Our loving is slow and gentle, a soothing ritualistic balm, our sweat mingling in the sultry summer heat. Then he is gone at first light, sneaking out my bedroom window, the thief of my body.
I know his face. The same youthful face that gazes at me with intense interest from the same threadbare seat throughout the long winter months. An angelic face with the devil’s smile and hypnotic blue eyes. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of him on the campus or the street, sometimes with peers, often alone. A few evenings of those long dark months, I have chance encounters with him on the tram and we give tacit acknowledgment of the other’s presence before alighting and parting ways at our shared stop.
We have a kind of electronic synchronicity. I, buried in my ereader consuming the latest best seller or some dreary academic text; he absorbed in manipulating his phone with powerfully dexterous thumbs. As the warmth of spring arrives and days begin to grow longer we become more bold. A careful ‘good evening’ creeps its way into our social dance soon expanding into the trading of meaningless references to the ever-changing Melbourne weather. For reasons I don’t want to understand he seems to step up his efforts to time his trip to coincide with mine, even when I leave early or work late. I should have challenged him, told him to stop but I am inexplicably drawn to the smooth skin on his forearms, the gentle slope of his jaw, the soft wave of his dark hair as it tumbles across his brow. And those eyes, always those eyes. In a blatant act of transference he has become the embodiment of my ebook hero. Secretly, part of me wants to believe he is stalking me.
One evening, without warning, he doesn’t leave me at the tram stop treading his usual path north along Sydney Rd. Instead, he is there, moving first behind me then alongside me as I navigate my way past shops and down side roads. A few words are shared. His inane questions on the content of the day’s class would deny that he is capable of achieving grades of merit or distinction. At first I worry if he has attended to any part of the lectures I spend hours each week preparing. But this is farce. He is too bright to be inane or dull. I am too enamored to stop him from asking.
Every night of that week he is there, first following me home from the tram to say good night at my gate, then offering to carry one of my bags. On the fourth evening I am later than usual. I may have been testing his resolve, trying to challenge his new found dedication to our unspoken agreement. He is there, as he has been for the four evenings before. As I walk up the tree-lined street toward my home a group of youths approach, rambling loudly toward me. They push and shove each other in that way that young men do when one of them deliberately jostles me. My body slams painfully into the neighbor’s wrought iron fence as one of the youths attempts to wrench the bag from my hand.
In an effort to rescue me, my protector steps between us, placing his body firmly against mine. With strong arms he jerks the bag while simultaneously shoving the youth away, the dual movement throwing the thug off balance. Heroic arms snake protectively around my waist laying claim, marking his territory. His proximity leaving me breathless, his body a solid rock for me against which to steady myself. For a moment I fear another challenge from the group but something in his demeanor must have altered their plans and they run off down the street. With my balance still unsteady, the cover of my latest romance novel flashes into my mind again as he rights me. He is my alpha hero. Then I realize the stupidity of what he has just done. Not heroic – he is an idiot with a death wish. He should have let the bag go. Crimewatch says so.
“We need to get off the street. They will be back with weapons.” I sense his fear. Alright, perhaps not a complete idiot. He scoops up my bag and we run.
Without removing his arm or handing me back my belongings he escorts me quickly to my house, opening the squeaky gate and guiding me down the short path to the front door. I fumble for my keys breathing heavily, unsure if I am affected by the run or still struggling with the residual tremor from the attack. He calmly takes the keys from me and opens the door.
Having no idea of the appropriate protocol in such a situation, I invite him into my home. My nerves get the better of me as I fumble and murmur my way through the preparation of a cup of tea. My mind translates tea as a panacea in any crisis. The stories all say so and my subconscious adherence to popular media messages puts me in agreement. Absently I stare at the bottle of cooking sherry on the counter top and consider for a moment slipping some into his cup. When I turn to ask, he has disappeared down the hall. I hear the front door opening and although I expected him to beat a hasty retreat, I am disappointed that he hasn’t at least said goodbye.
