Once Upon a Time is Forever


“Thank you, sir. You make me feel that way.”

Their first kiss was faltering; it seemed so odd to be free to do anything they wanted without worrying about what others might think, and the freedom made each nervous. The second was more natural, and Jack tentatively caressed her back and the soft swell of her hips. Victoria felt his strong hands gliding over her body on the slippery film of fabric, and a surge of pleasure and the anticipation of more swept over her body. For a while, she allowed herself to fly on the sensations of his lips and hands. She began to feel a need she could not have explained, and whispered to Jack.

“We should be getting out of these clothes, but it’s a little embarrassing for me yet.”

In deference to her shyness, Jack turned out the light, and took her in his arms again.

“I love you, Vicky, more than anything else in this world.”

Victoria pushed gently away, and in one smooth motion, pulled the satin over her head. In such light as shone through the thick window curtain she stood before her friend, her husband, her soon-to-be lover. She unsnapped the front of his shirt and pressed her bare breasts into his chest.

“I love you, Jack, and I’ll be the best wife I can be. I - I’m a little scared of...Momma said it would hurt, at first.”

“If you want me to stop, just tell me.”

“No, I don’t want you to stop, not ever.”

Jack led her to the bed and they lay against each other as their hands explored those places that each had dreamed of but which society deemed taboo until marriage.

Both were informed of the mechanics of love, but were inexperienced in the giving of pleasure to a partner. The eagerness of youth soon discovered the sensitivity of nipples turned hard by a gentle caress and the agonizing pleasure of soft hands that stroked stiff manhood. Victoria was experiencing the shooting sensations of a woman in need of physical love, and responded in the way of women since time began. Her unconscious moans guided Jack’s fingertips, and her feminine instinct gave direction to her own caresses. Jack knew that a woman’s first time would be easier if she were brought to the edge of her passion before he attempted to enter her, and he took care that he did not rush. He kissed her nipples as his hand trailed Victoria’s slightly rounded belly. Her sharp gasp was followed by another as he swirled his fingertips through the soft curls that carpeted her mound. He gently pushed on her thigh and she opened herself enough that he could continue his journey of exploration and excitation to the puffy lips of her sex. Victoria murmured a soft sound as his fingertip slipped over the separation between them. When Jack parted the softness to seek the delicate petals inside, she opened herself completely. In her passion, she began to feel a new need, a need to feel all of this man, and when his finger slipped into her passage she arched and pulled him to her.

Jack knelt between her upraised knees, but did not force himself through her waiting entrance. He controlled his need, and caressed her secret inner self to lead her further into the ecstasy of their love making. He somewhat accidentally brushed a small nubbin of flesh at the top of her soft lips and Victoria cried out. His continued caresses of this minute but intensely sensitive place. The gentle touch caused her to cry out again and to thrust her hips off the bed. Her scent wafted to his nose and drove Jack past the point of waiting longer. He guided his shaft to her soft entrance and gently pushed. Victoria immediately pushed back, and he slipped inside against a soft barrier.

“Jack, don’t stop, please don’t stop. Just do it. I want you so much.”

Jack pushed gently, but firmly and felt the opening yield slightly. He withdrew, then pushed in again and felt that the passage was more open. The temptation to thrust through the guarding film was great but he had resolved to cause as little pain as possible. Again Jack pulled back and then slowly pressed forward. His shaft pressed against the soft ring, and he pushed ever so slightly forward. His gentle approach was thwarted when Victoria thrust herself over him and he slipped deeply into her belly. They lay in union for a few moments. He kissed her cheek and tasted the salt of tears.

“Vicky, I’m sorry. I’ve hurt you.”

“Only for a second, but that’s done. I want you now. It still hurts a little, but it feels good too. Just don’t stop again.”

Victoria crossed her legs over his back and urged him to move with the rocking of her hips and the pull of her arms. Jack found a rhythm that she seemed to enjoy, and the sensations shooting from his manhood were unbelievable She kept kissing him with her wet sensuous mouth and digging her fingers into his hips to pull him inside her. He could not stop his climb to the abyss, and soon spent his seed in hard, deep strokes that Victoria made deeper with her own thrusts. He lay on top of her softness, cradled between her thighs, as she stroked his back.

“Jack, you’ve made me a woman, and it feels wonderful.”

“But, you didn’t...did you.”

