by Ian Jade

Things had changed, for certain. He had changed. He wished he could decide whether the change was for better, or worse. Sitting with his wife and child at the big kitchen table – breakfast bowls half-full and steaming sweetly – things looked perfect, domestic, the same as always. Same as … before. As if it had never happened.

He sometimes wished it hadn’t. Sometimes.

It had all been his fault. Hers, too, of course; she was hardly blameless – but if only he had thought to check the locks! Then that little vandal, that little slut, would never have broken in to their lives.

His wife murmurs, from across the room, “Are you all right, Dear?”

But of course she can never know the truth. Already the little suggestions and assumptions are piling up, hiding the awful, raw reality of what her husband has seen.

Assumptions of youth – the stranger, though young, had surely been a full-grown woman. Assumptions of innocence – this girl had been far from innocent. His wife will never need to face those truths, with any luck.

He lifts his head in response and focuses his gaze, a polite grimace the best he can do for a smile. Then his eyes look through her once more.

He sees the stranger in front of him, although she has long since fled. He sees her flesh again, and feels the hunger. Pale, so creamy, tender and soft. Smooth and curvaceous, full of thigh and hip and rump. Her head thrown back in ecstasy, throat exposed, breasts offered up. Her hand is working swiftly, smoothly; her fingers draw and coax those delicate folds of flesh and honey. She gasps, soft little insistent sounds, as if urging herself on to new feats of dexterity, new heights, new depths.

His wife speaks again, breaking the reverie. “You mustn’t dwell on it, Darling.” She moves closer. “It was a horrible, shocking experience for us all, but it’s just something we must accept, and learn to live with.”

“I know,” he says at last, “and I … try not to think about it.” His voice is now deep and soft, filled with awkward emotion. “I find it so hard,” he whispers.

Vandal, tearaway, mischief-maker and liberty-taker. On the rampage, she happens upon their house, their cosy little world. Seeking only pleasure, she enters. Insinuates her lithe figure into their solid, sensible lives and flexes her thighs, wriggles her hips, pushes and pushes to see what will snap. She must have been hungry, he thinks, or she wouldn’t have taken all but the dregs of their breakfast from the table. She was angry enough to ransack the place before they got back; angry or spiteful, he can’t decide. Cold, too, maybe, if she was prepared to break in, but had she really been looking for a place to stay? Would she have stayed?

“Is it too hot, dear?” asks his wife, gently. He notices his spoon, lifted halfway to his mouth. How long has he held it there?

“No, no. No, it’s fine,” he says, and places it reverentially between his lips. He closes his eyes and takes a long, deep breath.

The harlot upstairs writhes in the sheets. Flowing blonde curls caress her breasts; nipples harden as to a lover’s touch. Her neck spasms, whipping that lustrous fall of silk up and around, slapping it across her naked back. She ducks her head again, her tresses flogging her own taut stomach and trembling breasts. As her hands play up and around her thighs she nods and ducks again, in a slow, steady rhythm that underscores the frantic movements of her fingertips. Between those thighs, at the crux of her body, the hair grows fine and fair and bushy. From beside her she takes the tempting handle; the thick, gnarled, carven wood gleaming dully from years of loving use. She slides the spoon handle deep inside her, making it quiver with every twitch of her muscles and drip with her juices.

“Shall I wash that up for you?”

“No, don’t bother yourself. I’ll do it, love.” He takes the empty bowl to the sink, fills it with water, and slowly, lovingly, washes the spoon. His wife doesn’t notice that he is careful to keep the handle perfectly dry.

As he stands there, slack-jawed, mesmerised by the wanton, decadent creature in his bed, he knows that his life is changed forever. You go up first, his wife had said, and he went – the big, grizzly male doing his duty, to face whatever danger lay waiting. He never could have imagined this danger. The danger of lust. Of sudden dissatisfaction. He watches her now, slender limbs working to bring herself back and back to the edge of release, and knows how it would feel to take her. Knows how salty-sweet she would taste, how lightly musky and fresh she would smell, how exquisitely she would struggle – half in jest – pinned by his powerful frame. Knows how hot and ready she would be, how slickly he could enter her, slowly working every last inch of himself into her tight, eager body. In that instant, he knows how it would be to … yes … to fuck her! Again and again, each day, each night, and have her like this; always willing, always ready, insatiable. And as he thinks this, something inside him, some little ignored part of him, turns over, like a key inside a lock. The fit is tight, precise; as perfect as she is. He feels suddenly secure, safe, and yet he recognises that he now does not have the key to his own release. He has changed, for certain; locked these thoughts inside him, for good.

His wife sits beside him, leans on his broad shoulder. “You know we won’t be seeing her again, don’t you?” she says. “I don’t understand why it bothers you so. It’s safe, now. We make sure we put the locks on. You said she was only a little girl, for goodness’ sake! She can’t get back in to torment us again.”

But he knows the locks are on, and she is already inside.

She comes, then, at last; nearly silently, the breath whimpering out of her. He sighs softly, in sympathy and regret. She breathes, fast and deep; then, slowly at first, opens her eyes. Turns those eyes to him, the huge stranger whose home she has invaded on a whim, whose bed she has abused, whose sheets she has soiled with sweat and come and lust. Her eyes open slightly wider. Blue eyes, he thinks, like the summer sky. Her lips twitch, and she carefully slips out the very tip of her glistening pink tongue to moisten and lick those suddenly dry lips. He watches; the girl starts to smile, and closes one eye in a shameless, bawdy wink. Unbidden, his feet begin to move, and he takes one great, lumbering step towards the bed, his bed. The moment cannot last. His wife calls from downstairs; has he found the intruder? Is it safe? The girl, startled, scrambles from the bed, her gorgeous hair falling demurely to cover her luscious breasts and the still-hard puckerings of her nipples. She grabs her clothes, pulling on the simple dress in one smooth movement, and scampers from the room. He doesn’t turn to see her go, doesn’t move to catch her. He is left, staring in wonder at the detritus of her personal orgy, trying to explain to himself how this happened. Trying to understand what she had wanted, what she had needed. If things had been different – if he had been different – would she have stayed?

He huffs and growls in resentful frustration, shrugs his shoulders and paws awkwardly at the newspaper. He buries his nose in stories of other people, of things that happened far, far away. His wife rises and, with a backward glance, continues to potter around the kitchen, washing up the three bowls and the dirty porridge pan. He looks up for a comforting glimpse of her soft brown coat, but all he really sees is that young, supple body, and those gorgeous golden locks.