Ruth still missed him. She couldn’t believe it but she did. If the truth was told she still loved him in spite of all the hateful, hurtful things said but being a pragmatist knew that life had to go on. She and Dafid never really gelled. Their love had been, as she once said to her friend Cybil, a thing of obsession and mad passion, it had never been destined to last them into their dotage. She couldn’t help but miss him, not after five years of marriage, but there were more fish in the sea.
Neil had been very attentive. From the moment Dafid had left, Neil had visited, regaling her with flowers and kindness. He had trimmed her garden, tidying it after a period of neglect. He then repaired the door, painting it a deep blue. They spent their weekends together, going out to The Village Green Pavilion to watch folk bands perform or to the theatre in Muckleford. On one occasion, a Sunday, Neil drove them to Winchester where they walked around the cathedral then did some window shopping before having a bite to eat. Then he suggested they take a short break on the
of Wight. Although he didn’t suggest that it was anything other
than platonic the implication was that their friendship was developing into
something deeper. Initially she felt a tremor of guilt. Even though she
remembered David Vanderputte she dismissed that as being nothing more than a
fling and not a relationship. The Frenchman had, in many ways, been a dream
come true but she was too much of a realist to pin her hopes on ever seeing him
again. Neil though was different. His aspirations she understood as she did his
lifestyle. They shared common interests.
They had got up early one Saturday before driving down to the
. The ferry
crossing had been fun with Neil acting the fool most of the way over. They had
driven to the hotel where Neil parked the car by the large ornamental columns
that stood guard over the broad steps. The hotel was large and very grand. Neil
elbowed Ruth as they walked in as she was giggling so much. port
“Will you behave?” he laughed grabbing her waist.
“It’s all so posh isn’t it? Look at the man behind the desk; he looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth - a regular Lord Dunabunk.”
As they approached the concierge Neil pulled her to one side behind a stout column. His face turned suddenly serious.
“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I will understand.”
She smiled at him then kissed him for the first time on the mouth. Her tongue tasted of cinnamon. She held his hands as she gazed into his eyes.
“I do want to.”
Later, after they had showered, he took her out for a meal. It was a swanky restaurant with pristine white cloths that draped the elegant tables with a profusion of cutlery that confused her.
“What are all those knives and forks for?” she asked.
“Posh nosh,” he replied.
They ate their food and drank their champagne amid a flutter of words that flew like fragile butterflies sprinkled with metaphor and dressed in simile. Earlier they had argued over which restaurant to go to. He had chosen Italian and she had wanted
won. They consumed their courses with fingers coated in delicate tastes. He had
fed her while she giggled; cabbage leaves dressed in crystal droplets of water
filled with cashew nuts and aubergines. Thai.
Neil had won the battle over the beverage, ordering an expensive bottle of Krug with which he toasted her. They spoke in prose and poetry. He saw the hollow of her collarbone and the sultry curve of her wrists and the dark depths of her limpid eyes. Her voice was like wind chimes, soft and calming. It carried its own music and he felt as though he could fall into that sound and float there. Her hands were bird-like. They fluttered around the periphery of their conversation like jays. Her stockinged foot stole like an unspoken promise up the folds of his trouser leg and along the hard ridge of his shin sending shivers of excitement down his spine. Their eyes spoke a silent semaphore that was their best kept secret as it invoked the memory of Aphrodite and Juliet and Nin, a message of dark sex and animal lust that was known only by them and unuttered by any.
Desert was strawberries which he said were an aphrodisiac if eaten with a glass of champagne. Again he fed her as she fed him. Each succulent mouthful was foreplay by taste and sensation. They ate till they were full and wanted nothing but each other.
They walked arm in arm back to the sanctuary of their hotel room, laughing whilst they recalled their day and the sights they had seen, moments relayed in instamatic recollection. He had bought her French cigarettes which made her think of David Vanderputte. She dismissed the memory so to concentrate on the now. She smoked one with cool indifference blowing smoke rings into the midnight blue sky before throwing the butt away with a flick of her slender wrist.
They stood beneath the sodium glare of the street light then kissed a slow, lip-biting, tongue-teasing kiss that wrapped them both in a warm flush leaving them eager for more. His mouth pressed hungrily to hers as he lifted her slightly so that her feet were held up on tip toes. Her ankles were the sharp architecture that curved her thighs into succulent readiness which in turn led to her wanton heart. They released each other and she slipped down from her angel’s perch then felt the cracked pavement offer its cold reality.
The doorman offered a cursory glance as they glided past him into the hotel foyer. The lift doors sighed open as they entered its warm seclusion then embraced again whilst the lift hummed its effortless way up to the next floor. They entered their room with hearts racing. The room was dimly lit but there was no romance in its sullen tones just the usual corporate chic that spoke less of lust and more of corpulent luxury. She unpeeled his clothing and her passion was evident, her mouth a rush of bites and nibbles with potent kisses. He took hold of her elegant fingers then stopped her by placing his forefinger to her lips in a sign for patience. Then he stepped out of his clothes.
“A bath,” he said, “I am going to run you a bath. Then I am going to wash and bathe you, then I will groom and pander you. And when I have finished I will carry you into the bedroom where I will make slow, passionate love to you.”
She smiled as she took hold of his hand then walked with him to the bathroom where she undressed as he watched her. He saw her as she removed her slide, letting her hair fall dark brunette onto her shoulders in the way night falls onto snow peaked hills. Then she removed her blouse then her bra. Her breasts, round and supple swayed gently in front of him as though God had caused a soft wind to make them quiver in pendulous movement.
Her hands flowed down her belly as though they were mercury. Her skirt fell to the floor followed by her panties. She stood in front of him like Venus before Da Vinci.
“Perfect,” he thought
He ran the bath, pouring perfumed oils into the steaming froth as he stirred the waters with his right hand while with his left he offered her entrance to the tub. She took his hand then dipped her toes in to test the heat. Unable to control himself he pressed against her as his erection grew firmer. She felt it throb against her belly. She lowered herself into the warm waters then he began to wash her. He washed her feet, her ankles and her thighs, he soaped her chest running a flannel over her breasts and down the camber of her belly. And when he was finished, he lifted her out of the bath wrapping her in the large white hotel towel that engulfed her petite frame within its snowy sanctuary making her feel cocooned and snug.
Using the towel he patted it against her skin until she was dry, then when he had finished he fetched cotton wool along with nail varnish remover. He cleaned the varnish away with precise and delicate touches. When both feet and all her toes were free of varnish he rinsed them with the warm water.
He carried her to the bed and laid her down upon its pliant surface. He stood before her, naked, smiling. She knew she wanted him then..
"The Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry" © are copyright protected and are the creation of Russell CJ Duffy copyright ©. 2004 - 2014