The Counting Game

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Summary

She's a Mid-West teenage proto-slut and he's an obsidian God. So yes, it's different to anything you've ever read. Counting has the essential elements of the finest erotica: urgency, reluctance, satisfaction, and doubt.

Genre:
Erotica / Romance
Author:
J. C. Campbell
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
2
Rating:
4.2 10 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Counting

I’ve never liked crowds. That doesn’t mean I don’t like people, because I do. It’s more that the bigger the sample the more I feel like a statistical outlier. Whereas in a group of, say, four I feel better – especially if the group has at least one other weirdo. I got through High School in groups of no more than four. It’s not like I avoid crowds, I mean I’m in a fucking airport. And not some regional airport, I’m in SFO’s International concourse – and the population of my home town could easily fit in here, along with all the buildings. There’s no avoiding that.

I suppose I should add by way of background that my background is none of your fucking business. Besides, all the important stuff you can tell by looking at me. I look taller than I am, even though I’m really not very tall. And that’s because I’m slim bordering on skinny. Because my butt, which I think has a certain shapeliness – from certain angles, can’t resist the intentional dowdiness my jeans are giving it right now. Because my spectacles look bigger than my tiny tits. Because my hair is straight and ridiculously long, and my arms and legs gangly. That’s all stuff mostly obvious without asking me anything. The bit you can fuck off about is that my basic series of parallel lines are suspended off a too fertile mind.

It’s my choice to dress like I’m a member of one of those Pentecostal or some such churches, where all the females have long straight hair and wear long heavy skirts and button up blouses. I dress that way because I don’t want to dress like a slut. I also keep my trucker’s mouth unspoken – because I don’t want to call attention in any real way to the fact that I am by definition a slut. I am, by definition a female that thinks like a male when it comes to sex. I think about sex all the time. Like right now the ticket kiosk machine is printing out three documents: my boarding pass and my baggage tags – and I’m thinking about taking three cocks at once. In my puss. In my mouth. In my bum hole. Three at once. Three men and me makes a group of four.

I don’t really think about sex all the time. Sometimes I’m hungry. I don’t act like a slut either, I’m still very much an almost virgin. But I have desires. And those desire have become too much. And I intend that this year away from home will see me meet all of my desires. Because I really think I have a need to be the centre of attention – provided I’m the centre of attention of at least one person, and no more than three: puss, mouth, bum hole. I certainly want to find out if that’s the case. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?

It’s been a month since I went from virgin to almost virgin. I had sex with my best friend who I always thought was gay. It wasn’t very satisfactory. We did it... then we laid there. Disappointment was my emotion. Where’s the spectacle? He seemed in shock, or denial. So I offered him my arse and the bastard bursts into tears with that. So no second and third innings – I’m still a mouth virgin, still a bum hole virgin.

Never had a dick in my mouth.

Never had a dick in my bum.

Never been out of my state, until now.

The day I left my home town he was off with his parents checking out colleges that had the appropriate commitment to Christian values. And I was left air-side at our, ahem, international regional airport with my desires overwhelming me. And my count around the air-side stopped at two. Two? Seriously? If that didn’t underline that it was definitely time to leave my prison of a town, my Trump voting county, my moribund state – then what would? Besides, I knew I was right to leave when I lost count on ORD’s concourse at an overwhelming thirty-fucking-five.

That I’m even here at SFO is overwhelming me too. That my parents saw me off at our local airport.... That they even agreed.... All of it is amazing. I guess it helped that my cousin is already in New Zealand. I guess it helped that I graduated High School with high honours. Although I handed in some work late to ensure I slipped out of salutorian contention – because fuck making a speech. Although I know my cousin is more or less about to head home – and that she only agreed to stay on so as to lay the foundations for me to come over. And my parents know I don’t care about college. Their hope is that a gap year will re-light my academic fire. Their hope is that it won’t because my dad has been working on the road ever since he lost his job. They did hire him back though – after three months, sans benefits – sans seniority, a reduced salary.

My seat is at the left hand window of the very back row of a B777-300ER – I owe my air plane knowledge to the fact that my bum hole denying nerded out first fuck former best friend had weeks ago checked out my e-ticket on seat guru, back when we were both virgins – and friends. All I know for myself is that the ‘B’ in ‘B777’ should stand for big fucking air plane. I sit, I check that my no longer virgin passport is still in my deep pocket. And I play the counting game. My personal best from the home town edition of my counting game is twelve. I used to play it when being driven anywhere. I’d lean my head against the car’s window and count:

No, no, no, yuk no.

Yes -one.

Yes -two.

Three.

No, no, no.

Four...

Like I said, my home town PB is being driven past twelve men that right then, if I could, I’d agree to have sex with. The counting game is what made me want to travel. I got to twenty-five in the Sears car park in Lansing one time, and that was enough for me to want to leave and never come back. I mean, if Lansing can bring numbers like that.... None of this should be mistaken for a desire to be gang-banged. The Counting game is more a you’ll do and you won’t kind of game. It’s not a form an orderly queue game. Anyway, in the now and there’s eight people in the aft-most cabin of this big fucking air plane that I’d fuck. Make that nine. Number nine takes his seat next to me. There’s small talk.

He’s a nurse who is studying something at what could have been my college – although I don’t mention the proximity. He’s off home to New Zealand for a couple of weeks.

“Holiday,” I tell him. “A gap year. Doing orchard work.”

Blah and other words from him.

“Good to know,” I say.

To cut a long fucking twelve hour flight short here’s the lessons learned: One. Order a speciality meal so that you get served dinner before anyone else. Two. Sit right at the back so you don’t have to put your seat up for the fuck seated behind you, because there’s no seats behind you. Three. Don’t wear jeans, it’s too hard to finger your puss when the lights are down and you’ve got your blanket over you. Four. At what feels like three-thirty in the morning near everyone is asleep, and you can lock yourself in a tiny air plane rest room and finger yourself all you like. And Five. When you climb back over the sleeping bloke in the aisle seat next to yours you can stand with a foot on each armrest and crouch under the overhead bins so that your grinding crotch is basically in his sleeping face. Oh, Six. There’s a surprising amount of casual nudity on the in-flight entertainment movies.

At the baggage carousel in Auckland a man I recognise from the flight gives me his business card: Marvelly and Marvelly. He says that he over heard me talking of orchard work and says that if I want a change from winter pruning I should call him. He offers to buy me a coffee once we’re through security. Why not. He’s a no if you’re wondering.

