My ears were singing as I fumbled open the fly buttons of my trousers and my breath felt as loud as thunder in my head as I gently pulled apart Jana's legs. She stirred then and turned a look of total anguish on me.
"James?" Her voice was but a whisper, "You will be damned for all eternity if you do not stop now."
"I cannot, Jana," A thought rose unbidden inside me and I uttered it before I realised what I was about to say, "This love I have for you is pure. It will counteract any damnation."
I stared into Jana's eyes and saw a flicker of doubt, of confusion. It seemed to me that she wanted to believe my words but dared not. Those ghosts of hesitation disappeared as I lifted a hand and let my finger trace the scar from her shoulder to the centre of her chest. She jerked away, then, tried to scramble from beneath me.
Jana was as slight of form as I had surmised and while she was well toned, she was no match for me. Even as she begged me to reconsider, even as she uttered dire warnings about my eternal damnation, I knew with an absolute certainty that she was now mine.
She had clamped her legs together as she struggled, but it took a mere moment for me to force my knee between her thighs. I grasped her wrists in one hand, pushing them above her head, and freed my engorged manhood with the other. I paused then, taking in every detail of her perfect form with its perfect scar. I said to her, very quietly but with absolute certainty, "I love you, Jana," and then lowered myself onto her.
Jana gave one final effort, twisting herself away from my insistence, but the movement brought the warm moistness of her centre into contact with the head of my member. That slight touch brought her to stillness and the resistance turned in an instant to need. Her legs scissored around my waist and she let out a final sob.
"Forgive me, James!"
"I only need you, Jana, not your forgiveness for something I want so very much."
With that, I eased myself into the very centre of her and now the only resistance was from deep inside her as her status changed from intactus to mine. She let out a soft cry but I felt her legs tighten, urging me on. I could hold back no more and plunged the entire length of me into her, and it was as if I had burst a dam.
I released her hands and Jana howled in exultation, giving herself completely to the act. For every thrust into her moist heart, she bucked beneath me, willing me on. As my hands squeezed those firm breasts her own hands covered mine. As my lips and my tongue traced the delicate pink flesh of her scar she shuddered as a multitude of tiny orgasms coursed through her. My need was extreme and I felt larger, more powerful than ever before. As the pace quickened, so Jana grew wilder, giving in to the primitive urges that she had suppressed for so long -- and every tiny fraction of this newfound freedom was transmogrified into pure heat and desire. I could feel the muscles deep within her sex contracting around my member with every thrust, at first welcoming me and then as the excitement ran on unrestrained, demanding me. Jana's hands roamed over every inch of me that she could reach, under my shirt and across the muscles of my back, down to my bottom and grasping the muscles there as they contracted with every thrust, across my chest and tweaking my nipples, into my hair and tangling there, forcing my mouth do hard upon her own that our cheeks and lips began to bleed from the pressure as out teeth ground against them.
The intensity of our love-making was beyond anything in my experience. It consumed me totally as every nerve in my body lit up like a torch and my mind spiralled ever higher upon wave after wave of ecstasy.
There was a purity of emotion there at the core and yet a wildness that spoke of something older, more primal. I have no idea to this day how that first coupling lasted but it seemed at the time that it would last forever. We moved hard and fast, and yet with perfect synchronicity. Every movement brought pleasure, and every thrust a hot, moist joy that built towards a climax that I knew would surpass any sensation in my experience. My control astounded and gratified me in equal measure, and I was free in mind to savour every second of that wild, feral coupling.
As far as I was concerned it could last forever, until my heart exploded with the joy of it all. We touched and explored, kissed and sucked and bit, all the time moving together. The rest of my clothing had long since been torn from my body and sweat lubricated our naked flesh. Jana's hair was freed from its constraining bun and cascaded around her, an auburn halo flecked with a deep, chestnut red. Her scar shone and its beauty left me awestruck.
After an eternity I gazed deeply into her eyes and she returned my stare until her breath caught in her throat and those oh-so blue eyes widened. Her breathing quickened and I realised that her climax was soon to be upon her. Underneath me, her lithe body moved faster still and I responded in turn, pounding my manhood hard and fast into the very core of her sex.