“I felt you inside me and felt your body pressing against me. It was enough for this first time. I feel so wonderful and...I love you so much.”

The next two days filled Victoria with such happiness that she felt she would burst. They had an eternity, it seemed at first, to learn of each other and to just be together. They made love the next morning, and though she still felt a small pain when he entered her, the feeling was soon replaced by continuous spasms of pleasure that rippled through her body. Jack tried gentle caresses to the little button that sometimes touched his manhood as he slipped in and out of her warm wetness, and Victoria lost herself in the exquisite waves of sensation that washed over her entire being. This time, as Jack felt the peak approaching, Victoria cried out and arched herself into him. The hot depth of her and her clasping wetness spurred him to his leap. He stroked through her silken softness and increased the pressure of his caresses. Suddenly, Victoria became stiff with the tension of her impending release, and then, with a loud cry, she convulsed in a surging wave of rocking hips, tightly gripping arms and panting breaths. Her violent motion forced his body to react in the rapid thrusts of lust, and the seed spewed through his throbbing member and deep into her belly. They both lay gasping for breath until Victoria began to giggle. He opened his eyes and looked at the laughing face beneath him.

“What’s so funny?”

“I was just thinking about a book I read once. The woman told her lover that she felt like every part of her was exploding at the same time. I didn’t know what that meant...until just now. It was a pretty good description, except that I don’t think my big toe exploded this time. We need to do it again, ‘cause I don’t want my toe to feel left out.”

The last day arrived with a bright sun that turned the beads of sweat on their passion-heated bodies to glistening jewels. They knew the love of their minds before the wedding; now they knew the love of bodies held close in the culmination of ecstasy and the love of the quiet afterward as their heartbeats and breathing returned to the slow pace of satisfied desire. They showered together, and while exploring the feeling of the touches of soap-slick skin, nearly missed the checkout time. As Jack drove home, Victoria watched the passing countryside, and remembered that she had to talk with Momma. She had to tell her that “once upon a time” had really happened. She scooted closer to Jack and kissed his cheek. He turned and their lips met for a fraction of a minute. That moment sealed both the experience of the last three days, and also dictated their future. Jack didn’t see the semi-tractor that appeared around the sharp curve, and he didn’t see that he had drifted across the centerline and halfway into the other lane.

Victoria first heard a terrible crunching sound, and then a moment of intense pain before everything went black. Finally, she stirred, but it felt as if she were struggling through deep water. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. She got out of the car, but she didn’t know how, and when she opened her eyes, an intense light blinded her. I must be staring directly at the sun, she thought, and turned away. The same bright light seared her eyes, and she tried to move away until she felt his hand on her arm.

“Vicky, we’re OK now. We need to go this way.”

Jack led her away, and the light became more normal. She found herself standing in a verdant green meadow beside a crystal blue river.

“Jack, what happened.”

“I wrecked the car, but we’re safe now. Don’t worry, everything is going to be all right. Just sit and rest for a while.”

The grass was soft and fragrant, the river made soft gurgling sounds and the songbirds in the majestic oak trees sang the trills and staccato chirps of the joy of life. She was sleepy, and closed her eyes.

She awoke to the quiet, purple-orange evening sky with her head in Jack’s lap. He was caressing her cheek. She was startled at the late hour, and knew her mother would worry if they didn’t get back to Greenville on time. She was wondering how they would get home when Jack spoke.

“She won’t be worried if you’re not too late. We have some time, and this is a very special place. Don’t you think we should enjoy it while we can?”

Jack leaned to kiss her, and to her amazement, she responded. She should not be thinking about this. She should be thinking about getting home, but....Victoria released herself to his kisses and caresses, and they coupled on the grass. She had thought that the three days in the motel were the most exquisite experience of her life, but here and now, under the sky and on the emerald carpet, she felt her self join with Jack in a way that melded her very soul to his. Her every sense and nerve tingled at the touch of his body to hers, and the shattering climax that they both experienced left her floating in the safety of his arms until she again fell asleep. When her breathing became deep and regular, Jack kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “I’ve given you everything I have left to give. I only hope you understand.”

“It’s time, Vicky.”

She opened her eyes and smiled as she remembered his body against hers. She stretched and felt the wonderful sense of fullness that she felt every time they made love.

“Time to leave?”

“Yes, it’s time for you to leave, but I have to stay here.”

