tagErotic CouplingsTwo Out of Three

Two Out of Three


Like real life, this story contains a variety of situations, sex scenes, etc. and because it doesn't easily fit into one category, it is labeled Erotic Couplings. If you are turned off by sex between cousins, read no more. Although this isn't a major part of the story, it is central to it.

I thank my generous editor, AlwaysHungry, for his careful edits and insightful suggestions on plot points and wording. The story benefitted so much from his help.


Arrival hall, Ben Gurion Airport

"Val! Valeria! Here, dear!"

It took Val a few minutes after she cleared the doors of the customs and security area to locate the sound of her aunt's gritty smoker's voice, but the handwaving made it easier. She adjusted her path and made her way to one of the gaps in the barriers set in a rough semi-circle in front of her. The crowd of relatives and friends waiting for the latest arrivals teemed behind the barriers, soldiers with guns strapped to their backs dotted liberally around the barriers. Ben Gurion Airport took security to a different level than any other airport she'd been through. Not much had changed in that regard.

As soon as she made it through the gap, her aunt immediately engulfed her in a bear hug. Val felt small and childlike in her aunt's overwhelming embrace. Not a short woman, she was at least four inches shorter than her aunt's imposing height, a trait she wished she'd inherited rather than her own average build. On the other hand, Val couldn't help noticing that her aunt must have gained more than four inches in girth since the last time they'd seen each other, the fusty soft knit shirt and knit pants stretched to the max around her frame.

"You've lost weight, Val! Don't you eat, dear?"

Val shrugged. "I eat plenty. Really, I'm fine, Aunt Leila. I'm not a good enough cook to make it worthwhile most of the time, as much as you tried to teach me. And I hate cooking for myself." Memories of Leila's and her own mother's traditional dishes flooded back, together with the laughter they shared in the kitchen. Oh, well - some things could not be recreated outside their time and place.

"You've got everything? Did they lose your luggage? I swear, airlines these days, they always lose something."

"Nope, this is everything. I'm ready to go."

"You travel light."

"Don't need much. I won't be here that long, and I've got plenty to keep me going without worrying too much about laundry."

"How long are you staying? Everyone's dying to see you!"

"Thanks, Leila. We'll see. I'll try to see all the cousins and so on. But I mostly want to spend time with you - I'm so sorry, I just couldn't come sooner. And I also want a bit of "away" time. I booked a scuba diving trip from Eilat." She had plenty of second and third cousins, and their kids, and husbands and wives. And on and on and on - it gave her a headache just to think about it.

"You're going that far? But then you won't have time to see everyone."

"Leila, nowhere is far in Israel. It's the size of Rhode Island!"

"Don't exaggerate!" Leila was playfully indignant.

"OK, New Jersey then!"

Val sighed - already she was inwardly shrinking away from her family here before seeing anybody, and already felt the guilt. She'd booked the dive trip in part to avoid the many people who she should feel close to because of blood ties even though they shared so little of their lifestyle. Aside from loving to dive and not having had a chance to do it in warm water in a long time.

"Lead on, Leila."

"Home, or...?"

"How far is the cemetery?"

"It's on the way. Not far from the apartment."

"The cemetery, then."


The grave had a simple headstone with Hebrew letters and the years 1978 - 2010. Val couldn't read Hebrew but knew the letters must be his name, Joshua Alexander Schwartz, and wondered why they had been written in Hebrew rather than in Roman script. A quick look around had informed her that the grave stones surrounding her cousin's tomb had writing in both Roman and Hebrew scripts, and the words she understood written in several languages.

"Who decided on the Hebrew?" she asked her aunt.

"I thought the army had, but it's actually in his will."

"He left a will?

"Everyone who goes in the army is encouraged to write a will, Val dear. It only makes sense."

"His going in the Israeli army makes no sense to me! I tried to talk him out of it, but it was too late."

"I think you probably ended up talking him into it, without realizing it."

"He said that to you?"

"No, not explicitly. But he talked a bit about you, and how he wanted to convince you that he was serious about Israel, about belonging here."

