Obstinate StainbyUnsung Muse©
Laura ate pie by the roadside. The flimsy paper plate – balanced precariously between blueberry-smudged knees – threatened to close in on itself, as much from the heat as from weight and wetness.
Damp strands of hair clung to her neck, forehead and face. A rebellious few came unglued and mingled with the pie as she chewed. She made no move to dismiss them, though she felt them chase the berries around her tongue. It made her think of Christmas. Wetting the thread between her lips. Warm smells. Familiar sensations. Stringing cranberries.
She had never strung a cranberry in her life.
Charles stood not more than three feet behind her. She could hear him chewing. His arguably more successful method of supporting the plate on one large callused hand and forking the pie in with the other had less to do with conscious reason than with his chronic practicality.
She ached for his pie to fall – to feel it spill warm and gummy down her bare sodden back. The curious urge sent a hateful sadness through her. Ashamed, she snuffed it.
* * * *
Laura had gone to him again last night. The fire had returned. It kept her from sleep. She had wept desperately as she tried to douse it – both hands clutched over it – legs crossed tightly. But it wouldn't subside and the fear of him catching her like this again had sent her running to his room in tears, at a loss as ever for the accepted action. The last time he found her touching herself, he hadn't spoken to her for over a week.
Her white night dress, soaked through with sweat, had clung to her like strips of wet paper. It rose and fell with each frantic breath, stretched tightly across her chest. She stopped in the doorway – moonlight playing with her hard little nipples as they pushed against the thin white fabric – she could tell she'd alarmed him. The pleading look in her eyes all too quickly turned his concern to anger. Charles dismissed her abruptly without explanation.
He hadn't tried to touch her since that first time. How the shame had ripped through her splayed naked body, when his hands recoiled from her hungry flesh. The unmistakable disgust that registered on his face when she raised her hips high off the bed in invitation had cut her to the bone.
"Why did you do that?" he'd hissed, backing off the bed and away from her at this shameless exhibition.
"I am for you," she'd offered feebly, "I am yours." Her wide-eyed bewilderment and deep hurt found no consolation. He'd simply thrown a bed sheet toward her, indicating she should cover herself, and stormed from the room in revulsion.
No attempt or suggestion on her part could patch the unexplained rift. No clarification or understanding seemed to be forthcoming.
They'd settled into a quiet standoff, punctuated regularly by Laura's futile stabs at seduction. Each failed approach left her more and more self-conscious and everyday the expanse between them seemed to grow larger. They had never shared a bed.
* * * *
Sitting on the curb now, she felt his weight shift behind her and heard him clear his throat. She determined his plate must be empty, though he made no other discernible advances toward action or conversation. She knew neither was forthcoming, but her body tensed in anticipation just the same.
A punch-drunk wasp hummed stupidly about her soppy plate and sticky knees. She inched the hem of her sundress farther up her purple-stained thighs, letting the disheveled remains of gooey piecrusts and tattered would-be dinnerware collapse and fall between them. Where the plate had been, that dark pulse quickened as she thwarted instinct and allowed her legs to remain open. She imagined herself running the smooth length of the fork's handle against the heat and wetness of the aching exposed flesh between her freckled sweat-slick thighs. She sucked in her breath and shuddered as a make-believe cool metal sting traveled through her like a current. Her mind's eye watched the fork sizzle and melt – become her.
The wasp whirred, blind to the fallen attraction, dangerously close to the origin of this other frenzied stirring she could not control. She could actually feel the wake of the insect's darting circular movements, every sensation amplified and heightened by the all-consuming force of this wicked thirst. Fear rose up in her. The dopey thing, flitting around like that, might catch Charlie's eye. It threatened to give her away. Reveal her filthy soiled disgusting soul to him yet again. She couldn't bear to see that look of stern disapproval in his eyes.
