She’s right; it is insane. Everything within me tells me that: my intellect and my instinct, my brain and my balls. Every internal warning bell I possess clangs as fast and as hard as the beating of my heart against the inside of my ribs.
I ignore her words and kiss her again. This time my hand slides from her hip to the firm swell of her left breast. She arches herself into my grasp, even as she tries to draw away from me. My other hand is flat against the small of her back, holding her against me, pulling her loins to mine. I know that she can feel how hard I am. Am I making her wet? Has she fantasised about my cock the way I’ve fantasised about her cunt? Has she dreamed of what I would feel like in her hand, between her breasts, against the cheeks of her arse? Has she touched herself as she conjured what it would be like to feel my hardness entering her, piercing the sanctity of her veiled flesh?
Does the prospect of such ultimate betrayal appal and arouse her in equivalent measure, as it does me?
Yet at this moment in time, my excitement outweighs my guilt by a magnitude of ten, a thousand, a million, and the sweet emotion surpasses the bitter exponentially with each passing second. For now, guilt is just another word in the lexicon of my given language. Later, it will consume me, sear me, rend me from three hundred and sixty degrees. For the moment, it is the bleating of a newborn lamb in a hurricane.
My tongue slips inside her mouth for the first time. She doesn’t respond immediately; instead, I feel her body stiffen against me and I naively fear that I’ve gone too far too fast, that I’ve misjudged the mood, misjudged her. Decades of frustrated longing from the sidelines of our intertwined lives seemed on the verge of finally being cast aside, and now….
Bitterness rises inside me like bile, for I know that if she turns away from me now, it will be forever; this side of us, our desires, our secret natures, will diverge irrevocably. Fleming’s prophetic words come to mind: the pain of failure that is so much greater than the pleasure of success. I am a grown man who wants to weep with childish frustration. Failure snatched from the jaws of victory. And then her tongue dances across mine, tentatively at first, then with mounting passion, and the bitterness and the frustration are gone in a surge of adrenalin that makes me want to scream triumphantly.
Downstairs, the party is in full swing. I can hear it faintly through the open window, three floors down; the bass of the music, the murmur of the celebrating throng. If it hadn’t been so busy, so alive, I might never have slipped away. Instead, as my surreptitious eyes watched her sashaying her way up the main staircase, I slid away unnoticed, dummying my way towards the men’s room in the reception area, reversing my course towards the emergency stairs once I was out of sight. My palms were damp, my heart pounding, as I made my way up to her floor. Only the solid oak of her door against my knuckles stilled the quivering of my arm.
When she pulled the door open, her blue-grey eyes were filled with surprise, and yet somehow still composed, even expectant. She said nothing. She leant forward, close enough for the scent of her perfume to envelop me completely, and glanced along the still corridor in both directions. Then she stepped back into the room, inviting me inside by creating a vacuum for me to occupy.
I never hesitated, in thrall to her, to the idea of her, to fevered fantasies matured over twenty long years.
The first kiss … reward and damnation in one. I lost my senses in the taste of her mouth, the smell of her hair, the warmth of her skin. My cock unfurled instantly, pressing eagerly against the inside of my black trousers. The sensation of her rouge melting against my lips was far headier than the bourbon I’d been sipping through the night.
That was the point at which she told me to stop, at which I ignored her.
She escapes my mouth again. “I can’t do this. Not to her. Or to him.”
The sequence of her guilt is revealing, yet predictable. I would have been shocked if it had been the other way around.
“I know,” I say in a low, understanding voice, and then like a thief, I slip my hand inside the front of her black evening dress. She is braless. Her gasp of surprise compliments the jolt of electricity I experience as her soft, bare flesh fills my grasp. Her nipple is already taut, but it rises further at my touch. Deliciously captive, my hand twists between the cotton and her skin so that I can take the crown between my fingertips, making her gasp once more. As I kiss her again, I can’t help but wonder about the colour of her nipples, about how they will feel between my lips, beneath my tongue. My thoughts are those of a libidinous teenager, overwhelmed by the imminence of pleasure from an exquisitely new source.
My other hand trails lightly upward along the line of her spine until my fingers find the dress’s zip; then it slowly descends, taking the zip with it in a slow crackle.
She breaks our kiss for a third time. Will this prove to be the vaunted charm? Her eyes are piercing in the half-light, glistening with a hundred emotions. A man could lose himself forever in such a gaze.
“This is so wrong,” she says, her words scarcely loud enough to be called a whisper.