"He told me that, Leila. I just didn't believe it. Perhaps didn't want to believe it," Val said, her shoulders turned down. "It just didn't make sense to me after he'd spent all those years in the States. He seemed to have made a new life for himself, severed his ties here."

Her aunt just shrugged. "HIs father had been in the IDF. It's what brought him here from the old country. Josh felt he owed his father."

Val hadn't met Josh until they were both in their late teens, she having grown up in the States and he in Israel. Like every Israeli boy he had completed his three years of army service right after high school, learning something about computers and electronics while in the army. Afterwards, he had taken advantage of having relatives in the US, and had gotten into the University of Maryland just as Val had been finishing up her own studies there.

She'd had an apartment off-campus by then, sick of the noise and bustle of dorm life, and had agreed, at her mother's suggestion, to share it with Josh. Val had been moderately enthusiastic - not only because she'd get to split the rent, which always helped, but also because she had been intrigued by Josh. She'd seen only a few times before but she had liked his dark looks and easy quirk of a smile. He had had his father's light olive skin and blue eyes, but his mother's dark hair, so dark it was nearly black, absorbing any light that fell on it.

Now the ground seemed to absorb all the light of the day, had already absorbed everything that had been the Josh she'd known.

"Your brother would have talked him out of it, I know it," Val insisted, thinking of the solid shape of her uncle. He was always ready to smile.

"You may be right, Val. I can't vouch for that. But it's too late to talk about these things. It is not too late to honor him and honor his wishes, respect his decision. You could join us, you know, just like he did."

"No, Leila. This place isn't for me." And then, as if in an afterthought, "Who sat shivah for him? And who said Kaddish for him?" Josh had no children, so the men of the family would need to organize to pay their respects. It rankled her that, as a woman, she was not allowed to say Kaddish for him, although she had been the closest to him in those last six or seven years of his life before he'd returned to Israel. It was a big responsibility - if they did it in the traditional way, the prayer had to be said three times a day for eleven months, and yearly afterwards.

"I don't know who really sat Shiva for him, we didn't find out soon enough. You know Jews must be buried within 24 hours, if at all possible. They didn't find us in time. But Uncle Samuel said Kaddish for him, joined by your younger cousins, Adam and Yossi."

Val knew her twin nephews must have taken their responsibility seriously. Death was always a serious business. In her opinion, it was so serious it drowned out the joy of life.

"Did Adam and Yossi even meet him before he went into the army?" Val asked.

"They hadn't known him long. But that's irrelevant, as you well know. We all told family stories, and he'd been back a couple of times. He'd been their hero."

None of you knew him like I did, Val thought to herself. She stood for a few moments in front of the grave, and laid the small bouquet of small daisies on the grave in front of the gravestone. They didn't look quite like the daisies Josh had liked to weave into wreaths for her when they went on picnics, but they'd have to do.

"Wherever did you get those?" Leila asked her. Val knew Leila wasn't being judgmental, though it came out sounding that way. Val simply shrugged, hiding the tears streaking down her cheeks with her long hair falling over her shoulders.

"Val, You're going to be down in Eilat. That's where he was stationed in his last year. Maybe you should visit his base. Some of his friends are probably still there. People who knew him well."

"I don't know, Leila."

"Well, just keep it in mind. I can write the colonel who headed his unit, just let him know you might visit. No obligation."

Val nodded. She didn't want to let her aunt down, but she couldn't imagine doing what Leila suggested.

When Leila finally placed her hand on Val's shoulder to signal the need to leave, Val had already recited the mourner's Kaddish under her breath, knowing well she shouldn't have. It was exactly the one year anniversary of his death. But that prayer, to a god whom she resented even though she didn't believe in him, was for the living. The dead were long beyond its reach.


The stones of Avdat

Val had turned into the small parking lot, wanting a break from the heat and driving. She'd been attracted by the abandoned piles of Avdat's stones rising on the hill in the middle of the otherwise barren Negev. She'd grabbed her light backpack, holding only a bottle of water, a granola bar, her camera with her favorite lens and the telescoping tripod, and her book.

