The Devil Finds Work for Idle Hands

Continued from Friday Night Lights

A month later and Kristin still hadn’t sorted out what to do with her Friday nights. What was that saying about the devil and idle hands? Everyone she knew was at the game where she could not show her face. Her Mom had gone into Pittsburgh for a work thing.  To think she would miss having her around! She was just hanging-moping actually. The football field was on a hill a mile out of town and when the air was right you could hear parts of the game from everywhere. And could see the bright glow from the  field on the horizon. And, critically, she was out of pot. Which she really needed right now.  Randy or Sheryll would both be holding but they were at the game. 

She had in mind a place to try.  Her ex-best friend Lynette Talbot usually had pot in their garage. They used to get high out there when they were friends. They had broken up over the summer. It was the usual: one boy, two girls thing; laid over that “other stuff” that Kristin didn’t want to think about right now. They’d each moved on to different crowds since then, and Kristin would have been happy to put whatever it was behind them-God knows she could use a friend or two now-but Lynette was beyond bitchy and seemed to enjoy keeping Kristin as an enemy. Being here in this garage made her a little sad and nostalgic for the times they had together. She had her new pack of tough girls though and was completely lost to her. . 

The two car garage was across the backyard from Lynette’s house. Kristin had been such a fixture at the Talbot house that she would have known her way around blindfolded. There were no trees or shrubs in the yard so the garage’s man-door faced the house in plain sight so that anyone in the kitchen would see her. Did her parents even know she and Lynette were on the outs? If she got caught skulking around could she just bluff her way through with a story about looking for Lynette? Maybe…but she was pretty sure everyone was at the game. The house was dark with the lone porch light glowing wanly. 

Still, she was as sneaky as she could be, playing it like a caper movie. She even flipped up the collar of her jean jacket. The garage was locked, of course. It was always locked but she knew where the key was hidden. She picked up the half brick beside the walkway and snatched the key from the dirt as she had often done. After wiping it on her jeans she slipped it into the knob and paused. She heard the pounding of the drums, then the marching band from the stadium. It must be halftime. She shook her head rapidly to avoid thinking about the routine that she wasn’t doing in front of a stadium full of people with all eyes on her. She would cry if she thought about it.

She went inside and closed the door gently behind her. The light switch was just to her right, but why chance it? There was enough street light filtering through the glass block windows to see by. On shelves above where the front of the car would be were oil cans behind which would typically be a small baggie with a couple of joints or some loose buds. That’s all she needed to get her through the night.  On tiptoes she felt around. There was something there…but… her heart almost stopped when she found the bag. It was not the small, fit in your fist baggie she had expected. When she pulled it from the shelf she needed both hands to cradle the gallon sized ziplock bag filled to bursting with what looked to be deep green buds. She was far from an expert but Kristin knew she was holding something special and probably valuable. This couldn’t be just Lynette’s.  Her first thought was to replace it and sneak out the way she came in. She was suddenly nervous and in over her head. 

Kristen was so focused and intent on what she was doing that she didn’t hear them until the overhead fluorescent flashed on. And by then most of them were inside.

“Kristin!” yelled Lynette, hand on the light switch and obviously startled  “What the fuck?”

Lynette’s pack this evening included Cassie Lawton, senior softball star who led the district in home runs for the last two years. Which meant little in the context of the garage that night, but what did matter was that she was as tall as Kristin and outweighed her by thirty pounds of muscle. Her arms were as thick as Kristin’s thighs.

“Get her, Cassie” growled Lynette. The big girl needed no direction, she had already circled to her left and grabbed Kristin by the arm in a  grip that virtually paralyzed the slim brunette. Kathy Lugar, another, but less fearsome,  softball player circled to the other side and grabbed Kristin by the other arm at the wrist, causing the bag to fall to the floor. It bounced softly, unharmed.

“Watch that for chissakes!” Lynette ordered. She was a tall, lanky girl with hair the color and seeming consistency of straw bunched in a rough ponytail. 

Kathy bent and picked it up, hefted it. “It’s OK.”

“Better be.”

“You’re ripping us off? Lynette asked loudly, surprised.

Kristin went from startled and nervous to frightened pretty quickly. She hadn’t been in a fight since grade school and she was poorly equipped to be in one now. The six girls who followed Lynette into the garage weren’t all softball players but they were all tough girls who ran in a completely different circle. This wouldn’t be a fight, it would be a slaughter. She recognized Glenda Thomas who actually worked in her dad’s gas station nights and weekends. Kristen didn’t think she was better than any of these girls, but she was different. At least she had been once. She had no idea who she was now.  Her stomach gurgled as she tried to imagine what it would feel like to get punched in the face. She needn’t have worried. Lynette stepped close, balled her fist and punched her hard in the stomach.

Kristin gasped a loud “OOF!” and would have bent double but for the girls holding her right and left. She squeezed her eyes tightly and tried to pick up her knees to relieve the pain in her middle. One of the girls holding her yanked her hair hard, lifting her face. Lynette punched her again and she gagged. When she regained her breath and opened her eyes she saw a familiar and maybe friendly face walk through the door.. It was Ben Bodine who everyone called Benji. A cutesy name for a pretty badass all-district wrestler. He wasn’t a towering beast like Frank Orsatti, their heavyweight, but one of the middle weights-around one hundred fifty tightly muscled pounds. 

She and Benji had shared freshman homeroom and a couple of classes. There was a time when she had helped him in Chem Lab and had gone to a couple of wrestling matches. He kept to himself and despite her gentle flirts had never taken the bait. He kept his hair super short and except for the bent nose, had soft features.  What was he doing with these animals? Their eyes caught and she saw something; disappointment, disgust, disdain, one of the dis’s. She wanted to look away but dared not, hoping to message a distress signal. Would he care? Was he one of them?

Lynette motioned as if to punch her again and Kristin sucked up her legs trying to shrink. “Please Lynette. No more.”

“No more? I’m just getting started.” Eyes flashing, Lynette stepped nose to nose with her captive and yanked her hair while staring into her eyes. .“You’ll wish I kept punching you”, she said menacingly before striding  off to a corner of the room where she rummaged through a pile of what looked like debris and wood scraps against the near wall. Finding what she was after, she straightened and turned, holding a stout little board about two feet long and as wide as the palm of her hand. The way she brandished it moving toward Kristen left no doubt about her intentions. 

“Turn her around”, she ordered. Kristin was alarmed at how easily the two girls handled her. 

“What are you doing?” she asked unnecessarily over her shoulder, her hair cascading over her eyes. 

“I’m going to beat your ass for ripping us off.”

“NO! Whatever I took I was going to replace once I hooked up.”

“You’re not going to replace this stuff”.Cassie growled in her ear..  Nobody has it. I had to go all the way to Morgantown for it..Too much time and money went into this to allow some baton princess to walk off with it. 

Oh God! thought Kristin. They’re all in on it. They’re going to kill me. “I wasn’t! I swear, I just wanted to get a little. I remember how Lynette kept a stash here. I just wanted to catch a little buzz. I didn’t know it belonged to all of you or I never would have…” She desperately pulled her arms and rolled her shoulders trying to loosen their grip, but it was useless. 

“Stealing from me is fine, huh? Just not from all of us”

Lynette pointed the paddle at her menacingly. “This is breaking and entering…”

“I didn’t break in. EVERYBODY knows where your key is Lynette. 

“Enough of your shit. Bend her over the workbench.”

Again, Kristin could offer only token resistance as, feet barely touching the floor, she was moved to the workbench. The edge dug into her hips as they pushed her over and flattened her onto it. She heard someone say “Get the phone out of her pocket. Her jeans were tight so whoever was digging around had to struggle to pull it out. Then Cassie said, “We should take her pants down.” 