“Why me,” I ask.

“I have a hunch about you.”

“Hunch?”

“I saw you climb into your seat a few hours back.”

“Yeah,” I said. “So it’s sex work?”

“Sexual,” he says. “It’s more sexual that merely sex.”

“Why not?” I say. He asks to see my passport – for age verification. I show him. I thank him for the coffee and head off to wait for my cousin.

When she shows she hugs me. We walk to her car, load up my stuff and we drive south. I’m asleep before suburbs run out. I wake, look out at a winter landscape that so isn’t Midwest, then sleep again. It’s winter. I knew it would be, but the realisation actually fucks with my head. It’s fucking winter. I’m cold after leaving the warming weather of home. And now I’m destined for two winters in a row.

My cousin lives two cities down. It has a Maori name I can’t say properly. She laughs at me when I try. We get to her apartment. She’s boxing stuff up for the New Zealand equivalent of goodwill and tells me to grab what I want, including a blue-tooth speaker – so I do. I crash out in her double bed mid afternoon. When she joins me at the local bed time I have to resist the urge to finger myself. At three a.m. I’m wide awake, in her lounge, fingering my puss and checking on-line for orchard work. In the morning I ask her:

“How far to this place?”

“It’s a few hours away,” she says. “You wanna road trip?”

My first day of orchard work is in a light rain. There’s four of us. Two Germans, a man-mountain Fijian, and me. One, I say to myself. I’d never met a Fijian before. Are they all Gods? Or is it that I’ve anointed him simply because he’s exotic from a Midwest proto-slut’s point of view?

The Germans are becoming a couple, although I don’t know that yet. They can speak English, but do it as a chore and stubbornly stick to Berlin talk. My Fijian God-man speaks good enough English – but his only adjective is bloody-fuckin’, which he slips in without messing up his sentence flow. The thing with his accent is that I notice it until I didn’t any more. After minutes, an hour – a day, it’s as if he is from Perry or Bancroft or Riley for all the difference his accent makes. Being teamed with him helped, and that I have to listen – intently, as he teaches me how to prune. I think he’s gorgeously funny. I think he thinks I won’t last because I’m so small. He calls our employer man boss and our employer’s wife lady boss. I learn pretty quick that it’s a pastiche, and that he’s pretty cleaver – and travelled.

My spectacles are constantly wet. My fingers freeze. I like the bit where he takes my hands in his and rubs them. I don’t think about it until later, that it’s the most casual touch I’ve ever had. And when I do think about it I wonder on all the High School angst I endured over such a simple thing as a touch. Even with freezing hands I’ve picked up the logic of pruning easily enough.

The orchard has a graveled quad courtyard the size of a basketball court. At one end is the implement shed – which is work H.Q. It’s where the implements live, it’s where the orchard owned wet weather gear hangs to dry. There’s a work bench. Above it is a world map with red pins for the home towns of the workers from over the years – yellow pins for the orchard’s exports. My home state is nada when it comes to pins. Most of the states are, whereas Canada’s provinces have truckloads by comparison. Fucking Canadians.

“I might need some help,” I say. I mean the map is so high, and that maybe my giant work colleague could put a pin in for me. There are hands on my hips, nearly reaching right around my skinny waist. I’m lifted. “Hey,” I say. “That’s not what I meant.” He laughs, I pin my home, get lifted down. He apologises to me for having never visited my home state, then lists off the places he’s been because I was foolish enough to ask: Dubai, Sydney, Cape Town, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris....

“You?”

“Um, San Francisco.” By which I meant the airport. “Chicago.” By which I meant the airport. “Auckland.” By which I meant the airport.

When he starts calling me “hey,” I start calling him “hey.”

“Hey.”

“Hey?”

Around the quad are six cabins. Two for sleeping, a kitchen, a laundry, one for showers, and the last for toilets. I’m bunking with the German chick. Hey is bunking with the German bloke. The German bloke owns a car – a Subaru something. Hey drives a white Toyota van. My first day is a Tuesday, and I see Hey leave in his van pretty much straight after we leave the implement shed. He waves at me. I wave back. I learn that he’s off to football practice – every Tuesday and Thursday night – with his match day being Saturday afternoons.

My cabin is without flair. There’s a set of bunks, a long bench, a cast iron wood fire with baskets of firewood next to it. There’s a place for making cups of tea. There’s a rack for drying clothing, which the German chick is hogging. Two wooden kitchen chairs like Leonard Cohen would have sung about – and I would like to be tied to, and there’s a dehumidifier that I learn regularly needs emptying. And that’s it.

I’m dog tired. I eat snack food in the kitchen while German chick and German guy monopolise the sofa with their impenetrable talk. I leave them to it and light the fire in mine and her cabin. I take my shower. I lay on the top bunk in my sleep shirt and J.C. Penney boy brief panties – and read. At eight o’Clock or so I hear Hey’s van pull up. I hear the door slam, his foot fall, and I hear “bloody fuckin’ Germans.” Ten minutes later German chick comes in, in her underwear, carrying a bundle of her clothes. I smile, she ignores me. After a time she speaks:

“Actually I will have my ear buds in if you want to make some noise. I don’t mind.”

I say “what?” But she’s already budded up and doesn’t hear. I think it through until I get it. “Oh,” I say. “Why not?”

I put my phone and my book and my spectacles on the little shelf above my bunk. I slide my panties down to my knees, then right off because why not. I finger myself remorselessly. It’s my first orgasm in the presence of someone else. Although she’s with me physically and not mentally. I like it. I add this cabin to the growing list of places where I have fingered myself off: Air New Zealand’s B777’s aft restroom.... San Francisco airport’s rest room.... O’Hare’s airport’s rest room.... What can I say, other than that layovers and long haul flights are boring? I imagine pins on a map.

Saturday finally rolls around. It is my first day off. The Germans are gone, so is Hey. I laze around until mid-day then walk into town, it’s two miles but the stroll is new so it’s fun. I shop for winter clothes – warm underwear in the main. I buy some poetry books. The town is a disappointment. I’ve walked up and down the main street four times and my counting game gets me to an accumulative three. And that’s generous. It’s actually two-and-a-half. There’s not much more to do, so I sit in a café and read and drink my coffee. When I’m done I search my pockets for a bookmark and find Marvelly’s business card. So I dial Marvelly’s number. I don’t honestly know if I want to be a sexual worker. But I’m bored and the town offers nothing I need. Mrs. Marvelly answers:

“Our clients have two things in common,” she says. “Reputations to protect, and proclivities to serve.”