Stepping lightly along the path, she admired the isolated setting and the view over the desert, the road from Tel Aviv to Eilat skirting the bottom of the hill, straight except for the occasional bend accommodating some near-invisible topographical feature. The dilapidated Roman villa overlooking the Nabataean city had several levels and, as she walked around it, she found herself sliding into the role of the lady of the house in the absence of the men who'd left for another of their interminable skirmishes. At the end of the day, she could finally retreat to her room in the tower, kept cool by the thick stone wall, the gauze drapes fluttering in the late afternoon breeze.

She would tuck herself onto one of the wide windowsills, having stripped off the heavier linen overdress and the rough apron edged in ribbon with gold thread, the only visible sign of her position in the household. She would free her hair, long red-gold tresses, now somewhat tangled and matted with sweat around her brow, that would flutter in the wind, creating a soft curtain around her face.

Val climbed onto the large opening looking northwards, imagining waiting for news from runners, messengers dusty from the long, grueling ride, in need of water, food, and solid ground beneath their feet. And after those basic needs would be fulfilled, a maid or youth, doe-eyed and sinewed, would be sent to take care of other needs, perhaps.

She wore a loose tunic with deep side slits over skirt. The area around the villa was so barren and she'd seen no other cars on her drive that she gave in to her urge to remove her tunic and bra and let the lazy air caress her golden bronzed skin and rose-brown nipples. She spread her tunic on the wide stones of the windowsill and sat on it, her bare back against the slightly cooler stone, one knee flexed with toes gripping the sill while the other foot lay flat on the floor for balance.

She didn't even give the book a glance - didn't feel like reading. She let her mind drift again, her fingers loosely wrapped around the water bottle. As she drank, water spilled down her chin and on her chest, a stream of drops chasing each other along her skin, mixing the thin coat of sweat veiling her. She watched a droplet roll slowly down the gentle curve of her breast, traveling to the dark areola and alight precariously on the tip of the brownish nipple. Without thinking, she cupped her breast, the flesh filling her hand, and, bending her neck forward, stretched to tongue the nipple dry. She could just reach to swipe around it, the puckered pebbled flesh distinct in texture from the smooth curve leading up to it.

"Are you sure, Val?"

His mouth was hovering near her breast, his dark, wiry, unruly hair and light-olive skin a contrast to her own fairer hue. The black double row of lashes lay against the smooth cheek, the lips poised just millimeters away from her left breast, waiting as if suspended in both time and space. And she eventually guided her nipple between those luscious full lips. He nibbled, almost shyly at first, then insistent and demanding. The tip of his tongue peeked between lips that closed down and sucked harder still. She lifted his chin slightly to look him in the eye while at the same time arching her back in response to the demanding suction of those lips on her breast. His eyes darkened, his lids closed partially. She felt his cock strain against her thigh and swelling as he continued sucking her nipple and breast.

She ran her hand down his arm, and slowly swiped her palm across his smooth, hairless back. His smoothness pleased her. She pulled her nipple away from his lips and, admiring his chest, she circled and teased first one then the other of his nipples with her palm, smiling at the sensitivity he couldn't hide as he arched into her palm and closed his eyes.

"Open your eyes, Josh," she murmured, and continued her palm's journey down his stomach, traveling along the muscles that made a V and down into his pelvic region and the soft curls of hair peeking out from the cinching band of his loose trousers. She pulled the drawstring of the thin cotton pants and let them slide down to reveal those strong thigh muscles she'd admired for the several years they'd shared her apartment. He twitched, an all-muscle spasm that made his cock point upwards towards his navel.

She moved her hand from his body to hers, palm against her own abdomen now, fingers down and curling down into the soft, curling hair that hid her labia. She wondered about shaving — she'd heard it would make her more sensitive to every touch — but Josh's eyes were so completely riveted on her fingers and their path that she stopped thinking about anything else. She ran her fingers around the outer lips, into the crevices between her vulva, feeling the thick moisture that was trickling and coating her upper thighs.

