The Bristling

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Irritating her nipples, scratchily, until they stood proud in silent protest at its invasion, the bristling nestled in her armpits, creeping down her knobbly spine to the small of her back into the crevice dividing her firm buttocks, kissing her thighs, teasing her to the point of madness.

The Woman after the bristling,

The bristling invaded her scalp like itchy dandruff, infuriating her, forcing her to push her wavy blonde hair back behind her ears, and scratch her crown. It spread like wildfire, tainting her face, her swan-thin neck with an invisible rash, fanning out over her shallow chest, her little breasts. Irritating her nipples, scratchily, until they stood proud in silent protest at its invasion. The bristling nestled in her armpits, creeping down her knobbly spine to the small of her back into the crevice dividing her firm buttocks, kissing her thighs, teasing her to the point of madness.

She stood before the mirror, naked, writhing, squirming, her face and body red, sore with cruel blush, and asked herself how much more of this intrusion she could take.

He stood outside the station entrance and watched her step out onto the silent street. A youthful man who found himself, conquered his condition, and wanted to help others. He felt immensely sorry for her. She was really suffering, enduring constant physical and emotional discomfort, at her wits end. He wanted to help her, but couldn’t pluck up the courage to approach her. Such behaviour was frowned upon in the current climate of social distancing, self-imposed isolation.

She crossed the road and saw him, eyeing her up. Her heart lifted. He looked relaxed. Content to lean against the dirty station wall in pristine, soft white slacks. Soft. The word struck a chord. He was wearing a soft blue shirt. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbows, his arms covered in soft brown hair. Soft. He had three buttons undone, revealing a gingery hairy chest. She flashed him a lovely broad smile that lit up her face from ear to ear and dimpled her cheeks. He smiled back, a warm smile, an ‘I care about you’ smile. She loved his face, the soft swarth on his pock-marked cheeks. She wanted to stroke them. Run her fingers through his thin auburn hair. Kiss his dry lips. Her eyes twinkled. He grinned at her kindly. She felt her blush, the bristling, spread over her face, her body, felt uncomfortable, embarrassed. Her heart sank.

He turned away and entered the station. She followed him through the ticket barrier, up some stairs to Platform 2 for the next train to Romford, Stratford, and Liverpool Street. He was two metres away from her. They were alone on the platform. He wanted to reach out to her. She wanted to explain. Their mouths were dry. They couldn’t speak. There was a train coming. A fast train. Rapidly approaching them. Accelerating on the curve.

‘Ah, this is my train,’ she gasped, just loud enough for him to hear her.

His head turned. The train indicator was blank. The station was empty apart from them. He moved closer to her. She distanced herself from him. There was an automated announcement, 

‘The next train does not stop here! Stand back from the yellow line on Platform 2!’

‘Here’s my train,’ she cried, smiling: a haunted, hopeless, desperate smile, edging ever forward.

‘Fast train approaching!’

He saw her smile. It was a still, bright, warm, sunny, glorious, morning. He saw her despairing.

She padded up to the platform edge and stood there testing, gripping the edge of the platform with her toes. She had bare feet. Why hadn’t he seen that? He had been too busy studying her blushing face. He heard her cry as the train sped along the platform,

‘Hello, train!’

‘Stand back! Stand back! Look out!’

He pulled her back at the last minute. The train sped past.

‘You could have got yourself killed!’ he yelled angrily.

She fell into his open arms. Instinctively, he pushed her away from him. She toppled over like a falling statue, and landed heavily on the tarmac, bumping her forehead. For a moment, she lay still, crumpled on the ground in the recovery position. He looked around at the other four platforms. No-one was looking. No-one ever looked these days. She groaned and complained,

‘Don’t just stand there. Help me get up.’

