Sunday, July 24, 2016

"The Seven Seductions" (Chapter 14) by TAS

The Seven Seductions
Chapter 14

“Where’s the fire, honey?” Bonnie sat naked on the bed. Her long, steel-gray hair flowed loose and free around her waist, a veil to disguise the rougher edges of her aging body—the sagging flesh, the wrinkles and stretch marks, the ungainly bird-like disproportion of legs and belly. “What’sa matter?”
“Please let go,” Gretchen said. The old woman’s grip was hard and cruel.
“What’s got you all spooked?”
“Let go.” The girl’s voice wavered on the brink of a sob.
“Somethin’ bad go down in there?” Bonnie tossed her head towards the girls’ room. “It was that dumbass Leif weren’t it?”
“I ... I saw him with Maddy ... He wanted me to see what they were doing together ... He wanted me to see...
“Figures,” Bonnie snorted. “Ass-wipe was only supposed to soften her up some, get her nice and loose ‘fore Tyge and Piggy started workin’ her over. Hell, probably blew his whole stinkin’ wad up ‘er snatch. Talk about sending a boy to do a man’s business. If there’s one thing them boys hate, it’s sloppy seconds—‘specially when they’s tryin’ to collect on a debt.”
Gretchen had only the vaguest idea of what the old woman was talking about.
“I think he was in the bed with me—Leif was—for a while ... before he and Maddy did ... it ... before I saw them together and ... Oh dear God, I am so stupid. I am such a fool—”
“Oh, come on, hon, can’t be as messed-up as that. Why don’t you sit down here and tell your Aunt Bonnie all about it?”
“No, no, I couldn’t, I—”
“Sure you could, sugar.” The old woman pulled Gretchen down to the bed just as the floodgates opened. She drew the weeping girl to her naked bosom, gently petting her head, soothing her the way someone might try to calm a lamb on its way to slaughter.
“It ain’t fair, is it?” Bonnie fished a handkerchief from the bedclothes to dab at Gretchen’s cheeks. “The way your so-called friend uses you like that, just so she can have her fun. Hell! She was probably fixin’ to let that retard have his way with you all along.”
“Uhhhh...” The handkerchief had a foul odor about it, but Gretchen was too polite to criticize a well-meaning gesture.
“‘Cept that redheaded slag ain’t really your friend is she? Just another selfish bitch don’t care ‘bout nobody but herself. Bet the only reason she brung you along was so’s she could have a story to tell the folks, and here you was prob’ly hopin’ to have some fun o’ your own—”
Gretchen choked back a bitter sound. “I thought ... that maybe ... Tommy would—”
“He is one fine hunk of beef, ain’t he? I could even get me an idea or two lookin’ at that sweet young slab o’ ass. Such a waste.”
“It was his eyes—so beautiful! I was sure he—”
“Aw hell, hon, didn’t nobody tell ya?” Bonnie oozed sympathy. “Tommy-boy don’t swing that way.”
“What are you—?”
“Let’s just say I wouldn’t go carrying no torches for him if I was you—‘less you can lose them tities and figure our how to grow yourself a big fat ol’ dick.”
“But the way he looked at me—the way he made me feel—”
“He was messing with your head, hon, that’s all.”
“—the things ...” Gretchen sniffed, “the things he made me think about doing ...
“Listen, little girl,” Bonnie daubed the handkerchief under Gretchen’s nose. “Maybe you could still do some of them things.”
“I mean, if you was really, say like ... open-minded—”
Bonnie’s voice seemed to recede into the distance, taking on an echo in Gretchen’s head like half-familiar sounds heard from the far end of a long narrow hall.
“Open ... minded?
“—maybe you and Pig—”
“Oh ... my dear God!
“—or even Tyge, if you was feelin’ real brave—”
The suggestion had to be another sick joke. Gretchen crossed herself reflexively. “In the name of the Father and of the—”
“Hey now, none of that.” Bonnie snatched the girl’s hand out of the air, denying Son and Holy Spirit their due. “Thing ‘bout them boys? They know how to treat a girl special.
“How could you even—”
“And they’re gonna like you, cherry.” Bonnie tugged at the neckline of Gretchen’s chemise, starring into her cleavage. “Oh yeah. They’s gonna like you a whole lot.”
“No, please, I could never—”
“And you’ll like them, too, sweet thing. Oh yeah, I guaran-gol-durn-tee.” She let the elastic snap back into place.
“This is so wrong—”
“—‘specially once you see what they got for you.”
 “I can’t ... I…” Gretchen tried to wriggle out of Bonnie’s grasp. “Please, let me go—”
“Hold still now, cherry-pie.” Bonnie jammed the handkerchief into Gretchen’s face, forcing her to breathe in. The stale stench was nearly unbearable, like cat urine, it seemed to sting her skin, and bring new tears to her eyes. “No sense fightin’ it, ‘cause one way or another this is gonna happen, see?”
“My God—I feel so—”
“Whichever of ‘em shows up first ...”
“—so ... so—”
“Don’t matter which one. Couple more minutes, you’ll be beggin’ for it from both of ‘em.”
“—funny ... so—”
“And I’m gonna be right here watchin’ you beg—”
“What’s happening to me?”
“—lovin’ every minute. Nothin’ much, hon. Just that tea I made for you kickin’ in on top of a little nose candy. The Mayweed’s got you all nice ‘n’ relaxed, and enough of that All-Heal’d make just about anybody hornier than a hot tamale. Bet your clitty’s hard as a rock right about now—am I right?”
“Oh no ... please—
“Hush now, cherry-girl, it’s almost time. Why don’t you take off that nightie and lay back here with me, show off them pretty tities for the boys when they get here? Believe you me; it’ll be a lot more fun if you relax—‘specially if it’s Tyge gets to you first. Swear that boy’s gotta be part bull-whale with that thing of his. It can hurt something terrible if you ain’t ready for it. Even then, best he can usually do is fit the tip in just a little ways.”
“Please,” Gretchen drawled.
“That’s why Lief was softening up your friend, getting’ her good and slick for Tyge. Little fucker owes him and Pig a bundle. Said he’d pay up this weekend. Threw the redhead in as part of the deal.