Kristin panicked and tried to kick backward. Someone dropped to the floor and grabbed her legs. With Cassie draped across her back and Kathy holding her wrists she was effectively immobilized. She had a vision of being mauled by dogs as what seemed like fifty hands clawed at her. Someone reached around her waist and yanked at her belt, unbuckling it. There was absolutely nothing she could do to stop them from pulling her pants off. From stripping her naked if they wanted. 

“NO! PLEASE LYNETTE, DON’T DO THIS”. Her voice was ragged and breathless. 

“I’m over here sweetie”, said Lynette slipping into Kristin’s sightline and waving the paddle. “It’s not me…I’m just watching the show.”

She screamed in frustration. Her zipper was down and she felt her waist loosen. Her  jacket and T-shirt had been pushed up so her lower back was exposed. Feeling the air on her  flesh-even her back-heightened the panic as she struggled. Whoever was on the floor reached up and began tugging at the beltline on one side while someone else was pulling on the other side.She would be bare ass in seconds. 

“O PLEASE DON’T!….”, she was crying now, something she had hoped to avoid. 

“Stop!” The only male voice in the garage cut through the rabble and all hands pawing at Kristin’s clothes froze in place. Kristin opened her eyes but couldn’t lift her head as there was a strong forearm across it pinning it to the bench. 

“Stop what Benji?” Lynette fairly snarled.”I AM going to beat her ass. 

“Leave her jeans up”, he said evenly. He hadn’t liked Lynette punching her while she was being held. He thinks he might have stopped it if he was inside when it happened. Whatever, there wouldn’t have been a third punch. 

Nobody spoke for a moment and Kristin could feel the tension in the room and hear feet shuffling.

Lynette said, “Tell me you don’t want to see this little thief’s bare ass.”

“Why don’t you describe it for us? I’m sure you have fond memories.” 

There were a smattering of “ooohs” and a giggle or two. Kathy Lugar scoffed. 

“You forget who’s holding the paddle.” Lynette said, trying to maintain control. 

“That can change in a fucking instant.” Again, his voice was devoid of emotion which chilled the garage further. Kristin held her breath.

“I don’t know what your game is Benji. You think she’s going to thank you for this?. Give you a friendly blow job or a little fuckey-fuck” She jabbed the paddle roughly up between Kristin’s legs. “This princess is too stuck up for you. And us. We’re ok to steal from….” 

“Her jeans stay up,” he said in a tone that ended the conversation. 

“Alright. Fine! I’ll just hit her harder. Pull her jeans up tight”. Kathy and Cassie pulled her jeans up higher than they’d been and held them there, the seam splitting her uncomfortably. Someone patted her cheek firmly “There you go,” Her jeans clung  to her butt like denim paint. 

Kristin didn’t have time to be relieved about not being stripped. .She was too conscious of her bottom being set up like a target. After an anxious moment,  the first swat landed with a ferocity that blew all breath out of her open mouth. She was too stunned to make a sound. The next was equally solid. She yelped a loud “OWWW” following the third. She had in the back of her mind thought that her mother’s hairbrush might have prepared her for this, but she was sorely mistaken. That had been a spanking from someone who loved her.. Sound, but still a spanking. This was a beating by someone who only wanted to hurt her, and struggle as she might, she couldn’t avoid or stop it. Cassie felt her rocking back and forth, struggling to lift herself off the bench. “Don’t fight”, she whispered into her ear. “Don’t tense-don’t clench your ass it will be worse.”

Kristin heard the words from far away. She howled pitifully. She tasted blood and knew she had bitten her lip but really couldn’t feel it. She could barely breathe and feared she might pass out. The pain had settled to an overall numbing burn, accented by the relentless impact of the board, swat after swat. She tried to gag hoping to puke which she saw as her only defense right now. Maybe if she could pee herself, they’d stop but she had no conscious control of anything. 

Then suddenly, it stopped amid a shuffle of feet and a loud “Hey” from Lynette. What Kristin couldn’t  see was Benji stepping up and grabbing the paddle on the backswing. “Enough”, he said, wrenching it from her hand. “Owww”, she whined, grabbing her wrist.

“Enough. You made your point.” Reacting to the change in the room, Cassie, careful not to push on her, rose, giving Kristin the first full breath she’d had since she was pinned. Kathy Lugar released her wrists then strangely patted her head and slipped a lock of hair, damp with tears and sweat off Kristin’s face and behind her ear. “Sorry”, she said, a tiny puff in her ear. “That was efff’d up,”

She Lay where she was, crying softly as the drama played out behind her out of sight. 

Lynette was clearly enraged but not unhinged enough to make the mistake of getting up in Benji’s face. His glare put her back on her heels. His eyes never left hers as he reached out with his empty left hand and said, “Gimme”.

Shayla Brooks, a solid little girl in a leather jacket and biker boots handed him the pillow sized bag of dope. His eyes slowly surveyed the room, 

“We’re all  friends here, ” he said in a flat tone that indicated the opposite might be true. It was lost on no one that he was still holding the paddle and pointing it generally at everyone as he spoke, lingering on the softball players who had held Kristen down. Cassie, never one to back down, shrunk a little as her cohort Kathy shuffled a half step behind her. 

“We’re supposed to split that up!” Lynette complained, trying to keep the shrillness out of her voice. Benji looked at her as if trying to place a stranger who might have looked familiar. “I recall”, he said slowly. “Thank you. This pot belongs to all of us, but it was my cash that fronted it. I might be starting to doubt somebody’s judgment…or temperament to manage this deal.”

He pointed the board directly at Cassie and Kathy. “You remember what we talked about, yes?”

“I do”, said Cassie. 

“You’ll take care of it, right?”

“Yep.”

He tossed his head, indicating Lynette. Go with her, she has my scale. Do what we discussed.”

“You got it, Benji”, the big girl nodded. 

He was about to toss her the baggie but pulled back. “I’ma take a little off the top..if nobody minds.” he opened the baggie and stuck his nose in. “Ahhh, this is the shit.” He sighed, performing a little. “ I need a bag.”

Marie Quintana  petite, brown and beautiful green lipstick matching her eyes,stepped from the shadows and pulled a baggie holding a single joint, out of her back pocket. She tucked behind her ear where it disappeared behind a fall of tight black curls. She handed Benji the baggie. He smiled his sweetest thank you and reached into the big bag, pulled a small healthy pinch out, stuck it into the smaller bag.

“You realize you’re already getting your cut”, Lynette said, not being able to help herself. 

“Yep. This isn’t for me” Slipping the paddle, which all the girls at least glanced at, under his arm, he wrapped the bag tight, licked the top and folded it over. He closed the big pot pillow and tossed it to Cassie. “See you at my house sometime tomorrow.” She nodded. 

Lynette, frustrated and steaming, left first banging through the door followed by her doubting minions heads down except to nod at Benji. The softballers left last with a nod then a look toward Kristen who was standing uncomfortably in front of the workbench her back still to them. “Kris”, said Cassie, which some people called Kristin. The beaten girl raised a hand in acknowledgement of the gesture and the last two girls left. 

“All gone”, said Benji and she turned stiffly, taking tiny shuffling steps. Her face was a mottled ruin of tears, snot and blood below her lips. Benji handed her a bandana from his back pocket. “It’s clean”, he said. She wiped, dabbed and blew and went to hand it back.

“Keep it”, he said. 

“Thank you…I guess.” she said. 

“No worries.”

“No, really. If they would have gotten my pants off….” She shuddered. 

“Yah, that was a tough one. 

“Why?”

“Lynette was right. I REALLY wanted to see your bare ass.”

Kristin pulled a face that was equal parts grimace and grin. “You missed your chance. I’m sure you don’t want to see it now.”

“Now I have to see it. See what kind of damage she did back there.”

“There’s something for sure…burning and squishy” When she tied to straighten to her right, she winced and caught herself back on the workbench.

“Why did you let them do that to me?” she asked on the verge of crying again. 