Just as I am about to pour his tea down the sink he returns. “They don’t seem to be coming back.” Oh.
My hands shake as they pass him his cup and I lean against the bench trying desperately to dredge up a topic of conversation. Nothing comes. Is he about to discover that I am not articulate in real life? I deliver my heavily scripted lectures with relative ease, hold the audience in the palm of my hand and pretend that I am stimulating young minds. As long as discussions don’t diverge I can hold my own. In the privacy of my own home I am less than impressive.
Long ago I accepted that I am a real life example of the timid, bumbling idiot that the literature nazis scorn. When I read their scathing reviews, spouting the demise of the feminist movement at the hands of illiterate housewives-turned-authors, I am tempted to write in shouting capitals “SHE DOES EXIST! I AM SHE!” but I am not brave enough. Does that make me my own worst enemy?
He, on the other hand dominates the space between us, not in words but in form, filling my small kitchen with his muscular frame and sucking all the air from the room. To date, men in my life have been of average build and varying presence. This is new for me and for a moment I consider making my submission complete by kneeling, eyes downcast, beside the door.
That image is burning holes in the back of my retina when with expert calm he takes my hand and draws me to the couch. Coming back from my dream with a thump, I convince myself that he is merely concerned about my wellbeing but he continues to unnecessarily hold my hand long after we are seated. My subconscious forms the phrase ‘our eyes speak the volumes that our mouths cannot’ before I remind myself that listening to one’s subconscious has now become identified with poor literary taste and burgeoning madness. In truth, his eyes are laughing at me and I fear that I may have just become the butt of some cosmic joke. Fuck off Inner Goddess, you are making me look bad.
Casting my eyes to the floor I mentally castigate myself for my stupidity. Then his demeanor changes altering the temperature of the room and I become aware that somewhere in the last ten minutes an invisible line has been crossed. I panic, going into ethical meltdown. Oh, he should not be here. It is an abuse of power to have him in my home. This strange friendship if I can call it that, is taboo. The coercive nature of the teacher-student power relationship is nothing compared to the small but not insignificant fact that I do not live alone. His impending departure saddens me while his delayed presence terrifies me.
As we finish our tea and he stands to leave I already feel bereft yet we have barely spoken more than four or five sentences. Instead of thanking me for the drink and going on his way, he moves to my kitchen sink and begins rinsing our cups. I can’t help but think that his mother has raised him well. A nervous glance at the clock confirms that soon we shall not be alone. A meal will be expected and consumed before either returning to work or going out with friends. This person, this stranger with whom I have shared this house for the past twenty years holds no other expectations of me any more than to serve and provide. Another’s presence here will not be welcome no matter how innocent the reason.
Before I can usher my guest out the front door I hear the unmistakable sound of a key turning in the front door lock and I panic. I do the first thing I can think of which is was to thrust my visitor into my bedroom and point him toward the open window.
“You must go.” I urge. He simply smiles before stepping through the frame and vanishing. To my shame, I am disappointed that he is so keen to leave. I miss the proximity to his body already. I watch as my house-mate, surly and uncommunicative, thumps his way through the house for the next hour before announcing he is going to meet friends for drinks. There is no acknowledgment of the meal I have prepared for him. There is no desire to sit and discuss our day or our dreams. Those conversations ended long ago and his disinterest no longer bothers me. He no longer announces that he will most likely not come home until late and I no longer care to know where he might be.
I settle into my routine of marking papers until late, a glass of red wine at my side and the cat curled up on the chair beside me. A lonely existence but one that holds its own comforts. By the time I go to bed my body aches from being hunched over the table. As I walk into my room, I sense rather than see him, a silhouette in the lamplight, laying on my bed.
“What are you doing here?” I whisper before asking myself who I am being quiet for.
“He said he wouldn’t return tonight. I was waiting for you.” Again, he seems to dominate my room as he reclines on my bed, his hands propped behind his head. In the dim light I notice that he has changed from his uniform of cargo pants into faded, torn jeans, his shirt thrown open revealing a strong, bronze, ripped chest. He has removed his shoes and I am mesmerized by his feet. I had no idea that a man could have such sensual feet.