Jana began to pant, short sharp breaths that arose from her accompanied by grunts and moans that rose in volume until I felt her muscles quivering and she let forth a howl of unadulterated joy. I did not so much orgasm as explode within her, our bodies locked rigidly now in the throes of our climaxes.
There are no words to describe the ineffable rapture of that mutual release -- at least no words in this existence. Or perhaps there is, and the word is love.
As our fluids mingled inside her, we collapsed, gasping, and clung to each other.
I felt drained and yet elated, and despite the exhaustion I now felt, I smothered her sweat-streaked face with kisses, murmuring words of love and endearment. Jana held me close and returned my attentions until, sated, we dozed, our bodies still locked together.
I awoke to find Jana's eyes settled on mine from a few inches to my side. We were still joined and the realisation of what had happened stirred my blood, my manhood stiffening once more. At the feel of this, Jana sighed and then smiled.
"Oh James, I am sorry and yet I am not. What is done may never be undone, and I am yours now, as you are mine. This is not a day that I thought I would ever see, and if the way I feel now is wrong, then so be it. It is beyond my wildest fantasy, and I will enjoy it for what it is -- an act of true love."
With that enigmatic pronouncement Jana begun to move gently, and I joined her, my movements tender and slow. I told her over and over how much I loved her, how beautiful she was, how I would always find her so. She laughed at that, a sweet, innocent laugh that had me moving faster and feeling a strange pride that filled me with light.
Right from that very first day our love-making was perfection, and an act that embodied all we felt for each other. We explored every contour of each other, tasted and stroked and kissed. I learned that I could tease Jana exquisitely, withdrawing almost all of my length from her warm folds, holding myself there until she began to writhe and beg, before sliding back into her, deep and firm. I found, also, that I could control myself for as long as Jana wanted, only losing control when she succumbed to her own climax at which point I emptied myself into her, crying her name above her cries of pleasure.
Afterwards, we lay together, entwined and sated -- or least satisfied for the moment -- and Jana laid her head on my shoulder as I stroked her hair. After a while she began to speak, her voice soft and measured.
"I hope you're right about your love for me, James, about how true love can be so powerful. And I know your love is true now, as I know also that you do not find the sight of my scar repulsive."
"It is yours and it is beautiful, I-"
She shushed me and continued, "I was fourteen when this happened to me. My father was a commander in the White Army and he could see which way the wind was blowing, saw that the Reds were gathering support and he felt that the end was in sight for the monarchy and for the Imperial way. He sent some guards to our home and had them escort us to a village where he thought we would be safe should the Red Army rise up. He was wrong."
Jana paused for a few seconds and then took a deep breath before continuing, "A few days later I was out in the woods collecting wood for the fire which was something of an adventure for the daughter of a high ranking army officer. Four horses appeared from nowhere, ridden by young soldiers, their insignia telling me that they fought with the Reds. They surrounded me, taunting the poor little rich girl, and then the taunts grew more personal. They began to banter among themselves, goading each other to summon the courage to... have sport with me.
"I began to panic but that only seemed to fire them even more. They dismounted and approached me, circled me and kept plucking at my shawl and my blouse. I screamed for help but I was a long way from the village, and my shouts only served to enrage them. One of them grabbed me by the arm and began to rip the clothes from my body." She paused again before continuing in a voice devoid of emotion, "He bared my breasts and made fun of their smallness, but this did not deter him. And nor did my tears.
"He pushed me to the ground and started to tear at my skirt-"
"Oh Jana!" I said, "I'm so sorry about earlier, if I'd only know-"
"James, it was perfectly fine. Let me finish." A kiss quietened me and Jana went on, "The other soldiers gathered closer as I was laid bare before them and I prepared myself for the worst. Just then one of them pushed forward and demanded that he took the first turn because of his rank. The one who had stripped me demanded that he had the right because it was he who had found me and bared me. A fight developed and swords were drawn. In the confusion I leapt to my feet and made to run into the trees but I was too slow.
