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The Softer Side

By Alan
Other News

By Alice Gray
Slick 50
Stolen Hour
The Fourth Veda

By Amanda Earl
Beating the Gothic Out of Her
Daddy Complex
Mercy and the Man. . .
Real Irish
Sex With An Old Woman
The Afternoon Circle Jerk Society
The Graffiti Artist
The Revenant
The Vampire Responds
The Vessel

By Ann Regentin
What Never Dies

By Arthur Chappell
Tedia, Goddess of Boredom
The Too Beautiful Boy

By Big Ed Magusson
Like a Brother
Old Dogs
The Fix

By B.K. Bilicki
Shades of Night

By Brady Sutton
Girls for Leash
The Peculiar Case of...

By C. Sanchez-Garcia
An Early Winter Train
Riding the Dog
Soul Naked
The Girl With Kisses...
The Doll
The Lady and The Unicorn
You Belong to Me

By Cervo
An Evening At...
Angel's Spawn
Are You Kidding?
Bitsy Takes a Test
Chinchilla Lace
Cruising On A Sea...
Fridays At The Benoit
Mr. Merridawn's Hum
Quigley's Harvest
Readiness Is All
Touring Persephone

By Cherry Black
Face Down
Just A Simple Black Dress
Mrs. Priestly

By Chris Bridges
Passing Notes
The Whitechapel...

By Daddy X
A Woman in My Position
Carnival Ride
Never For Punishment
Nikki Didn't Like It
Size Matters

By Dominic Santi
Kiss of Peace

By G. E. Russell
First Love, Last Romance
Judgement Day
Snow White
The Glass Cage
This Desolate Eden
You Like It Like That...

By Helen E. H. Madden
Going Viral
Husbands and Wives
Neighbor of the Beast
Over the Rainbow
The Fifth Horseman
The Monster Beneath...
Virtual Love
When The Angels Fall

By Helena Settimana
Highway 69
The Space Between

By Huck Pilgrim
A Small Favor
Goodbye Roger
He Sends His Regrets
The Mentor

By J.T. Benjamin
Advice From Miss Millicent
Alternating Weekend
Secret Lives and Lusts
What are Friends For
Olivia's Ulterior Motive
The Baby Doll
The Journals of Chastity
The Question
Thornburg Sex Survey
Use Me
Zachary's Perfect Date

By Jill
A House On Fire?
It's About Sex
Maureen and Sheila...
Sheila Discusses ...

By john e
Ava's Honey
I Wish My Dick...
johnny's jackoff journal
Saturday Morning

By Julius
In Praise of Pussy
The Newcomer
Tight, Tighter, Tightest
You Rang Madam?

By Juniper Maclay
Lunch Break
Public Transportation
The Scientist

By Keziah Hill
Dutch Masters
Laying Down the Law
Strawberry Flavoured Joy
The Second Coming

By L.A. Smith
Both Hands
Missionary Position

By Lara Nickles

By Lilie Berlin
Color Less Ordinary
Naughty Little Girl

By Mairead Devereux
new War Wounds
The Valley

By Mike Kimera
Ask Alice
At the Adult Bookstore
Bar Snack
Deserving Ruth
Fucking Ugly
Happy Anniversary
It May Not be Art...
Living With It...
Mating Calls
Soft Option
Paying For It
Playing With Barney
Sex with Owen
Till Death Do Us Part
The Last Taboo
The Sisters

By Nan Andrews
At Rest
Spirit Guides

By Nick Nicholson
Grigore & Tatiana
Land of Smiles
The Room
The Uniform

By Nikki Isaak
A Rathskeller Jar
The Dread That Stained Kalos

By Oxartes
Androids Behaving Badly
Babylon Nights
Eat Your Veggies
Eclipse Sex
I Am Not A Scorpion
Innocent Flower
Maybe You Can Go...
The Vow Part I
The Vow Part II - Fiend in Need
What Would Aristippus Think

By Raziel Moore
Invisible Lines (Novella)

The Wounded Healer
© 2002 by Nicholas M.