She sat up and saw people in the dimness of the dusk.

“Wh - what do you mean, you have to stay here?”

“Vicky, I love you; I’ll love you forever, but you have to go with them. They’ll take you where you need to go, but I have to go back. Just remember me, and what we’ve had together. I wish with all my heart that I could go with you, but I can’t. Someday, I’ll find you again, I promise.”

Victoria watched as a bright light began as a tiny pinpoint and then swelled to engulf the entire meadow. She felt hands gently guiding her toward the light, and though she wanted to stay with Jack, she felt the people telling her that she must come with them and to not be afraid. They walked into the brightest spot of the intense beam and she closed her eyes against the glare. After what seemed like hours, the hands released her and Victoria stopped walking. The voices were gone and she stood, motionless, feeling for the velvet touch of the hands, but felt nothing. The inky blackness that engulfed her when she opened her eyes was so dense that she could not find her hand when she brought it to her face. She was somehow not afraid, although she missed Jack already. The blackness began to seep into her, to lift her off her feet and propel her through the dark to somewhere. She cried out, “Jack” and then her mind was absorbed into the inky fog. The sensation of floating and spinning out of control overtook her consciousness. To Victoria, it seemed as if all her senses were straining for stimulation at the same time but there was nothing but the infinite blackness and the delirium of her disoriented mind. She felt a touch and reached for it. Her hand closed on more black nothing. The touch came again, and lingered. Victoria reached in a frantic grab and felt soft skin. She squeezed the touch and a small hand gripped hers. The blackness became grey, then dim white, and finally she could see the red tone of light shining through her eyelids.

“Nurse Jenny, she moved, she moved her hand.”

The breathless nurse fairly dragged Dr. Mathews into the room, and pointed at the boy who sat by the bedridden woman. Jimmy squeezed Victoria’s hand gently, and her hand squeezed back.

“Jack, are we home?” The woman stirred and then opened her eyes. She remained on the bed only because Jimmy held her hand and reached out to gently push her back down.

“Where am I?”

“You’re in the hospital, Miss..., Aunt Victoria.”

The familiar face and voice served to calm her panic, and she closed her eyes again. A hospital...,what -.

“Mrs. Morton, I’m Doctor King. You’re in a room at Mercy Hospital in Greenville, but you’re fine. Just try to relax.”

Victoria tried to sit up, and found that her grossly swollen belly would not let her rise.

“What’s the matter with me. Why am I so fat?”

“Mrs. Morton, this is going to be difficult for you to understand, but you’re about 8 month’s pregnant. You’ve been in a coma since the accident. Jenny has called your mother, and she’ll be here in a few minutes to be with you. Don’t try to take this all in at once. It’s going to take time for you to get back into things, and, of course, we’ll want to run some tests.”

“Where’s Jack. I want to have Jack here.”

“Jack...I’m sorry, but your husband didn’t survive the accident. Now, try to calm down. Your mother will be here shortly, and she’ll tell you everything.”

She looked at Jimmy for an explanation, and saw the tears streaming down his face.

“Aunt Victoria, you and Uncle Jack were in a car wreck. Some people got you out of the car, but Uncle Jack...”

Victoria instinctively reached for him and Jimmy cried out the grief he had held in for all those months.

A week later, Victoria was released, and Jimmy and Barbara took her home to Aunt Elizabeth’s. Victoria asked her mother to drive to the cemetery on the way, and when Barbara stopped the car in front of the large headstone that said “MORTON”, Jimmy helped Victoria out of the car. She knew she had to see his grave to believe he was really gone. They walked to the side of the stone, and Victoria ran a shaking hand over the cold, hard marble. Tears flowed from her eyes as she remembered their first meeting, the wedding, and the wonderful three days of their honeymoon. Why was this right? What had she done to deserve this?

“Oh, Jack. No.”

She began to sob quietly, and felt the small hand slip into hers. Jimmy held her gently until the sobs became sniffs, and he handed her a frayed white handkerchief.

“Don’t worry, Aunt Victoria. I’ll take care of you now. I promised Uncle Jack.”

“What...sniff...do you mean...sniff..., you promised him?”

“That day when you got married, we were in that little room behind where the preacher stands. Uncle Jack told me the best man has an important job. He said if anything ever happened to the husband, the best man was the one who was supposed to take care of the wife. He said I was the only one he trusted to look after you if anything ever happened to him. I promised him I wouldn’t let him down...and I promise you that I won’t.”