"One of the soldiers raised his sword to stop my flight but his movement was too slow and the blade pierced my flesh at my hip. I fell forward and felt a flare of pain as the sword cut into my flesh, splitting me apart from hip to shoulder. Even as I fell, the others went silent. In my shock as I watched the blood gush from the wound, the one who had stripped me began to yell in panic. He said that I should be finished off. There was another argument and then the sound of branches breaking close by in the forest. The soldiers ran for their horses and I felt another white hot flash of pain as a sword was slashed across my fallen body.
"No doubt the stroke was meant to be the killing blow, but the aim was hurried and it slit the flesh of my thigh, joining up with the wound at my hip. The pain overwhelmed me and I lost consciousness. When I awoke I was in a bed of furs in a grand room. I had been found by a villager and almost left for dead -- would have been had he not known of my father's status. I was taken back to Moscow and to the Royal palace where the Tsar's own physician worked to save my life.
"You may have heard the name Rasputin, and it was he, his acolytes and his dark arts that somehow brought me back from the door of death. Like many of his works it was nothing much shy of a miracle, but also like many of his works there was a price to pay."
Jana lifted her head and rolled onto her back so she could look into my eyes, "The man -- if that is what he was -- spoke to me at length once I was fit enough to concentrate on his words. He told me that my life had been spared but that the scar that remained had been made worse quite deliberately. It was to ensure that no man would ever want me."
The pace of Jana's narrative quickened, ensuring that I could not interrupt, "My life, the monk told me, was to be paid for by my lifelong celibacy or, if anyone could bear the sight of me, then by the first man to take my maidenhood. That man, James, would be cloven unto me for my whole life and that when his own life ended, then his soul would be forfeit. But James, I have laboured among the books of lore every night of my life since then and, while I believe that Rasputin truly had made some form of Faustian pact on my behalf, there is enough evidence available in the ancient texts to assure me that if your love for me is true, then you will be spared that fate. When I looked into your eyes as you deflowered me, when I saw that love burning so brightly, I dared hope for the first time that there may be happiness in my life yet."
As Jana fell silent my mind whirled. This tale of the mad monk was surely so much stuff and nonsense... and yet there was a strange sensation buzzing around in my head. It was as if a fragment of knowledge, of absolute certainty, was permeating my thoughts. As crazy as Jana's tale sounded, I knew that it was true. The proof of this came to me in a flash.
"Jana, I believe you. And I believe that our love will transcend this deal made on your behalf. I look upon your body, your perfect breasts, the smooth curves of your legs, your eyes, your hair, the soft down that conceals your womanhood, and I love them all. And then I look upon your scar and I find it perfect in a way that I cannot describe. I love it, in fact, and is that not proof enough that my love for you is deep enough and powerful enough?"
A smile spread across her face, "I think that maybe you are right."
"And anyway," I continued, "I would gladly sell my soul for a lifetime of the love and passion that I felt today -- that I feel right now, in fact. We cannot lose, my beloved."
From that very first day, our lives became an idyll. Jana and I were inseparable and our love grew with each passing second. Even when we discovered a year or so later that Jana's injuries had left her infertile, that love just reached a new height. We adopted the twins, George and Victoria, when they were but a few hours old, and they brought us nothing but unremitting joy. The agency went from strength to strength and life, in short, was a delight.
Jana and I had married very quickly, and on the night we celebrated our tenth anniversary, shortly before Hitler invaded Poland, we spent an hour calculating the astonish fact that we had made love at least ten thousand times. And what love-making it was!
Jana's effect on me never diminished and she only had to walk into the same room as me and I would rise to the occasion, so to speak. At times the attraction was impossible to delay and I would pounce on her as soon as circumstances permitted even the tiniest opportunity. Jana soon took to wearing clothes -- or, rather, to not wearing some of them -- in order to facilitate the easiest of accesses. Such was the heat of our passions that we would, on occasion, be caught in flagrante, but far from diminishing our ardour, this only served to stoke the fires. That we were never once charged with a public indecency offence probably lies in the fact that Jana would never reveal her body in a public place (unless we were quite certain that we would remain undisturbed) -- but in private she soon became comfortable with her own nudity.