The act of vanishing from the face of the earth is not as romantic as it sounds.  There are twenty-four hours in a day and ultimately there is one person from whom you can never entirely escape.  The glimmer of satisfaction comes in knowing that surely, somewhere, someone must have uttered in that reverent tone of awe usually reserved for the truly amoral bastard, 'Well, he just vanished...'

A thousand miles from ex-home and in a one-pound-a-night hotel room in a bright, white dusty street, a man called Togue stared at his unshaven face.  Like a stranger's tattered portrait, the rust-stained mirror-face stared back at him and he sweated real sweat in his under-shirt because it was summer and summer here means one hundred and eight.

Togue lifted his penis and balls out over the elastic of his underpants and made a muscle-man pose.  He smiled.  Then he dressed and packed his bags and went north.  He crossed the Tropic of Capricorn.  Not far from there he bought a house with the money he'd buried too deep for his ex-spouse's beagles.  He paid cash.  You could do that up here, back then.  No one cared, and with the money he handed over a birth certificate that wasn't his and the conveyancer smiled and said, 'That'll be fine thank-you Mr.  Michael Rooney.' His ex said he'd never had a sense of humour.

The realtor was happy because he'd unloaded a property that'd been rotting away in the mountains.  Well, now it had someone to care for it.  No electricity.  No running water.  But at least it had everything Togue needed:

A Sense of Self.

The year was 1956.

Oberon would seem a silly name for a house unless you had seen this one.  The verandah and platform of the house jutted like a strongman's craggy jaw from the face of the escarpment so that the rear of the house was at ground level, while the front rested on lofty pylons with a view over the forest canopy to the coast.  They grew sugar down there.  Smoke twirled from the one crooked chimneypot.

Truly a place of magic, the forest was a rainforest with a canopy mat and a humid, windless understorey.  There were birds everywhere, magnificently plumed birds of Paradise, and shy animals and fruits and stinging trees and ferns and parasitic Tarzan-like creepers; and bright blue corridors of skies over dark, hidden places where the elves ruled.  And over these elves ruled the King of the Elves.  The previous occupants had nicely left a tangled orchard.  And oh yeah, they left some scratching chickens.

Down below the orchard was a fern-gully and a little stream fed by the runoff from the higher-up crater lakes.  Togue was down there one afternoon when he heard a distant, echoey roar.  It was that of a car's engine, the surging sound it makes when a timid driver drives in difficult terrain.  There were very few roads in these parts, especially across the escarpment.

When working in the orchard he wore dungarees and boots because black snake was everywhere.  Up at the house he wore a makeshift laplap and nothing else.  Why wear even that? There was a storm that drenched the forest and he stood naked on a bare outcrop and dared the lightning come get him.  Uplifted by the lash of wind-rain-on-skin, his cock swelled and grew hard and upright, and when the storm raged its fiercest he masturbated and shed his seed into it.  He had shared it all with the Mother Earth: Saliva, blood, sweat, piss, tears, shite, and come.  Up here.  Without shame.

The sound of that car was a curious thing.  Togue heard it occasionally in the afternoons and resisted the urge to go follow it - but like with everything else, the urge eventually won.  He heard the car and took his time getting boots on and went down from the house to the gully.  Getting near where he thought the car-sound came from, he became stealthy.  It was an instinct that he obeyed, and he crept low through the bracken along the stream.

At the perimeter of a clearing he saw her and tingled with goosebumps because there is something breathlessly primitive about making contact like that, unrevealed to the quarry.  The woman was naked on a rock over across the sunlit pool, combing out her still-dry hair.