“The nurse said you came to the hospital every day and sat with me. Is that why?”

“The doctors said if somebody talked to you and held your hand, you might get well. I figured Uncle Jack would want me to do that..., but that’s not the only reason. Aunt Victoria, I like you a lot, and I wanted you to come back.”

She knelt as best she could, and hugged Jimmy until he grunted. “You did bring me back, Jimmy. I felt your hand and you pulled me back.”

The little boy was born in March, and when Victoria saw the bright little eyes in the red, scrunched-up face, she knew there could be only one name that fitted. Jack James Morton went home with Victoria to Aunt Elizabeth’s house. Jimmy was his first visitor, and brought a pocket knife as his give for the baby.

“I know he’s too little for it, but Uncle Jack gave it to me, and I figured he might want his own boy to have it. Don’t worry. When he’s old enough, I’ll show him how to use it.”

Victoria started teaching that fall, and threw herself into the joy of helping students find their way through math, reading, and the sciences. She needed to teach in order to have time each day that she didn’t miss Jack. At home, she had Little Jack, as Jimmy called him, and, of course, Jimmy. He had grown up in those months she lay in the hospital. He still ran and played with the other boys, but there was no question that he intended to keep his promise. He stopped by her house every evening to ask if she needed anything, and on Sunday afternoons, they went to visit Jack’s grave.

So passed the years as the endless stream of events called time gurgled into being from some unexpected place, flowed by, and then meandered into nothingness. Victoria never looked for another man to replace Jack, even though she had many invitations. She was content to teach her classes, raise their son, and on Sunday afternoons, to speak softly to Jack as she and Jimmy filled the little vase on the headstone with fresh flowers.

“Jack, your boy is growing like crazy. I think he’s going to be taller than you. Jimmy is growing too, and he’s taller than me now. It would make you proud to see how he takes care of me and Little Jack. You know, Momma once told me that once upon a time never happens in real life, but it’s happened to me three times. The first was you, the first man I ever loved, and I’ve not found another to match you. Jimmy was the second; he pulled me back to life, just like the prince kissing the princess. The third was your gift to me, your son, Little Jack. Having Jimmy with me is almost like having you here, because he’s so much like you. Little Jack looks just like you, and I know he’ll be the same when he grows up. Jimmy is teaching him the things a father should, and Saturday, they went fishing for the first time. When they came back, Jimmy asked him to tell me what they’d talked about. Little Jack looked up at me and piped, “Uncle Jimmy says if I don’t do good in school he won’t take me fishin’ no more”. Remember when Jimmy told me that, that night of the Christmas pageant?”

She was a little shocked when she realized she was teaching the children of her former students, but kids were kids, and they responded to the same blend of respect, love, and patient explanation as had their parents. This group of parents were different. The children would tell her that “Dad said you’re the best teacher in the whole world, and if I get in trouble with you, he’ll tan my hide”. Christmas meant at least two trips to her car carrying the handkerchiefs, pot holders and other miscellaneous small gifts that her students presented to her with a beaming smile. Soon, Christmas meant a visit from Jimmy, his wife, and their daughter. Jimmy had done well in life, and except for his two years in the Army, was still taking care of her. Every Sunday afternoon she related her experiences to Jack.

“You should see your Jimmy now. He used the GI Bill to get a loan, worked hard and now he owns the grocery store. He also met Betty, and a nicer girl you would never find. She’s a little plump right now, but then, I was too after Little Jack was born. They named their little girl Wendy; she has her mother’s eyes and Jimmy’s nose. The rest of her is just Wendy, but that’ll probably change when she gets older. Jimmy is so proud of her he’s fit to bust. He’s pretty proud of Betty, too. Jimmy speaks of you often, and loves to tell me stories about when you went fishing and camping. I hope he has a son someday, but for now, he’s still being a father to Little Jack. They have an old car they’re fixing up, and your son is turning out to be a good mechanic. Little Jack has a cute little girlfriend, and since he looks like you, I’m surprised he doesn’t have a dozen. Every time I look at him, I see you when we first met. He doesn’t have that flat-top, of course. They’re not in style now, but the rest of him is you. I know, now, that you gave him to me to help me forget how much I hurt when you died, and to remember how much I still love you.”

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