by Neale Sourna
Coober Pedy, South Australia; 1920
Nude, sun- and wind-kissed skin impregnated by improper, desirous thoughts and naked feeling. That’s what I was having, wasn’t I? But, love of spirit was good, and love of heart was good, so shouldn’t the open love of the body, especially the naked body of a man, who belonged to me, be as well?
“What’s wrong, Maddy love?” Even his voice warms me.
“Nothing. Just stupid fluff in my brain,” I said, without enough breath in me.
“Ah, congestion of the mind, eh?” He smiled too sweetly, looking terribly smug about something.
“Well, let me help. What’s the culprit obscuring your fine, clear thoughts, girl?” I can’t lie, not to an honest face like that, with eyes…. But, I couldn’t really just say, “You,” could I?
Pete tilted his head, silently encouraging me to proceed. I tried to swallow what felt like a dry, spiky rock. The “culprit,” the object of my open desir—. Can a man be an object of desire; women are, but men…? I digressed, to divert.
“This p-pool’s lovely, I didn’t think there was enough water for such a thing anywhere in this country.”
Considering all the rugged stone and dessert-edged sands we’d crossed to get here, it wasn’t hard to believe. He looked at me, silently, his thoughts his own, as I gazed off, as we stood exposed in this bush-filled area, away from the utter barrenness of our opal mine and stone home.
We were prospering, with the new find; enough that he’d said it was time to have a proper honeymoon trip. He’d asked if I wanted to go to the luxury of the city, but I didn’t want to overdo it and be overwhelmed by the many “things” there that we still cannot as yet, or may not ever have for our home in the barren outback, if the vein dries up.
But, I was overwhelmed now, anyway.
“Take me to wherever it’s a pleasure to you.”
And Pete’d brought me here, to a place more fertile, as we’d crossed journey paths with roving families of Aborigines, even those cautious ones, who’d normally avoid the company of we outsiders, but who love my Pete. Like attracts like, honest and gentle attracts same.
“Didn’t mean to startle yah, but you’ve been avoiding looking at me and you’re covering your beautiful body.” My “beautiful body”; has the man never looked at his own? “You love my body, Maddy.”
“Well, Madelyn, we’ve been together, really together, a year now, and we’d written to each other for quite a while before that, so I know your mind well. You’re the one that came naked into my bath and bed, when I was afraid to come to yah; and it’s been a fine, lovely year together since, but now…. What’s wrong, my sweet Maddy?”
It was horrendous. I’ve never had a shortness of words, or boldness, or I’d never have moved an entire world away from my family home, following my heart, drawn by a like heart that wrote letters that made me cry. And here we stood exposed and naked, thigh deep in the shallow end of what must be the only perfect, natural pool in all the outback, with my gaze constantly darting out and around us.
“You’ve never been naked outside before, have yah, Maddy?” I shook my head “no.” “Well, of course she’s not, you silly blighter, Pete, you married yourself a fine lady, and fine, proper ladies, no matter how bold they may be in a corset, don’t go skinny dippin’ in the wild open, do they?
“And I bring yah out here, and undress yah myself, under God’s own sky, before the entire world large and open around us. The wind….” And he blew his warm breath on my skin.
“Ah.” My god! Wonderful.
“Wait, Maddy dear, I didn’t do that properly.” He “didn’t do” it “properly”?
And he poured a trickling handful of water down my shoulder and back, then gently stroked down my arm, as he walked around me, as I stood frozen, covering myself and hoping no arriving sheep station shepherd on horseback didn’t shout, “Hullo!”
Or a prime minister, and his stern wife! That would be—!
I shamelessly sighed, as Pete blew along the wet area he’d just anointed me; the touch of his breath cooling me to goose bumps down my back, a reciprocal and can’t be ignored answer deep in the most woman flesh of me. He stepped even closer, so that I felt his warmth and manliness against my, ah, backside, his strong arms gently around me, as he often did when we were clothed, or at least well hidden in our stone home bedroom.
His breath warmed my ear and kindled a fire within me.
“It’s all right, Maddy love. I fancy this place and one day we’ll live here, all the time, and bathe here all the time, together. My letters were about private things, for you only to see, but my love for you, my Maddy dear, I want the whole world to see; that Aphrodite herself has come to Pete.”
And he let me go, to kneel before me, and to warmly kiss me … there, and THERE, and his gentle warmth became a fire in me, and I flung my arms wide to the sky, as he consumed me.
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