“Took me a few minutes to get the lay of the land. My thought, ok? Walking in on this? Was some kind of lover’s spat.”

“We’re not…! she protested.

“….I know you guys are a thing-at least you WERE-I’m not up on the latest jib-jab. But you broke in. You were taking her shit.  You deserved something, you know? Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time…So she wanted to swat your ass, fine. But she was taking it way too far. But it only happened because you came here to steal from her. 

“I wasn’t…Then she caught herself and started sobbing raggedly. “My life is so fucked up right now Benji. I don’t know what I’m going to do. 

As smoothly as he would have on the mat,  he took a quick  slide step and was immediately in front of her. He underhooked her arms and gave her a firm hug-across the back and shoulder blades-all warmy friendly and not lusty pervy. “Your life is what you want it to be. Past is not prologue. You will write your own story starting tomorrow.” he said into her ear.

She sniffed. “I got snot on your shoulder.”

“Had worse.”

“Are all wrestlers philosophers?”

“Hell’s  yeah-we try to keep it a secret though”. When she looked into his face, beside the naughty glint in his eye she saw real concern. And that was the look she responded to.  

“Now”, he said stepping out of the hug, “lets have a look at your butt.” 

To Be Continued…

Jennie’s Over the Knee

Continued from Jennie’s Behind the Bar

It wasn’t long before Jennie found her way to me. She had been scrolling through her phone at the other end of the bar. She got close enough to smell the smoke. 

“You’re supposed to have a cigarette after…” she said slyly.

“I did…”

“That was just kissing…”, she said. “I mean the BIG after.”

Unaccustomed as I was to this sort of banter, I had enough game to reach into my top pocket and pull out the second purloined cigarette. “Covered” I said. 

At that her look, while still smiling and open, seemed to slip from simple flirting to something more intentional.

“Here let me show you something” She thumbed through her phone and found what she was looking for. “You should print this as a poster”, she said, shoving the phone close to my face. It was a photo of four young women facing a wall, pants down and bright red bottoms very much on display. The title lines read “Spankings will continue until morale improves.”

Now it was my turn to smile and lean into her game. Keeping my voice low, since she had folks at the other end of the bar, “You’re not going to call that little love tap back there a spanking are you?” I scoffed.

“No” she said.” I’m just showing you what real spankings look like.”

“I’m well aware”, I leaned back and gave her a squinty “older guy knowledge” look. 

“Oh yeah? Your place or mine?” She asked, tossing the line so easily it could have been a joke. She slipped the phone into her back pocket from where it winked at me as she purposely wiggled her backside as she walked to refill her friends.

It wasn’t a joke but a good and seemingly simple question. My big empty house was not too far away. I  had kept it when Timmie’s mother ran off  because she had taken the advice my old man had given and I’d ignored: ”It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich one as a poor one.” She had been a secretary for a builder that had done quite well on a few subdivisions upstream. Through him she met an architect who had done better than “quite well” and now she lived in a big new stone home with a pool quite a few zip codes from mine.

True, my place had that special rumpled quality that will happen when a guy lives alone for a couple of years. Even Timmie gave up trying to make sense of all of my habitual nonsense on her monthly visits. But for the general dishevelment, my place made the most sense, and I was going to tell Jennie that when her orbital trajectory next brought her around, but she beat me to it.

“Let’s do my place”, she whispered conspiratorially. 

“You live over in The Run, right?”

“Above Champion Plumbing.” 

I knew the place. Big shop with apartments above. Probably for the best. The last time Jennie was in my house was for a team pizza party when she was fourteen and those memories mashing up against this reality might have been more than I could bear. Might have. 

“Mike Champion is like my mother’s second cousin. So I got the place on a deal. I’m the only one there and nobody works at night, so it’s quiet.” The wink wasn’t necessary. I got the point.

“Besides, I have something I want you to try.”

My curiosity,  on top of everything else, was piqued. Things seemed to take on a life of their own after that. A slow night got slower as Jennie chased off her crew with a few free drinks and we were able to close early. “I’m going to head over now, if that’s OK. I’ll leave the porch light on-door will be unlocked.”

Trying not to rush, it took me about fifteen minutes to close up. Her beat up little Subaru was parked beside the Champion Building where a set of wooden steps ascended to a small platform porch with a railing and enough room for two folding resin chairs. A faded awning was the roof. 

I turned the knob and stepped into a small, clean kitchen. On the counter, beside the sink was an unopened bottle of Blanton’s. For my money, the top of the bourbon line and definitely above Jennie’s pay grade. I was holding the bottle when she came out of the bedroom. She had changed from her jeans into what was normally her bartending uniform: black mid calf Yoga pants and a green “Oaks” T-shirt. She had brushed her hair out so it framed the smile that made my heart flip.She turned, modeling, “Since you’re always checking out my ass in these, I thought you might like if I wore them.”

I did indeed and told her so. “Is this what you wanted me to try?”

“Mmmmm”, one of the things. 

“Had to set you back.”

“I never thanked you properly for getting me in at The Oaks.”

I didn’t tell her that I should be thanking her. She had brought some new life to the place; business was up a bit not, a lot but some. Regulars responded to her smile and enthusiasm. Nothing against Jolene, but “chill” was her thing. She was very good but could be off putting over time.  And I’ll be damned if Diana didn’t start coming around more in the evenings. Sure, some of that was checking out the new bartender’s performance. But some of it was checking out the new bartender. 

I snapped the seal on the bottle and opened the cabinet above the sink. There were four short, square highball glasses, compliments of The Oaks. I gave Jennie the raised eyebrow and in return she winked and bit the tip of her tongue at me again. 

“Do you want one?” I asked.

“No, I’ll try yours.”

One ice cube, two fingers of bourbon and a couple of swirls to unlock the flavors. I nodded her over and tossed a “C’mere” her way. She slid in beside me and I raised the glass to her. 

“Not like that”, she said. “Take a drink.”

I did and she pulled my mouth down to hers and made sure to lick every droplet of the liquor off my lips as well as anything left in my mouth. “Yummy.” She said, “Bourbon’s good too.”

“You said you had something else for me to try.”

She smiled and put her finger to my lips and backed away, then turned and walked into the living room. Again, neat and relatively spartan, sofa, wall mounted flat screen, armless chair that drew my attention. As I was surveying, she went to the corner and retrieved something. She handed it to me handle first as if relinquishing a sword.. “Isn’t it a beauty?” It was a highly polished sorority paddle with Greek letters decorating one side. The other side bore the signatures of dozens of girls and dates. It was from the 1960’s. “I picked it up at an antique shop over in Larimer a couple of weeks ago. “It was in the window! I saw it and my heart started flipping and my face went all hot. Had to have it.”

“I must have been in a state because the woman in the shop asked me if I wanted to try it out. I almost had a heart attack! I didn’t know if I would try it out on her or she on me.”

“Why didn’t you ask?”

“I could barely talk as it was. All this…stuff that’s been in my head for years. I thought it was just me! Turns out they’re fetishes and a lotta people have them. Seeing there was someone else…” I remembered what I’d found in Diana’s office but said nothing. 

“You should take it back and tell her it doesn’t work.”

“Get her to demonstrate!”

“You’re liable to get a sore bum out of the deal.”

“That would be the hope.” With that, she turned round and bent, hands on knees and for the second time that evening offered her bottom for a smack. I hefted the paddle and pressed it into the stretched lycra covering her bottom enjoying the give.  Then pulled it back and flicked her backside with a wrist slap. She wriggled and said. “Thank you sir, may I please have another?”

“Yes you may. But not right now…” Taking her arm I stood her up and walked her over to the chair, where I took a seat. The paddle was a little impersonal for me. I wanted my hands on her. 

“Let’s start with a little spanking between friends.” Her face was flushed and she was alternating breaths between nose and mouth. I spread my knees and drew her in, grasping the top of her pants. Her eyes closed as I slipped the back of my hand against the velvety softness of her belly. I pulled further down in front unil I could feel the hair against my fingertips, then further to the dewey confluence of her legs. 