“Do you want me to stop? To go?”
“Yes.” But she doesn’t try pulling away from me as the zip reaches its perigee. Instead, she looks questioningly at me, for longer than she needs to if she really wants me to be on my way.
“Do you want me to go?” I ask again, enunciating each word with deliberateness.
She doesn’t speak, doesn’t move. She fixes those damnably liquid blue-grey eyes on me and waits. Waits for me to leave or stay. Waits for me to decide whether we are to make a desperate clutch at saving our souls, or join the ranks of the damned.
I understand exactly what this could mean for us both, the howling anguish that waits patiently in the wings like a snarling vampire. Lyrics of a song whose title I can’t remember rise to the surface of my mind:
These are the dreams that scars are made of.
I shudder. And then like a legion of humans before me, I allow lust to pluck the sight from my head.
I ease the dress from her shoulders and let it fall down her body. She is taller than my wife, fuller in the breast and the hip. Her skin is still tanned from her fortnight in the Algarve, devoid of any trace of whiteness. I’d never once imagined her lying naked beneath the blazing sun, the cool Atlantic lapping a few feet away. Too reserved, I would have thought. Now my cock aches at the realisation that she is anything of the sort. Had I been the one stretched out beside her on the Portuguese sand, I would have struggled to maintain a hint of propriety.
She wears a black lace suspender belt and stockings. I swallow hard when I realise that there are no panties. Is that for me? I caution myself: haut couture demands that no lines show. But then she would have foregone the suspender belt in favour of hold-up stockings, and a thong would have been all but invisible. My pulse races at the possibility she had thought ahead to this moment, had prepared herself for it, despite the protestations with which I was greeted.
My gaze drifts back to her face. In my fantasies, this is the point at which she would say, “Do you like what you see?” or “Does Sir approve?” But this isn’t fantasy any longer. This is the collision of desire and reality, tectonic, and it would be impossible for such forces to come together in a perfect dovetail. But the question – or one like it – is somewhere there in her eyes, even if it goes unspoken.
Even the most beautiful and desirable of women can yearn for affirmation of their allure.
I will her to read my thoughts.
Can’t you tell how much I desire you?
Haven’t you always known how much I’ve wanted this? Wanted you?
I accept the majesty of her full breasts into my hands. She swallows, but she doesn’t try to draw back this time. She allows me to explore their glory, to hold and caress her as I have in so many illicit reveries down the years. Her breathing is fast and shallow. I measure her heartbeat through my palms: lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. Less than a second separates each cycle. Her tongue moves to dampen her arid lips as I draw my nails softly, slowly across her. They’ve travelled less than an inch before her skin is replete with tiny prickles, and a million gossamer hairs lift into the air.
She shivers, bites down on her lower lip. Her eyes still hold mine in their blue-grey grasp.
I run my hands lower, over her belly, slightly protuberant in spite of the hours of exercise she punishes herself with every week. I’ve sometimes wondered what compels her, what inner drive never permits her to be content, when she has every reason to be satisfied with the mirror’s tale. The muscles of her stomach flutter beneath my touch and she sighs, her eyes flickering closed as my hands continue to descend. The broad triangle of hair that adorns her pubis is rich brown, much darker than her honey blonde locks. She’s never made a secret of her choice to subvert Nature, but still the contrast of the two shades is jarring … and, at the same time, entirely in keeping with the woman I’ve come to know.
My fingers slip between her thighs, onto her slick warmth. I skim the nub of her clitoris and her body bucks against me. “Oh,” she says – mews – and then she says it again as I ease a single finger inside her. So tight, and yet my penetration of her is close to effortless. She takes my face in her hands and pulls my mouth back to hers, and I taste red wine as her tongue dances in synchronicity with my caresses. I am exploring a new woman, a part of my brain sings. That siren song is nothing new at such moments; it’s as though I’m astonished by the fact that another woman is willing to give herself to me in so intimate, so absolute, a way. The recognition triggers another surge of adrenalin, one that leaves me fighting to control my own trembling. A beautiful woman quivering at my lecherous touch … but it’s the knowledge of who she is that truly excites me – a black excitement that comes in sinful waves tinged blood red.
Wickedness is its own punishment.
She has surrendered now. I can feel it in her kiss, in the way her body fits against mine, in the way her cunt grasps greedily at my fingers. Only I can turn us away from the abyss ahead: she is committed to the long fall.
“Unzip me,” I tell her.
