After getting everything else out of the way; calves, hens, showering with each other, and dinner, they dressed (Sheila wondered if they were to play that other game again. They didn't need to dress did they?) lay in front of the fire again close together, holding each other, looking into each other's eyes, talking about university; how they would live together when they got back there, and how their lives would change. Sheila suspected that Peter needed to rest after such a busy day for him and his balls, so she didn't mind.
Long-term plans would wait until they both got their degrees and decided where they would be living, but wherever that would be, their lives together were already decided upon.
There was no need to rush anything with them only just having met. There was also her mother to consider. Neither Sheila, nor her mother had any other really close relatives, so her mother would always need to be a part of their lives, somehow. It didn’t scare him. He could get on with anyone, no matter how difficult they were. He’d survived all of these years surrounded by women, and Sheila did not regard her mother as difficult, but as a close bosom-friend rather than as a mother. He would be a bombshell for her to deal with. He hoped she would not be difficult with him, over what he and Sheila would be doing all of the time somewhere in the house or in the garden or... anywhere.
Peter slowly learned that Sheila and her mother were more like sisters than anything else, the way they had leaned on each other, giving support when her father had died. Without each other they would never have been able to function and continue. If her mother was to be a close part of their lives, he would accept that, despite the sour image that usually went along with mothers-in-law.
Living with four sisters and his mother had taught him tolerance and acceptance beyond the usual. One more, or even two extra women in his life, wouldn’t make much difference, and Sheila was special, of course. His father was the same, with both men usually staying in the background, listening, smiling, occasionally looking at each other and shrugging their shoulders at what they overheard or saw. They both knew better than to interfere or say anything. Women ruled the roost in their house, but in a nice way, and they were neither of them lesser men because of it. They understood.
They knew that if anything difficult happened, that they would be the ones called upon to take charge, as though they'd never relinquished that dominance.
The ball-clock was still rumbling and rattling out its message every minute. They’d even got used to it with it becoming little more than background noise, especially when the clock got to twelve, at midnight and mid-day, when all of the steel balls emptied to the bottom to start the cycle again. It was showing the wrong time anyway; about two hours off, but who cared?
Peter emptied another bottle of wine for them into one glass which they could share, as they shared everything now, and brought cushions down with them as they followed another ritual; undressing each other.
Sheila wondered when he would revive again after their busy day, although he would have engaged her in the shower earlier, if the water had not begun to get cold with them being in there so long holding each other and talking.
They followed the same course they had, when he'd first started the ball clock; one piece of clothing, alternately, each minute, and kissing, driving their temperatures and libidos up again.
After about fifteen minutes they were completely naked again and playing another game, learning even more intimate details about each other as experimenting children did, but much further along, and always needing to know more about each other.
He traced small circles around her areolae as he kissed her breasts, seeing how easy it was to bring them to life, and for her nipples to harden with his attention. She found that his nipples did not respond in any comparable way. His breasts were not as erogenous as hers were, but there was a part of him that unfailingly responded to her gentle touch. She would always be curious about that too; what it could do, what it did, and how it did it? What it meant to be circumcised, and had it hurt, when he'd told her how the excess foreskin had been cut off when he had been a baby, and how curious his older sisters had been about that, and him only a baby? He'd remembered none of it, of course.
She laid between his legs and asked questions about his balls; the loose and wrinkled skin, always fascinating to her, and about his penis as she touched at them, noting the changes she caused, with even his balls responding in a way she had not expected, moving as she touched at them or held them.
His camera was close to hand, so she began to photograph him in fine detail as he changed, though she would have so much liked to catch him on camera, actually ejaculating, with his semen flying out of him onto her. That would require more effort on her part, and careful timing, but she had other plans, now that they had come this far.
Peter smoothed her hair as she lay there inspecting him closely, touching gently.
“I can tell you an interesting story about those. There was a poem, a very clever poem, anonymous, written sometime in the 1600’s, about the penis. It was called ‘Arbor vitae’, or ‘The Tree of Life’.”
She laughed, hearing it described as that, yet it was an apt description of it. All human life came to a woman through one of these after being manufactured in these; his balls.
She listened to his recitation as she played with him more, bringing him to be a fully upstanding player. She kissed him on the end of it. His size no longer intimidating her. She had entertained all of it several times now without any significant discomfort for her each time they had made love.