“We had better get these down”, I said, moving both hands to her sides and peeling.

“…Yes…” she said huskily as if awakening from a dream. Without panties the soft garment clung between her legs but for a moment before rolling to her feet where she stepped out of them. .

I would have thought after ogling her as thoroughly as I had over the weeks that she would have had few secrets. I would have been wrong. As she slowly offered herself over my lap she revealed a flawlessly rounded, deeply cleft bottom, in a  perfect shade of cream accented only by the light peach  blush the paddle had left.. I settled my right hand over her right cheek eliciting a charming little gasp and wriggle. “You’re ready for this…” I said.

“Mmmmm”, came her answer. “So ready.”

I slapped her lightly a few times, alternating cheeks. If she suffered at all it was in silence, her slow undulations as she lay over my lap the only reaction to what was happening. I was quite literally, feeling my way, switching from full on smacks to slaps with my fingers but never extending my arm, only turning my wrist which was turning Jennie’s bottom a beautiful mottled pink. I had settled into a rhythm that was working for me, but maybe not for her. She tried to speak but her voice caught. Clearing her throat, she said, “Harder, please.”

“Harder?”

She looked back over her shoulder, clear eyed with cheeks almost as pink as her bottom ones. With a devilish smile she said “Spank me like I was bad.” 

I had been afraid of hurting her. Now I was afraid I was boring her. 

“Alright young lady,” I growled and pulled her tightly into me, left arm circling her waist. I raised my right hand straight up and brought it down hard but not full force on the middle of her right cheek. I could feel the difference immediately. My palm tingled and the blow echoed not only through the room, but up to my shoulder. “Yessss…” was Jennie’s hissed response. So I continued, alternating sides, then settled for awhile on the soft thickness at the bottom of her bottom. She became more and more animated and gifted me with “Ouches” and mewls. We both enjoyed, she more than I, the swats that landed exactly between both cheeks and rang down her valley creating an avalanche of deep feeling that brought yelps. 

I took a pause to slip my hand tentatively between her legs. Where she had been damp was now in flood. 

“Good God, girl!”

 “I know, right?” she fairly giggled and spread her legs in a way I  couldn’t have imagined a few short days ago.. When she again settled, her outside foot was on the floor, bracing herself to push upward, raising her now deeply colored bum and her dripping sex upward. 

“May I have some more sir?” she giggled. 

A few more smacks to her tensed right cheek brought her foot back up off the floor and a resumption of her slithering movement distracted from my mission. 

After a swat I left my hand where it was for a moment and squeezed lightly. She froze attentively, then began to move in a most lewd way as my hand slipped from her solid right cheek, down to the top of her thigh, then between her legs. It wasn’t as if I was traveling uncharted territory down there, but it had been awhile since I’d walked this particular path. “Ahhhh”, she sighed loudly as my fingers finally found that spot within her.

I could have held my hand steady and let her do all the work but there is nothing like pleasing someone you wanted to please. So I caught her rhythm and rubbed until she cried out and shuddered, arching her back. She relaxed in phases, settling and twitching, then deflating completely hanging across my legs like laundry. All the while I was gently stroking her warm cheeks. 

When she finally, with my help,  pulled herself up she sat on my lap and wrapped her arms around my neck. “I can’t believe you made me cum..”

“That was the point, no?”

“Hadn’t thought about it. Just wanted my ass beat. Anything else was in the hands of the universe…and you,” She grinned as I gazed down to where she was glistening-her bush looking frosted in the lamplight. 

“Round two”, she announced and stood. As she moved into her bedroom I did what I’d been doing for weeks; watched her bum walk away but never like this. I saw a soft light switch on and heard a rustling of bedclothes. 

“You coming?” she called

I stood, having to arrange myself to walk comfortably. We’d have to do something about that.

“Don’t forget the paddle”, she said.  I would have.  

Moonlight’s a Liar

When Lonnie Winters opened his eyes this time, the light coming in the open window over his head was no different than it had been the last time. He lay still on his back for another couple of seconds allowing his forearm to relax into Toni’s firm warm thigh. She didn’t stir. Leaving your lover’s bed is always an unhappy trip and he aimed to put it off for as long as he could. 

The barred owl they had heard earlier called from the treeline, the “who-cooks-for-you “ call an interesting variation on the little screechers that nested in the oak that shaded the deck. The Whippoorwill must have fled downstream or up into the mountain because beside the owls, it was crickets,  cicadas and the basso profundo of the bullfrogs down in the mud that were the soundtrack.

The heavy night air was as wet as it had during the afternoon, but it’s thickness was tempered by the absence of the punishing sun that had kept them to the shade of the overhanging maples and sycamores as they passed the day among the willow grass on the gravel bars. 

The moon, a blanketed faraway silver dime, cast a  gauzy flat light through the thick air. The rolling fog made it tough to gauge the moon’s position in the night sky. It could as well have been midnight, as two or four o’clock. With the 6 a.m. sunrises gone for the season, nighttime started early and stretched deep into what would have been morning a couple of months earlier.

When they had gone to bed earlier than was typical, she lay flat on her back and spread her legs so that Lonnie could kneel between them. He gently ran his tongue back to front along her slit ensuring she was as wet as his dry mouth would allow. He could smell the river water in her wiry bush as he lifted her into his mouth and worked his tongue in, out and around. Before long he wasn’t the only one providing lubrication. When her breaths quickened, he slid his hands out from under her butt and sat back on his haunches, satisfyingly solid and ready. She pulled her knees into her chest and grabbed the backs of her thighs to spread herself open, toes pointed toward the ceiling  Even in the uncertain moonlight his pathway could not be better defined had she conjured landing lights.

He moved closer and with one hand supporting himself used the other to guide himself to her eager pussy. With a single long thrust he sheathed his cock completely before pulling back to push forward again, and again, harder each time. Then while burning deep within her he leaned forward allowing his weight to rest on her chest as he dug his arms under her shoulders to squeeze her breasts flat against him as he thrust his hips  as quickly as he could trying to match her pace-wondering if she sensed the weakness he was starting to feel in his left hip. Her shudding and tight barking cries over the next few minutes told that she did not.  

Now, a few hours later, He slid stiffly out from under the sheet and trusted his left leg to hold him up, which it did with the aid of his left hand against the wall. Toni was undisturbed, snoring lightly on her back.He regarded her closely in the gray light filtering through the window. Her lean face and strong jawline created shadows on her neck and long long dark hair slashed across her cheek like bloody scars. 

The sheet had slipped to her belly revealing her small flat breasts, nipples like blackberries in the dull moonlight. He would have liked to watch her longer but the new blood thinners they had him on played hell with his guts.  He stood for a moment  to ensure that this run wasn’t going to be a false alarm. Yeah, no…gotta go. He gently pulled the sheet back over her and headed out of the room. 

Lonnie shuffled quietly out the open door and onto the screen porch. There was enough milky moonlight to navigate around table and chairs and make lights unnecessary. He doubted he would have turned them on anyway, thinking  lights crashing into the mountain darkness somehow obscene.

Eschewing the cane he had left by the door for this very trip, he limped down the four steps to the hardpacked dirt and out the flagstone walkway to the outhouse. On his left ran the river, inky black reflecting the gray trees as silver and moon shadows crossed his path. The outhouse door creaked and he took the step up into the small room. There was a little window toward the river that he could look through while doing what he came out here to do. This had been his first trip out here tonight, which wasn’t bad. 

A couple of minutes and he was stepping back out into the relative freshness of the humid night,  sunrise still hours away. His eyes wandered left toward the road and mountain beyond. He froze in mid-step, right foot just grazing the flagstone, heart hammering against his ribcage. There was a man out there-a black silhouette-dimly motionless in the fog,- standing in the road just beyond the triple strand of barbed wire that kept the grazing cattle out of his yard. Lonnie noted that the body cast a shadow as if to convince himself that what he was seeing was not an apparition. “Moonlight is a liar”, the words of his biddy aunt echoed in his head.