“Please ...”
“Then ol’ Piggy-boy had hisself a good look at you. Got a whiff of that sweet cherry pie. Decided he’d like to renegotiate the deal some.”
“Please, you’re hurting me ...”
“Let Tyge have the little redhead all to himself—”
“No ...”
 “—long’s he gets the first poke at you.”
“Dear God ...”
“But Pig don’t mind sharin’ after he’s had his fun. Tell you something: that boy can ball like nobody’s business.  Ugly as sin, but. there ain’t nothin’ like watching him go to town on some sweet young thing—”
“Let me go.” The girl’s words were oddly modulated, dragged out insouciantly like a voice on a tape machine, slowed down a dozen times or more.
“Never seen nobody who could get a gal to change her mind so fast. Don’t matter how hard they try and fight it at first. Don’t matter how much they beg him to stop. Most times, me ‘n’ Tyge only have to hold ‘em down for a couple minutes at the start. But somehow Pig always gets ‘em around to sayin’ yes. Never has to say a word hisself. Half hour and he’s got ‘em eatin’ out of his hand like baby deer at a kiddies’ pettin’ zoo. That’s one show I never get tired of watching.”
“Can I ... go ... please?”
“Well, if that’s what you want,” Bonnie said. “Ain’t gonna make no difference one way or the other now—just so’s ya know.”
It took a long moment for Gretchen to realize that the old woman’s hand was no longer there. She stood up slowly in an attempt to avoid the dizziness that had nearly doomed her in the bedroom, though in the end the precaution did her no good. She stood stock still, utterly unable to move as every molecule in the air went whizzing past like distant stars leaving long time-lapsed trails. What had the old woman given her? The floor had vanished and Gretchen was falling through a dark void, throwing out her hands as she grasped for purchase. How can this be happening? Something like an electric shock surged through her body, her fall awkwardly broken as she slumped into the arms of a huge, faceless man.
He was naked, an immovable wall of hard muscle and heathen body art. Gretchen stared up at him uncomprehendingly. In her muddled state she imagined that he must be at least eight or nine feet tall, an unassuming giant, pensively shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He stroked her hair, twining the dark, straight strands around his fingers until they unwound of their own accord and fell to her shoulders, the tousled ends curling up on themselves in a silken tangle.
The man did not reply, only drew his hand over her face, ostensibly to brush a stray hair from her cheek. And then his hand was at the neck of her chemise, opening it wide, stretching the elastic to its limits. He traced the curve of her bare shoulders down to where the neckline had settled just above her bosom. Her breasts, so heavy and so very firm, heaved unsteadily inside her gown as he squeezed her nipples through the soft material, coaxing them to stiff attention.
The feeling she’d had earlier in the bedroom returned with a delicious vengeance. In the stillness, she could hear the blood pulsing up through her neck, the insistent pounding in her head like a series of muffled explosions as the stranger took her hand and drew it to his penis.
And suddenly Gretchen had forgotten how to breathe. She was vividly aware of his excitement taking fleshly form as the organ sprang to rigid life between her trembling fingers. There was a thrill in the way he touched her—the way he was uncovering the things she had always worked so hard to keep hidden, so boldly claiming what no man had ever been allowed even to imagine. She would go insane if he didn’t stop—or cease to exist if he took his hands away even for a second.
In no hurry, the stranger admired her without shame or apology. He traced the provocative arc of her shoulder blades, the sweet spot at the base of her neck, the fluid nexus of shoulders and bosom, the charming, subtle asymmetry of her ample, bell-shaped breasts. A sharp tug at the neckline exposed one of them to the air like a blushing orchid, elegantly buoyed up by the tautly ruffled elastic.
Gretchen caught her breath again as the man pressed at the naked areola, his fingers coarse and clumsy against her pristine flesh. He flattened his palm, the disfigured hand spread out to eclipse the full circumference of her breast, squeezing—almost playfully—as if to test its firmness.
She was still holding on to him down below. A tiny drop of moisture migrated sluggishly across the heel of her palm. Gretchen knew what this meant, even without understanding how or why she knew it. A long-untapped vein of intuition had opened up deep within. Primal memories had awakened. Imaginings as old as life itself had begun to stir.
He tugged at her gown again, less gently now, more impatient.
“Please,” she begged. “Please don’t tear it!”
“Go ahead,” Bonnie sneered. “Rip it off her. Strip her bare-assed. Don’t be shy.”
“Please, no, don’t.” Gretchen pleaded. “Please ... Pig?
“I wanna see,” Bonnie rasped. “C’mon, boy. Tear that sucker right down the front.”
The man—whoever he was—paused for a moment, as if to consider.
“Lucky,” Bonnie said. “Tyge’d’da had you bare-assed by now, tore it right off ya, popped your cherry and had you all lined up for seconds. He’s what I call a real man—”
“Oh ... God!
“Piggy-boy here’s kinda slow. Takes a while figurin’ stuff out even on a good day. Likes to get to know the gals he’s gonna bunk up with. Guess he’ll be takin’ his time with you—”
“Let you decide how you want it. Slow and easy ... or the other way. The hard, messy way. Whichever, don’t make no difference to him.”
“Me? I’d kinda like to watch you try and fight it a little. Be fun to see you get broke—”
“Help me.”
“Broke like a twig an’ fucked like a whore.”
“Help me, Pig—”
“Stop whinin’,” Bonnie snapped. “You take that damn dress off or I’ll start whistlin’ for Tyge. Hear me, girl?”
“I’ll do it,” Gretcehen cried, “I’ll ... take it off. Only, don’t ...  just ... don’t ... ”
She raised her arms mechanically, allowing the giant to pull the chemise up and off above her head. He tossed the gown away before spinning her around, his penis pressed into the small of her back as he ran his fingers along the elegant hourglass of her torso, down to her thighs, playing with her there until her body trembled with ecstatic anticipation and dread, springing into wakeful expectation like a flower in the morning sun, gradually opening up, unfolding, becoming wet.
Without warning, he took her hand in his and guided it to her mound.
“Play with yourself,” Bonnie said. “Let him see.”