Thirteen years before, at Port Moresby, there were always lots of spare trucks at the Schwimmer airfield, and Togue and his mates would borrow one, and they'd take however-many nurses who liked this kind of outing and pile them into a truck and head to Rouna.  Where the Laloki emptied down the Rouna fall, it was spectacular.  And secluded.  They would get naked and swim in the misty, tepid waters stained brown by forest tannins.  No one would admit to the physical, sexual excitement of standing clotheless under the stinging sheets of spray.

Yet, lying on the grass beside the falls, in a state of sun-induced torpor that seemed eternally poised between lust and slumber, Togue liked to watch the women, examine them in the voyeuristic sense of learning about them.  He deciphered their naked gestures.  And of course their bodies were fascinating.  He loved the way a breast spilled when a reclining woman reached for something.  He loved the dusky shadow of a vulva's slit under the hair in full sun.  He was left with a vivid recollection of the sexiness and unabashed femaleness of these women, of their warmth, and even their availability which in a lazy truce was never abused.  Some of these women were lesbian, and that was sexy too.  In his bungalow he had often fantasised about Merle and Marjorie under mosquito netting, in the moody dusk provided by their lanterns rubbing their vaginas together.  Then, sitting with them on a grassy cradle at the base of Rouna, there was no fantasy.  It existed only while his hand went up and down his cock.  At the falls, they were all just mates and Togue was not a man to go gaga simply at the sight of a naked female.

The woman at the stream: Who was she? He watched as she finished with her hair making a strict part and a neat, light brown wave pedantically above the shoulder line.  It seemed unfamiliar to her.  And too, why do this and then push out into the water and get it wet?

The pool was just deep enough and wide enough that she could swim a few strokes, turn and roll and back-stroke to where she began.  She repeated this several times and treated Togue alternatingly to the rippling muscles of her thighs and bottom, then the white fullness of her breasts, the cherry nipples jostling through the surface of the pool as though for air or the attention of a lover.  From his hiding place, Togue whispered aloud, 'You've never had those sucked.'

He meant: Not the way she wanted.

Togue was not a man to go gaga over a naked woman, and besides, now, he had found a new peace succoured away in this mountain idyll, and nothing could take that away or diminish it.  Except, he knew, the desire for a woman.

He heard her car on several later occasions and ignored it.  He had plenty of work to do in the orchard.  Repairs to the house were needed before the wet season.  And then one Tuesday, and beastly hot, from his elevated balcony he heard the growl of her car and robotically his feet began tramping and took him down and along the stream.  From behind a clump of tall grass he watched her bathe and was instantly hard under the laplap.

Climbing out onto a flat rock, her hair was soaked and dripping.  She dried her hair with a towel.  She scooped her breasts and plied the nipples, flicked them, squeezed them, all the while watching their response.

Decorating the damp skin of her breasts with designs of leaves and wildflowers, she caressed her nipples, experimenting with twigs and pieces of moss and maiden-hair fern.  Face lowered demurely, goddess-like, and yet with body lolling sluttishly, she spread her legs and decorated her bush with flowers.  She caressed her open sex-lips with various twigs and leaves plucked from the rocky chaise-lounge.  Something small and oval, like a water-worn stone, must have felt especially nice.  Togue heard a soft gasping moan-sigh.  Her head fell away and her breasts heaved.  Her legs dropped wider.  Stroking herself, then fingering, she orgasmed in silence.  Her feet and ankles dipping in the water made a chaos of shudders that spread out across the dark surface of the pool.

Togue crept away and paused at a distance safely out of sight and hearing.  He thumbed the urgency of his cock-hard escaped from under the laplap.  The sun above the trees seemed to burn hotter.  At ground level there was no breeze.  He smelled of an acrid, manly odour.

Tearing away the laplap, sweat dripped from his nose onto his fingers.  He rubbed it along the cock-shaft, lubricating slightly, and leaned one hand against a tree and mustered a ball of saliva and spat and added that to the moisture on his hand to ease the calloused dryness of the pull.  As his eyes rolled heavenward, he sighed - So much for the sanctuary of Oberon.

