when he gets back, she is not there, which is strange for the time of day. he walks around the house, twice. she has taken the rocking horse though and so must have read the note. he sees little point in hanging around.
she sits on the cold faux-marble floor, heartbroken for most of the afternoon, rejecting any offers of comfort or assistance with snarls and fuck offs, she even spits at one woman, who tells her that it could be worse. eventually a security guard helps her to her feet, sits her down on a hard, shiny, brightly coloured plastic chair and fetches her a glass of water.
he is about to leave, head back to the airport and book a hotel for the night, when he hears the unmistakable sound of her badly tuned mini rounding the corner. his heart misses a beat and feelings he does recognise drill through his veins. he wants to run and hide. in all his days of soldiering, he has never felt so scared as he does right now. no fire-fight, no sniper, no i.e.d. has ever made him feel as lost and small as he does now.
she stomps through the house, flinging her coat and bag onto the floor, spilling the bag’s contents and not caring. then she sits on the steps of the veranda and tries not to think of anything at all. it is impossible. there are a pair of feet sticking out from under her garden bench. they look like his. she calls his name and he crawls out sheepishly. she walks up to him, trembling slightly, places her hand gently on the side of his face with the scar and kisses him. no words are shared between them, none are needed.
inside they kiss over and over gazing into each other’s eyes in between. she pushes him backwards onto the couch and straddles him. he stares like a little boy in a candy store at her breasts as she pulls off her top. “touch them.” she smiles and he takes one in each hand, unsure almost of what to do. she can feel him growing inside his pants though. “touch them properly” she giggles and pushes them into his face and he lets go of his fears and smothers her with kisses and tiny little bites, his hands a swarm of thirsty fingers, covering her torso and neck. she pulls open his pants and takes hold of him, he is hard and perfectly proportioned and taught as a guitar string, she honestly thinks that if she twanged it she would get a note from it. she leaps off him and kneels before him, pulling off his pants and boxers and taking him into her mouth. he lets out deep, beautiful, primal moans.
she stops and looks at him “you wanna fuck me then soldier boy?” she grins wickedly. he looks a little shocked at hearing her use such language but thrilled too. all he can do is nod over-enthusiastically. she lays on the floor, spreads her legs and beckons him in with her eyes. she guides him with her fingers almost melting as he fills her. she had imagined he would blow almost immediately but he does not, he fucks her with long, hard, powerful thrusts, pulling her onto him as hard as he plunges himself into her. they come together, many minutes later, and it seems to last forever. he fills her over and over in long thick pulses. “my god!” she exclaims, “you could fill a bathtub with that thing!” he looks at her disapprovingly but she can see the smile behind his glare and they both break into a fit of giggling and roll around on the floor together.
he is up and ready almost instantly and they fuck long into the night before they take a break and even then they are wet and hard and continue to touch and stroke each other. she shows him how to touch a woman, how to stimulate her clit and g-spot at the same time, how to go down on a woman and how to enter her without her help; he is an eager and willing student and a fast learner. she kisses his scar, tells him he is beautiful, not ugly at all and kisses it again. she pretends not to see his tears. they bathe in each other and drink each other. they exhaust each other, and she falls in love with him all over again, when she turns and offers him her ass and he says he’d rather not.
her kids are at their father’s and they spend the whole weekend in each other’s arms and loins and hearts. by the time the children return, three days later, she has lost as many pounds.
many decades later, after their funeral, three of their sons stand in the old house amongst the collection of rocking horses, one for every child and one for every grandchild, and one for a great-grandchild. they weep and hold each other and remember.
she watches him out in his yard as she does the dishes, he is making something, from wood, and she stares transfixed at his powerful, rhythmic movements with the saw and plane and hammer, glued to his pounding strength. he has his shirt off and she can see the glisten of sweat on his torso,
she wants to taste him so badly. ever since she learned of his virginity, she has found it hard to think of anything else. she dreams at night of how she could be the first, and struggles to get to sleep, for the fantasies she has of him burn like hot coals deep inside her. normally she imagines competent men, men who know their way round a woman’s pleasure, men who know how to satisfy; not any more, she dreams of his clumsy hands, his shyness and lack of experience as he finds his way round her, thrill her to the core.
she wants to touch herself, right there, right then, as she watches him saw, back and forth in long, slow, thoughtful pulses. she really shouldn’t, she thinks, ‘what if he looked up?’ he knows she’s there – he waved and smiled at her earlier. she cannot help herself though and her hand slips down inside her skirt, inside her panties. he has big strong hands, and his muscles, although not large are sculptural, there is a wonderful force and determination to his actions, a fierceness that sets her cunt alight. the first ripples of orgasm well up inside her like bubbling toffee, and she is biting down on her lip to stop herself moaning too loudly, when he looks up at her and smiles. he beckons for her to come outside, to see what he has been making. “be right with you.” she squeaks, fighting the waves of pleasure shooting through her.
he has been making a rocking horse, a proper, old fashioned rocking horse, for her youngest. she could just cry.
they became friends when he moved in next door. she was a bit of a pacifist and was not the type to fall for an ex soldier. he had left the army after three tours of afghanistan. he was beautiful physically, had a finely tuned body and apart from the scar on his face was about one of the most handsome men she had ever met. he was unemployed, the government, it seems was less keen to help those that had fought for their country than it was to help violent offenders leaving jail.
they would sit and chat on her stoop, and over the weeks and months that they got to know each other she grew to realise that he was not like a soldier as she had imagined soldiers to be. he had a gentleness to him as well as a toughness. he told her how, as a teenager, he had wanted to serve his country and had perhaps been idealistic in this. he told her stories of such bravery and self sacrifice, stories of comradery and of men weeping openly at the loss of each other. he kept his medals in a box in a drawer and when she asked why he didn’t display them openly, he looked at her in such a way that told her she hadn’t understood the horrors of war. he got up and made her another cup of tea. she could’ve cried.
when he told her that he was still a virgin, she almost squealed, and inside she did. time and circumstance had contrived against him he told her, it wasn’t like he hadn’t wanted that, but he had reached the age of twenty-five and still hadn’t known a woman.”wasn’t gonna just fuck some whore for the sake of it” he told her, one day he would meet the right woman.
she melted, worse, she became obsessed with him and the idea that he was a virgin, barely aware of how much she had fallen in love. she spends her time folding sheets and washing her kids’ clothes, imagining how she could show him, how she could teach him how to be good to a woman.