Lonnie exhaled deeply and completely, settling his right foot down then shifting his weight to test it. . Of course it would be him. If anything he should’ve been surprised to have not seen him yet. Still, it was damned unnerving “Evening” he said with a wave, opting to not lead with “Good Morning” which would have muted the point he wanted to make. “It’s too early”, he called out,  hinting that yes, morning was the next thing, but still next. Not now. “Come back sun up. We’ll have coffee”. 

The dark figure raised a hand as Lonnie did the same. He answered with his own small wave then kept walking as the figure turned and started back his own winding path up into the mountain.  “Jesus”, he breathed, watching until the shadow melted into the deep woods at the base of the mountain. 

The startle of the vision in the road had pushed enough adrenaline through Lonnie’s  blood that he was now awake for certain.Sour sweat having nothing to do with  humidity dribbled between his shoulder blades. Going back to bed now would only awaken Toni. He took the four steps up to the screen porch and reached in for the cane before crossing to the deck overlooking the river and the dock right below. He leaned against the railing. He had never regretted giving up cigarettes until now.

The dark water was flat, the only sounds feeding bass splashing in the weed beds along the other side. He saw a bar of soap-a glowing white wafer at the end of the dock. A dip would certainly be in order. In his younger days he would have skipped down the hill and dove in. Now it was all about preparation and consideration. He had never been a cautious man and it didn’t come easily.  

He heard the door to the porch creak open. “Lonnie?” came Toni’s urgent whisper. He turned, disappointed that she had slipped a dark T-shirt over her head, though her white panties winking at him at the hemline was definitely intriguing. 

“Were you talking to someone?” she asked staying on the top step. 

“Naw…an old song, is all.”

“What time is it?” she asked. 

“Too damn late or too damn early.”

“Come back to bed.”

“I will. I think I might take a dip first.”

“I don’t think so.”

Come on, You can stay on the dock.

She started slowly down the steps, as if she were the disabled one. 

“I’ll teach you that old song”, he said. 

She leaned against the railing beside him and he rubbed her back, then sliding downward cupped her bottom. He knew then that once a night was his positive limit and to be grateful for it. 

“Come on”, he said, “You can sit on the dock and make sure I don’t drift away.”

“You’re going regardless, right?.”

He didn’t answer.

The Split Oak

It’s true that I lose track of days. But not seasons. This is an excerpt from a longer work-in-progress that fits with the weekend. The basics: Lonnie Winters and his new girl Toni head to Lonnie’s cabin for a long weekend in October. He is recovering well from a stroke-Toni is his physical therapist and more. Something in the mountain pulls them in-and Lonnie is off looking for Toni who, under a spell, has run off.

He was approaching the top of the draw where the hardwoods, thick in the bottom land, began to thin in favor of the gnarly pitch pines that thrived in the thin, acidic soil of the rocky ridges. Where it wasn’t exposed rock the ground was soft and cushy-decades of leaves and needles rotting into a  thick thatch  that slipped under his feet as he moved steadily upward. When it got too steep he reached for the small trees and saplings that presented themselves as ghosts in the moonlight. Out from under the shadows of the oak and walnut forest, the moonglow again showed him the way, the spots where something had kicked up the thick blanket of rotten needles. He really had no idea how he’d stayed on track to this point beyond a “feeling” that he knew where she was going. He had no idea where that feeling came from. He hadn’t been up here since the last time he’d hunted this ridge a decade before. He cursed himself for not going back for  a light. He was swallowing the thin air in gulps and genuflecting in the dirt when his left leg failed him.  He stopped to breathe and dug his fists into the small of his back where a knot that had tied itself.

He hoped she didn’t go off to the right where the poppies grew. Where what grew? He stopped rubbing his back and straightened. He had no idea why poppies came into his head. There used to be a peach orchard over there but a couple of dry summers put them under.

He resisted the continuing urge to call out to Toni, or Thomas or anyone else who might be in these woods this night. His resistance was borne of a weakness that made him feel exposed. He’d never been in these woods when he didn’t feel capable. In all his years of hunting and hiking up here he had never felt threatened or in any way incapable of handling anything or anyone that crossed his path. But now he stumbled where he once had flown with thoughtless strength. 

The flat light of the fog-dimmed moon gave him sight of anything within reach but dimmed farther out where the rocky outcrops, erased of all daytime definition and color, materialized as the lumbering shoulders of retreating giants. He was squinting too far ahead and tripped over an unseen root. No simple stumble this time he fell headlong. His left arm was too slow to react and too weak to catch him, he landed full weight on his side blowing all the air out of his lungs in one garbled “OOF!”

Still, he felt thankful, seeing that he was laying within inches of a sharp  rock shelf that had he hit it with his head, would have finished his evening and maybe much more. He brought his hand to the side of his face feeling for blood. There was none. And though his head pulsed, he’d been punched in the face enough in his life to know he’d suffered no lasting damage. He had almost recovered his breath when he felt fingers caress the back of his neck. “Jesus fuck!” he cursed and flipped himself onto his back instinctively balling his hands into fists and holding them in front of his face. He was looking up at nothing but trees disappearing into swirling fog. He could still feel the trails of the fingers on his neck 

Flopping again onto his knees he rose stiffly still looking around for who had touched him. The high wall of the upper ridge thrust straight upward from the reclining mountain loomed before him. He drifted to his right searching for the dark fissure that was the ancient shortcut to the top saving hundreds of steps of tortuous switchbacks. It was a path to be avoided in high summer because of the rattlesnakes and copperheads now sleeping deep in the rock clefts. Intent on his path he wasn’t looking directly down the wall so when he first saw the flash of whte it was a peripheral glance that he couldn’t easily pick up when he looked directly at it. What could it be? From the glance, he imagined a rag, shirt, a piece of something torn from a clothesline and carried on the summer winds as high as the ridge before fluttering to the ground. 

Squinting, he had whatever it was firmly in sight and limped toward it. His heart thumped when he recognized that it was an arm, pale and lifeless cast atop a mound of rotted mulch. Still feeling the cold touch on his neck, he swiveled his head looking for…anything. His tongue stuck and ultimately failed him when he tried to say her name. Closer now, the moon revealed her shoulder and then a dark swirl that had to be hair covering her face. Above her now he could see that she was on her side, crudely secreted under a small hillock of hastily gathered forest floor. Kneeling, the strong fecund aroma of turned earth filled him. There were mushrooms that had been uprooted, chunks of bark and handfuls of dark ancient dirt, the organic ending of us all. He lay his hand on the arm and felt it warm. Then his fingers on her cheek felt breath and on her neck found a pulse. 

“Toni”, he croaked, shaking her lightly. When she didn’t stir he fingered her nostrils to ensure they were clear then squeezed her cheeks together. Finding nothing in her mouth he began pulling dirt from her. He exposed her breast and was heartened by the steady  rising and falling of her ribs. “Toni”, he said again, shaking her gently. Her head flopped then was lifted and she awakened all at once blinking wild eyes and grabbing his arm. He didn’t pull her up as much as steady her as she rose, the covering litter falling off her leaving her naked and shivering. He rubbed his hands over her with quick flicks , dusting her shoulders and between her breasts gently,  then turned her. She shuffled her still-covered feet. He dusted her back, then lower. Her backside was caked with the mud of her shallow grave so he paid particular attention to dusting her bottom with the palm of his hand using light downward wipes.

“Don’t!” she cried. “I didn’t do anything!”

“Of course not, Toni. I’m just getting…”

“Don’t spank me!