Where had it gone, the immunity to sex and the insulation from desire and the pain of knowing that while his ex had pretended to love, she had yet denied him simple human comfort, the whole time sucking the cocks of other men.  She swallowed for them.  Let's not beat around the bush: he read about that in her secret diary.  In a little box with a pink bow and ribbon around it, she had kept some post-coital panties complete with dried, scaly patches of lover's-come.  Togue found that too.  And for all of this, he hated the hard wanting of his cock and he hated the woman at the pool.

Yet for that, too, he loved the woman at the pool.  His shoulders slumped.  He was not a man who could hate from the bone.  That woman at the pool, her sexual candour reminded him of the nurses at Rouna.  He needed to know about her, what sort of woman she was that she admitted to a sensitive cunt, that she could masturbate in daylight in the forest, that she anticipated and planned for it and made the drive and took the risk to have the sex she needed.  What had happened in her life?

Did she need other kinds of sex? Interesting sex...?

Not far away now he pushed off from the tree and arched his body to shoot satisfyingly high.  The softest of calm voices interrupted him.  It said, 'Please wait.'

Spinning around he found himself unconcealed by a tiny sapling and he scrunched his erection under two hands.  Before he could be flustered, the serene nakedness of the woman from the pool subdued him. 'If you don't want it, I will have it,' she said, nodding a smile at his hands.  She came forward one slow step at a time.

What looked like a plain brown frock was strangled in her left hand.  He dropped his arms and she came to him, slipped a hand down over his penis as though appraising.  Her fingers felt cool.  She slipped her hand under his balls and for a moment held them possessively.  Standing almost against him, she pressed her nose to his chest-skin and inhaled.

'Who are you?' he said.

'Aenea,' she replied.  She stood back a step. 'Is that really how men do it?'

'That's how I do it.  Sometimes.'

'And other times?' she challenged.  Togue shrugged. 'You don't have to tell me,' she whispered.

That whisper was also a command to follow.  He went with her and she leaned forward with palms up flat against the bark of a slender tree.  They were the hands of a woman older than Aenea.  She and Togue were in a dappled light, freckled like Aenea's skin.  Aenea pressed her breasts against the tree, dipped and offered Togue her bottom. 'Don't you love the textures of nature?' she said, and wound her arms around the tree.

'I love the textures of a woman,' said Togue, suspiciously.

'Oh? Which parts the most?'

He pressed his glans against the sticky, bushy mouth of her vagina - a crude gesture, but her pose and the circumstances invited it.  She twitched herself shut and denied him.  When he slipped his cock higher between the cheeks of her bottom, this time she blossomed into a welcome. 'It's safer there,' she said as a matter of fact.  With a little gasp, as though taken by a sudden, delicious thought, she added softly, 'Just use me.  Can you do that?'

As he took her, she seemed to go someplace else that received and registered pleasure, yet did not participate in the generation of that pleasure.  He felt as though she were watching him not with her eyes, but through the senses of her body.

Perspiration trickled the knobby rack of her spine and gathered in a hollow where some fine blonde hairs grew.  Togue dabbled a finger in it, tasted her.  Her toes flexed amongst the forest litter.  She rubbed her nipples against the bark of the tree.  He pressed her up against it with his thrusts, wondering if that hurt her - it seemed not.  Winning the last inches inside he wondered again if that hurt.  It must have, yet more fervently she mouthed at the bark of the tree, kissed it hard and passionately with a full mouth.  As finally Togue danced on his toes, suspended on that searing moment between coming and ejaculating, Aenea let out a low, carnal growl.

Then in that same instant - so it seemed - Togue was left standing alone, panting and shaken, one hand on the tree and holding his chest with the other because he felt a pain as though she had entered him with a barbed proboscis and sucked out something precious and essential.

