks.
I wished I could say I was reading Kerouac, Gary Snyder, even Hemingway but actually it was one of the Doc Savage series; don’t remember which-there were a ton of them and I’d had most as a kid. Brought them hunting with me because they were small enough to pack and there was something reassuring about them. Having read and re-read them for years, they calmed me and brought me back to earth when I got too high. Which was hard to avoid when hunting with Jerry and the boys.
Lynn said “Mornin”, soft and sleepy and I looked up with a ready smile to find her completely and totally naked, a wrinkle from the bed clothes traced along her hip. Not a thread, not an earring, nothing. “I can’t sleep in anything in this weather”, she said. “I hope you don’t mind.” No, I told her, I’m fine. I put my head down to read again but that didn’t feel right. If she came down dressed I wouldn’t read and ignore her.
The smells of sleep swaddled her-all like baby milk, vanilla and dried sweat. She picked a cup from the sideboard and poured, her back to me, skin shining in the morning dim of the old house. Sugar was there and the cup tink-tink-tink-tinked as she stirred. She had a great ass-that I knew from the jeans she wore. Her butt was like Marcia’s a little smaller, maybe firmer. No, couldn’t have been. Marcia’s butt was bounce a quarter off it firm. Marcia-Jesus. Hadn’t thought of her in months. She liked me to spank her-the first girl who ever asked for it. I didn’t get it at first, but I’m a quick study.
She laughed like I was tickling her; and she’d fake these little ‘ooohs’, and ‘ouches’ like I was hurting her. As if ever that could have happened. She broke up with me when she went off to college. Didn’t want any encumbrances she said. That was her word. I thought I was going to be her husband, but suddenly I was an encumbrance. Christ.
“I’m going back upstairs”, Lynn said turning a little my way so I could see her tits. She liked them and should have, but her eyes, looking sideways, betrayed nothing. She was giving a show but couldn’t tell if it was for my benefit or hers. “There’s a cross breeze up there-feels sweet and you can still taste the last bit of evening.” I thought to say ‘Yeah’, but some kind of weird, strangled sound came out, so I kept my mouth shut as her bottom disappeared into the shadows and creaking, back up the stairs.
I had never been so hard in my freaking life. It was like all my morning-wood ever rolled together but I didn’t know if it was Marcia’s memory or Lynn’s reality that lit the fuse. I read a paragraph, Doc was in trouble, but remembered nothing. Read it again-then a page, then the same page again. I tried reading aloud in a whispered mantra to bank the fire but it wasn’t working.
Then I heard the creak again-on the stairs. I knew, and started reading harder, silently but unable to drown the sound of her bare feet scuffing across the old hardwood.
“I thought you would follow me.”
She was still naked, her body-facing me now-luminous in the knife edge of sunlight that was peeking through the kitchen window. Golden dust motes twinkled, a cape swirling in the air above her.
“I could.” I kept my eyes on hers as she waited to hear more. “Can I spank you?”
The corner of her mouth lifted; her eye caught the sun. She turned slowly, languidly, a weekend swimmer taking a turn in a pool. “Sure”, she said over her shoulder as her butt walked off again into the shadows. “Just not too hard.”
For a second, I thought of Jerry. No, less than a second. I’d known him since first grade but it wasn’t like we were brothers or anything. I cringed at the squeaking sound the chair made pushing away from the table.