“It is called the ‘tree of life’ for a good reason, but it is unlike other trees, as the poem tells us.”
She listened attentively.
“This tree, as others, rises with age until, at puberty in the male, it becomes as you see it now, when properly stimulated by the hand of a woman deeply interested in what it will do. It does not have foliage at the top, like most trees, but at the base to keep it warm and protected in winter’s icy blasts. But that was before protective clothing was invented to keep him warm.”
She found that hilariously funny as though she were already intoxicated... which she was; intoxicated with love.
“When not stimulated in that way, it shrinks, unlike other trees, to a part of its former size, just as the skin on my balls pulls them up tight against my body, and they both rest, until suitable stimulation is once more applied to it, bringing it, and them, back to life once more.”
She would always be able to bring it to life for him; a gentle touch at first, and then a firmer, more assured grip.
“Where other trees grow their fruit at the top, this, bears its fruit at the bottom in those other items of mine that you are caressing. Where it takes other trees a full year to bear fruit, this one bears fruit after only a few minutes of stimulation, and can continue doing so, day after day, night after night. In fact, its most productive time is usually at night, when male and female lie down next to each other, with various critical parts juxtaposed; my tree and her shrubbery (he touched her there and set her giggling), and her little garden within that shrubbery opens up to receive his tree at first, and then its fruit, which the male is always anxious to give up to her.”
She had never heard anything to descriptive that captured the essence of what happened between excited participants in this dance of life.
“These fruits are unlike other fruit but are in the form of milky tears with which the guardian of the tree anoints her innermost recesses and regions.”
He continued as she stroked him, knowing that he would soon be stimulated to share that life-giving fruit with her again.
“The best fruit, borne on the most youthful and vibrant trees, incubates within the receptive blossom of the female for months after being introduced into her flower, her vulvaria, coming to full fruition after nine months, not ripening on the tree as most fruit, but nurtured and protected in a special place of the female, within her body to grow ten thousand fold, and ripen, after being introduced there by this, nine months before.”
Sheila smiled at all of the apt analogies.
“And where, sir, does this tree of life seek to implant itself and deliver its fruit? I know that you told me, but I think I would like to feel a more practical demonstration.”
She knew what she was asking, seeking a practical demonstration. He was ready.
“I’m glad you asked. However, with you as you are, and where you are, I can show you in a different way, before we get into the practical delivery part of it.”
He brought his camera down with them as they changed places and she followed his instructions, with him lying between her legs now, bringing her feet up to her buttocks and put them apart for him; no shred of shyness with him now.
He took a flash photograph from about two feet away, and then moved closer to her, giving her instructions as she adjusted her position and as he photographed her ever closer, reaching out to touch for himself, feeling her flinch. She was moist after what had been tantamount to foreplay.
“I would have shown you your hymen, my love, but I am afraid that it did not survive our first encounters, if you had one that survived the violent games of adolescent girls.”
“Mine didn’t. It went when I was fifteen.”
“They usually don’t survive much beyond that age. My sisters were shocked as they got older, to learn that it had suddenly gone without them even noticing it. I overheard them again as I always tried to do. They spied on me, so why should I not spy on them?
"They were afraid of what our mother would say if she found out, and blamed the wrong things: boyfriends, and their guilty secrets. That is, until she talked to them about that, and the other things that they needed to know about youths and men, and their aggressive bits and pieces, what they were designed to do, and what boys and men were always eager to experiment with when it came to girls’ bodies. They began to look at me differently after that; more cautiously, but also with even more curiosity. That was also when I became more defensive of my privacy.”
He sighed. “No one gave me a talk about girls. I so much wanted to learn about them; other girls, not my dreadful sisters. But by then, I was one of the enemy they had to guard against. And then I met you and became the luckiest man on earth.”
Peter snapped other photographs as he moved ever closer to her, as she did what she could to help him see into her there. She was no longer as shy as she had been.
He showed her the photographs as they laid side by side in front of the fire, chuckling to see herself there in such fine detail as she had never seen herself before.
She kissed him and put the camera to one side, as she brought his hands onto her breasts.
“We have played long enough, Peter, and we are both ready. I want you to come into me now, please."