Aenea was over at the stream, squatting with hair tucked behind an ear, scooping water on a hand, washing unhurriedly between her legs.  Togue slumped against the tree where they had just fucked and shook his head.  The scene was so absurd and domestic and familiar.  Aenea - the woman - was peaceful again, serene like on the rock at the pool.

The beatific humbleness of her manner was disturbing.  Togue could have shaken her by the shoulders and growled at her, 'Hey, Aenea, you were just fucked in the ass...' It wasn't a blushing bride's first kiss that he had given her.  This was the root of the suspicion that returned to him as soon as his balls cooled.  Had she come here to steal his peace? A woman doesn't give herself away purely.

Aware that she was watched, Aenea rose and went over to the brown dress and picked it up.  She shook the leaves off, smiled at him, a wide smile around small, white teeth.  As if the only concern could be that he was happy, she asked, 'Did you need that?' She was fiddling with the dress, getting it untangled.

When a butterfly alights on your hand, it is its own frail beauty that protects it.  Aenea was like that.  That's how Togue felt about her.  She pulled the dress down overhead and smoothed the creases into the shape of her figure which made Togue aware that he was naked.  He sat against the tree and pulled his knees up.  Aenea was saying, 'When I heard someone had bought Oberon, I knew I shouldn't be coming up here any more.'

'And? So?'

She thought about this. 'I really don't know.  Tell me what I should do.  What should I think?'

The design of the frock she wore was simple, emblematic.  It's colour a lifeless brown.  Togue had already recognised it as the tunic worn by the young islander girls that he'd seen around town down on the coast, not that that alone explained why Aenea wore it.  But he knew.  He said, 'You are from the mission school.' Aenea said nothing. 'You are a teacher.'

'We don't measure worth or assign labels by how we toil.'

That absurd answer confirmed Togue's suspicion.  He chuckled. 'Or should I call you Sister Aenea?'

'Or who we are...' Aenea blushed red but forced a brave smile.  After a moment she tossed her short brown hair and headed back toward the path along the stream.  She hesitated and said, 'I am not allowed many vanities, but I would believe that you wanted me to come here again.  I think I should tell you I won't.' And she was gone.  Togue lingered long enough to hear in the distance, the irritable roar of the car as she pulled away up a forest track.

Three weeks passed before he heard that sound again.  He stood a long while and listened carefully because his hungry ears had played tricks on him.  The sound came plain and his fingers trembled.  Dashing from the orchard he ran to the house and cursed because he had given up on her and now everything was a mess again.  The brown shopping bags were put away on the verandah, ready to be forgotten.  He got them out, tossed them onto the table, scooped some rubbish into a spare room.  He arranged a chair near the table, the way he had played this out through long nights of erect fantasy.

He plunged down into the forest toward the stream and came to a dead halt a few hundred yards down the hill.  He found Aenea near the tree where they had met.  The brown dress, he noticed now, was simpler even than the tunics worn by the islander girls.  The dress was as plain as a sack with holes cut in it for arm and head.  That's how Togue saw it.  He was panting hard from the sudden effort and running, the panting just one heartbeat away from a cry for her.  But something in her eyes pleaded, 'Don't.'

A small distance separated them.  Aenea had not moved from the tree.  She said, 'I will come with you up to Oberon, if you wish me to.  But you must be the same man I met in the forest nineteen days ago.'

So, she had counted the days. 'How?'

'You must think for me.'

To calm his breath, struggling with her request, Togue swallowed hard.  He knew instinctively that the exquisite butterfly, nervous and alerted, had propped its wings ready to pulse into the air and be gone.

His eyes went over her, her skin revealed in places by the simple brown dress which perverted its original intention and amplified her sensuality.  He came down and fetched her hand and began a steady, powerful march toward the house.  Aenea resisted and snapped her wrist to be let go. 'You haven't asked me to go with you,' she protested.

'Aye.  I not asking you.' They arrived at the front steps of Oberon.  Togue released her and bowed chivalrously and bade her go up by her own volition.  She did.