With a heavy sigh, she smoothed the dress back down into a slightly more respectable arrangement and returned to her semi-conscious self. Shamefully aware now of the colorfully tragic mess she had made of it, herself, the pie and the curb – she filled with intense sadness. The hurt gave way to resentment. For a fragment of a fraction of a second, she longed to thrust her fork – with savage force – down through the top of Charlie's dirty old boot. Instead, she followed the pie's example – heaved another full-body sigh and resigned her waiflike frame back to its crumpled inward state.
She laughed a little – thinking the wasp could not have attracted Charlie's attention if it had buzzed right over and stung him square in the ass – but it was a sad hollow kind of laughter. She loved him, without question, but minute-by-minute and day-by-day her insides churned in fear. He wouldn't tell her what she'd been doing wrong. She didn't know how he needed her to change.
Laura lived at the edge of a scream. How could she maintain this faltering numbness – this thin veneer of skin stretched so tightly over all the buzzing nerve endings of a thousand hungry shrieking souls clawing and chewing at the surface? She cursed the unknown dream that woke them, but dare she tell herself she'd been content not knowing the possibilities: the world of intense pleasure that waited on the tender underside of this fragile shell?
She didn't want to hide it from him. She wanted to show him.
* * * *
Charles watched a single tear of perspiration trickle slowly down the curve of Laura's gleaming sun-kissed spine. It glinted silver in the intense light. His tired eyes enviously trailed its journey. It slid, seemed to herald its delight, as it disappeared into the fabric of her dress. It mocked him. Made a cuckold of him, just as Zach had in the barn. It formed an alliance with his stiffening cock and together they taunted him with the cruel replay of the disquieting scene.
You're a disgusting old fool, Charlie. You skulked, unheard, and you watched. You watched her spread her legs wide for that boy's filthy tongue. You stood there stupidly gaping in silence as he probed her sopping little virgin snatch. You saw him take his sweet fucking time. You lurked in shadow as he leaned back to admire her – open and glistening before him. You shared his delight as he stroked her with tentative inexperienced wonder. You followed his gaze as he looked up to see how his touch glowed in her face. You ached as she smiled down at him, nodded her encouragement, her eyes wide and shining with marvel.
You saw her chest begin to rise and fall, as she panted her excitement and willed him to continue. You swallowed hard as her blouse twisted awkwardly across the tightness and one rebellious blush of nipple tore free. You felt your heart flutter as the cruel mid-day sunlight flashed off a familiar silver object – the locket you had placed on her, a token that now seemed profoundly benign and platonic – as it, in your stead, boldly kissed that same garish little protrusion.
You fought against the strange dull ache of guilt-come-lust as the trinket glinted and blinked. It alone acknowledged you. It alone knew you were there. It called out for you to emerge, but you stood there still and silent. Yes you Charlie gaped dumbfounded and watched as she reached out for Zach's head, pulled him back in and tenderly suckled him on her sweet blushing gash. You let yourself grow hard when she licked her lips in delight.
You could have stepped from the shadows. You could have torn the boy from her – the locket too – and given her that good sound fucking you'd denied her. It was you she wanted. It was you she waited for. It was you who left this ripe bursting thirst unquenched. Old fool. She ached to please you. In her innocence she harbored no shame. She was unabashedly waiting for you to teach her, show her... free her. Instead, you left her wanting. You left her swelling on the vine untouched and then you watched as she gave in to the need to fall. You lurked in silence while it stung and it burned and it stained you. You watched.
Zach had knelt between her wide spread thighs for what felt like an eternity. He worshipped her with his long slow lingering licks and gentle sucks. Charles looked on helplessly, paralyzed by pain and pleasure, as they unlocked these secret thrills together. His chest filled with a dark ugly sting as he surveyed their intimate play. His own undeniable titillation sickened him when he saw Laura's head roll back, her beautiful mouth open to free the sweet uninhibited moans rising up from deep inside her to echo through the barn – retuning them to his ears again and again without mercy.