She hesitates … then reaches for the front of my trousers. I wonder if her husband ever tells her what to do, when to do it, when they’re in their bedroom, in a hotel room. This one. Try as I might, I can’t imagine him capable of such wanton directness. Perhaps, if he did, I would not be here now.
She struggles a little with the new leather belt, but her hands move adroitly over the trousers themselves. The descending zip sounds very loud to me, as loud as the first time that a woman – a girl, if truth be told – unveiled my secret strength, my ultimate weakness. I swallow, gripped in the hands of lust and trepidation. I am that boy again, sitting on the floor of my parents’ lounge, leaning back against the sofa as the girl sitting on it – Mary? Maria? – bends over me, her mouth working mine as she stretches over my belly and lowers the zip of my Levis. And like that boy, right now I am terrified of discovery, because I cannot conceive of the scale of the disaster that will befall me if I am caught.
Her hand reaches inside my opened trousers; I know that once her bare flesh finds me, grasps me, we are doomed. Nothing – nothing – will stop me from consummating this desire that has tortured me for so long.
Her fingers find the buttons on the front of the cotton undershorts; she flicks them open with an aplomb that belies her earlier protestations. I tremble. How quickly our roles have reversed; now she is in the ascendancy, and I am the lamb consumed by doubt and fear and guilt. And then her elegant fingers brush my cock, and a cable carrying a thousand volts, a million, is plugged into the small of my back. The electricity courses through me, and as she entwines her fingers around my swollen shaft, I kiss her hard, lost to reason, lost to sanity, lost to the woman I made all those promises to a thousand years ago.
She draws my cock out, strokes it with increasing fervour as our kiss becomes a collision of desires, of frustrated passions. Her mouth slips from mine and her tongue flickers against my ear, increasing the current running along my spine.
“Fuck me,” she pants, “quickly. Before I change my mind.”
I don’t tempt fate. I turn her so that she faces the wall, lift her wrists and press her palms against the smooth magnolia plaster. Downstairs, the music is faint but still audible. Love is the Drug, Ferry croons. I don’t know that love’s a narcotic, but I’ve learnt that lust can exert such an all-consuming hold.
I lift my cock until it finds the hot, wet secret I’ve craved so long. So long. I should ask her if she’s sure, but I don’t, because the prospect of a fifty-fifty bet has never terrified me as this one does. And so I press my glans inside her, trying to savour and yet record every moment; every sigh of her pleasure, every twitch of her body, every millimetre of the velvet walls of her vagina – so like my wife’s, and yet nothing like hers at all.
Did Adam feel like this when he bit deep into the flesh of that first apple? Because this feels like everything to me. Everything. And at the same time, I know it is nothing at all.
Oh, fuck. Oh, fuuuuucccckkkkkk.
I surrender myself to the consuming embrace of the flesh. Her flesh. Our flesh.
I run my hands around the sweep of her waist, her skin warm and flawless beneath my touch, her belly fluttering as I piston myself with growing intensity into her sultry darkness. My palms brush over the front of her torso until they find her breasts again, heavy, swaying to the rhythm of our fucking. Her nipples are so hard between my fingers, and she cries out when I squeeze them even lightly. Some dark corner of me whispers that I should squeeze harder, chart the limits of her desire … but if this is to be our only joining, I want it unsullied in both our minds. I want her to remember this so that she becomes wet the instant she calls it to mind. And I don’t want my own recollections to be sullied by the shadows of excess; I want to close my eyes in the certainty that she thinks of this moment with nothing but gratuitous pleasure.
I don’t ask her if I can come inside her. I just do it. I grip her waist hard and pull her back onto my pulsing shaft, so that there’s no escape. If I am to burn, I will damn well earn my flames.
As each pulse of seed splashes against her womb, she cries out, a tangled enunciation of ecstasy and despair. I think she comes too.
We breathe hard. She presses the left side of her face against the cool plaster. In the semi-darkness, I sense her watching me from the corner of the eye. It’s like been studied by some exotic bird.
“Did you plan on this being a onetime thing?” she asks in a husky voice that offers no clue as to what her reaction might be to any answer I might give.
Say nothing, I think. Just breathe.
She eases my flagging flesh from inside her, turns, regards me with a vaguely contemptuous look and then she kisses me again, slowly, tenderly. When she’s done, she asks me again.
“Are you planning on fucking me again, brother-in-law?”
I’d forgotten she is not a woman to be stalled.
The word in my mind, the one teetering against the inside of my lips is a resounding “No”.
“Yes,” I tell her. “Yes.” And then I kiss her again.