“Shut up!” the old woman barked. “If you’s smart you’ll get yourself good and slick. Meantime, get down on them knees and open wide like you’s fixin’ to meet your God.” 
“No!” Gretchen broke away at last, propelled by a sudden burst of will. “I have to ... I have to go—” She made a sozzled beeline for the bathroom as the old woman’s threats sliced the air behind her.  
“Ain’t no place to run to, cherry-girl! Even if Piggy and Tyge have to break down that door. Even if I gotta drag you back here by the hair, kickin’ and bawlin’ like a baby calf. It’s gonna happen no matter what. You hear me?”

There was no latch on the bathroom door. Panting, out of breath, Gretchen slumped against it, suddenly, acutely aware of her vulnerability. She tried, however ineffectually, to cover her shame with clammy, trembling hands, like Eve in the Garden, realizing for the first time that she was naked. Something was happening to her, a thing she had never experienced before, a thing for which she had no words. There was something going on in that place—down there—a sensation, persistent, undeniable, sweet—the hot spring of her arousal overflowing, her womanly wetness pouring forth, glinting dully between her thighs. A shiver of excitement and horror rose and fell within her belly like a flock of startled birds.
It was wrong. So very wrong. She should not be feeling this way ... should not be, and yet ...
Gretchen moved to the sink, anxious to cleanse herself. But in the mirror—who is that?—a creature stared back at her through the myopic fog, unrecognizable, disheveled, frightened, hungry. Was this a vision of her future? Part of the fate The Nameless One had predicted for her? A wave of revulsion and guilt swept over her. Will I burn in Hell for what I was thinking? What I was feeling when—  The girl fell to her knees, genuflecting clumsily before the toilet. A sour eruption burst from her throat, the last slimy, green dregs of her tea. There was nothing more to bring up. A paltry thread of saliva dribbled indecisively from her lips. She gathered it up on her tongue and spat into the bowl as if to curse herself for being so weak, so stupid, so predictable, so utterly—human.
Was she truly damned? Surely not. What had she done, really? Oh, she may have been inspired to think a few venial, vaguely impure thoughts, but in terms of her actions? She’d done nothing wrong. Certainly nothing approaching the seriousness of a mortal sin. Nothing—so far—for which she could not easily be forgiven.
What had happened to her had simply happened, her own actions unplanned, unpremeditated, and where was the sin in that? Yet, the feeling—the thrill—she’d had when she let Pig take off her nightie, when Bonnie had uncovered her so brazenly, when Lief had made it clear what was on his mind after he—if it had been him—had done those things to her in the bed, or when he and Pig had touched that secret woman’s place between her legs, and set her body on fire. Sweet Jesus! (Gretchen remembered the pictures of the Sacred Heart, perpetually ablaze.) How could something so wrong feel so amazingly, incredibly good? It wasn’t the notion of Hell that terrified Gretchen anymore. It was the realization that she would gladly risk being damned if only to be caught up in those feelings again.
And in that moment, for the very first time in her life, Gretchen Ausslander understood that she had been given a choice—or, at least, an opportunity—one that was hers and hers alone. It was as if the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon her to lick her naked flesh with euphoric tongues of fire. Her soul burst forth like a super nova of joy, expanding out in all directions, even to infinity. Gretchen stood up, closed her eyes against the blazing radiance, and made a wish.
But she was not alone.
Pig was standing behind her. Gretchen opened her eyes to see his hulking torso, almost completely covered in tattoos, filling the bathroom mirror, though, as yet, she could not see his face. She sensed that he was peering down at her from above, looking over her shoulder, admiring her body in the dim light.
She was not afraid of him, though even a few minutes earlier she might have been scandalized by this blatant intrusion upon her privacy—she had been scandalized and terrified her whole life, it seemed. Yet now, her superficial fears were gone, vaporized in the flash of her epiphany.
“Are you ... are you him?”
There was no reply.
“Please ...” She turned to face him. “Please, I—”
“Shhhh.” Pig touched a finger to her lips. There was no need to explain.
“No, please,” she stammered. “I need to know if it’s true. I need you to understand. It’s just that ... I’ve never done anything like this before—no one’s ever shown me how—and   ... and ...”
He nodded.
“... it’s not that I’m scared of ... it.” She felt his hand cradling the side of her face. Somehow the very simplicity of the gesture seemed to reassure her, and help to steady her thoughts. “But I am deathly afraid of getting caught—of what will happen to me if people find out. I’m afraid of what I might turn into if I let this go any further. If I don’t stop myself right this minute I’m not sure I could ever stop. I think I might even go crazy. I’m afraid I might end up losing my ... my ...”
Pig tilted his head questioningly.
She sighed, swallowing the word that still terrified her. “Do you understand what I’m trying to say? I feel like I’m being torn apart inside. I’ve never had to make a choice before. Everyone’s always decided for me and the answer’s always been no. And now you want me to say yes, and I want to say yes, but I’m not sure I even know how to say yes. Right now all I know is what you made me feel when you touched me; it was the most perfect feeling I’ve ever had, and I want ... I want to feel that way again.”
She had surprised herself with this realization. Looking up into that ravaged, blade-scarred face, Gretchen might have been a girl in the throes of her first breathless crush, exuding innocence and longing, wide-eyed worship, the burning impatience of unfulfilled desire. Standing on tip-toe, she threw her arms around his neck, draping herself across his front, her firm breasts crushed aganst his belly. “Please,” she whispered, “show me what to do? Help me say yes?”
Pig stared past her face to the silver crucifix that hung between her breasts. The sight of it seemed to stir his arousal: the holy cross Gretchen had always worn for protection had now become a heathen aphrodisiac, the sacred symbol of her innocence transmogrified into a talisman of carnal delight. He dangled it in his palm like a toy, so fragile and cold against the adamant warmth of her cleavage. He drew it up to his lips and made a spitting noise across the corpus before touching it to her swollen nipples, one by one, as if to annoint her for a sacrifice.
She looked at him more closely. There was a gentleness in Pig’s large brown eyes that Gretchen had not expected; beneath that terrible mask of scars, a face that might even once have been handsome.