“Proclivities, sure. I get that.”

It turns out that life is the opposite of high school because being slim and slight and plain and bespectacled ticks boxes for a reasonable percentage of men. She’s quite explicit about it. And about it being part time work – three times a month or so, with no more than three half-hour long sessions per day. And about how it’s up to me in terms of what I am prepared to do and what I can earn – that I’ll find the money to be significantly better than the minimum adult wage. I end up texting her my full name and my e-mail address. A minute later and my phone pings with an incoming e-mail. I ignore it.

By the time I walk back to the orchard the sun’s setting. I’m locked out of my cabin because the bloody fuckin’ Germans are bloody well fucking. And she’s a loud bitch. So I sit out and read in the failing light, until they are done with each other. My cabin smells of her cunt and his cock.

We work a half day Sunday. At the morning break I say to Hey “why don’t they take a cabin for themselves, and...?” He’s not keen, it’s ungentlemanly for him to share a cabin with me. I say “but I don’t mind. It’s only for sleeping.” So I suggest it, and our employers don’t mind either. The Germans vote for it, as do I.

The German chick says, “she snores you know.”

“Do I?” You sanctimonious loud German bitch.

“Your first night.”

“I slept like a log,” I say. “I was dead out to it that night.”

During that Sunday afternoon the move is done.

Fijian giant man-Gods don’t like the cold. It’s their kryptonite. So our cabin doesn’t lack for firewood or combustion. In fact it’s so often beyond cosy hot that I start with my new bunk mate by walking around bare foot, in my boy briefs, in a Marino woollen short sleeved shirt sans bra. Hey doesn’t mind, but thinks I’m mad. He’s track pants and jersey, even inside.

It’s not intentional. Well, that’s not true. But it’s not part of some sort of Hey-centered plan that I kind of sort of accidentally-deliberately fucked up the sizing of the boy briefs I bought. So they’re a size too small and they will cling to my butt and outline the topography of my puss. I’ve waited a day or two, possibly for courage – but tonight is going to be the night I switch to using them to sleep in.

There’s a back ground. On my first night sharing with Hey I’d woken in a sweat. With German chick the fire died down in the night and I’d end up curling into my blankets until the cold morning. I learned that first Sunday night that Hey’s thing is to get up and stoke the fire after lights out. So since then I’ve been sleeping above the covers. It means I keep cool enough to actually sleep. It means I am above the covers when he stands to tend the fire – which means I am a slut, because I’m on display. It means that each morning I’m staggered at how much firewood we’ve been through.

When I slide those boy briefs on after my shower I feel the same fluttering inside as I felt when I spoke with Mrs. Marvelly, when it occurred to me that I should head to that air plane’s rest room, when I waved my crotch in the sleeping face of that guy. I feel light. I feel expectant and naughty. I feel my blood pump a touch faster than it should. I walk to the cabin with my jacket over my sleep shirt and panties, the flash light in my hand. The feeling stays – even though I know it’s a Tuesday and Hey won’t be there waiting for me.

When Hey returns I’m on my bunk above the covers with my head back on my pillow – checking my phone, and with my knees up. He asks if he can read one of my books. When I hand it to him he’s taller than my bunk. I’m fluttery with the fact that he’s right there with me dressed this way. I’m fluttery with the hope that he will enjoy seeing me when he tends the fire. I imagine being woken by his touch.

“How tall are you?” I ask.

“I’m taller than you.”

“I can see that. You can grab a book any time.”

I imagine that Hey is chiselled out of the finest obsidian. Is that even possible? Or will obsidian splinter?

“Are all Fijians as handsome as you?”

“No,” he says. “Just me.” I almost hear his smile as he asks if all Americans are as skinny as me.

“Just me,” I say.

After a time Hey asks about lights out and gets up to top up the fire.

“How many times during the night do you do that?” I ask, as I’m putting my spectacles aside.

“Normally just once,” he says. A clear lie. “Do I wake you?”

“No,” I say.

“You do snore,” he says. “It’s O.K. though.”

“Good night,” I say, as Hey turns off the light and I pluck my panties out from where they’ve worked themselves.

One night before lights out I surprise Hey with my language.

“What?” he asks.

“I forgot to brush my teeth.”

The wooden chairs are not very comfortable, so as usual I’m on my bunk. They’re not great bunks. There’s no ladder, so I’ve gotten into the habit of grabbing my own bedside and lowering myself to put one foot on his bedside, before climbing down. When I climb down I’m acutely aware that he is a glance away from the details of my puss showing through my over-tight briefs. When my feet find the floor I see him lying on his bunk – reading one of my poetry books. I ask after the book, but he doesn’t look up. My hope is that he was looking as I climbed down. I find my toothbrush, put my jacket on, find shoes and the flash light – head off. When I return he’s done with the light, and says as much.

“Are you O.K. If I read from my phone?” I ask.

It’s no problem so I kill the lights. The fire’s glow gives our cabin a weird quarter light. So I tidy up my toiletries in that light, hang my jacket. Kick off my shoes. It’s so fucking hot as I spend my usual age combing my stupidly long hair for bed. I climb to my bunk. On this night I hang halfway up as if checking my grip for a moment and enjoy my feelings. I can’t see him, but I think he’s seeing me. My midriff is right there, my panties, my sleep shirt kind of accidentally riding up. I pull myself up and turn, seated over the edge. He tickles my feet.

“Hey,” I say.

“You are tiny,” he says. “You must weigh next to nothing.”

“How much do you weigh?” I ask.

“Enough to squash you flat. So it’s best you have the top bunk.”

“Makes sense,” I say.

I lay back, I open that Marvelly e-mail and its attachment. An app populates, it’s been personalised for me. There’s acknowledgements about confidentiality. I tick them. There’s an orientation animation. Then an expandable tree of tick boxes for near on every possible sexual proclivity. I expand anal – because ‘A’ is for anal, then finger penetration, then deep. I tick it. A dialogue box pops up with the amount I can earn from such. I raise an eyebrow at that and expand anal, toy penetration, small. It looks like I can earn a day’s pay, more than a day’s pay by letting some bloke arseturbate me for a half-hour with a small dildo and his finger. Good to know. I kill my phone. I shrug off my shirt and sleep topless. It’s far too hot for bed coverings. I’m excited by the thought that all Hey needs to do to see my tiny tits when he returns in the night from stoking the fire is to look. I imagine him doing a double take – then lingering to watch me. I imagine his erection. What thoughts to fall asleep with....

