Things that go 'bump' in the night.
Sometime later, she moved in his embrace, waking him up. He decided he should not move. His hand was under her nightdress which was up above her waist, holding her breast. She was wide awake and listening. At least she wasn’t complaining about where he was touching her.
“What was that noise?” Her senses were all on edge. She came even closer to him in her sudden fear, and she shouldn’t have done that. His hand was still full on her breast. She still said nothing about that.
He could hear his sisters in his head, kicking up a storm, warning him, telling him to be more careful and to slow down.
He pulled her closer to him as he analyzed what he had been listening to, in his semi-comatose state, easily identifying each noise that he could hear.
“Which one? I heard an owl just before you woke up. They hunt during the night-hours as they go after mice and other small rodents. And just before that, I heard a fox scream.”
They were familiar sounds to him.
She hadn’t known foxes screamed. Or had he meant that high pitched yipping that was still going on in the distance. So that was a fox. She should have known that.
She rested her head and her hand on his chest as he held her head close to him and stroked her hair.
“Not quite. They will be interested in your hens if you don’t close them in, but I did that for you. You might attract a badger too. They can be very destructive and can tear a hen-house apart.”
The rain was bringing other wild-life into chorus.
“And those deeper calls are bullfrogs.”
She listened to the low-pitched burping.
“We have no bullfrogs.”
“You do. In that pond across the road.”
“There is no pond across the road.”
“I’ll show you sometime. You should explore more."
He could explore more too, and did, moving his hand down across her abdomen, nudging into the top of her panties, before moving back to hold her breast again.
"You also have a toad in your garden under the plant pot your mother inverted for him, but he’s quiet at this time of year. When they are calling a mate from a pond, they let out a long trill over about ten seconds or more, after swelling their throat-pouch with air and slowly letting it out.
“And that noise above us in the ceiling, is a mouse in the attic.” She knew about that noise.
So many noises. There was a whole other world of life surrounding them.
“There may be bats up there too. They roost during the day and are out hunting now, going after moths and other small night-time flying insects.”
She didn't like bats. “Where did you learn all this, Peter?”
“Interest. Being observant, messing in ponds as a boy—I still do that—wandering the countryside. And living on a farm for much of my life.”
“You won’t ever leave me will you, Peter? After…” Annie’s worrisome words came back to her.
After he had made love to her? What had brought that on?
He answered her by turning her head to him as he kissed her and breathed all over her.
“I will never leave you, Sheila. Not willingly. I will not leave you until you tell me that I should, or must, or you show me the door, which I am afraid you may do very soon when you learn more about me (as if she hadn’t already seen and learned enough about his inability to control himself) and I begin to scare you with my intensity, which I could so easily do, even now.”
It wasn’t his intensity that would frighten her, but something much more substantial about him.
“I will never tell you to go, Peter. And I don’t think you will ever truly scare me.”
How little she knew.
She was also curious. “How could you scare me?” Another one of those questions with no easy answer.
“I think you know, Sheila. By being who and what I am: male. By my uncontrollable eagerness; my male urges, my hormones, given any encouragement.” My obvious inability to control my own body when I am near you; this eager-to-explode appendage of mine.
In other words, all of those things that mature women soon began to find fascinating about a man.
That was another thing that Annie had been talking about when she had phoned her.
“You mean about…that male thing again? Your male thing?” She was aware of where it was and what it was doing.
Of course, about that! Definitely about that!
She had brushed too close to it as she had moved around and got closer to him.
That personal thing of his, his alter ego, was standing there even now, impatiently, listening to them, ready to leap into action with a mind of its own. How was she able to acknowledge it so easily and bring it more into the picture?
“Yes. Exactly, about that personal thing. That which must not be spoken off lest you bring him even more to life, and I already frightened you enough with that when we were in the gully.”
She shouldn’t have chuckled. It sounded like she was no longer as afraid as she had been.
Should she tell him what she knew of that already when she had observed him earlier in his bed? Better not. Let sleeping dogs lie.
That poor bitch!
Her muscles down there were getting a workout, the way she was clenching herself in response to the thought of that stiff thing of his getting close to her.
What a strange conversation they were having, with that third, insistent entity attached to him, listening to the outcome, waiting so impatiently to play a lead role in this intimate drama.
'What did she say? Is it now, Peter? I’m ready for anything, just give me the word and I'll get this sword buried in her scabbard.'
'Not yet. Be patient you scoundrel. She’s not ready yet, even though she sounds like it. She'll get there soon enough.'
'Then when? I’ve been ready for her all day. I can't take much more of this abuse.'
'So have I. Soon. She’ll tell me, and I’ll let you know.'
'You’ll be waiting for ever at this rate, and I can’t wait. Nor can you.'
'You’ll have to bloody-well wait, just like I will have to! It has to be her idea, not yours or mine.'
'Spoilsport! Then don’t blame me for what happens when you come all over her and scare the wits out of her. You’ve been close to coming more than once. You’re even close to it again now. You want to hope it doesn't spurt onto the ceiling if you do.'