 “Please,” she begged him again, “I’ll do anything you want ... anything. Only, don’t let Bonnie ...”
He nodded.
“ ... or that other guy, your friend, Tyge ...”
Pig frowned and shook his head.
“Only you,” Gretchen pleaded. “Nobody else but you.”
Her eyes were drawn once again to the tattoos on his massive chest. something like a small mural depicting episodes from the god Odin’s quest for wisdom, revolving around an elaboratly graphic rendering of the All-Father hanged on Yggdrasil, the World Tree, impaled with his own bloody spear—like Jesus on the cross, she thought—a great eagle perched above his head. The smaller pictures, orbiting satellites, portrayed Odin plucking out his eye to gain Foreknowledge, his labors as a farmhand, and his seduction of the maiden Gunnlöo to obtain the Mead of Poetry.
She was intrigued by this last vignette, which seemed to mirror her own desire: Gunnlöo, the beautiful girl writhing naked under Odin, impaled on the god’s enormous member. Gretchen reached out and touched the image, running her fingers curiously over the ink. Pig’s tattooed skin was like soft leather, completely unlike anything she had expected, and Gretchen sighed her ascent: “I’ll be her for you now... if you want me.”
He did. Without warning, the silent man spun her around so that her back was to him again. He held her close, involving her in the sweltering aura of his power, wordlessly conveying his excitement, his hunger and his need. The flesh was weak, and Gretchen gave herself over to the flow of the inevitable as the last of her failing will to resist evaporated into a long, husky sigh of surrender.
He bent her over in front of him. A low growl rumbled from deep within his throat, a ravenous, primal sound such as a wild animal might make over a fresh kill. He entered her slowly, though it took a moment for the sensation to register in Gretchen’s mind, the tip of his penis, tenuously engaged in the sharp crevice of her lips, grew into her like a massive tree root slowly pushing through wet soil, and, after this, the feeling, utterly new, of encircling and of being filled, and the sudden, dizzying realization that she was no longer a virgin.
Pig paused for a moment, as if allowing her a moment to consider this new state of being. She was panting now, the soft catch at the back of her throat betraying her excitement, her mouth half open in a sensuous oval, her inquisitive sighs quickly modulating into throaty gasps of comprehension and a languid murmur of acceptance, and, when he began to move in her, something that might have been music, a breathless expression of greater, ever more pleasant surprise.
He reached under to cup her breasts, her large sharp nipples jouncing painfully against his palms. She was aware of his thickness, his hardness—if it was even possible—increasing deep inside her. His movements, too, seemed more urgent, insistent, communicating the yawning depth of his want, his determination to claim her only for himself, to possess the all of her. Gretchen pushed herself back towards him, impatient to meet each new thrust, grinding hard in silent ascent.
He grabbed her arms, bore down and drove forward until her head was suspended unnervingly near the tiled floor. The blood that rushed to her brain amplified the wanton roar of her pulse. She felt an urge to cry out—to scream—but she was drowning, voiceless, caught in an undertow of ecstasy. A violent tremor rocked her core, its aftershocks careening up her spine, illuminating every nerve, every fractal branch and microscopic tributary along the way with blinding light.
Could this be Heaven, she wondered, the simple act of letting go, of moving beyond fear or shame, or even of caring?
As if across the cosmic gulf of space and time itself, she heard his reply, a shuddering groan of release.
Moments later, their bodies aglow, flushed with exertion, sodden with sweat, he took her again—or, rather, Gretchen gave herself to him once more. Pig carried her back to the four season room, so delicate and precious a thing, so tiny and warm against his broad-muscled chest. She lay on her back, limbs splayed wide, wanting him to see her—all of her—and know without her having to say another word that she was ready—that she was his and his alone.
He toyed with her at first; dragged his penis back and forth across her inner thigh to plow the coarse tangles of her mound. Gretchen whimpered softly as she begged him for release, almost beside herself with lust. But the big, silent man would take his time, and Gretchen, propped up expectantly upon her elbows, could only watch him work. His cock seemed unbelievably heavy to her, a balky iron club wrapped in velvet, as thick as her own upper arm, hard, yet not wholly rigid, its movements imprecise, unwieldy, clumsy in a childish sort of way, still uncannily aware of its own terrible power. The girl wanted only to feel it inside her again.
In the neighboring bed, Bonnie and Tyge were having at it with noisy abandon, slopping, slurping, grunting, snarling,  roaring and squealing, rutting like the animals they surely were.
But Gretchen was no longer afraid.
Pig was patient with her—a gentle giant—and Gretchen, too, had been gentled by his steady, silent ways, just as the old woman had predicted, like a fawn eating from the hunter’s hand. They moved together gracefully in spite of their physical disparity, taking their time. Their bodies resonated in near perfect harmony, a silent hymn of praise to Odin and Gunnlöo as they delved deep within each other for the Mead of Poetry, and found it again and again and again...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"The Seven Seductions" (Chapter 13) by TAS

The Seven Seductions

Chapter 13

Tommy Connell had the most beautiful eyes Gretchen had ever seen. Even after ten years she could still remember the way those smoldering blue orbs had set her world on fire as Tommy turned his gaze upon her, “checking her out” from head to toe. She’d melted on the spot,  consumed from within—gut, heart, and will—hollowed out, bereft of peace, utterly without rest.  She would have done practically anything to make him look at her that way again.
It was during the Easter recess of her third year at the convent school, some months after the incident in the library. Gretchen was half-way between 18 and 19, older than most of the other girls by a year or two. Maddy Connell, her unlikely new best friend, had invited her to spend the week with family in Waukesha, and Gretchen had been more than happy to accept. Anything would be better than the stifling purgatory of St. Adalgar.
Maddy was spoiled, privileged, and gorgeous, a lanky redhead with a perfect peaches and cream complexion who always seemed taller for having her nose in the air. Her small sensuous mouth jutted out in a permanent pout, giving her a kind of clueless bovine expression. Not that anybody would ever mention it. Princess Maddy was used to getting whatever she wanted regardless of consequence. Tommy was her older brother, a junior in the pre-law program at Marquette, handsome, easy-going, preternaturally charming, completely unlike any boy Gretchen had ever met in her short, sheltered life.