In the morning I put my sleep shirt back on and climb down.

“Did I snore,” I ask?

“It’s how I know it’s O.K. to get up for the fire,” he says.

There’s a bundled up sock on the floor next to his bed. I swear it wasn’t there last night. He gives no sign of having seen my tits.

We work. It’s fun. It’s sunny for a few days in a row, so that helps. They’re long days. One night when Hey’s at training I finger myself as I populate some more tick boxes on that app. I press next. The dialogue says that I’ll get notifications of opportunities – and then it’s a case of who from their workforce hits accept first. I’m still on my phone adding tick boxes when Hey returns. I quickly pull my finger from my hole. Hey mucks around with his training gear. I’m a bit off balance with my oh so recent fingering. When he speaks and I look he has my poetry book in his giant hand as he stands more or less next to me. I’m still all flushed because I only stopped my fingering when I heard his van door slam.

“You like poems?” he asks.

“Yeah, you?”

“Some of them.”

“Why do you pretend to be stupid when you’re not?” I ask. And I ask because his expression suggests that he’s noticed something off with me, and I panic a bit.

“I’m being funny,” he says. “And feigns being hurt.”

“You do make me laugh.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” He tickles my belly, and I do laugh. Fuck, if he’d touched me a minute ago I would have come at his touch.

“Bloody fuckin’ Americans,” he says.

I let him get the lights.

“Good night Hey.”

“Good night little Hey.”

Before I sleep I hit the voice recorder on my phone and shrug off my sleep shirt. Next morning there’s no sock.

Come night and he’s in bed with lights out before I get back from my shower. I did actually forget my sleep shirt and panties, so I do actually have to get changed in the fire light.

“Are you awake?” I whisper.

No answer. I suppose I could keep my jacket on and dress under it.... Anyway, for a time at least I am naked in the same room as Hey. I actually brush my hair while standing naked, and I take my sweet time with it. I pull on fresh panties, then decide against my sleep shirt. When I stand next to my bunk my head’s kind of level with my bedside – so I can’t see him. I stand there topless for a few moments, then step up.

Next morning he’s up first, making a cup of tea.

“Can you make me one?” I ask from my bunk.

“Sure.”

I walk topless to where my work clothes hang. He doesn’t stare at me, but doesn’t look away either. I’m still topless when he hands me my tea.

“Sorry,” I say. By the looks of things I’m more embarrassed than him.

“You’re getting strong,” he says.

“I’m getting what?”

“Strong. You’ve got mussels now.”

I get it. I flex my free arm – body builder style, still topless. “You impressed.”

He smiles. I pull a top on. It becomes normal for me to be topless last thing at night and first thing in the mornings.

One Friday a courier package arrives for me. On the Saturday morning Hey drops me at the railway station and I’m heading to the capital. I’m wearing black teeny heels, black tights, a black dress that buttons from neckline to hem, black – well, you get the picture.... At a suburban stop Mrs. Marvelly joins me.

“Any questions,” she asks.

I’ve none. I know it’s a much longer gig than half-an-hour. I don’t mind. I’m open to the site seeing. She hands me an ear piece – tests it. We stop and alight one station further down. I’m being talked through it.

It’s him, say ‘hi.’ Wave.

A man approaches me, kisses my cheek. He’s older. I can’t guess ages very well. But forty? We walk out of the station. He looks, in a word, normal – innocuous.

Hold his hand, tentatively.

I do, he walks like he’s got an erection, which he probably has. We wait for a bus. When it comes it’s a small tour bus and we’re off to see the Lord of the Rings sites. “Oh goody,” I say. When we climb on to the bus I say “thank you uncle Dave.” Mrs. Marvelly sits a few seats behind us. It’s innocent until its not any more. After the tour we’re dropped off at a house on the edge of the wilderness. Mrs. Marvelly stays on the bus. I hear Mr. Marvelly in my ear as me and Dave sit out on a park bench on that house’s back verandah in the pale afternoon sun. I’m to act indifferent.

Dave unbuttons my dress to my navel, slides it off my shoulders. He very diligently slides my lose-fitting halter top up to expose my breasts. He licks my nipples and I repress a sigh. I sit and fidget and flick through my, I kid you not, Miraculous Ladybug comic. My tits are sucked, nibbled, licked. I’m actually digging it, I mean it’s the best sex I’ve ever had. I tremor with it, imagine it’s Hey and not this creapo, imagine Hey’s cum on me. “Fuck,” I say – as a whisper.

Dave sits up, wags a finger in my face. “Language young lady,” he says.

“Sorry,” I say. I want him back on my tits but I’m told rather unfairly to think about my language in future. There’s a knock on the front door, and I jump – no acting required. Dave tries to hide his obvious erection as he walks back into the house to answer the door. I button up and follow him. We open to Mrs. Marvelly playing my mother. I’ve spent the last half hour with erect and aching nipples and longing for sexual progression, and with the driver of that longing gone I’m hollow and desperate to find someone to make me come. Or somewhere for me to make myself come.

“Did you have a good time sweetheart?”

“Yes mummy,” I say – buttoning my last few buttons.

That evening and I’m over an armchair in a darkened hotel room. I’m as naked as the day I was born. The bedside lamps are arranged around me so that I can’t see beyond their arcs of light. A voice in my ear tells me to lull my head to one side. I don’t know who, but someone from the shadows kisses my neck, the lobe of my ear – delicately moves my hair to one side. Then come kisses down and across me as he holds my long hair out of the way. He kisses again and again with little pecks of his delicate lips until my skin goosebumps beneath him. Fuck. Fuckin’ Uncle Dave is a bloody fuckin’ amateur.

I hear a sound and wonder at it, realise it’s my breathing mixed with the very soft sound of his mouth against my skin. I can’t imagine a more complete physical connection. His mouth on me makes me wonder how I had ever lived without him. And how will I make do when the half-hour is up? How? Oh, and now he’s kissing my back. I decide that I love having my back kissed. I want his tongue on my spine. I actually feel real want. Fuck the counting game. This is real. I find myself counting the licks against my every vertebrae – lower and lower. One- yes. Two- yes. Three...