Blinking because there was bright, yellow sun above the trees, Aenea went out onto the verandah and felt the caress of space.  She stretched up her arms and draped her fingers through the cobalt pool of sky.

The view to the coast was misty and vague.  Somewhere down there on a near invisible spit was the mission school.  Togue lifted Aenea's arms, hoisted the dress up over them and off.  She was naked beneath.  He put her arms down at her sides and ran his fingers up her belly to her breasts and taut nipples, down again to the wedge of fluffy hair.

'Come with me.'

Deep in the cooler privacy of the house and its shadows, he offered her the chair beside the table.  She sat primly upright with long hands and fingers laid out along her thighs, perhaps how like she demanded the islander girls to be sitting for when Sister Aenea arrived to give them classes.  Togue wondered, did she give them long essays on Virtue so her thoughts could linger awhile, undisturbed, out through the windows and up on the brooding mountains?

Did it make her hot to think about the secret pool and the mossy rock and the pebbles.  More recently, did she cross a leg and recall the texture of bark on her nipples, a man's pole prospecting for pleasure inside her ass?

Close beside her, Togue fingered his cock out through the buttons of his dungarees.  He ran the crimson tip across between Aenea's lips.  She blinked, her lips quivered, but she did not flinch.  He bent her forward, head to her knees, and pushed a finger under behind and into her anus.  Aenea shivered and mouthed at his finger, but she had not flinched.  Togue said, 'You haven't run off home?'

'Should I?' she said, head still between her knees.

Togue uprighted her and washed his hands in the basin on the sideboard, then was ferreting around in the shopping bags.  Aenea made no comment as he set out a clumsy arrangement of creams and cosmetics and brushes and other items of female toilet.  The young woman shop assistant at the coast general store had been as amused as helpful.  Togue stripped naked.

As he concentrated on Aenea he was hard for a while.  Then the hardness faded to a dangling heaviness.  Occasionally his balls went up tight and frizzy with hair.  He never noticed how Aenea sighed when they did this.  He never noticed how as in the forest, her toes flexed like warring caterpillars, clawing at the boards beneath the chair.  He took a long time with her, learning as he went the art of making up a woman.  The lips weren't yet done when he picked up a shard of mirror. 'Would you like to see?'

Aenea snapped, 'No! No...  please.  I mustn't see.' Togue saw fear and put the mirror face down on the table.

Holding a palette of lip paint and a brush, he straddled her lap.  Her head fell back and Togue drew her lips, first the outline.  Aenea closed her eyes and her lips opened out slightly as the sable brush went back and forth across them.  They glistened a wet, fiery red.  As he painted he thought of the nurses at Rouna.  One of them had long sex lips that were a powdery pink and could not be concealed and he had fantasised about painting them with red lipstick.

His cock jolted upright.  One last test for Aenea, he clasped her head and pulled her toward him and down.  He watched the glossy red lips expand around his knob.  He held her there until her tongue twitched to life and she began to suck.  Then he put her away and repaired the paint on her lips.

With a large soft brush he applied some last rouge powder to her cheeks, lifting them in prominence so she glowed as a colorized harlot.  He brushed the nipples too, enhancing their natural reddish-brown hue, making them a deeper, more assertive colour.  Pulling her brown hair back with native tortoise-shell combs, one either side above her ears, he brushed her hair and made a sweep at the back at her shoulder-line, a cheeky little fringe at the front.  Her hair was cut roughly and expediently, but Togue made the most of it.

'Stand up please,' he commanded softly.

With Aenea made-up and coifed and naked, he delayed the final act and fondled her breasts, careful not to smudge the nipples.  He pushed a hand between her legs and opened them, then up under and amongst her bush and ran fingertips back and forth through the wet lips.  When he penetrated a little way, like a moment ago with the mirror he saw the flutter of fear in her eyes.  When he took his finger away and stroked the thick swollen bud, he saw only that her body undulated moodily in sympathy with the caress.