“Why?” I should be scared. Any normal person would have had the police here by now. I cannot tear my eyes away from his perfect, beautiful form. The temptation of his body far too much. I curse my stupidity. How do I know that he is not a rapist or a murderer or is just after good grades? Just because he sits in my lectures on Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler, it does not make him any less dangerous or diminish his alpha-ness. His resonant voice cuts across my thoughts.
“I thought it was obvious. I want to be with you.” Some common sense begins to filter into my brain. This is my house, I am the one in charge. I must remove him from my room, from my space. He must be made to see the error of his ways. I gather my wits and begin to pull rank.
“I do not live alone, although it feels like it most nights. I am likely twice your age. I haven’t had sex in a long time and I am your teacher. So I will ask you once again why you are here?” While I might be deeply attracted to him, his motives are likely less pure. I will not be swayed by a beautiful body. This night might end with him in my bed but if his work sucks he will fail my course.
His smile is slow and sure, laced with a secret he knows and will now deign to share with me. “I’m fairly sure that there might be at worst ten years between us, I am older than I look. I am divorced with a two year old daughter who doesn’t live with me and if tonight goes how I hope then I am withdrawing from your class.”
My mouth goes dry and I feel my knees trembling beneath me. He has rocked my world with his little speech, holding me in the palm of his hand without a single touch. His predatory gaze nails me to the wall, hypnotic and burning with an intensity that our previous exchanges have lacked. Once more I am aware of the subtle power shift. His look says ‘I want you’ and I want so much to be wanted. This behavior, these thoughts are not normal.
“Come. Strip off those clothes and lay down beside me.” I hesitate, his statement less request than order. One my traitorous body wants to obey while my mind contorts with internal, hysterical laughter. I teach feminist theory, for God’s sake, this should not be happening. Uncooperative as ever, I feel the not too unfamiliar pooling of liquid at the apex of my thighs. Some passages of my ebook are so well ingrained that I find myself hot and wet and horny at the most inopportune moments as I narrate my own desire.
“I think you should go.” I say more firmly. He merely tilts his head to one side with a smirk. The angel has gone away, the devil is here to play. My reading and research takes me into the realms of literary heroines continually and in this moment I am sure that not one of them would be able to stand up to this full on assault of sexual predation. I squirm trying to ease the ache. He sees my small movement and smiles.
“Come to bed. Now.” Once more his voice holds calm authority and once more my body reacts this time my nipples peaking through the sweat soaked t-shirt. It is 35 degrees Celsius outside even though the sun has long since gone down. I feel like it might be 45 between my legs.
With trepidation I approach the bed, walking around until I am standing close to his side. My intention is to demand he leave once more, to show my strength. The reality is my eyes are downcast to hide my shame. I don’t want him to sense victory but as I reach his side he brazenly extends one hand running it up the length of my thigh, my floating skirt granting him easy access. The hitch in my breath is unavoidable when he touches my skin and I silently curse my weakness. Looking into his eyes I am once more caught in the headlights of promise contained therein while my mind screams at me to slap him.
Slowly he undoes my skirt allowing the fabric to drop down my legs and pool at my feet. The smell of my desire hits us both full force and he smiles as he runs a finger across the wet fabric of my cotton panties before holding it to his nose. I am repulsed and entranced. Stepping away from my skirt I move deliberately out of the harsh light of the bedside lamp. He pulls me back and begins an exploration of my thighs, ass and stomach as I stand before him. I don’t want him to trace the silvery ridges of stretch marks that slash across my skin or prod my wobbly bits.
“Don’t.” Once more I pull away in my embarrassment. Once more he is quick to pull me back to him as he extends his exploration with both hands and lips. I don’t want him to insult my sensibilities by telling me they are some sort of trophy. I will him to shut up. He doesn’t.