He ached to have her find out about him properly, as a man and a woman were meant to.
She surprised him by daring to speak about something he hoped she had not noticed. “I think I am causing that to happen for you. Aren’t I, Peter?" She was bravely referring to that thing she could see standing up from him and pointing at the ceiling.
Oh, Lord, she knew about it! Could she really see it standing up in the dark like that as though it were glowing with eagerness for her? Of course she could. He couldn’t hide that thing, and there was only one place to hide it as it wanted to be hidden, but she wasn't ready for that yet.
Big sigh. Resignation. What the hell! Maybe he should just 'come' and then explain what had happened, to her.
“You are indeed causing that about me, Sheila. You know that you are.”
She knew. All women did, while pleading ignorance.
She had better not ask how she was causing it. She already knew. He found her maddeningly desirable, and attractive, and beautiful. He’d told her. She also knew that she was safe for a while. For a few days. She dared say no more but just watched it, wanting to ask so many questions, but not yet able to.
Sleep eluded them both after that telling interlude.
He leaned in and kissed her again.
“When does your mother get back from her trip?” She'd already told him.
Why did he ask that question? What was he planning to do to her in the meantime? To ravish her mercilessly over the next few days?
She no longer cared.
“Either late Saturday night or Sunday morning. It depends on the flights and the trains. We will have four or five days alone together.”
She shouldn’t have told him that.
“If I’m still here, she will find out about me in a shocking kind of way if she hasn’t been told sooner (it would be shocking to her anyway), and she will just have to look at us for it to be obvious how we have been behaving with each other by then if you haven’t told her to give her some warning of my presence.”
Her mother would worry anyway. Mothers always did
“I would like to stay and meet her. I need to meet her so that she will know about me.”
He wanted her mother to know about him. That was another positive statement. Sheila wouldn’t ask what he meant by ‘how they would be behaving with each other’, by then. She’d already figured that one out. He had already made a good start on it without frightening her too much.
He had touched her on her breasts several times in his sleep (if he’d been asleep) and had found out other intimate things about her, and he must know that his hand was still holding her there, and she didn't mind.
She’d have to tell her mother some of it to prepare her, and preferably before Annie told her what she thought she might know. Even that little, was damning enough.
“I’ll stay with you until your mother gets back, which is also when we will be returning to university, but she will need to be told about me, and soon. She will see the way we look at each other and behave. Some things will just not be hidden for long. She needs to be told something about me before then; about what happened to you, and between us on the fell and here, like now.”
Just look at what they were doing already, their first night after meeting, and cozying-up in bed together already.
It would soon get further out of hand. They’d both agreed on that, even though nothing much had been said about when, or how, other than a vague reference to two or three days. She knew exactly what she wanted. She wanted him, and if she had to cozy up to that other... intimidating entity to get him, then that was what she would do. But not just yet.
It would unfold between them as it would.
Peter would show her, or she would make it happen somehow, when she knew what to do.
“She will like you, Peter. She and I are very alike in every way. She trusts my judgment, but I was never interested in boys before, so she’ll be surprised, but she’ll be pleased too.”
He doubted that but didn’t say anything. Boys were one thing. Men, were another. Mothers were rarely pleased to see that their daughters were no longer the innocent little girls they wanted to remember forever, but had a man interested in invading their bodies; always wanting to go at them and get into them every chance they got with that stiff thing of theirs.
“I’ll tell her in the morning when she calls.”
He hoped it wasn’t too late even then, the way he was feeling.
“If you don’t, Annie will tell her.”
“Not if my mother doesn’t call her. Annie doesn’t know her number.”
He wouldn’t be so sure of that.
“When a mother goes away for a few days or a week and leaves a beautiful, nubile, and vulnerable daughter like you alone and at the mercy of the world of men, especially one like me, she always enlists friends to keep an eye on her.”
At least he had told Annie where he would be, and Sheila had called her to thank her for the dinner, so it wasn’t as though they were hiding much of anything from anyone yet, except no one would believe that this was already happening between them; in bed together, as good as naked, or not taking much to get there, and sharing the same bed, the same pillow, the same air. But not yet sharing each other’s bodies. That would soon come.
He stroked her hair and kissed her again.
“Sleep if you can.”
“I can’t sleep.” She was restless. “If you want to kiss me again Peter, you can. In fact, you can kiss me whenever you would like to.” She was being very daring. She would invite him to touch her next whenever and wherever he wanted to, but he was already well on his way to doing that, having moved into her panties more than once in his explorations.
He kissed her over the next few minutes, sending his temperature into orbit and bringing other things to life again, though that part had never rested, still straining at the leash, about to burst its skin like a molting serpent. He had never been so hard.
“I’m glad we met, Peter, even as we did.”
So was he.
“I keep asking myself how I got so lucky.” She moved his hand back onto her breast without saying anything.
There would be some major changes in her life before her mother got back and some of that had already happened, with much more promised.