The Second World War saw us organising entertainment for our troops across the globe, and although we remained in London for the duration, our lives were seldom endangered. Our only close casualty was Thomas, who perished whilst on fire-watch duty the night that St. Paul's was hit by the bomb which pierced its Dome but landed, unexploded in the nave. To my relief, the conflict ended while George was still only fifteen, and too young to be conscripted.
Life returned slowly to normal, and the agency once more flourished. So much so, in fact, that Jana and I spent more and more time away from the office and took to travelling abroad. One of my finest recollections is of a balmy Mediterranean evening in the hills above St. Raphael. Although Jana's fiftieth birthday was just days away, she still had the face and figure of a thirty year-old.
That night, alone in a meadow filled with the scent of Bougainvillea, a full moon bright enough to cast shadows, we lay among the grass. We removed each other's clothes with all of the awe and wonder that we felt back in our first days together, and we kissed and caressed for an eternity. I traced the length of her beautiful scar with my lips and my tongue, pausing awhile at her breasts to lick and to bit softly until I threatened to bring forth Jana's climax. Only then did I work my way lower, to her hip and then to her heat, drinking deeply at the fountain of her womanhood.
This time I teased, licking and biting, being forceful and gentle by turns, until Jana's back arched and she climaxed with a cry and a sigh that filled me with pure unalloyed joy. We made love then, slowly at first, tenderly, with Jana spread under me in the grass. As our passions grew she rolled me onto my back and straddled my hips, lowering herself onto to my manhood, riding me with lithe grace and a passionate intensity. When we finally climaxed, together and loudly, I stared up at my beloved as her juices mingled with mine, her head thrown back and the moonlight shining on the alabaster of her belly and breasts, he scar a slightly darker shade of grey in the ghostly night. And I loved her with every ounce of my being.
The accident happened just a week after our return from the South of France. We were walking past one of the thousands of reconstruction sites that were blossoming all over the capital when, without so much as a whisper of warning, a steel girder feel from above. It struck Jana a glancing blow to the back of her skull and to her spine, and she turned to me with a questioning look in the dazzling eyes before folding at the knees and falling to the pavement.
My beloved Jana spent the next three days fighting for her beautiful life. On the third evening, her eyelids fluttered open to find me sitting where I had sat for every second since she had arrived at the hospital. There was clarity in her vision that belied the physicians' belief that her mind had already passed from this world, and then she confounded every prognosis by whispering my name.
"Oh, Jana, you have no idea how glad-"
She shushed me and then smiled with a sadness which still moves me to tears today, "There will be no mad monk to save me this time, my darling James, but I think that there is something of his magic left inside me yet. I know that I should have departed already but I begged myself to return to you one last time."
I began to protest, but something in her eyes still my tongue.
"James, you are my love and you will remain so for all eternity. Know, my darling, that you have made me happy beyond words, and that one day you will do so again. Know this also, James. You were right about the power of our love."
As I stared into the depths of her azure eyes I saw a glimmer of light. It became brighter and then brighter yet until I was dazzled -- but totally unable to look away or to even close my eyes.
In the midst of this beauteous light, Jana's voice came to me one last time, "James, my darling, darling James. Live the rest of my life for me, live it with joy in your heart for we will be together at the end of it. Let it pass in wonder and let it end when, and only when, it is time. I will live on in your heart, my darling, and I will love you always."
All I could do was whisper "I love you, Jana", over and over again. The light pulsed brighter one last time and then blinked out.
By the time my eyes had adjusted to the electric glow of the room, my Jana was dead. She lay before me, her face a mask of peace, and reader, I felt an abyss of emptiness and despair open up, and its darkness swallowed me.
It was some weeks before my mind returned, and wherever it had been, it had thought endlessly of Jana and had found the truth in her words. The light -- which I think of somewhat ridiculously as her love-light -- had left something of her essence within me, and I turn to that even to this day, for comfort and for warmth. And for that ethereal contact with my beloved.