“You are beautiful. I love that you have these. Signs that you have lived. Symbols of motherhood and the journey of woman. You must not hide yourself away.” Oh crap. He may as well be quoting my favorite character. My trite guilty pleasure. Why did I know that if a man actually spoke to me like that I would want to giggle.
“I don’t hide away.” Calling him out, my breathing is erratic under his ministrations. Once again he tilts his head to one side and gazes at me with a considering look. One that says ‘you don’t get it’.
“Yes, you do. You pretend that you are happy when the world can see sadness born of loneliness and boredom. You hide inside your work and your role as teacher convincing yourself that it is enough for you. You don’t need to hide from me. I see you as woman and lover but you are still resisting this.” God, I want to resist but I am caught in his gravitational pull. My body sways towards him, pelvis first as if drawn by the secret power behind his words. Strong hands pull my hips further toward his face and he inserts his tongue in my belly button, flicking gently around the ridge. Once more a hiss of appreciation comes unbidden from my lips. The moisture between my thighs increases exponentially with the blush on my skin and the knowing smirk on his face.
It is the work of moments for him to have me lying on the bed beside him and although the air is still heavy with heat, my naked body shivers as he strips me bare, laying me out on top of the bed covers like a picnic while he explores with his mouth. I try to cover my breasts but he pulls my hands away restraining them above my head with one palm as he attends to my aching nipples. My experience of sex has been soft compared to the hardness of this man. He laves my breast with a strong suction that borders on pain and a gasping yelp comes from my lips.
“Shit!” The book said that a firm suction would increase the electrical pulse but I had no idea. He stills, his teeth still firmly on my nipple and peers up at me from under thick lashes. He’s laughing at me again.
Lifting his head he looks into my eyes. “I see you. In all your glory. From the moment I set foot in your classroom, you are all I have seen.” His words are too much, too rehearsed and I am glad to silence them with my mouth as he kisses, his tongue thrusting and battling with mine. The urge to push my pelvis up into his thigh is too difficult to resist and he assists with his own downward pressure allowing me to rub out my ache for a moment.
Releasing my hands he travels down my body with his mouth and his hands and I am mortified at his descent. No man has been there not even my husband. The hot breath of his mouth lands full force on what I can only think of now as my moist folds and I fight the urge to pull away. The words on the page make it sound amazing but it has been a hot day and I am sweaty. I grimace.
“Don’t struggle. Don’t move. I want to taste you. I want you to love it.”
His eyes seek mine again and I am once more mesmerized by the black depths of his dilated pupils. I don’t understand his desire. On one level it frightens and appalls me . On another I am completely enthralled as I surrender my body to his. The flick of his tongue across my achiness makes my hips jump. He calms me by placing a flat palm across my soft belly and inserting two fingers of his other hand inside my soaking wet depths. I am vaguely aware that he still has his clothes on and how unfair that is when his tongue flicks around me again causing me to spontaneously convulse. Not an orgasm but the shift in gear.
“I would like you to come. Will you tell me what you like so we can make that happen together?” Well, that surprised me. Now I am trawling my brain trying to remember what I like. A frigging of the fingers, a fantasy space in my mind where Hugh Jackman is my secret lover and the fervent hope that I don’t go dry before I climax. But this is beyond my experience. I cannot speak. I will not speak. Until he teases me by licking around every part of me except where I need it most, encouraging me to hover on the edge of some undefined magical ledge through sensory deprivation. The tension is heady and if I had a bodice I would gladly let him rip it.
“There, please, there.” It is all I can manage in my desperation and embarrassment. I don’t even call my body parts by their proper names. Although I may think of the words, especially the harsh ones, I cannot speak any of these words now.
“You mean your clit? You want me to lick your clit? Shall I suck it too?” Oh God, he is going to make me do this.
“Yes, what?” I groan throwing an arm across my eyes. Please don’t do this.
“Please lick me there.” He grazes over it with a hint of a smile on his face. He is testing, teasing. “Alright! Alright! Please, lick my clit, suck on my clit, please!”