He backed off from her. She calmed. He noticed the gash on her forehead, a piece of grit. Blood trickled down the left side of her face into her hazel eye giving it a bloodshot appearance, down her dimpled cheek, into the corner of her mouth, ending in a single trail down her graceful neck. She wiped her head with the back of her slim hand, smearing blood into her hair. He felt guilty, stupid. She looked a mess. The wound was deep, probably needed stitching. No chance! The hospitals and doctors’ surgeries were bursting at the seams with Covid-19 patients. He took out the wad of paper hankies, he kept for his sneezing emergencies. She had succeeded in dislodging the grit. Her blood was flowing freely. He noticed the tear in her skinny blue jeans, two tears – one red, one clear – rolling down her cheeks,

‘It’s alright,’ she sniffed, ‘I’m clean.’

He knelt beside her, soiling the knees of his pristine slacks. The tarmac felt smooth, warm. She searched his face, his open mouth and nostrils, felt him breathing on her bare neck. He took the wad and.

‘Are you clean?’ she interrupted.

‘Yes, well, err, I’ve not been tested.’

She smiled at him through all her blood and gore, so glad that he saved her life when she went to jump under the train.

‘Neither have I,’ she laughed.

He couldn’t help laughing at her; she looked in such a sorry state. He stared at her intently. She was lovely, fresh-faced, beautiful, in a natural kind of way. She nodded, craving his attention,

‘It’s alright,’ she repeated, beaming, ‘I am clean.’

Tentatively, he stemmed her flow of blood.

Her skin was pale. Her blush had faded. There was no sign of her bristling at all. Yet...

‘I suppose I should thank you for saving my life,’ she said in a tremulous voice, clearly upset still, weeping gently.

His heart went out to her. To think that such a beautiful young woman should be driven to end her life by jumping under a train. The thought of her body, cut to shreds by the spinning wheels, devastated him.

He’d been there himself once, had the ague. The bristling felt every bit as bad as Covid-19, except that it occupied the sufferer’s whole body: permeating the skin through each pore and orifice, entering the viscera via the bloodstream, attacking the heart and brain. It might kill her today, tomorrow, next week, next month.

Death was a welcome release from her cruel blush. She knew that when she tried to commit suicide. Her wound stopped bleeding. She looked up at him for his helping hand, his support, an act of kindness.

He could save her.

‘I suppose so,’ he said.

She rolled over onto her back and propped herself up on her elbows. The thin brown and beige short-sleeved sweater she was wearing accentuated her remarkable swan-neck, the bare sloping shoulders. Her arms and legs were unusually long and slender, he noted. In a past life she might have lived as a giraffe.

‘Well, are you going to leave me lying here all day?’

She was forceful, strong-willed, fighting back against the bristling. He liked that. Strength of mind and self-belief would be essential if she were to win the battle for her life. She recovered, sat up, stretched her arms out in front of her. He took her hands in his and pulled her to her feet. She breathed a long sigh of relief, let go of his hands, and brushed herself down,

‘Thank you.’

‘Don’t mention it.’

He shrugged his shoulders, turned away, and paced up and down the platform, pondering what to say next. Couldn’t bring himself to ask her the question: ‘Why did you try to kill yourself?’, didn’t need to, he already knew the answer. He had stood on the pavement, watching her draw the curtains, open the curtains, leave for work, through the door, next to the beauty parlour: the home of perfect skin.

She read his thoughts, gathered up her jute bag: the spilt womanly odds and sods, ran up behind him and went to speak. Her meek voice was drowned out by a station announcement. An empty train glided into the platform and came to a halt. Its doors slid open,

‘The train on Platform 2 is the 8.15 service to Liverpool Street calling at Romford, Stratford, and Liverpool Street.’

He turned to face her. Had to think quickly. Say something, man! An empty carriage beckoned. He edged towards the open doors. Frustrated by his silence, she pleaded to him, her eyes, sad,

‘Look, I’m sorry, okay? I saw you watching me every day. I have the bristling?’

‘Stand clear of the closing doors.’