I’m airiness as the kisses get lower. I’ve ticked so many boxes that I’ve no real idea where this is headed. My expectation builds with my trepidation. I close my eyes and imagine myself elsewhere as he trails his tongue down my spine. Slowly. Agonisingly slowly. A trail of kisses with the tip of his tongue always on me. Kisses half an inch apart and working their way down and down and down. I’ve lost count and don’t care. Eventually he’ll stop – won’t he? I tell myself this, I ask myself this. But he doesn’t stop. Has he ever stopped? How would I know?

After a time his mouth has me squeezing my thighs together. After a time I realise that soon enough his tongue and mouth and tiny pecked kisses will reach the small of my back. When he does I shiver. I am weightless as his mouth reaches the cleavage of my arse. When his hands slide across my backside and gently, very gently, move my bum cheeks apart I knew he won’t stop until his tongue and lips and mouth explore my bum hole. I am floating now in a new world of shapes and colours and feelings and his mouth and my arse.

His tongue and kisses keep on, one slow half-inch at a time. Then more kisses. Would it be ten more before his tongue finds my bum hole? Will it be like I imagined when I ticked the box? Ten more? Might be twelve. Might be that numbers are meaningless. It might be I’ve never felt so relaxed. His kisses became firmer. His tongue more determined between the cheeks of my arse. And he moves so that he straddles my legs – so that his mouth has full access. And I crave his mouth.

His hands ply my cheeks apart. It’s coming and words race through my new world and help shape it. Bum hole. Arse. Anus. Anal. Mouth. Tongue. Need. Hey. Hey? Now I’m imaging it’s Hey tonguing me. “Hey,” I say. Almost to myself. There’s a shush in my ear. All my think words make it clear that he will soon have me and that I want him to have me.

An inch now. Less than an inch. A gentle lick around my bum hole. A gentle teasing lick that has me grinding myself into the overstuffed chair. That has me raise my hips so that I’m part of the coming together of my hole and his mouth. Then a kiss. A kiss right on my bum hole. A kiss and another kiss and another and then a tip of a tongue diving deep into me – forcing its way in. Wriggling its way in as I wriggle to help it explore me. Majestic. Beautiful. Forbidden. Real. My world has his tongue in my arse as part of it. What a world that I now float above. What a world that I am tethered to by this tongue.

And then it’s over. And then he kisses against the very top of my thigh. Seconds after that I hear the hotel room door click shut.

“The room is yours for the night if you want to stay.” I don’t answer. Because I can’t. “Or we can drive you back tonight.”

“What time is it?” I don’t recognise my voice.

“Late, you’ll be home after midnight.”

“Drive,” I say.

I haven’t come. I haven’t even gotten close, but I’m so sexually complete.

I watch from the back seat the city lights, the harbour, the suburbs.

“Well?” asks Mrs. Marvelly.

“I think with the first bloke I probably saved some poor kid somewhere from being molested... and kept a perve out of jail.”

“Might well have,” says Mr. Marvelly.

“With the second bloke I think I got the better part of the deal.”

“Can I ask?” says Mrs. Marvelly. “What makes you think the second bloke was a bloke and not a woman?”

“I...?”

I’m as quiet as I can be.

Our cabin is hot so there’s no surprise there. I’m aware of the bulk of Hey asleep on his bunk – he’s on his side, face towards me. I’m careful as I take off my half height teeny heals. I slide off my tights – unbutton my dress. I face the bunk as I start, then realise I’m in shadow with the fire behind me. So I stand side on and finish the unbuttoning. I shrug off my dress, fold it and place it aside. I take my halter off over my head, slide my panties down. I’m so aroused that I’m amazed and disappointed that the scent from my puss hasn’t woken Hey. I find my tooth brush, and the flash light that sits on the shelf by my jacket. I face the bunks as I fumble with the flash light, turn it on for a second so it illuminates my tits, my puss, my thighs. Then turn it off with a softly sworn and expertly plaintiff fuck as apology – as a suggestion that I was accidentally clumsy instead of intentionally explicit. I open the door oh so carefully and walk across to the shower block naked, to clean my teeth.

When I get back I contemplate sleeping naked, but opt for panties. There’s no point me making a play of climbing onto my bunk because all my goodies are in shadow – and if he’s awake he’s seen everything. So I end up laying there and making my studied impression of my own snoring, the ins, the outs, the odd snort and breath hold. I’m nearly actually asleep when I hear fumbling from below. I hear him walk towards the fire, feel the heat as the stove door opens and he loads some wood. I want to crack an eye open and see the blur of him. Instead I roll mid snore so that I’m more obviously visible to him. I hear him walk back and there’s a delay between his closest foot falls and him climbing back on to his bunk. Quite a delay. I imagine him standing right there and looking me over. I imagine I can hear his breathing – I wonder if perhaps I actually am listening to him breathe. It’s a disappointment when I feel the bunks shift with his weight as he returns to his bed. Then I feel a tremor.

I skip the middle stages of grief and fly from denial to acceptance: Really? To oh he so is. I carefully slide a finger under my panties and into myself as he sways himself to glory. I’ve never.... There aren’t really words.... The thing of it is that I imagine his tongue at my bum hole as I finger my clit, as I poke myself, and my free hand mashes up one nipple, then another. I’m nearly there. Fuck. So close. Please don’t finish before me. But it’s to no avail as a grunt escapes his lips and the final tremor sways away. I lay incomplete, matching my breathing to his so that it’s masked until we both recover. When I hear something sock-like land on the floor I feign some snoring and start a slow mental count to ninety.

I get to twenty-five and think fuck it. I sit up, swing my feet over – then climb carefully down, so as to not wake a mouse. I imagine his mind racing. I stand and turn my back to him, use my fingers to pull my panties from the crack of my arse as I walk to the fire.

“Fuck,” I say, in a whisper – not a whisper “Why does it have to be so bloody fuckin’ hot in here all the time.” I know I’m silhouetted. I know I hear the bunk groan a little with him rolling his head for a better look. I play through my day bag and retrieve my water bottle, unscrew its lid – take a swig. I pour a touch or two on my head, use my hand to coat my scalp. I’m only half acting – it’s actually pretty bloody fuckin’ hot in here. I pour some water across my collarbone, not much, but enough for it to flow to my tits, enough so that I have to use my hand to spread the water over my aching nipples. When they stand they’re damn near full on three-quarter-inch erect. I put my bottle down and shrug off my panties.