“And my fingers what should they do?” He is enjoying my discomfort way too much.
“Fuck me please. Let them fuck me.” He synchronizes his movements perfectly driving me into a stratosphere from which I am afraid to fall. Finally with the edge of a scream to my moan I find my release as a pulsating orgasm rocks my body. The liquid from my body has increased twofold and he brings his wet fingers to his mouth, licking the residue of me from his hands with a smile before placing his lips on mine. I want to be repulsed by the taste of my own tangy juices on his tongue but I am beyond that.
Without any preamble he is up off the bed and shedding his clothes quickly, removing a foil packet from his jeans pocket and passing it to me as he kneels up on the bed his thick length in his hand. Fully focused on my face he waits for me to drop my eyes to his hand before he begins to stroke, knowing the impact he is having on my sated body. Instantly I am ready for him again and with inexpert hands I enthusiastically attempt to sheath him feeling each ridge and vein as they protrude from his firm skin. My ineptness overcomes and in the end he has to assist.
His size is daunting. Previous lovers have been sadly lacking compared to this. When he is covered I reach up to grasp his upper body wanting to bring it down to me. Instead he turns his body and sits against the head board with his rigid member sticking straight up in the air like a gear stick. He helps me to straddle his legs lifting my body effortlessly, poising my hole over his cock before lowering me down. I groan at the fullness of him inside me.
My inexperience unsettles me. Prior encounters have been somewhat traditional, even pedestrian, lacking in imagination. I am unsure and then in a moment of exquisite generosity he moves, raising my hips up, encouraging me to sink back down, allowing me to set the pace. Eventually we synchronize our movement, him thrusting up hard as I descend. I had read about this in the books, but was skeptical of its effectiveness. I might have to rethink this. Who am I kidding, I won’t have sex again.
His turgid member fills me in a way that I have never experienced before, nudging at my womb. These phrases come unbidden from the annals of Harlequin and Avon, making me giggle. I am my own storybook heroine. The desire to be caught up in the moment is undone by the fleshy tissue of my breasts flaccidly bouncing in his face. Automatically I grasp them in my hands, grappling to bring them under some semblance of control. And bless him, he
mistakes this for something else.
“Yes, please, touch yourself. Show me those beautiful hard nipples.” Oh God, he is my fantasy alpha come to life. Nuzzling, my hand gets replaced by his mouth suckling me, heightening the exquisite sensation of his continued strong thrusts. I have never had a vaginal orgasm before but his stamina is my undoing and this stunning new sensation floods my body. I may have squealed like a delighted pig. I no longer care.
We lie together in the darkness, breathing heavily. I have no words for what has occurred and his silence is a comfort. Our bodies are too slick, the air still too oppressive to enfold each other as lovers should. The cool change refuses to arrive and the humidity drives us to opposite sides of the bed. In this remote space I both fear and accept this moment is unique, never to be repeated.
After an hour, not moving, not talking, the temperature finally drops and we tentatively touch. Fingers at first, followed by hands. His hand on the back of my head pulls me into a kiss, starting slowly and building rapidly. My only thought is ‘how can he possibly want to do that again’? I am jealous of his young body, until mine responds in kind. His full weight is on me within minutes entering with such a gentle force that it liquefies me. We are silent and connected by the gentle slap of body parts and squelch of bodily fluids. It sounds so much more romantic in the books.
“What made you come back?” I whisper.
He hesitates then leans over the bed to fumble with his jeans. Pulling his phone out and slides the screen before handing to me. Once more my lover surprises me. We have been reading the same book.
I don’t know if he will return. He wasn’t in my class today. Before work, I left money on the kitchen table so my son might go to the pub and join his friends. On the tram he is there sitting beside me reading and not talking. Still without discussion he walks me to my gate and then leaves with a smile. The money is gone from the table, the house is empty. I eat, read, finish my wine, open my window to the evening street sounds, strip off my clothes and I wait.