“I’m not.” he stopped his hand on her left buttock. He felt a bump there, then, when he moved his fingers around, many more. She would wince at every touch no matter how gentle. He turned her so her back faced the moon to better illuminate her. Lonnie saw the dark worms of welts crawling across her backside from top to bottom even extending down the backs of her legs. He rubbed softly cleaning her as best he could with bare hands then moved his hand down her legs, knocking clods off.  

“I’m not bad,” she sobbed. A sound that tore him to pieces.

“No, Toni, you are not bad”. He spoke as to a child, trying to interpret what she was saying..  

She was now hanging onto his arm, her face tight against him. “She said I was bad! I didn’t mean to do anything…Tell her I’m sorry.”

“Shh..” he said, I got you…you’re fine” He stripped off his shirt and fed her arms into it. It wasn’t long enough to cover anything below the waist. Her feet, uncovered,  were pale, bruised and bleeding from the rocks and sticks.. How the hell had she made it the whole way up here with bare feet? She took a few halting, limping steps and stopped, still crying.

“Can you carry me?” she asked piteously. 

What? no! Said the voice of reason in Lonnie’s head. You of all people know I can’t carry you.

He sighed lightly. “Sure, I can carry you. You might not like it though”.

“I can’t walk anymore”.

“Shhh, shhh…I got you” Anything to stop her crying. 

He went down to his left  knee and slipped his right arm between her legs. Then he rose carefully, lodging-as gently as possible- his arm in her crotch. As he rose unsteadily to full height, she draped across his shoulders. He clutched her hanging arm with his left hand. 

“You OK?”

She continued to sob. “She hurt me,”

“You’re fine now”, he said trying to convince himself. With unsteady first steps, testing every foothold with a toe, he unsteadily picked his way down the kicked-up track they had left. Every time he passed a spot where he had stumbled, he paused as if waiting to be pulled down again. 

Her sobbing ebbed to a soft whimper as her shivering grew to a shudder.  His shirt, large as it was, offered meager comfort, covering only her head and shoulders leaving the rest of her glowing alabaster  in the night air. He thought about stopping to rearrange her but feared once he put her down, he wouldn’t be  able to lift her again. He continued onward. 

Off to his left, a barren silhouette against the sky was the split oak, still deeply rooted and sturdy after being split by a lightning strike fifty years ago, The cold comfort of knowing his location was eclipsed by the chilling knowledge that they were still two-thirds of the way up the mountain and at that moment he had no earthly idea of how they were going to get down. 

Then, as sudden as flipping a switch, the night went black, no moon, no fog, no stars, no shadows. He could see nothing near or far as the wind kicked up. He heard the branches above his head clattering like dried bones and leaves from underfoot whirled in small twisters against his face. He could feel Toni’s sobbing across his shoulders but couldn’t hear her above the now swirling windstorm that circled them. His eyes were wide open but useless. There was no sound but the rushing wind punctuated by a  wailing that either came from Toni, himself or the mountain. He had no idea where to put his foot, so just put it down. Then again feeling weightless,, then once more feeling nothing, the ground opened beneath him, his feet pinwheeling as if he had jumped off a ridge, until, still blind in the inky darkness, he felt the ground as a shock that hurt his ankles first then paralyzed his legs. But he stayed upright, stepped out of the draw and splashed into the stream that ran at the base of the mountain. The chill water shocked him alert and he finally felt the pain in his left leg and shoulder. He could see again, as if his eyes had been closed and were now open. And the woods were dead silent. Directly ahead was the cabin, the orange glow from the fireplace dancing  in the windows.

He dropped to a knee and bent toward her feet. She resisted getting off his shoulders. 

“Here” he said, “We’re down, the grass is soft here..See? There’s the cabin.  In the glow of the moon which they now moved toward, she was white marble, veined and scratched, revealing all  where his shirt fell open. She hadn’t noticed that the return trip from the hour climb up the mountain had taken ten minutes. He noticed but was happy not to think about it. He squeezed her close, his arm around her shoulder as they limped toward the light. 

Inside, he stood her in front of the fireplace and tossed some pine kindling and a few split logs on top of the small fire that was already burning. Within moments the pine crackled and the hardwood was catching along the split face and the radiating heat warmed her bare legs and belly. 

“I’m glad there was still propane in the tank”, he said. “And I turned on the water heater.” He was holding his hand under the spigot waiting for the water to warm. “There’s a basin under here”, he said, reaching under the sink. Nothing he was saying needed to be said. He wasn’t into self-narration as people sometimes were: “I’m going to the bathroom”or ” I’m getting a drink of water” kind of thing.  He was talking to fill the room. To beat back the silence that held who knew what?

The basin full and steamy he tossed in a bar of soap which bobbed along the surface and a washcloth which floated until it sucked up enough soapy water to drop out of sight. “I got you some nice hot water to clean yourself up with”, he announced carrying it over to her like it was the Christmas goose.

‘You can clean yourself up” he said, setting the basin in front of the fire. “I’ll get some towels’. She sagged slightly as if burdened.”You do it…”, she said limply. “I’m too tired…” He pulled the day bed screeching across the floor and helped her to sit on it. She winced when her bottom hit the towel he had laid there, so he pushed her onto her back and rolled her over. “Let’s deal with this first” he said.  She only sighed. 

Nothing that he had done with her in the bedroom tonight or anytime previously could hold a candle to the intimacy inherent in his current ministrations. He touched her in ways and places that he never had, paying attention to “every nook and cranny”, as his mother used to say. But he was sure she could not have imagined her phrase being used in this context. Toni  moved into his soft touch, lifting and opening as prodded by washcloth or soapy fingers. The heat of the fireplace almost dried her before he could rinse. “Wait here”, he said unnecessarily. Patting her on the side of her leg well removed from her wounds, only a few of which, in the light of the hanging bulb, had drawn blood.

He went to the cabinet in the kitchen and found a tube of salve that had an expiration date years past and a bottle of rubbing alcohol which is what he used for any cut, abrasion, insect bite or rash. Adding the sting and burn of the alcohol to what she was already feeling felt a little cruel even if right minded so he grabbed the salve and returned to the main room where she still lay, bottom up and waiting. “This might help”, he said, dabbing a bit on his fingers and rubbing it gently into the worst welts. She whistled lightly through her teeth.

“I’m sorry”, he said.

“It’s OK” she replied, “Thank you.”

He sat on the bed beside her as he treated her. She subtly and naturally moved her near leg into his and  her right the other way. . Then her hips lifted just enough to open herself. Lonnie moved his hand from her tortured bottom to the inside of her near thigh where he kneaded gently. She moaned and flipped her head away burying it under the pillow. Taking that as a positive signal, he moved his hand up to her sex, pleased to find it sopping far beyond soap and water. He slipped his fingers in and around finding the firm nugget of her clit and rubbing it gently but insistently. Her arousal eased the guilt that he had  started to feel about his growing erection. 

She said something into the pillow that he didn’t hear. Without stopping his fingering, he leaned closer. “I didn’t catch that.”

She pulled her head from under the pillow. “Fuck me!”, she said forcefully, making sure she was heard this time. She also slid her legs further apart and arched wantonly. Her sex glistened against his hand. He knelt between her legs and pushed his pants and underwear down to, then over his knees. Seeing that his hips were going to contact her welts he warned her. “This is probably going to hurt your butt.”

“I don’t care!” she said. “I want you in me!” For emphasis she pushed backward. He grabbed her hips and slid himself all the way in, slapping his belly against her striped bottom. She moaned but he wasn’t sure about which. 

Another Stray Day

Claude Monet, The Gare Saint Lazare: Arrival of a Train

Continuing with the characters from The Stray

Robin slipped her shades on just as she turned the corner, knowing she’d be walking right into the early afternoon sun. A beautiful day to be off-at least as off as she ever was. She needed to check in at The Stray for a few to put together a liquor order then it was off to the museum for the traveling Impressionists show that was only here through the weekend. 