I stand and make a play of attending to my sparse triangle of pubic hair, like I’m pulling fluff from myself. I so want to say something non-furtive, or for him to say something. When I walk back and stand by the bunk my footfall finds the edge of his sock. I kick it away and say quietly-angry “will it kill you to pick up your socks?” I place my foot on his bed’s edge, and climb. I hope he can smell my scent. I yearn for his touch. I hope his eyes have adjusted enough to see the detail of my puss. When I sit for a moment on my bunk’s edge I linger in the hope he’ll tickle my feet. He doesn’t.

Tea?”

“Thanks,” I say. “Did I wake you when I came in?”

“No,” he says. “What about you when I got up to the fire?”

“No,” I say. He asks me if I’ve noticed anything different. “No,” I say. Because I really haven’t.

“I’ve picked up my socks.”

“Good lad,” I say. My covers are barely covering me. He would have seen all of me in the morning light. “Hey, I’m....”

“You’re...?”

“Um, naked.”

“Your problem,” he says. He’s smiling at my discomfort. I wonder if he thinks my discomfort is an act or if he thinks it’s real. Either way, I don’t mind. I pivot over the edge of my bed, climb down facing him for some reason. At one point in the manoeuvre my legs are spread. I don’t look at him – not directly at least. But he’s looking without looking.

“How come I’m always the one short of clothes,” I say.

“Because you have no shame,” he says.

“Because you’re scared of the cold,” I say.

I actually stand naked for a time, with my tea. He asks after last night.

“Good,” I say, “better than I expected. We went and saw some movie locations.”

“Friends of you parents, right?”

“Yeah.”

“What would they say?” he looks me up and down. “Your parents.”

“They’re fine with it,” I say. “They think you’re a nice girl from Suva.”

“Wrong twice.”

“Lautoka then.”

“That’s closer,” he says. I slip a shirt on. I say that it’s a good thing that he doesn’t have a girlfriend to get jealous. “What makes you think I don’t have a girlfriend?”

I can’t tell if he’s joking. I pull on some boy briefs – properly sized, for work.

From then on there are times when I’m naked last thing at night and first thing in the mornings.

The very next Thursday I’m on my bunk ready for bed when Hey returns from training. I’ve been fingering, and actually left my finger in me right until I heard his footfall on the deck outside our cabin’s door. One day, I swear I won’t stop. I ask how it went, as I always do. He’s in what for him is a foul mood – so not well. I grab my book and read. I contemplate covering myself because my panties are kind of caught up in the lips of my puss, but I don’t. He’s making his bed and pulling off at least one of his jerseys as he walks to the light switch.

“Hey,” I say. He stops mid stride. “Where’s my tickle?” It’s the first time I’ve asked for a tickle since I’ve openly switched to topless. He turns, takes two giant strides towards me. I can’t read his expression. In seconds I’m shaking with laughter as he’s tickling my belly, my sides, my legs – everywhere but my bum hole, puss, my tiny tits. I’m more or less spinning full circles to escape him. I know he sees my puss because I can feel that the leg loop of my panties is riding against me. I know he can see the details of my bum. And my tiny tits are obvious. I shriek as I curl away from him and yell “Hey” as he whacks my arse with his hand. By the time I realise what’s up his hands have gone from me and the lights are out. I feel the bunks shift with his weight as he climbs into his bed.

On Saturday morning I am in a country lodge not too far from the orchard as some guy wanks his cock while it’s bundled in my hair – he ejaculates all over the back of my head. It’s the first time I’ve had cum on me. And it’s not at all like I imagined my first time would be. On the Saturday afternoon I lie naked on a table while three men watch me masturbate. I get carried away. One finger becomes two. A third is there. I hear steady on in my ear. And they haven’t paid for that. Later, my bum hole is rudely poked with a finger. After that I watch on naked as a fat chick has her bum whacked with a paddle. I’m told to keep my eyes low. The one time I manage to look at her she winks at me mid wail – smirks for fraction of a second.

In among all that I convince Hey to teach me how to drive a stick shift. It’s a nice day so I’m wearing rugby shorts sans underwear, a Marino shirt sans bra. I’ve pretty much been sans bra since I’ve been at the orchard. With my legs slightly spread for the van’s pedals I know he can see my puss. He gets flustered. I thank him with a kiss to his cheek. He calls me a Fijian word that I don’t understand. That night when he’s laying in his bunk and I’m naked in mine he says that Google says it means:

Incorrigible.

Unmanageable.

Guilty.

Slut.

He doesn’t say the last one. But I am.

I ask him if he can do me a favour. He can. So I lie on my front and he stands at my bunk side and massages my aching neck. He uses something hot from his football kit, it’s pungent and my eyes sting. A warmth flows through me and my neck relaxes.

“It’s been sore for a while now,” I say.

“It’s your hair,” says Hey. “All that weight.”

I end up sleeping on my front. Next chance I get I un-tick the hair-wanking tick box on that app and get my hair cut short. I miss it, and the person in the mirror is me but doesn’t look like me any more. But there’s an upside in donating my locks to some cancer wig-making charity. And I can now swim really easily. So I start swimming Thursday nights because the local pool is open late and because Hey can drop me off and pick me up around his training. It becomes a new thing with me peeling myself into my Olympic style one piece straight after work – with him telling me to hurry up. It becomes a new thing afterwards for me to peel out of my sweats after, then out of my suit – then to walk across the quad naked for my shower, save for my jacket.

The next time I feel cum on my body is with three men shooting over my tits. It’s the same deal, me surrounded by hotel reading lamps. I can see cocks with hands flying over them, I can’t see faces. They’re certainly not looking at mine. I enjoy the waiting, the shock of it, the warmth. I enjoy the surprising differences in capacity with each of my wankers.

The following Sunday finds me watching Hey play a trial match. I don’t know what that means, trial match – but I also didn’t know that football meant rugby and not soccer. I’m biased, and I don’t really understand the game, and I did expect it to be soccer and not rugby – but I think Hey is the best player out there. There’s an elbow height white painted fence surrounding the playing area, so I’m leaning on it as I watch. There’s a lady next to me. When Hey is close she yells something, in Fijian. I’m startled because I actually thought she was African-American. Although my expectation makes no sense whatsoever – save for my innate sense of Pax Americana.

“Do you know him?” I ask.

She asks and I explain. “So you’re his little white workmate?”

“Yeah.” I’ve been other before – but I’ve never been other because I’m white. It jars. “You’re?”

Turns out she’s the wife of one of the other Fijian players – and an insane gossip.