They were spending the weekend sans parental supervision at the Connell’s cabin on a small island just off the western shore of Lake Michigan—connected to the mainland by a narrow, surf-battered causeway, barely two lanes wide. Tommy and his friend Eric had driven up from Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon to join everybody else who’d arrived that morning; Maddy and Leif, the ‘highly inappropriate’ badass-wannabe boyfriend she was technically forbidden ever to see on the grounds that he was a skinhead, a meth dealer, and—worst of all—an aspiring hate-metal bassist. Leif’s creepy best friend Tyge had shown up uninvited along with Bonnie, Tyge’s foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, fiftysomething friend with benefits, and his big, scary-looking, perpetually silent former cellmate, Pig.
And then there was Gretchen, the poor, innocent country cousin and invisible fifth wheel—Maddy’s naively perfect, walking, talking plausible deniability.
Oh yes, Gretchen knew exactly why she’d been invited. She was the proverbial useful idiot, the scrupulously devout best friend Maddy had invented to lull the adults into a false sense of security about that weekend. Who needed chaperoning when there’d be a future nun hanging around like a good angel on her shoulder to shoo away all impure thoughts and steer her clear of those pesky occasions to sin? What untoward thing could possibly occur?
Still, it wasn’t all bad from Gretchen’s point of view. There were walks to take in the woods with impressive lakeshore vistas to enjoy, forbidden movies and music videos to watch, junk food to binge on, stacks of old romance novels and comic books to read, cards and video games to play, not to mention the opportunity to observe many new and interesting aspects of the human condition at close range. Plausible deniability or not, Gretchen had been more than content to play odd-girl out as she sat quietly off in a corner by herself, pretending not to notice as the others horsed around on the sofas in the four season room.
She’d watched, fascinated, as, at Bonnie’s urging, Pig had taken off his shirt  in order to show them all his tattoos, a veritable Sistine Chapel of Norse mythology. Maddy thought it was gross and said so. Gretchen said nothing, though she had barely been able to contain her excitement at the sight, the intricate rendering of Mjöllnir—Thor’s hammer—on Pig’s upper left arm, or the depiction on the other of the thunder god himself, expertly copied in miniature from Rackham’s Illustrations for Wagner’s Ring, the very book that had gotten Gretchen into trouble in the library. She could not pull her eyes away from the image of the great bird of prey that spread its wings across the big man’s back, Odin in the guise of an eagle, eating the heart from the corpse of an enemy warrior in gory photo-realistic detail, or the axe-wielding Viking, looming over the voluptuous naked woman who cowered in the small of Pig’s back.
Gretchen had never seen real tattoos before. She could have studied Pig’s for hours, exactly the way she’d devoured the Rackham pictures—and for the same reason. They were beautiful, a guilty pleasure made all the more exciting by their frank, unapologetic sensuality—images of divine seduction and rape. Gretchen was enthralled by the concept of a god other than her own walking among humanity—having sex with them no less—even being crucified and coming back to life again.
Leif assumed the role of docent, identifying each picture, telling its story, and explaining its significance in the Ásatrú faith. Pig did not speak at all, only grunted or rolled his eyes occasionally, usually to register annoyance with something Bonnie said, some careless comment having nothing to do with what Lief was talking about. Gretchen wondered if Pig had taken a vow of silence in prison—and if so, why? Or could his silence simply be a way of staying out of trouble, a form of passive defense against a cruel and unforgiving world?
Gretchen had wondered, but then Tommy had turned up, and she had forgotten the question. His arrival changed everything. “Those eyes” changed everything. No longer content merely to observe, Gretchen was suddenly restive, hungry for food she could not name, overwhelmed by emptiness she did not know how to fill. There was a word for this, a forbidden word that no goody-two-shoed scholarship girl would ever be caught dead thinking, let alone saying out loud. Gretchen knew the word nonetheless—she’d seen it in Dawn’s dirty magazines—it started with an ‘h’...
Her cheeks burned as the word came back, unbidden. Admitting that it was the right one to describe her emotion hardly made it go away. Yet, once acknowledged, the feeling seemed to take on a life of its own, expanding to fill her consciousness, crowding out all other thoughts until surrender seemed her only option.
She was—Oh, dear God, help me!—horny as hell.
And Tommy seemed neither to notice or care. Gretchen was devastated. After the way he’d stared at her so brazenly, she could not understand why now he would not give her so much as a thought. Was there something wrong with her? She’d been raised not to think of herself in terms of attractiveness or desirability, but was she really so easy to forget? Tommy seemed more interested in swapping dirty jokes with Bonnie, or smoking pot with Maddy and Leif, or watching TV with Eric. He’d barely acknowledged her presence that evening when she sat down next to him, doing whatever she could think of to be obvious—which was hardly a great deal given her lack of experience. Bashful, awkward, almost comically diffident for all the stars in her eyes, the naïve young girl could think of nothing to say.
Finally, she stood and quietly excused herself for the night. Bonnie followed her into the kitchen, offering to make her a cup of tea before bedtime. The combination of Mayweed and All-heal would help her relax, the older woman explained, even if sleep itself would be a tall order. In the girls’ bedroom, Gretchen got into her nightgown, the long-sleeved Celtic chemise Aunt Rose had given her for Christmas her first year at the convent school. It was something she could wear practically all year round, simple pouf sleeves with elastic at the wrists, and draw strings for the wide ruffled neck, which could be adjusted high and tight for warmth or modesty in winter, or low, loose and open—nearly falling off the shoulders—for comfort on hot summer nights. It was a cozy, familiar garment—a roomy linen tent—but it also made her feel pretty, like a real honest to goodness girly girl, precisely the sort of affirmation she so sorely needed at that moment.
Technically, the kids were on an honor system. Gretchen and Maddy were supposed to share one room at the cabin, Tommy and Eric the other. Leif, Tyge, Pig and Bonnie weren’t supposed to be there at all. After half a lifetime of being locked in her room at night like an inmate in an asylum, Gretchen marveled that any parent could ever be as trusting or naive as the Connells seemed to be. Back home in St. Adalgar an arrangement like this would constitute child neglect.