“Toddler! What’s up little man?” Todd shifted on his stool behind the bar where he was reading the paper. “Don’t get up on my account.” Todd was “little” like black was white, like square was round. Six five or so, three hundred if an ounce, he was the late night closer filling in for the afternoon. 

“Aw man”, he moaned. “I thought you were off today.”

She grinned at the big man’s gibe. “Ten minutes, that’s it. Then I’ll let you get back to…” she gestured to the nothing he was doing. “…your what have you.”

“Seriously”, he said, folding the paper and laying it on the bar, “A beautiful day like this…why you here?”

“Forgot the liquor order yesterday…”

“Done.”

“What?”

“Saw it in the register…called it in.”

“Did you add the tequila? I had it on a note…”

“I can read. Even your scratches…”

“Well”, she smiled, “Our little boy is growing up…”

She was about ready to turn on her heel and head back out the door when Todd mentioned that he hadn’t seen Olive yet today. Which was unusual. She was an early riser and a restless little shit who was sometimes found sitting at the bar having a coffee when they opened the place. They exchanged a glance. Todd was concerned or he wouldn’t have brought it up but he wasn’t yet concerned enough to go check on her. Tag, you’re it, thought Robin. 

Robin made no effort to be quiet climbing the steps and walking the short hallway but hesitated when she got to the door. She had been in there before, usually just to drop off mail or something Olive had left at the bar. She knocked softly. “Olive?” she called. Nothing. Then louder, “Olive?” She tried the knob-of course it was unlocked-and stuck her head in cautiously. “Olive?” The door opened into a small living room furnished with cast-offs and discards, an old stained couch, a sun-bleached table with a chunk of wood under one leg, and an overstuffed chair that definitely looked like it had been picked off the curb. The table was as far into the place as Robin had ever been. She listened hard, trying to will a sound that would preclude her having to venture any farther. Nothing. Dead still. 

A growing sense of dread dragged at her feet as she crossed the room through the open archway into the spartan bedroom. Alley light filtered in through a grimy window that faced the gray block wall of the building next door. The bed headed opposite her and Robin could see Olive on her side, bare feet glowing white like bones out of the legs of her black jeans. As she got closer Robin realized that she was creeping almost on her toes, being as silent as she could. The girl’s dark shirt was riding up in the back revealing her backbone’s sharp knuckles. 

Most of Olive’s face was hidden, shrouded by her long, lank hair. Holding her breath, Robin leaned over, then closer looking, looking…then sighed with relief as she saw the girl’s hair where it covered her mouth, moving back and forth gently in tandem with her shallow breaths. “Thank god”, she whispered, straightening up. Then, once relieved, she slipped into a previous life, scanning the floor around the bed for foil, a pipe, a belt, lighters…anything that might tell a story of a fix, a shot, a smoke. Nothing. She opened the single drawer on the bed stand and under a towel there was…well… Robin smiled even as she felt the heat rise in her face.  What a woman did in her own bed was her business, she thought, covering it back with the towel.  But nothing else. 

She turned back to the bed and called the girl’s name quietly while poking her gently in the shoulder. “Hey, Olive…you OK?” Poke again. The girl’s blue eyes fluttered open behind under her hair, sleepy but clear. It took a second for her to focus and actually see what she was seeing. 

“Robin…” she said. “What’s up…?” She lay on her back blinking slowly as Robin told her that Todd was concerned, well, that they both were, having not seen her all day, and she’d just come up to check on her. 

“Did you have a rough night?” Robin asked, allowing a smile remembering what was in the drawer.

“No. I don’t think so…slept hard though. Wow. What time is it?”

“Almost one, girl…”

“Shit…” Olive brought her hands up to push her hair off her face and rub her eyes. “I was dead!” 

“Yep”, thought Robin, that was the concern. She reached down and, in the manner of a mother to her child, ran the backs of her fingers across her cheek.

“You are warm, Olive.”

“I…just woke up I guess.”

“No”, said Robin. “You’re running a fever…”

“Naw. I run hot…”

“Still…”

“There’s a thermometer in the bathroom. In the cabinet if you want to check.”

Robin straightened, patting Olive’s cheek. “Just a quick look…”

In the bathroom Robin opened the medicine cabinet and sure enough, there were two glass thermometers on the bottom shelf. She grabbed the one in the green plastic sheath and pulled it out. The thermometer had a little silver ball at the end. “Oops,” she thought. “Not this one…” She picked the other and opened it seeing the same little ball at the end of the tube. She grinned. “I guess not…” she thought.

She was still holding the thermometer when she went to the bathroom door.  “Hey Olive, all you have are rect…” she froze when she saw the girl lying on her stomach with her jeans and panties around her knees. 

Olive flipped her head toward Robin. “Yes, that’s it. Bring them both-I don’t think one works. Don’t forget the Vaseline.” Then, when Robin didn’t move, “You OK?”

Robin snapped out of it. “Oh sure…yeah. Right. Vaseline…” She went back to the medicine cabinet and retrieved the other thermometer and the small jar that was beside them on the shelf. She caught her reflection in the mirror and watched the blush sliding over her cheeks. “Oh, yeah”, she said to her reflection. “Totally normal.” 

She came out of the bathroom and approached the bed carefully, again dragging her feet but not out of dread this time. It was something else. The girl had to know that most people, adults anyway, didn’t take their temperatures this way. Didn’t she? Had to. Robin was about to say something-really, this felt so freaking…but she stopped herself. She wouldn’t say “weird”. Having been called that herself so many times as a young human trying to find her way through the cliquish private schools her mother overspent to send her to, she had vowed never to use it in relation to another person. Even when it really freaking applied. 

Olive scooched to one side giving Robin room to sit which she did, gingerly. The truth was, Robin’s deep dark secret, was that she wasn’t as sexual as she appeared. Not frigid by any means and years beyond virginal, she was just…uncomfortable. She was a late bloomer-maybe still a bud-who was constantly plagued by desires that in turn were shadowed by deeper doubts and fears. But she put up a great front. Life had taught her that.

Sitting on the bed she marveled at Olive’s comfort and ease in laying herself bare like this, for this. Never would she have thought to envy Olive anything, besides her obvious looks, but she certainly wouldn’t mind a little of her self assurance.

“Hey”, said Olive into her arm, having crossed them under her head, “You still here?”

“Oh, yeah…” said Robin embarrassed to have been caught..what? Staring? She cleared her throat and popped the cap from the Vaseline. “So”, she asked, making an effort to carry on as normal a conversation as possible, “How do you come to have only rectal thermometers?” 

“I had a friend once who gave me them. He liked to play doctor and brought these. I found out I didn’t hate it…”

Robin dipped the glass tube into the jar and swirled getting a full dollop of the jelly on the tip. 

“So, what happened with the guy”, she asked while gently using her left hand to pull Olive’s cheeks apart to expose her small pink button. She paused waiting for the answer before realizing that Olive wasn’t going to say anything until Robin completed her move. 

Squeezing the thermometer tightly to keep her hand from shaking she placed it on the puckered opening then pushed it in slowly as Olive hissed through her teeth. Nope, thought Robin, doesn’t hate it at all. She released Olive’s cheeks so they closed around the glass tube. “So? The guy?”

“Well, yeah. Like I said, I didn’t hate it. Don’t hate it. But how many times does a girl need her temperature taken? Fifteen? Twenty?”

Robin barely suppressed a giggle. “Seriously?”

“In one evening! I mean, that was his only move!  You do ANYTHING too much it gets boring…”

Robin regarded the girl’s small white bottom beside her on the bed and wondered about the truth of that statement. “You think this is done yet?” she asked, touching the thermometer. 

“I on’t know. Maybe. It’s not that long. Pull it out and see what it says.” She exhaled lightly as Robin withdrew the tube and held it up to the light.

“You’re reading normal”, she said.

