“Gone for a little early skiing”
V stewed over the text, marinating it in her resentment as she trudged up the sweep of drive to the house. Greenhaw sat as smug and implacable as ever. The sunny stone facade lording it over the village below. At least the bloody Jack wasn’t flying today. Because nobody was ‘in residence.”
As if they were Royalty, not just made-good Chesterfield Ironmongers. She took the church-sized scullery key out of her big fake All Saints bag, and crunched gravel round to the rear of the house.
Well, she thought as she opened the door, at least she wouldn’t spend the visit being stalked by Margaret – Chanel-scented, thin, improbably heeled – or be subjected to the scrutiny of her braying country visitors, who all called Margaret “Bunty”,and looked at V as if she was a colourful bug. Today, she could just get on and get finished, get out.
The scullery was chilly and smelt of damp lime wash and old, sour grouting. Well supplied with old stone sinks and tall cupboards, it was filled with flat cool light that was the silvered grey of cobwebs. V was probably the only person who ever came here. There were not any other ‘staff’ as such. Except when they threw their big parties.
“Best get to it”, V thought, “ and get the early bus.”
Wakefield at 6, she could meet him with time to spare. She felt a little tingle of pleasure sweeping across her at the thought, like a brief slap of passing rain, bringing goose-pimples. Smiling to herself and thinking about the outfit she’d chosen lying folded at the bottom of her bag, V felt herself stir.
Two hours of skirting boards, rugs, windows and taps later, V was done and standing in the master bathroom, trembling slightly. This was Margaret’s domain. A white room the size of V’s own front room, filled with crisp white porcelain, all tile and stainless steel. A Mosaic of Botticelli’s Venus rose from the ugh clamshell bath along the back wall, between the windows. A black tile floor she could see her face in, subtly angled to the drain beneath the rain shower hanging in the centre of the room.
That sweet thrill was back. The thought of hearing his voice. The waiting. The giggles. All of it. But now the swell of the imminent. Here, in Margaret’s colour-supplement bath-temple, she would undress. Strip and stand in that shower, displaying herself to Margaret’s mirrors and tile, to the empty stare of the goddess. Turn in the waterfall like a dancer. V’s fingers fluttered at her buttons as she undid them, and her breath grew tight in her throat.
With her work clothes folded on the wash basket, she was reflected in every surface. A hundred shimmering mirages that slipped and glittered across the polish. Savouring her transgression she made herself at home. Choosing the fluffiest towels, the most expensive shower gel. Touching everything. Watching her dancing reflections, she felt herself blossom. Bloom with the dark blood flowing in her nipples, the bloom of the music in her legs, bloom in the swell beneath her belly, and bloom in the excitement in her breath.
Last, before she started the shower, she hung up her outfit. Clothes that said her and no other. No deference in these, no self-effacement. Black pleather trousers, and a man’s dress shirt in orange, razor creases in the pleated front. Studded black boots (with heels that rang and chains that jingled), and, for underneath, her Bond Girl kit. Big black knickers, slinky, plain but for a little brassy badge along the hip. Delicious things that slithered on both her skin and under curious fingers. And ‘The Bra’. Strong support in black, somewhat longline, with thick straps, brassy metal buckles, sewn cups that turned her tits into a shimmering shelf of domed distraction. Temptation, too, in the brass zip between them. A million dollars of cheap, but a million dollars nonetheless.
The shower controls were in the floor, of course, and operated with the toes. Looking down she saw herself. A pale, sinuous shadow falling away into the black polished floor, like a mermaid might look. Naked but hidden, a scribble of hints. She liked it and felt her nakedness all the more. But her face looked silly from this angle, so she snarled, and laughed a little. And then with some surprise and pleasure, found herself watching the V-mermaid touching herself in the watery dark. Lord, she was wet, this mirror-woman. V washed the mermaid away with a prod of her toe.