Other people’s houses, other people’s rules, she thought as she slipped into bed. Make the best of the situation, treat it like an adventure. Anyway, nobody wants to hang out with a prude or a stick in the mud. She sipped her tea and found the place she’d marked in one of the racier romance novels. This one was a classic bodice-ripper set in the 18th century with a beautiful young noblewoman held against her will and a dangerously handsome highwayman hell-bent on rescuing her from the lustful clutches of her goatish old ward. Gretchen had already cast herself as the heroine in her imagination earlier that afternoon, and now, of course, Tommy would play the hero, riding in to sweep her off her feet, if only in her dreams...

Gretchen opened her eyes, confused. Someone had switched off the reading lamp beside the bed. Apparently, she’d fallen asleep after the big sex scene in chapter 12, and now something strange was happening, though exactly what it was remained beyond her muddled ken. She lay for a while in that perplexing underwater zone somewhere between unfathomed reverie and the shallows of wakefulness where everything is so vivid and “present” that one often cannot make the distinction in memory—did this actually happen to me, or was it just a dream? Had she awakened from one dream only to find herself in another?
Something felt good—almost unbelievably so—hard and cool like smooth metal pressed ever so gently against her clitoris. And there was more; the distinct impression of hot moist air flowing over her sex, as if someone were breathing on her down there. A pleasant, oddly ticklish heat radiated from her core, a narcotic weakness that spread out through her limbs till Gretchen felt as if she were floating somewhere far above the clouds, buoyed up on a cushion of delicious anticipation. It surely had to be a dream still—or so she tried to argue with herself—for nothing in the waking world had ever felt so wonderful. And what if it was only a dream? Gretchen told herself that this was hardly the time to wake up.
Because, in this particular dream, there was someone in the bed with her. A man, she thought, his head buried deep between her legs as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Oh… Her chemise had been pushed up, her panties slipped down around her ankles. my… She was utterly exposed, completely vulnerable to the  enchanting motion of this stranger’s tongue. God! It swept up over her lips like a sentient wave, battering the tiny bud of her delight, circling, swishing and swirling repeatedly until she was wet in spite of herself. As if sensing her excitement, the dream-lover pressed his palm against her mound, only to unleash what felt like a small army of fingers, gently running everywhere his tongue had been—and more.
Gretchen rolled her head like a curious infant, moaning, panting, torn between earthly delight and mortal dread. Her lover was quietly relentless as he slipped a trio of wedged fingers into her, sharp as a double-bladed knife, to cleave the moist, spongy flesh, impatient to seek out the secret fountainhead of her ecstasy. And there were his lips again. Gretchen gritted her teeth, back arched into the pillows as he suckled her clitoris, holding it in static thrall until it became almost unbearably hard. And when he moved his tongue again, the young woman—for a living, breathing, body is what she was in spite of all her fierce resolution to be only soul, her sincere desire to be chaste, her ceaseless quest to mortify her flesh for the sake of that higher purpose in which she struggled daily to believe—the same young woman who was beautiful, and only human in her weakness, cried out as she fell into the blissful embrace of oblivion.

A curious sound accompanied the return of her senses, a steady see-sawing noise like a donkey with hiccups or ... or a creaking bed. And someone—no, make that two someones—breathing heavily, panting in machine-like unison, apparently enjoying themselves ... quite a lot. Do we really sound so strange, Tommy and I? So disgusting? But these noises were not coming from her side of the room. The realization shocked her into consciousness. The dream had already dissipated into the darkness, and now, wide awake, Gretchen turned her head and peered toward the other bed.
Maddy and Leif were having sex together not more than three feet from where Gretchen lay, paralyzed with fascination and fear. Maddy’s wrists were bound to the brass bars at the head of the bed—the frame squeaked and groaned in time to her lover’s wild onslaught. Lief bore down hard as he pushed her back into the mattress, diving at her middle, his lust voracious, animal-like. Maddy squirmed and thrashed beneath him—Gretchen could not tell if her friend was enjoying some salacious new game or fighting with all her might to escape. Someone—Lief?—had gagged Maddy with duct tape, yet her moans and whimpers were almost perfectly synchronized with the rhythmic whine and creak of the bed—a pattern that suggested pleasure. At the same time, there was a glow of terror in her eyes that reminded Gretchen of the way Dawn had looked that first night when The Nameless One appeared.
She watched and listened, horrified and yet wholly intrigued. For a moment, Gretchen allowed herself to imagine that it was she, not Maddy, lying there in the bed, bound and gagged, lifting her thighs to meet Lief’s cruelly tireless thrusts ... No! She meant to visualize Tommy—Tommy!—making love to her with that same ineffable, brute passion.
But there was something else—Gretchen became aware of it only gradually—a  kind of apparition there in the room with her. Could it be—? Yet this—whatever this was—was different: an intelligence more patient, more ... human, it lurked silently in the darkest corner, up near the ceiling, observing the pair of lovers on the bed with cool detachment, less interested in them than in Gretchen herself,  her reactions, her feelings, the emotions that stirred deep within her being.
Lief grunted out a string of mangled profanities as he neared climax. Gretchen covered her mouth in order to stifle a sharp gasp as the boy stopped in mid-thrust and turned his head to wink at her. She rolled over quickly, hiding her face in the pillow, pretending to be asleep as, once again, the room grew quiet.
But Gretchen could not sleep.
She waited for some sense that time had begun to move forward again, though she did not venture to guess precisely how many minutes might have passed before she dared to steal a peek. Leif sprawled on the near edge of the other bed, his eyes wide open, cold and clear like some nocturnal predator. Gretchen started in spite of herself, caught between natural curiosity and reflexive disgust. He was naked, making no effort either to cover himself or hide what he was doing. She could not look away—no more than she could slow the wild careening of her heart—as the boy pulled at the long, slender thing between his legs...