He stopped dead in his tracks and asked where she was travelling to. She said she was going to work. There was a shrill, peeping sound, a warning. The doors were about to close. He took a step nearer the train. She drew a railcard out of her tight jean pocket, held it up for him to see, her season ticket,

‘Except,’ she raced, ‘I don’t work. I lost my job. Because of the lockdown? The virus? I travel. Something to do. I’m lonely. I pretend to go to work.’

The doors closed. She missed her train.

Thank goodness.

He drew a long sigh of relief, spoke, at last,

‘And that’s when you contracted the bristling is it?

He managed nine words! She smiled, slowly nodding her head.

‘I can cure you. Would you like to be cured?’

‘Yes! Yes! Please!’

Her whole face lit up in a bright pink blush. She started to bristle. He shook his head sadly at her vain attempt to control the spread,

‘Do you trust me?’

She felt the bristling raise the hairs on the back of her neck. This man saved her life. If she couldn’t trust him, who could she trust? The bristling spread over her narrow shoulder blades, down her back, her front. She started to squirm inside, hating the bristling for its callous assault,

‘Yes! I trust you! Can you help me, please? Can’t take much more of this. Please, help me?’

He held her hand. She let him hold her hand. He offered comfort. More than that. He gave her hope.

Together they left the station.

The ticket hall was empty, the booking office closed. Shutters concealed the kiosk where she used to stop and buy a paper. She wondered if it would ever re-open, worried for the livelihoods of the charming Indian couple who ran the shop. Her thoughts were permeated by the bristling, the ravaging nettle rash that bloomed on her torso, upper arms and thighs. Soon it would infest the creases in her elbows, the damp behind her knees, her forearms, calves, festering athlete’s feet, the blotched webs between her fingers. She tightened her grip on his hand. He felt for her,

‘How long before you start to sting?’ he asked, as they stepped out onto the station forecourt.

She stared him in the face, ‘Five, ten minutes. How far is it to your… clinic? Is it near here?’

He hesitated, avoiding her question. Instead, he looked up and down the high street. Her flat was over the road between the beauty parlour and the local Co-op minimarket. Nearer the railway bridge was the town’s only chemist. Two queues of blank-faced shoppers, standing equidistant from one another, stretched hundreds of yards in opposite directions. There were no other signs of activity.

The station forecourt, usually packed with commuters and shoppers, was devoid of people, the cab rank empty. He let go of her hand, so that he could shield his eyes from the glaring early Spring sun. She went and stood in front of him, and jabbed him hard in the chest,

‘Is it near here?’ she persisted, shoving him backwards, ‘Tell me!’

He threw up his arms in mock alarm, and laughed at her, ‘Hey! Easy! Easy!’

Oh, he made her blood boil!

‘Have you any idea?’ she shrieked, ‘What it feels like to itch and sting and hurt all over? Idiot!’

Aware that she had aroused the interest of all the bored, unhappy shoppers standing opposite, he grabbed her by the arms and drew her in, close to him. She loved the feeling of him, holding her tight, easing her discomfort, smiled to herself, spoke in an even voice. She knew his pain, how he must have suffered, by the pensive expression on his face, wanted to hear him admit it,


‘Of course, I do!’ he hissed at her, ‘How do you think I discovered the cure?’

She felt the invisible wasps crawling over her flesh, felt them sting her flesh, ‘How far? Please!’

He was a good six inches taller than her. He let go of her, looked down forlornly at her beautiful, imploring face, ‘I live in Thrift Wood.’

Her spirits sagged. She withered visibly. Her chin dropped. His words stung her. She gave up,

‘Thrift Wood’s twenty minutes’ walk away.’

He took her in his arms and rocked her gently, consoling her, stroking her wavy bronze hair,

‘I’m sorry,’ he groaned, ‘So sorry.’