The second brown paper bag contained a black and white polka dot dress and some lace wedding gloves.  And some fake pearls.  And some shoes.  Togue held the dress and Aenea hurried into it and delightedly inflated herself into its shape.  She pinched and preened until the lines were perfect.  It was a little too small and squashed her breasts up into the square-cut neck line, and framed the swelled-out tits with the broad, angular lapels.  Togue clasped the pearls around her neck, and tied up the silk ribbons of the white lace wedding gloves.  He kissed her virgin breasts.  Aenea stood trembling, her gaze on the floor.  Her cheeks were red.  Togue knelt and delicately lifted each of her calves, lowered her toes into the black high-heeled sandals.

Now he stood back and admired the effect of his handiwork on what had been the rudimentary beauty of the woman.  Was she more beautiful with this art painted and hung on her? Or naked, plain and simple, just the art of Nature?

That was for Aenea to decide, but when he moved toward the mirror, once more she broke her own rules and shook her head fiercely. 'Just tell me how I am,' she said as flatly as she could.  But nothing could disguise the excited tremour in her voice.

Togue shook his head, for the moment at a loss for words, full of queer joy, and pride, and happiness, and lust, and yet all of this underwritten by an unvoiced sadness for Aenea, for himself.

He went to her, spun her around and bent her at the waist, face down onto the table.  She put her arms out wide making a rigid cross and transformed herself into a vessel of flesh.

Togue lifted the polka dot dress and bared her bottom and used some handcream and oiled his hard-veined cock. 'Flee, butterfly...' he whispered.  She didn't flee, so he presented to her anus and pushed a long, continuous push and fastened her at the hips with strong artilleryman's hands and maintained the push until at last the breath burst from her lungs and she cried out, 'Oh God...'

He withdrew and sawed into her.  He watched his cock penetrate and willed her to stop him, but whether she whimpered or moaned, he never knew.  She squeezed tighter on his shaft for Togue's pleasure as if that was all that mattered.  His last thrusts lifted her wholly from the dusty hardwood floor.  Aenea moaned and sucked the back of her hand as their sweating bodies slapped.  It was over as quickly as it had begun.

The cooler, late afternoon breeze had arrived at Oberon, and Aenea smelled its fresh ocean smell.  It made her restless.  It meant the day was running out.  Her time was running out.  She was late getting back to the mission already.  On the verandah in the shade, she knelt between Togue's legs and drew the wash basin near and began washing his penis and balls with a cloth.

He dropped back deeper into the chair and wondered, 'What would your punishment be if you didn't go back tonight?'

Aenea paused. 'It's very hard to predict.'

'You are virgo intacto.'

'They would suspect not and it would be verified.  Being intact I could lie and say I had merely had Doubts and foolishly gone away to convene with God.  I could beg for Mother's mercy and I believe the unofficial punishment would be no more than a year or so of charity and chores.'

'And...  if somehow they knew the truth about you?'

Aenea smiled. 'There would be humiliating tribunals and conferences, and if they concluded that this willfulness could be broken, I would be passed around for reconciliation.  This involves pain, and often blood.'

She came forward and held Togue's stiffening cock between finger and thumb.  She sucked it through her red lips and kissed it. 'For simply thinking about that, could you imagine what I would suffer.'

After a long moment she said, 'Look at my hands.  And have you seen my knees? Can you imagine how much scrubbing chapel floors it takes to make beautiful hands become like this.  Every bit of scrubbing has been for my impudence.  My knees are fat from so much kneeling before our Virgin.  I gave Them my body, I gave Him my soul, yet my prayers and struggle were answered by a gentle man I found by a stream.'