“Huh. Maybe that’s the broke one. Try the other…”

Robin looked up toward Olive’s head now. She was up on her elbows, looking back over her shoulder, hair again crossing her face.

“Are you playing with me now?” Robin asked.  

“This was your idea…”

“But I thought…”

“What?”

“…Never mind”, she said wishing she could see the girl’s face more clearly.

She shook down the other thermometer, added the dollop of lube and saw Olive push upward opening herself a bit. She repeated her last steps, spreading then inserting. This time the girl’s hiss was more of a little moan. After releasing Olive’s cheeks she kept her hand on the side of her hip. “That feels nice”, Olive said. 

“Which?” asked Robin, moving her hand then, on impulse, dragging her nails lightly across Olive’s backside as she might a friend’s back. 

“That, definitely.” Without giving it much thought, Robin kept stroking with her nails drawing light pink stripes up and down both of Olive’s bottom cheeks. 

“Have you ever had your temperature taken this way?” Olive asked, her head back on the bed.

“No!” said Robin definitively, making the word sound like “Noah!”

“But you have had things in your butt, right?”

Without breaking rhythm, Robin lightly pinched the soft slack flesh at the very bottom of her bottom. “Don’t be fresh”, she said smiling.

Olive whispered an “ouch” and settled. Robin simply decided to not think for a moment and to continue running her fingers lightly up and down Olive’s backside, sometimes slipping down the back of her legs. She imagined how it must feel, being stroked like this and immediately again felt a twinge of envy along with another deeper twinge that she hadn’t felt in a long time. The girl had gone still, if not asleep then close enough her breathing soft and regular. It occurred to Robin that she was doing something here. Something she’d never done before. She was actually pleasing someone in a most unexpected way and that idea warmed her, just before it frightened her. 

She stopped her hand and tried to speak, squeaking instead. She coughed and waited for a bit of moisture to settle on her tongue. “OK Sweet Martini Olive”, she said using the nickname that she had never shared with her. “Let’s see how you’re doing.”

Again, a tiny gasp punctuated the withdrawal of the little glass tube. Robin held it up and read it. “All good”, she said. Then, feeling a little more open than she had earlier, she patted her bottom. “You can pull up your pants now.”

Instead, Olive sat up and flopped her legs over the side of the bed beside her. Robin made no move to rise nor move even as Olive’s leg rubbed against her. Olive took Robin’s hand and entwined their fingers then settled the back of the woman’s hand on her bare thigh as if they were sitting together on a park bench. Again, Robin was surprised that she felt as comfortable as she did. At least until she looked down and saw that Olive’s lap was as clean and hairless as ivory and her heart flipped. 

“Thank you for doing that”, Olive said.

“You were playing with me.”

“Did you hate it?”

Robin smiled. “Didn’t hate it.”

“I’d like to play with you more.” 

“What?”

“You take care of me. I know you do…everyone here does. I like to show I appreciate it, you know?” When Robin didn’t answer… “And I know I could make you feel good”, she said laying her head against her shoulder. 

Robin accepted the weight of the girl’s head and savored the warmth radiating from her body. “I have someplace to be…” she said not really believing she was saying it. 

“That’s OK”, Olive said, releasing her hand and standing slowly making sure that Robin got a good long look at anything she wanted before turning to face her then pushing herself between her knees. “I need to take a shower anyway…” She pulled her shirt up over her head and tossed it aside. Her small round breasts seemingly defied gravity pushing themselves forward serving, if nothing else, to pry Robin’s eyes from her hairless cleft. 

“Give me a kiss”, Olive breathed leaning closer.

“No. Come on…You’re naked.”

“I’m getting ready to take a shower!” she protested but there was a glint in her eye that Robin saw and Olive knew that she saw.

“You’re still playing with me.”

“You hating it?”

“Not hating it.”

“Then give me a kiss.”

Afterward, Robin descended the stairs carefully like a much older person, leaning on the railing for support. Todd looked up when she entered the bar. There were a couple of customers that hadn’t been there when she went up.

“Finally! I was going to send for help. You OK?”

“I’m fine.”

“Olive?”

“Fine”, she said heading toward the door. “You?”

“Fuck, I’m good”, he answered. “Another Stray day. Hey! What’s so funny?”

She took her laughter with her into the sun washed afternoon.

Ridge Runner

Ridge Runner

Trees, stumps and boulders that he knew well enough to find in the dark appeared as apparitions then faded behind as he stormed up the slim hollow away from the cabin down on the flat river bend. Boiling clouds of wet morning fog clutched at his feet and pulled at his arms as he worked to climb above them.

Halfway to the ridge he slipped around an outcropping and paused to breathe near the copse of stunted torch pine that seemed to grow right out of the rocks. Later in the day, with the sun high overhead, this was a favorite sunning spot for copperheads but now only golden tendrils of sunlight had begun to tear at the gauzy curtain around him. Through an opening shard of green, the cabin looked like a small car from here. From up top it would be a matchbox.

Flight was more an instinct than a planned strategy. No doubt when she said “GO!” she meant out of the room but by the time he yanked his jeans up and cinched his belt, “OUT!” was all he was thinking.

He heard his name, clear as a crow’s call across the valley. Once. Then again. His heart, settling back into its rhythm, pumped the blood that coursed through the welts that he knew crossed his backside. He felt the burn that had been dulled by the run up the mountain. The searing pain that had forced him to bite the pillow.

But worse than that, he felt the wet spot in the front of his pants, that small drip that came when he was hard in spite of-or because of-his humiliation and pain. How could that be right? The first time she’d laid hands on him he felt it.  Did she know that? Could she tell? Is that why she stopped taking him over her lap and made him lie across the bed?

He wasn’t hard just then, thinking about it. But he wasn’t altogether soft either. With none but the trees to see, he rubbed his hand along the back of his jeans feeling a slight charge from massaging a spot at the top of his leg. Just as he was about to loosen his belt to slip his hand inside, he heard his name again. Sharper this time. Jabbing. Then, “It’ll be twice as bad if you don’t get back here right now!”

His heart beginning to race again, he turned his back downhill and continued to climb.

November Rain

 

Neon Rain.

From Tumblr-“Rain” blog

He had gone silent, the way he would, gazing over her shoulder as if absorbed in the shimmering neon reflected on the rain-spattered window. He got this way every time the subject came up. Or rather, every time she shot it down.

She regarded his jawline, his wavy brown hair combed over his ears and ached. She physically ached. Jesus, the guy had it all. Of course the looks had attracted her first-she could admit that. But then the job, the condo, the money…it had seemed perfect for a while. Then, this.

She didn’t know why she couldn’t get past it. Christ knows all her other lines had been drawn in shifting sands-why was this one so hard and set? Just the way it was, she guessed.

Would she have married him had she known about this two years ago? He would have been tough to resist; the security he provided, the doors that he opened for her. But this. Back then, she probably would have ignored it as best she could. Hoped that it was a passing phase. But now, it wasn’t passing. It was settling in and coloring everything. And now she had a say in what they would do and what they wouldn’t.

With an almost untouched beer in front of him he motioned the waitress over. Here we go, she thought.

“A shot of Grandad please.”

She reached out and covered his hand with hers. “Tony-come on…”

“Ah,” he said watching the traffic splash by outside. “November rains always put a chill into me.” Then, calling to the waitress’ retreating back, “Make that a double.”

“Tony”, she said, rubbing his hand. He shifted his gaze making eye-contact for the first time in what seemed like an hour. His eyes were bright and skittery. Frantic-water bugs skimming a pond.

“It’s alright”, he said, “I’m good.”

The waitress put the heavy shot in front of him. Before she even fully turned away, he threw the hot liquor down his throat. Ordinarily, he was a sipper. Liked to savor his whisky over ice. Over time. “Another,” he said holding up the empty glass.

She withdrew her hand from his and focused on the cracked wooden table top. Nothing to do now but hunker down and wait for this storm to pass.