She wriggled herself free. Her whole body stung. The swelling began. Her lips were swollen by the time she spoke,

‘It’s too late,’ she whispered, ‘Too late for sorry,’

She stung all over. The stinging, the most intense bristling she had ever endured, flourished on her head, limbs and torso. A penetrative body-mould, rafts of jellyfish stings, agglomerating in her crotch, crevice, armpits, scourging her, scurrying through her scalp like raving mosquitoes on a hot summer’s night. She looked up at him for her epitaph, his carefully-chosen words of admiration, dare she say: respect. Instead, he gripped her shoulders and shook her to her senses,

‘You must fight it, you understand?’

She shook her head sadly, her face sagging with resignation like a woman with Bell’s palsy in both cheeks, then blew the words, her zephyr, in his face,

‘Can’t. Don’t want to.’

He held her lovely head in his hands, forcing his fingers through her damp hair, stretching her flushed cheeks with his palms, making her listen to him, caring about her, sharing his hidden emotions, shouting at her,

‘You must! I can cure you! I’ve been there! Suffered the bristling, the rash of stings! Trust me!’

He felt her relax, let go of her jaw. She could just about murmur,


He caught sight of the lines of shoppers across the road ogling her like vultures over prey. He let them have their moment. After all, there was little enough entertainment in their lives: the telly, a good book, a video workout, some remote-distance learning with the kids, a sing-song, clapping with the neighbours every Thursday night, the fortnightly walk to the supermarket. A fed-up-looking woman dressed in a red t-shirt with an NHS motif, a fleece and trousers, let two customers into the chemist’s shop. He turned to her, and told her what he wanted her to do:

‘Don’t let the stinging inside you. If it gets inside you it will make its way into your bloodstream to your lungs, heart, and brain. And kill you.’

She nodded and grimaced nervously. He had her undivided attention,

‘Try to stay calm.’


She raised her bushy eyebrows. She was listening to him though.

He continued, ‘Don’t let it in. Breathe out forcibly, force it out. Keep your mouth shut. Clench your buttocks,’ he blushed slightly, his first sign of weakness, ‘Close your legs.’

She burst out laughing, ‘You should be so lucky!’

He laughed with her, couldn’t help it. Her sense of humour, her means of coping with adversity, infected him. His feelings for her stretched far beyond admiration; something akin to fondness, love. He pulled himself together and apologized,

‘I’m sorry, I think it’s best you keep your mouth firmly shut.’

She gave him her last beaming smile, dimpling her cheeks, parting her lips, baring her gleaming white teeth, then set her jaw, and looked down: really glum.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud chattering noise. They stared at the vehicle, emerging rapidly from under the railway bridge. It swayed from side to side, veered sharp left, slammed on its brakes, and screeched to a halt in front of them. The last thing they expected to see that morning in Shenfield high street was a black taxi cab. The window slid down on the passenger side, revealing the young driver. He had dark ebony skin, huge brown eyes, thick rubbery lips, and his shaven head was crowned with a tuft of wiry black hair. He was naked from the waist up, lean, sinewy and fit.

My, now that’s hot! she thought, grinning at him, and he couldn’t have been a day over eighteen.

‘What you smiling at, lady?’ he said, laughing.

She didn’t reply. Her lips were sealed; her face hot, flushed, and swollen. The driver turned his attention to her travelling companion. The time for polite pleasantries was long over. The virus had seen to that. The taxi driver didn’t mince his words, just pointed at her beetroot face,

‘What’s the matter with her?’

‘She’s suffering from acute anaphylactic shock. If I don’t get her to my clinic in ten minutes, she will die.’

The driver blanched, taken aback, ‘I’m sorry, I have to ask.’

‘Yes, we’re both clean.’

‘Get in.’

She was shivering in the warm sunshine, working up a fever. Beads of perspiration formed on her widow’s peak. She slumped against him, exhausted by the collapse of her body’s immune system in the face of the brutal bristling. Her body stung all over, leaving her feeling wretched, miserable: her condition only worsened by her tight-fitting skinny jeans and coarse-woven top. Resisting the urge to strip, she allowed him to bundle her into the taxi. He slammed the door behind him and let her rest her weary head on his shoulder as they slid around on the polished leather seat.