Afterwards I clown around in the local swimming pool while Hey walks slow lengths in recovery from two matches in two days. I tease him about the four things that island raised Fijian men are scared of. I don’t mention that I now know our age difference – and I try not to think of what is essentially a decade between us. Also, I finally get to see him topless. He has tribal tattoos. Tribal might be the wrong word. But anyhow – there’s pectorals and abdominals and biceps and ink and, oh my.... I don’t let on about what else I’ve learned. I figure if Hey wants to tell me he will.

We’re way up the back of the orchard. There’s some wire runners that needs straining. It’s a soft rain afternoon and both Hey and I have our wet weather gear on – as always they are too big on me, too small on him. In minutes the weather goes from soft to bleak. Then to harsh. To sleet blowing in at a full gale. I’m freezing, Hey must be frozen solid. My phone beeps. The text is from man boss that says pull the pin. I don’t know what it means. I show Hey. It means the we are officially rained off, released from work. It’s only just gone two o’Clock. But it’s pretty much dark.

We didn’t bring the quad bike because the Germans have it. So we slog the whole walking wet freezing windy way back carrying metal tools in our bare hands. I can see the whites of my knuckles showing through my straining fingers. I can see the whites of Hey’s knuckles too. It’s only four hundred yards or so, but the implement shed looks a mile off. After another agonising one hundred yards or so I see the quad bike’s headlight. Good German I try to say. But it’s lady boss. She tells us to drop the tools and clamber on. We do. It’s like surviving a catastrophe, when we make the shed’s shelter.

“I hope you don’t mind,” she says. “But I lit the fire in your room.”

I don’t mind. I thank her as she races off back to their house. As I watch the quad’s tail lights recede I see the bloody fuckin’ Germans running across the quad, hand in hand, from their cabin to the shower block.

I kick my sodden work boots off. My socks are soaked. I practically have to peel myself out of my wet weather gear. The coat’s outer zip, the inner zip – the draw cords of my leggings are all near impossible with frozen fingers. Water pools around me as I shrug all of that off. My exposed skin is white, like really white. My nipples poke out through my Marino with a horrible painful ache. And poor Hey, he’s hardly moving. I leave my wet socks on, because they’re woollen and still warm – yay for woollen socks.

It’s not how I imagined it, this kneeling in front of Hey. It’s boot laces I’m here for, rather than taking his cock in my still virgin mouth. At least I’m in my underwear I suppose. I stand to unzip his coat. Outer zip, inner zip. I have to tip toe to shrug it off his giant shoulders. I don’t know why, but I decide this is the best time.

“I know you think I’m some dumb kid.” He doesn’t answer, how could he? Poor thing. “But why didn’t you tell me you were going?”

I kneel again and pull at the draw cord of his leggings, his hands try to interfere, but they’re useless and I slap them away. I lower his leggings and help him step out of them. He’s in track pants and a jersey – both quite wet. I stand and peel his jersey from him. He raises his hands. A surrender? My fingers search under the waist of his track pants for their draw string, his belly is warm against my fingers. I pull the draw cord, slip my thumbs in at his hips and lower his pants. He’s in his briefs. I’m aware that his penis is a material’s thinness away from my face, my mouth, my tongue. There’s zips at his ankles that I have to unzip for him to step out of his track pants.

“At long last we’re equal,” I say. Hey gives a kind of weak smile of wonderment between shivers. I stand. I smile. “I mean that we’re both in our underwear. In the same place. At the same time.” As quick as I can I hang the wet weather gear and his sodden clothes. I grab a tarpaulin from one of the trailers. I hold it over us as we stand at the shed’s door and contemplate the dash to our cabin. I tiptoe and kiss him on his cheek. I take his hand.

“Come on,” I say.

We run.

The rain hits us like we’ve run into a wall. Even with our cover we’re soaked in moments. It takes an age it seems for my useless hands to open our cabin’s door. When I open it wind blows the door fully open. We dash in. I push to close it. Hey helps me. I take his hand, lead him closer to the fire. I hit the power outlet so that we can make tea, and I grab a towel and put it over Hey’s head. I dry his hair. It’s curlier than normal with the wet. He smiles at me, sort of. I dry his neck, his face. I help him peel his under shirt over his head, and dry his torso too.

He’s better when I give him his tea and place a blanket around his shoulders. The blanket hangs low, like a cloak. I sink to my knees in front of him, I kind off slide myself inside his blanket-cloak, with my towel, and peel down his soaked briefs. He’s silent as he steps out of them, silent as I towel one leg, then the other. I towel his penis, too. It’s not exactly at its best – but there’s size that suggests he’ll be bigger than the biggest piece I’ve seen waved at me. I’m as tender with him as I can be. He grows with the towelling, he grows further in my hands. I hold him in my hands like I’m praying. I kneel before him like I’m praying. I begin with kisses, kisses and licks. It takes me an age to kiss my way along the length of his shaft.

I’m aware that what light I’ve had down here is gone as the blanket circles me in. The darkness doesn’t matter – my spectacles have been fogged up for a while now. I’m aware of hearing a cup scrape it’s way to sitting on the bench. I’m aware of Hey’s fingertips against my wet hair. There’s nothing more to kiss. I open my mouth for him and take what I can of him in me. I’ve done some weird sexual shit in my short sexual life – but it’s all been passive. So I’ve really no idea. I try to angle my head, I hope he can guide me with his touch, but there’s no guidance. So I just do. I use my tongue under his shaft, and rest my teeth on top of his shaft.

I use my hands to guide him in and out. I bob my head. I gag every now and then but learn my practical limits – it’s an angle thing. And then I feel him tremor. I feel him grow somehow and in a flash his cum is against my throat, is filling my mouth, is overflowing my lips. I give myself room to swallow as much as I can, then pump him. There’s more. I take it the same way, pumping, swallowing. I have to take him from me – to lick my lips, to wipe my chin with my hand. It takes seconds and I have him in my mouth again.

I have no idea about how long this is supposed to take. So I keep at it as I feel his legs shudder against me. I figure out which feel of him makes for the biggest shudder – and do that mouth shape / wank shape two, three, four, five times in slow succession. He’s still got cum to give, and I’m still taking it. Eventually, I really don’t know how long, but eventually Hey goes limp. Eventually I realise I’m done here. That my mouth-virginity is gone. I stand and slide up inside his blanket. I’m still wet from our final rain dash. Hey smiles at me. Kisses my cheek. I kiss his lips.