Charlie's cock strained – ached to share in the release – while Laura gave herself over to this new ecstasy again and again. She was tireless. Zach seemed to have no notion this kind of pleasure could be given back to him. He made no attempt to remove his trousers nor did he show any wish to leave the delicious new playground opened up before him. Charlie's stomach churned while Zach grew visibly more confident in his newfound gifts, encouraged by the sweet sounds of Laura's pleasure and the rhythmic motion of her hips, he used his fingers to explore deeper as he sucked at the sweet glistening honey that poured from her.
From what Charlie could ascertain, they had simply stumbled on this new amusement. He had no doubt Laura's rampant curiosity had paved the way for this accidental journey of discovery. She'd developed a nasty little habit of letting her legs fall open, exposing herself to the cool spring breeze, when she thought no one was looking. He'd seen her holding things against herself – a jar of preserves, cool from the fruit cellar – it's why he had set the date for much earlier than he (and undoubtedly the whole community) felt befitting. Perhaps she had come right out and asked Zach about the sensations, wondered if he had them too. More likely, she had opened her legs and Zach had spied the wetness. It would have excited him, naturally, just as it had stirred Charles on so many chance occasions. It would seem the boldness of youth bestowed delicious indulgences – freedoms Charles regularly chastised himself just for imagining.
He had watched the oblivious pair swoon and giggle their way dizzily back to the here and now, like a couple of kids who'd been twirling in circles in the yard. They were laughing, but there was no shame or embarrassment in the laughter. It was pure and sickeningly sweet. Neither showed any awareness this behavior had been wildly inappropriate.
Yes, you are a damned fool, Charlie. You watched Laura straighten her blouse and rearrange her skirt – hold out her hand to Zach for assistance in rising – heard her giggle as she found her legs weak, her knees buckle unexpectedly. You watched Zach pick bits of straw from her hair, as she slipped casually back into her non-descript cotton panties. You returned your defiant old prick to your pants, knowing the images burned in your brain would never leave you. Three days later, you married her anyway.
* * * *
Charlie's lips parted, berry-stained and dry in the mid-day sun. Though he fought hard against it, his eyes consumed the curves of Laura's body huddled before him on the curb and saliva welled up under his tongue.
He swallowed hard and drew a breath that seemed to rattle his rib cage. He envisioned himself dropping to his knees, taking Laura by the hair, sucking the salty sweat from her thin graceful neck. He saw himself thrust her forward, slide his filthy sticky hands up under her gauzy little dress, pull her back into him... onto him. He felt himself bite into her shoulder until the warm metallic sweetness enveloped his tongue.
A wasp whipped past Charlie's left ear, as he heard Zach's cheerful call from somewhere behind him. He was complimenting Laura on her pie. The sudden mental image of Zach's boyish purple-ringed smirk sent a fresh wave of bitterness through him.
Laura's crouched form stirred and twisted around in response, but her gaze came to rest on Charles. Against her glistening chest, the locket dangled and rocked. It reflected no light, marred in gummy filth. She rose from the curb and lingered in stretching her long tanned legs in front of him, before clearing her throat to speak.
"I've made quite a mess," she lowered her eyes to indicate her berry-smeared dress. A palpable sadness hung in the thick air between them, while Charlie tried to conjure a benign response. When none came, Laura moved toward him with her hands extended to collect his plate and fork. She stopped suddenly, starring up into his handsome weatherworn face.
"You've been stung, Charlie" she touched his left cheek tenderly where a red swelling had begun to appear. She made no mention of the single silent tear that streamed past it, a quicksilver flash, at her touch.
Charlie's down-turned eyes drew Laura's gaze to the drooping paper plate he still held out between them. An oddly coy, almost boyish grin, transformed his stolid façade. His voice broke.
"Little sucker didn't get very far though, did he?"
Charles eyed the wasp's futile attempts to unglue itself from the purple muck on his plate. His unmistakable delight in watching the feeble little form twitch out its very last bit of strength, made Laura's chest pound with anxiety and excitement. She bit her lip and looked up at him – her eyes wide and shining.
"Never really stood a chance," she said. Laura took Charlie's plate and walked away.
* * * *