The black cab was perfectly suited for transporting infected victims to hospital. A glass screen protected the driver from the herd. Payment was by contactless. The passenger windows were securely locked. They heard the door-locks click. The taxi inched forward. A mesh voice spoke,

‘Where to?’

‘The Martlets, Thrift Wood.’

‘Nice! I know a short-cut through the woods. It’s very pretty at this time of year.’

‘Please, hurry.’

He felt her limp body sag against his as the taxi lurched forward. Held her close, protective of her. Her skin smelled fresh, natural, a slight hint of face cream. She wasn’t wearing any make-up or perfume, didn’t need to. She fell asleep in his arms. He was pleased. Proud of her. He struggled to keep his emotions in check.

The taxi turned right into the high street, accelerated, and shot past the watching shoppers. At the busy garage beyond the railway bridge they turned right, then left into a leafy avenue. The driver unlocked the windows so that his passengers could get some air. The young man in the back breathed in the fresh morning air savouring the sound of birdsong, the warm sun on his face, as the taxi swayed from side to side, gliding past the estates of the wealthy. He envied them their peace and solitude, imagining them swimming in their private pools, sunbathing on terraces, playing tennis on secluded courts, behind their tall cypress hedges.

How many of them would escape the virus? he wondered.

The taxi braked suddenly as a black cat darted out into the road. Her head slid down his hairy chest, and rested in his lap. He stroked her hair as she slept, loving the feeling of her head in his lap. The taxi driver interrupted his thoughts, explaining that he’d taken the cab over from his father when he succumbed to the dreadful plague,

‘I haven’t passed my driving test,’ he admitted, in a dulled voice, ‘I only work locally. London’s a no-go zone anyway. The Police have set up roadblocks along the forest road.’

‘I didn’t know that. Look, I’m sorry about your father. Did they let you see him?’

‘Thanks. He died in hospital on a ventilator. I wasn’t allowed to visit. There won’t be a funeral.’

They continued their journey in silence. The sun went behind some clouds. He felt cold, tried to reach the window switches, but couldn’t. The windows slid up automatically. He saw the brown eyes watching him in the driving mirror and nodded in appreciation. The taxi came out of the shadows, turned right into a winding lane, past an empty playing field, a vacant farm, rows of silent council houses. They reached The Martlet’s, a development of luxury apartments on the boundary of Thrift Wood. His wallet was in his back pocket. He reached back. She stirred. The driver spoke, his voice choked with emotion,

‘There’s no need to pay. This one’s on me. Look after her, won’t you? She’s a beautiful lady.’

 He looked over his shoulder at the driver as he helped her out of the car.

He looked so young.

‘I will. Thank you. You’re very kind. Take care.’

‘Don’t mention it. Stay safe.’

He stood and watched the taxi trundle off down the lane in the direction of Brentwood. She slumped against him, barely able to stand. He slipped a hand under her armpit to support her, feeling the soft mound of her little breast. She let him hold her there, loving his tender touch, hoping he would save her life. He felt her tense and bristle, her heat spreading on his fingertips, and told her of the cure,

‘When we enter the apartment, undress in the second bedroom, and go to the bathroom. Your treatment involves full body suspension in a hot foam bath, scented with a natural herb remedy. When you have bathed and dried yourself, return to the bedroom. On the bed you’ll see, I’ve laid out the only clothes that you’ll be able to wear going forward. Get dressed, come to the lounge, and I’ll call a cab to take you home. The treatment takes three months to work. After that, if all goes to plan, you’ll never suffer the bristling again. I know you haven’t got any money. Don’t worry, I won’t be charging you. This is for free.’

She stared up at his face. His nose was too big like a hooter. His button ears were well set back. He reminded her of the friendly gnome that she used to see in her neighbour’s garden when she was a little girl living in the Suffolk countryside. But his eyes were full of love and kindness.