“Thank you,” I say.

It’s my turn to surrender. My Marino is over my head and off. My briefs are down. My giant man-God is towelling me dry. I shudder at his touch. I collapse, more or less, onto his hands – into his care and caress.

“Can I tell you something?” I ask.

Hey nods.

“No one.... I mean.... I’ve never been given an orgasm before.”

I say this as his towelling is at the top of my inner thighs. I say this as I more or less collapse crotch first against his hand. I’m.... It’s unconscious almost, but I’m swaying myself against the edge of his hand, my puss – that I’ve shamelessly displayed to him more than a few times, I’m rubbing it against his hand so slowly that I can barely speak. That I can barely breathe. It’s magical. Hey understands that all I need him to do is keep his hand there, right there.

It takes long minutes. I’m aware of everything. My wet hair against my back. My nipples aching with my thoughts rather than the cold. My strong arms weak against his shoulders. I’m aware of the wind at the panes, the rain on the roof. The crackle of the fire. The glow of the quarter light. I’m aware of this man-God right here and the distance from my home. My desires, my thoughts, my hopes and my harsh description of myself – they all float through me, those thoughts, with the expectancy and weightlessness that I’ve carried in me for so long. I see myself in this cabin, on my bunk with a finger in my hole; stripping for him in front of this very fire; drinking tea topless; drinking tea naked. I’m aware of how much and how little I’ve done in this very cabin. And all my thoughts, and all my desires and all my plans evaporate as my heart pounds and my breath stings and my thighs shake and tremble and as my hands grab his shoulders, his head, his face, his arm. I trace my hands down his arm to his wrist and I pull his hand up by the wrist as I grind myself down against it. The gentleness of moments ago is gone. And I come in waves of endless emotion.

When I end up useless against him his hand is still there. I feel the profile of his finger against me, I feel his hand drag a touch from me, and his finger tip probe my hole. My mouth is right near his ear, so I whisper please. That finger circles me, then probes to the first knuckle. I remember that first touch of him on my first day with my cold hands in his. I remember the night he tickled me as I lay naked on my bunk. A gentle tickle around my navel that had me smiling, that had me holding his giant hand in mine. I wondered then what would happen if I guided his hand down to my puss. I wondered if he would finger me. I don’t need to wonder any more.

I shudder as the finger goes further. I shudder and use my own fingertips against my clit. I’m as gentle with myself as he is with me. My other hand ends up on my hip, then my butt – my finger finds my bum hole. I slip that finger in. Hey hasn’t noticed – unless he has and decides not to let on. Even with the gentleness I come quick. Hey’s finger in me, deep. Me fingering my bum hole with one hand – my clit with the other. We cuddle, his finger still in me, mine still in my bum. After a time he speaks:

“You hungry?”

I am. We jacket up and sprint to the showers. We soap and lather each other. Talk, giggle, hug, kiss. We dress and we take Hey’s van into town and have a proper restaurant dinner. It’s fun. We're more or less the only patrons. The waitress congratulates us for coming out in a cyclone. What a cool name for a storm. Over dinner I learn so much about him. When we return to the cabin my mattress and his end up on the floor so that we can sleep together. We cuddle. We agree not to have actual sex – although I did buy a box of condoms on that road trip with my cousin – as part of my wild back then plans. Like my plans it remains an unopened box.

We talk. Me asking, him answering:

“So when you were my age you were playing football for your country?”

“In Hong Kong. My first time away. We flew to Brisbane and then to Hong Kong. My first time in an aeroplane.”

“And when I was in middle school you were training for the Rio Olympics?”

“I got injured though,” said Hey. “I missed out.”

“On a Gold medal?”

“On a Gold medal,” says Hey.

“And when I was graduating High School and packing my bags for New Zealand you were playing rugby sevens in Paris?”

“Pretty much.”

“And in a few days you’re off to...?”

“Nelson.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I didn’t know what you wanted from me. I still don’t know.”

“Bloody fuckin’ Americans,” I say.

“Bloody fuckin’ you,” he says as he tickles me.

That night, when the fire near dies, Hey climbs from our makeshift bed and tends the fire. I climb out too, and rummage my day bag.

“What are you looking for?”

“These.”

We end up with me bracing myself against the long shelf, with Hey holding my legs aloft by my spread thighs while he stands behind me. He’s genuinely concerned about how slight I am.

“Take it slow,” I say. He does. I’m concerned, too. I bite my lip, I swear to myself, but I take him all the way in. It’s overwhelming. We start with a very slow in and out, then another. My arms ache. I end up more or less collapsed on that shelf, my arms almost folded, my tits squeezing against the wooden shelf, my head angled away from the wall. Another thrust and I shudder. Another. Another still.

“Please,” I say.

“Stop you mean?”

“Please fuck me.”

He does, slow at first, then faster – then a pounding. I scream and wonder if the Germans, if lady boss and man boss, if the neighbours down the road can hear my scream over the storm. I shudder out word sounds with each breath over and over and over again with each remorseless thrust. I know in my brain that I’m trying to say too big. I know that another part of my brain is telling the first part to shut the fuck up. I want it to stop, I want it to last for ever. It lasts as long as Hey lasts. His thrusts get deeper, deeper, deeper and deeper. Harder, harder, harder and harder. Until he stops deep and hard in me. I imagine that fat chick winking at me and smiling. I wail. I moan. I come. Hey comes in me. I can feel it even through the condom. I want his cock to stay deep inside me, but he lowers me instead, pulls himself out in the process. I’m shattered. So is he. In the morning my thighs are bruised – and I can even make out where his fingers gripped me.

We face up to work tired and sore and, for me at least, bruised. According to man boss the orchards’ come through the storm all right – all things considered. I ask about the Germans, and man boss says they finished up last night and left early this morning. Later I realise some of my stuff is missing from the kitchen. Bloody Fuckin Germans. Man boss says that he has a week’s worth of work for me – but that’s it. I agree to stay on. There’s nothing else for me to do.

We finish early the next afternoon. Hey loads his van and I drive him to the airport in Wellington. I see him on to his flight. My memory goes back to the last airport I was in, and the counting game. It occurs to me that I haven’t thought about the counting game since...? I drive Hey’s van back to the orchard. We did discuss me coming with him. But the competition he’s playing in is a fuck-tangle mess of games and travel and the best bet is for me to head up north because he has four matches over two-and-a-half weeks within a few hours drive of each other.


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