He licked his lips. The silvery tongue stud that glinted in the gloom lent him the look of something vaguely demonic. Could he be the one? Showing off now, sure of her undivided attention, Lief nodded, and Gretchen’s eyes were suddenly focused on the shadowed cranny of his thighs. He held the thing in both hands, aiming it directly at her like a gun, thrusting forward as if to project kinetic shockwaves across the narrow strip of floor that separated the two beds.
Oh my God! He’s thinking about me while he’s ...
It was too much. Gretchen bolted from the bed in sudden panic, desperate to escape. “Jesus, Mary and—” She’d gotten up too quickly. Nauseous. Dizzy. The room seemed to fold in on itself as she threw her hands out, reaching blindly for the nightstand or the headboard—or anything even vaguely familiar with which she might regain some frame of reference in the dark. She bumped into the side table. Her teacup clattered to the floor, taking the reading lamp with it. And her glasses—without them she could barely see at all. Gretchen groped for them in the gloom, only to trip on the panties that hobbled her ankles. And then she was falling—a virtual-nose dive into the boy’s crotch. This has to be a nightmare! She closed her eyes for only a moment as she steadied herself on the edge of the bed, pushing off just as Lief’s hand closed around her wrist. No! She batted him away with all the fury she could summon, reeling towards the door like a drunken sailor on a burning ship.

The four season room connected the girls’ sleeping quarters with the rest of the cabin. Anyone not officially occupying one of the bedrooms usually ended up bedding down there. It was a veritable museum of cast-off Connell-family furniture, with a couple mismatched sofa hideaway beds, a futon, two or three old chaise lounges, and a La-Z-Boy recliner with a broken lever. Everything in the room could be fully extended with space left over for sideways tiptoeing pedestrians to make their way to and from the bathroom down the hall. But for a frightened young woman who needed to move quickly in the darkness, the place was a maze on top of a minefield.
An old 32-inch console TV sat at the far end of the room, bathing the space around it in an aura of harsh, whitish-blue light. Nobody ever turned it off as it provided ambient noise all day long, and made a nifty nightlight after hours. Further away, the glow became less intense, especially when images on the screen changed rapidly, flickering like dying candles in a draft. Very little light reached Gretchen’s end of the room in any case; the murky twilight afforded scant illumination of the pathway ahead.
She kicked off her panties and hiked up the hem of her chemise. Half a dozen steps into the unknown—so far so good. She was past the foot of the first pair of sofas where Lief and Pig were supposed to be sleeping, though Lief was still back in the bedroom with Maddy, and there was no sign of Pig anywhere. Tyge and Bonnie would be on the other hideaway beds against the opposite wall a little ways further on. Gretchen definitely did not want to disturb those two. Just a few more steps...
The TV clicked off abruptly, plunging the room into blackness. How? Blinding ribbons of colored light swam into Gretchen’s eyes. She staggered ahead, only to stub her toe on a sofa leg, Think! She recoiled, gritted her teeth—You can do this!—stopped for a second to try and regain her bearings. Come on! Hurry!  She shambled forward, a few cautious baby steps in what she assumed must be the proper direction—No!—only to wander into one of the side aisles between the sofa and the futon. A feeble whimper of frustration escaped her lips. The young woman tried again to retrace her steps, but managed to take only a couple before tripping over something on the floor—a duffle bag or an overnight case that surely hadn’t been there a second earlier.

In the darkness, someone reached out and grabbed her hand...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"The Seven Seductions" (Chapter 12) by TAS

The Seven Seductions
Chapter 12

“Wow! You must have had enough beer to anesthetize a small elephant.” Magic put a steadying arm around Mary Chastity’s waist as they staggered along the dark trail. “Have a good time?”
      “Surprisingly, yes,” she said. “But boy! Talk about feeling overdressed.”
      “Don’t nuns always feel overdressed?”
      “Not so much nowadays. Habits and wimples are out this century according to Vogue.”
      “You’re hilarious when you’re sloshed.”
      “So tell me—” Chaz pounced tipsily “—you knew I was a nun all this time, but you let me think you didn’t know?”
      “Pretty much, yeah.”
      “How come?”
      “I figured you’d tell me if it was really important.”
      “And, in the meantime, you thought you’d get a rise out of me?”
      “It was kind of fun pushing your buttons,” he said.
      “You know why I like being Chaz, and not Sister Mary Chaz-tit-titty?”
      “Tell me.”
      “B’cause when I’m Chaz nobody says, ‘Oh! Sorry sister, you’re a nun. Guess I better watch what I say when I’m around you, huh?’ People are more candid—more like their true selves—when they don’t think they have to be on their best behavior. They don’t pretend to be good.”
      “And how does all that raw unedited sincerity make you feel?”
      “It’s hard to get used to. Everyone’s so forward—I mean, about—”
      “Yes, so—”
      “Open and honest? Magic suggested.
      “Casual. Uncritical. They’re moral attitudes are so ... lax.”
      “That’s the way most people are, Chaz.”
      “Not the people I know,” she said.
      “Don’t talk about it much in the convent, huh?”
      “You’d be surprised. It’s certainly thought about a lot—especially in the school.”
      “I suppose that makes sense,” Magic said. “Starving people probably think about food most of the time.”
      “It’s not like that,” she said.
      “How is it, Chaz?”
      She paused, thinking about her reply.
      “Tell me about Jims and ... her cousins?”
      “Hmm, well, what you might not get is that Jims is a brilliant biochemist who’ll probably end up winning the Nobel Prize someday.”
      “I never would have guessed,” she said. “Why does she behave the way she does with those boys. Isn’t it—”
      “She’s on vacation, Chaz. Jims can be as buttoned up and serious as anybody when she’s at work, and she works very hard to be taken seriously. But when she’s out here with her friends, she’s all about kickin’ it, letting her hair down and her freak flag fly—”
      “On vacation.” Chaz repeated the words as if trying to get her mind around the concept.
      “—and when vacation’s over in a couple weeks she’ll take down the flag, pin up her hair, put on a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses and a white lab coat, and go back to working on that cure for cancer.”
      “You’re not making this up, are you?”