She circled her clit, rubbing it just a little, then stopped to save that pleasure for later. She dipped her fingers into her channel, reaching in as far as she could to feel the pressure and the rough patch, her G-spot. When she withdrew, she'd brought her own moisture out and smeared it now over the mushroom head of Josh's penis, making it glisten with her own wetness. He sucked air in sharply and looked, first in her eyes, then down at her fingers as they caressed the head of his penis and the small notched indentation under the glans. She ran her fingers all around the top of the shaft, then up and down along the vein and to the top of his testicles. She leaned forward, touching her tongue to the soft sac at the base of his shaft. As she touched, both their eyes closed, and Val used her tongue to give a thorough upward swipe to the quivering shaft twitching wildly near her lips.

"Val, I need your mouth on me," he said, his voice strangled. "Please!"

She let her tongue slide down again, the swirled it slowly around his testicles, watching his closed eyes closed, leaning forward so that her breasts touched his thighs. She lifted her hands to hold herself up using her cousin's legs for leverage and as she did so, her breasts pressed harder into his thighs and she sucked harder on the soft wrinkled skin, making him gasp.

Valeria's hand moved to her cunt, as if on its own. Her fingers opened and rubbed the shiny swollen lips, the movement bringing Josh's eyes to her cunt, the lids heavy with lust and pleasure and fear of losing control. She rubbed herself faster, spurred on by that lustful gaze and her own need and imagination of his heightening pleasure. His cock was visibly harder, the skin stretched without a wrinkle over the shaft, and his hand made a movement toward it. Val acknowledged the motion and nodded, as if giving him permission to touch himself. In fact, she was dying to see him, and gasped with pleasure as he wrapped his hand around his shaft and rubbed himself up and down, clearly with familiarity.

Nudging his hand away, she wrapped her own hands around the base of his cock and set a counterpoint rhythm between her hand and mouth, her cheeks sucked tightly inward. Val pressed her mound to Josh's leg and snaked her free hand between his legs. In less than half a minute Josh grunted and spurted his semen into her mouth, holding her shoulders, his whole body convulsing. Val kept up her sucking and grinding her own pubis against her hand, fingers thickly slick with her effusions, her own climax making her close her eyes and lose herself in the quivering spasms.

A while later, she looked at him and smiled.

"Whose turn to cook?" she asked, using her sweetest voice.


"Mine? I did it yesterday!"

"You call that cooking?"

"You ate it all, didn't you?"

"OK, rock, paper, scissors," he said. She won the first time.

"There you are. Your turn to cook."

"How about two out of three?"

She rolled her eyes but stretched out her hand again. And won again.

When Val finally opened her eyes and slowly regained a sense of her actual surroundings, she caught movement at the corner of her eye and saw, to her horror, a tall man with softly curling salt-and-pepper greying hair silently turn and step out of the chamber. She hadn't seen his face, thankfully, and swore under her breath. How much had he seen? How much of what she'd been thinking had she spoken out loud?


Val took her time putting her bra and tunic back on, making sure the drawstring of her pants was knotted, then sat down again with her bottle of water. About half an hour later, when she'd regained her composure and thought he'd probably left already, she stepped out onto the now-open terrace that must once have been an inside patio. It was bound on one side by the building she'd stepped out of and on the other three by a low wall in various states of disrepair. He was sitting on the wall to her left, his head bent over a well-worn book, his legs stretched out in front of him casually.

She had an urge to turn around and go back in, take the other exit from the room, but it was too late - he'd already seen her. He'd lifted his head and watched her as she stepped in his general direction, staying towards the middle of the patio, aiming for the opening that led to the path down. Damn him, why had he waited for her? What did he want?

"Hello," he ventured.

"Hi," was all she gave him.

"Are you on your way north or south?" he continued.

She looked at him, letting her suspicion show. She took in his faded army pants, the black tank top, and his dusty and scuffed army boots. Near his feet by the wall was propped a duffel bag.

"I'm headed to Eilat," he added. "My last ride dropped me off here, he was going home in another direction. There's often tourists here, traveling north or south. I thought I might catch a ride."

She still didn't offer anything.

"My name is Avraam. Avi, for short," he said, as he pushed off the wall and headed in her direction, arm outstretched to shake her hand.

"Valeria. Val." She shook his hand, noticing the dry roughness of his palm. "Not too often I meet others with V's in their name."

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