The shower finished, she stood in front of the mirror, body dusted with little diamond-drips, knees still a little weak from the pleasure of the shower. The pleasure in the shower.
V bit her lip and looked at herself gravely in the wiped steamy mirror. She took her nipples between finger and thumb and pulled. Stretched them until she groaned and squirmed, and squeezed her thighs tight against her still-musical slit.
Door noises in the fugue of it. Fuck.
A voice, startled: “Mum? – You’re not Mum..”
And the door left swinging half open and footsteps clattering downstairs. The girl – Phoebe? Penelope? Petra-something? – a snapshot against the shadowed corridor. Small and creamy. Rich dark hair badly cut. An ill-fitting dress screaming “Laura Ashley”. Converse shoes though. And such ankles.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuckety fuck. V dressed quickly. Considered putting on her housekeepery respectable stuff but figured that ship had sailed. Her tits throbbed in sympathetic answer. So the outfit it was. Thus armoured, and the bathroom spotless, she strode downstairs. No sign of the kid. Damn it. Oh well.
On the way out through the kitchen, she saw the drying up. She toyed with the idea of ignoring it, but sighed and put down her bag. Took off the orange shirt to preserve its creases and began drying up and putting away.
V picked up the long plain glass rod of the rolling pin, began to wipe it.
Door noises again, on an indrawn breath. Oh for fuck’s sake. The girl stood in the kitchen door. Stood her ground this time. Looked V up and down. Her mouth worked a little. It was a pretty mouth. Probably looked nice smiling. Round face. Probably thought that she was fat, which she sure as hell wasn’t. She was merely young. The baggy-here, tight-there dress, with its wallpaper-pattern pale green and blue cotton, could not conceal the girl. Nor its open neck, her cream and unlined throat, or the slope of chest and cleavage that shone like marble under the kitchen light.
“You’re the, uh, cleaner?”
“I’m your mother’s housekeeper, yes.” V reached for the shirt, tried to put it on unobtrusively.
“Are you a stripper?”, the girl blurted and blushed. The blush flew into her cheeks, but also down her throat and across her chest. Which V found interesting. No, the girl’s emotions weren’t censorious. Weren’t outraged. Something else.
“I suppose I could get you into trouble, couldn’t I? But I won’t you know, I mean I hate them, I only came back cos I knew they weren’t going to be here, I mean skiing? It’s so First World!”
She grabbed her thick hair and twisted it, lifting it off her neck. Her eyes flitted everywhere. Everywhere including V. Her eyes, the bra. Her hips. Little glances that lit little flames wherever they landed. V sighed. Put down the rolling pin.
The cooking brandy was the stuff they served in the pub, and out of chipped teamugs it didn’t taste half bad. The kid was called Persephone but V could call her Percy. She was 26 and doing some kind of university thing. It was a post-something, and it had to do with libraries. They appeared to be becoming mates.
“You’d make a hell of a sexy librarian.”
Percy blushed again, the glow across her tits having hardly abated.
“Me? No… I’m too fat. And dumpy.”
Jesus. What is wrong with kids these days? V ached to sort her hair out. Fix that dress.
“You’re so not. You just need better girlfriends who’ll help you with… presentation.”
“Li-like what? Will you help me?” Persephone finished her brandy, pushed her mug for more. For herself, V was pleasantly buzzed and could feel the hunt stirring.
“I mean, what would you do? You’re so cool!”
“Okay. Your hair -”
“I love yours! It’s so Fuck You! I mean…” she paused and turned solemn, thoughtful. Looked quickly at where V’s groin would be under the deal table.
“Is it like that.. you know.”
Blush, blush, blush. Oh, girl. V felt the same heat in her cheeks and her throat. In the tips of her tits and, yes, in the place under discussion.
“No. It’s not… It’s not anything. I’m waxed.”
And, teasing and hot, blushing hard under her cheekbones:
“You didn’t notice? Before? You didn’t peek?”
Persephone’s brandy-liberated mouth hung open.