His apartment was on the second floor. He slipped his free hand into his trouser pocket and dug out a key fob, pressing it against Flat 7. She managed a tiny smirk: seven was her lucky number. He pushed the glass door open with his rear and manoeuvred her into the lobby. There was a colourful montage covering the length of the wall: a rocky beach, sluggish olive sea, set against a cloudless azure sky. He vowed to find the location, and take her there one day, if she pulled through. He pressed 2. The lift door slid open.

Flat 7 was half-way down a silent corridor. Its walls were drab, grubby fawn. Her body slumped against his. He wrapped an arm around her waist, unlocked the door, stepped inside. She began to hyperventilate. Quickly, he showed her the bathroom, then guided her past the plate-glass window of his bedroom to the spare room.

She vaguely took in her surroundings. The place reeked of wealth and masculinity. Save for a double bed with black sheets, pillows and a grey duvet, a floor-to-wall mirror, a white built-in cupboard, a photo of a young girl with wavy bronze hair (her?) on the bedside table, and a stack of GQ magazines, the room was empty. There was an open sliding glass partition to a small balcony which overlooked a deserted playing field. She went and sat on the bed and started to undress. He couldn’t bear to watch her. He turned away,

‘I’ll go and run your bath,’ he said, sheepishly, ‘Soak yourself until the water is cold. Dry off with the soft white bath towels on the bath rail. Then put these on, only these, no underwear.’

He slid the fitted wardrobe open and produced a soft white jacket top with a wraparound sash at the waist, and a pair of soft white slacks, not dissimilar to those that he was wearing. He held them up for her to see,

‘Softened by the monsoon dew.’

She smiled appreciatively: he was lovely, such a lovely man.

I know! she mused, and the moon is made of cheese!

That word again: soft. He left the clothing on the bed for her and went to the bathroom,

‘When you’re decent,’ he called, ‘come through to the lounge and I’ll make us some brunch.’

Her heart seemed to swell in her chest. He made her feel content, secure, needed. She had never felt so happy:

I’m falling in love with him, she dreamed, pressing her palms to her chest, I can feel him, here, in my heart. I hope he feels the same way about me.

With a deep sigh of relief, she pulled her coarse woollen top over her head, unbuttoned her skinny jeans, and peeled them down her legs. She reached behind her back, undid a clasp, and slipped off her black bra. The sun’s warmth permeated her skin, lifting her spirits even higher. She sat on the edge of the bed in her black panties relishing the moment, wishing it would never end.

Her face blushed.

The bristling returned with a vengeance, penetrating every pore, entering her body, her mouth. She felt her flesh creep from her scalp to her toes. Felt the rash blooming in her throat, caught up in her breath. She struggled to breathe as the itching, stinging, searing pain surged like acid into her lungs.

This is it, she decided, I’m going to die.

He was foaming her bath, emptying the contents of a two hundred and fifty millilitre brown glass bottle of the cure into the water, splashing her water for her with his hand, imagining her naked body soaked in suds. When her scream came, it was a hoarse, dry scream, a guttural death rattle filling up her throat, and it chilled him to the core. He turned off the bath taps, stood up, dried his hands, then walked to her bedroom door, dreading to think what he might find.

She was sitting on the bed facing away from him, the sun illuminating her shiny, bronze hair. Her head was craned upwards. Her beautiful swan-neck stretched taut. Veins stood out of her: varicose and purpled. One of her arms was crooked and bent, the other, she managed to stretch, straining her slender bicep, clutching a pillow. Her knobbly vertebrae poked out like healing stones along the length of her crippled spine. The muscles in her back were stiff, stone-rigid with tension. She was frozen. A morbid statue of herself. Unable to move. Paralysed with fear.

He stood in front of her, surveying her petrified face. Her eyes had nearly popped out of her head. Her nostrils were flared and runny. The corners of her mouth were drawn back in a hard grimace, a sardonic grin: her dreadful gape. She had clamped her legs closed in front of her in one last desperate attempt to stave off the bristling. Her body was pouring with sweat. Her black panties were saturated.