      “One of the reasons Jims decided to come all the way up here to college is that she wanted to be her own person. Not just that: she wanted the opportunity to realize her potential. To be ... challenged. Back in Texas she was a debutante, a champion show jumper, a star basketball player, and a beauty queen, but nobody really expected she’d ever be anything more than an underwear model or a politician’s mistress.”
      “But flaunting it the way she does—in that grass skirt with no ... and the way she was carrying on with those boys, it—”
      “Doesn’t hurt anybody.”
      “I don’t agree,” she said.
      “OK.” He stopped and turned to face her. “Why?”
      “Where to begin?” Mary Chastity said. “She’s robbing them of their choices. She’s living a lie, and she’s made them part of that lie. How will she ever be able to give herself, freely and completely in her heart, to a husband after she’s debased herself that way? And the twins: they’ll go through life with unrealistic expectations and jaded attitudes towards women, probably treating everyone they meet like objects to be used for their own pleasure and then thrown away. What they’re doing is psychologically destructive to themselves and to any potential future mates. And aside from the purely moral questions arising from the situation, what about the physiological risks they’re taking? Disease? Pregnancy?”
      “Damn!” Magic said. “You really are a nun—”
      “Smartass!” Chaz punched his arm like a little girl on a playground.
      “—you’re also incredibly lucid when you’re drunk.”
      “Hey! I’m German Catholic. If there’s one thing we know, it’s how to hold our beer.”
      “Thanks. So, what do you have to offer by way of rebuttal?”
      “Lots,” Magic said. “Addressing your last point first: I promise you, they’re all practicing safe sex and using protection. Jims may be out for a good time, but she’s not stupid, and neither are the twins. Disease and pregnancy are non-issues in this case. As to whether what they’re doing is psychologically destructive? That’s purely a matter of opinion involving speculation for which I’m not sure you have all the facts. Knowing Joss and Ross, I’d say the experience will probably make them more sensitive to the needs and desires of women, and more appreciative of them as individuals; it will also make them superior, more knowledgeable, more capable lovers, better able to pleasure and satisfy their potential mates. Same goes for Jims. The one thing she brings to every relationship she’s in is a great big Texas-size slice of honesty, and anybody who can’t handle that doesn’t get within fifty feet of her. Anybody who’d have a problem with her and the twins would never have a shot at being with her anyway. As up-front about stuff as she is, Jims is the last person I’d ever accuse of living a lie. If anything she lives a truth; it’s her own personal truth, but within the framework of that truth—the ethical code she’s established for herself—Jims is as solidly and consistently moral as anybody you’ll ever meet.”
      “You’re obviously not Catholic,” Mary Chastity giggled. “What are you?”
      “I’m not anything,” Magic said. “My family’s never been very big on religion.”
      “Mine is—and then some.”
      “What’s that supposed to mean?”
      “Wasn’t trying to be judgmental,” he said. “Just can’t imagine too many atheists in a convent, that’s all.”
      “No, we tend to regard them as an embarrassment, keep them locked in the basement and make them do our laundry for us.”
      “Nun humor?” Magic laughed.
      “Pleasantly. Got any more?”
      “Two nuns are walking down the street. One says to the other, ‘Shit! My bra strap just busted and my tit’s hangin’ out like a son of a bitch!’ The other nun says, ‘Now, sister, you know we don’t talk like that.’ The first one says, ‘Waddaya want me to say? My cup runneth over?”
      “Good one. You should compile a joke book.”
      “Maybe I will. You get a bunch of the older sisters together by themselves with a pitcher of beer and some pretzels—watch out!”
      They had arrived at that spot near the edge of the woods where the trail joined the footpath leading up to the Russo’s cabin. 
      “I’ll see myself back,” she said, slowly staggering away. “Thanks for a very nice evening and—”
      “Wait,” he called after her. “May I ask you a question?”
      “What question?” She turned back to face him.
      “If it wouldn’t be too personal?”
      “It’s OK. Go ahead.”
      “What do you really know about sex? I mean, back there on the trail, what you said about it sounded more like something out of a textbook.”
      “I grew up in farm country, Magic. You don’t live on a farm for very long without figuring out what’s what.”
      “So you—”
      “—watched the hogs going at it, ja. They tended to go at it quite a lot.”
      “And you put two and two together?”
      “Which, in the hogs’ case, often added up to seven or eight in a litter.”
      “But you put all that behind you when you became a nun?”
      “It’s not something you can simply leave behind or shut off,” she said. “Our sexuality is part of what makes us human. I think of it more as taking those drives—those energies—and refocusing them for a higher purpose.”
      “I couldn’t imagine doing that, Chaz. Don’t think I could go cold turkey without ending up in a padded cell.”
      “It’s not for everyone,” she admitted, “and even for the ones who are able to try, it’s not always easy.”
      “But you still took the vows?”
      “I understood what I was giving up.” Mary Chastity gazed off towards the lake. “It’s not like I was completely ... without experience.”
      “So, you’d actually—”
      “Uh huh.”
      “You’re shittin’ me, right?”
      “I mean, you gave up all sex on the basis of ... how much experience?”
      “It was more than once.”
      “But I’m guessing it wasn’t very good?”
      “On the contrary, it was quite pleasant.”
      “—but nothing,” she said. “It simply wasn’t my calling.”
      “And that’s all?”
      “I think it’s time to say goodnight now, Magic.”
      “Oh ... kay. See you tomorrow?”
      “Maybe,” she said.
“I really did have a good time tonight.”
      “Me, too.” He reached out to shake her hand. A moment later, Mary Chastity was on her way up the path to the house.
      Of course, she hadn’t told him the whole truth. But lies of omission were rapidly becoming something of a habit where Magic was concerned. In her imagination, Mary Chastity replayed their conversation, inserting what she’d meant to say:
      ... You gave up all sex on the basis of ... how much experience?
      It was actually several times—six or seven—with one man—or possibly two—
      Possibly two?Like you’re not sure?
      And then again, a few weeks later. The same man. I ... gave myself to him ...
      So, I’m guessing it wasn’t very good, the best efforts of one guy—or possibly two—notwithstanding?
      On the contrary; it was absolutely glorious—one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
      “It scared me,” Mary Chastity said aloud. “I enjoyed it too much.”