Lifting his arms, Togue allowed her bathe him with the cloth.  He took advantage of her concentration to examine her face, to understand her.  But there could be no understanding, not by the measure of ordinary women.  He reached down and lifted a breast from the polka dot dress.  She accepted that as his whim.  He watched the nipple shrivel and lengthen and suggest itself toward his touch.  He touched it with a finger, then with the point of his tongue, then took the leathery stud between his lips and pulled and suckled on it.  As he drew it deep into his mouth, Aenea's arms went tighter around his neck.  He was doing it right.

Togue broke free.  Leaning forward for her to wash his back he said, 'You know Aenea, makeup or no makeup, fancy dress or no fancy dress, your a fine woman.'

He felt her stiffen as though slapped.  Ignoring her, he rose and kissed her on the mouth and swung her in circles off the ground.  Aenea remained distant and loose in his arms.  As he dropped her onto his mattress she was shaking her head and he said, 'Don't worry about your precious cunt, if that's all what your vocation means to you.'

Heaving her up onto the pillows, he went under her dress and found her pungent from an afternoon's wanting.  She were his exclusive domain and he opened her with his fingers.  In response to his touch she spread in waves palpitating like a nest of hungry mouths.

Under the darkened tent of polka dot, her cunt-mouth suckled at his tongue.  He reached up and found her hands already busy at her nipples.  She moaned soft rasping moans as his tongue lapped then sawed then squirmed deep into the pit between her sex lips.  He peeled the skin away and exposed the ripe bulb beneath and sucked it.  He ran his hands up under the dress and stroked and squeezed her belly, then pushed further up to her breasts and pulled her nipples as she orgasmed under his mouth.

Now it was Aenea who lay stunned as though something precious were sucked out of her, but Togue gave her no time to recover.  He took her hand, led her to the verandah and stripped her naked and washed her until she was plain-skinned once more.  The polka dot dress lay hung over the balustrade beside Aenea's brown tunic.

Way over behind the house and the trees and the mountain, the sun had set, and here there was no twilight.  The evening breeze freshened.  Now and then it ruffled their hair.  The eastern horizon where the ocean met the sky had turned mauve then violet then black-grey, and Togue hummed a lullaby while he washed Aenea.  He wasn't aware of it.  He was aware only that Aenea's fingers were gone cold and that she felt lifeless and stiff.  When he put the brown dress on her, her voice came from the darkness.  She said, 'I don't know what I should do.  Or what will happen to me tonight.  You don't want me here.'

Togue rumbled softly, 'There you go just like a woman rushing at things.'

'You've answered my question?'

'I didn't hear one asked.'

Togue had hurricane lantern stowed on the stairs.  He lit it and fetched some tools then held out the lantern for Aenea to lead the way in a yellow circle of light.  Aenea was trembling.  They went out of Oberon and down to the stream and followed it.  From the pool where Aenea had bathed, there was a steep climb up to the truck on a rubbly track.  Aenea clung to Togue's arm.

The truck was a dusty cream Bedford pickup, decaled on each door with a sacred cross, and thorns puncturing a bleeding heart.  In the lantern light, Togue used his tools and slashed a tire and Aenea covered her ears and pulled an astonished face.  She retreated as the escaping air blew up a cloud of dust.  Togue put on the spare wheel and threw the wrecked one into the back. 'There's half your lie,' he said and stood back from the truck. 'I think you can manage the rest.'

A pocked-yellow moon had risen over the eastern coast.  Alone on his verandah, Togue watched it hoist from the black rim of the world and loft within an impotent monsoon cathedral.  It occurred to him that no earthly nor prayerful power could stop it.

The moon's light made the polka dot dress glow on the railing.  Aenea must have sat a long while in the cabin of the mission's truck - It was only now that Togue heard the listless cranking of it's engine, and a hesitation before the final distant roars like a wounded yet victorious beast in the night.  Togue scratched his head and balls, and yawned, and decided the place needed some cheering up.  Tomorrow he would tramp down into town and buy some pots, and seeds and flowers.  Roses seemed like a good idea.  Yeah, Roses.

"The Wounded Healer" © 2002 Nicholas M.  All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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