Carefully, he slid his hands under her armpits and lifted her to her feet. She felt like a tree in his hands. He was her gardener, come to plant her, give her new life. Overwhelmed with pity for her, he crushed her in his arms. Slowly, the bristling subsided. He felt her body stiffen. She clung to him. Fondly, he brushed the wet hair out of her eyes, then sought to reassure her,

‘It’s over. The bristling’s gone away. How are you feeling? Better?’

‘Mm, much,’ she sighed, ‘Thank you.’

‘Don’t mention it. Let’s get you to the bath, shall we?’

She was deeply touched by his kindness, the affection in his voice, his tenderness towards her. He might just love me, she hoped. She slipped out of his arms, following him to the bathroom.

He sat on the toilet pedestal and watched her pull down her panties. She took his breath away. He yearned for her. Wanted to feel her little breasts pressed against his hairy chest. Wanted to slide his hands down her slender back, to grip her soft buttocks, as he pressed his proud flesh into hers, but couldn’t.

She looked at him enquiringly as she raised one slender leg and dipped her toes into the warm, sudsy water,

‘What’s the matter? Haven’t you seen a naked woman before?’

He shook his head sadly, ‘No, I only treat male patients.’

‘Never mind,’ she smiled, climbing into the bath. She let her body sink into the foam, exhaling pleasurably as the soothing sensation permeated her skin. The two hundred and fifty millilitre bottle was perched on the rim of the bath. It was empty. She picked it up and read the handwritten label:

Natural Remedy

Content, happy at last, she ducked her head under the water, flashed a wide, subterranean smile, and blew bubbles.


One year later, they made their way through the ravine, down the sandy path, until they reached the lonely rocky beach, washed by a sluggish olive sea, set against a cloudless azure sky. They found an empty patch of sand, unrolled their beach towels, and spread them on the ground. She turned to face him, her cheeks full of health and colour. She put her hands on her hips, looked up into his shiny eyes, and flashed him a lovely broad smile that lit up her face from ear to ear, and dimpled her cheeks. He smiled back at her, an ‘I love you’ smile.  

He was wearing a soft blue shirt. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbows, his arms covered in soft brown hair. He had his buttons undone, revealing his gingery hairy chest. She loved his face, the swarth on his pock-marked cheeks. She stroked them, ran her fingers through his thin auburn hair. Softly, she kissed his dry lips. Her eyes twinkled. He grinned at her, lovingly. She felt her blush spread over her face, her body, felt wonderful,

‘Fancy a swim?’ she said.

He felt shy, awkward, didn’t want to make the first move, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t swim.’

She loved him so much, craved his touch. His shyness made her want him more. She giggled,

‘Just as well. Neither can I!’

She reached up and drew his head close to hers, smelling his natural aroma, rubbing noses. She kissed him softly on the lips, then deeply, prising his willing mouth open with her tongue. He stood still while she undressed him, pushing his shirt off over his shoulders, unzipping his soft white slacks, pulling them apart. He sprang out for her. Nervously, he fumbled with her soft jacket top. She helped him: untying the wraparound sash around her waist, slipping out of her soft white slacks, then clung to him. He felt her little breasts press against his hairy chest. He slid his hands down her slender back, gripping her soft buttocks as he pressed his hard flesh into hers.

After they had made love, she lay with her head resting on his shoulder, running her fingers through the hair on his chest, making him blush,

‘Love you,’ she murmured, dreamily.

His face flushed scarlet, he stroked her damp blonde hair, ‘I love you, too. Will you marry me?’

‘I might! If you’re kind to me.’

She kissed his shoulder, felt snug, warm, and loved in his arms,

‘David?’ she asked, presently.

He gave her slim hips a tender squeeze, ‘Mm?’

‘You never told me what was in the bottle.’

He held her tight, whispering softly in her ear, ‘Water.’

‘Water! You cured me with water?’

‘Yes, that. And a little drop of love.’

Submitted: November 29, 2022

© Copyright 2023 harriet-jacqui x. All rights reserved.

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