“Wow.” She said. “I don’t think I know anyone with a, a, Brazilian.”
She twirled her badly cut hair, with the fringe that needed to go, and the rich chocolate glow that was in need of a quality conditioner, and that last four inches, that needed cutting right off. Then her Percy’s nervous fingers picked up the rolling pin, turning the glass rod in her hands Looking at the light through it, she spoke again.
“Are you… are you a lesbian?” Asked Persephone.
“Not all the time.” Drawled V.
This statement landed on the kitchen table between them with the soft emphasis of a cat. Persephone took on a look of calm introspection as she digested it. She slowly rolled the glass rod under both hands. Back and forth. Frowning slightly where its imperfections made it wobble.
V, on the other hand, sat perched on the edge of her seat, eagerness clumsily catching in her throat and, equally clumsy, topped up their brandy.
The tap-drip silence was broken by Persephone changing the subject.
“So you don’t like my hair? Anything else?”
“Your hair is amazing, love. It’s your haircut that sucks. And that dress doesn’t fit you at all. And it’s too old for you.”
“Are you a hairdresser too, as well as housekeeper and occasional lesbian?”
“No. But I do know clothes. And it’s bisexual.”
“My hair?” Persephone’s face had gone still, though her eyes blazed with brandy-light and she was still pink. And still, goddammit, young and sexy. She stood up, holding the rolling pin like a relay baton.
“No, I, uh..” V started collecting her things. Suddenly, she felt vulnerable and out of place. A freak. She buttoned the orange shirt while Persephone stood by and watched.
“I’d better go.”
“But”, said Persephone stonily, “I need your help.”
V froze. Felt the slap of the master-servant relationship. The gulf between them, as old as power.
“Uh… I.. I’m”
Improbably, the girl’s bottom lip twitched and a thin watery shimmer grew along the lower lid of her left eye.
“I’m sorry”, Percy said hoarsely, “I didn’t mean to presume.”
And the kid hovered awkwardly, then grabbed the brandy and vanished upstairs.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuckety fuck.
Again the girl’s footsteps flew on the treads and rattled upstairs to the height of the house, to the corner bedroom on the second floor, under the hip of the roof. Persephone’s door slammed.
V stood in the dark of the hall, under the beat of its somnolent clocks. Hand on the newel post she looked upstairs and tried, through the fog of brandy and arousal, to decide which V she should be. If she left, the girl would hate her – and herself, most likely – so she should go upstairs and she should make sure Persephone was alright. Yet.. as she thought these objectively kind thoughts she could feel in her breath, and in her blood, and in the smooth way that her Bond Girl knickers cupped her and slid… she could feel the lie in them, in the thought, too. The hunt. The invitation. She certainly hoped so.. God.
She stopped. In the discussion, she’d climbed half of the stairs. Fuck sake. She dithered. Horny and scared. How lovely. Think of him. Think. Of. His. Cock. But all her addled mind could grasp was the thought of the rolling pin, that glass rod held tightly in Persephone’s pretty fist.
And then. On the landing above. Door noises again. The bedroom door squeaking slowly open. The light from outside spilling inward. The sound of Persephone settling onto her bed.
The young woman sat demurely, backside sinking into the chintzy coverlet, and smiled a watery smile. V stood in the door. Awkward silence reigned, broken only by both breathing a little harder than normal. Both of them a little flushed. Persephone put down the rolling pin, stood and smoothed out her skirts. She moved round her bed and clattered the toothbrush and paste into the sink, returning with a dusty tooth glass. Same trick with a glass holding makeup and tweezers. A finger of brandy in each.
“Cheers”, she said, and they clinked glasses.
Too close together in the small room.
“I wondered,” said Persephone, as she sat down on the stool by her dressing table, “if you could show me what you mean. With my hair and so on.”
Persephone’s hair was as heavy as silk, thick and slippery in V’s fingers. She parted her fringe either side of Persephones forehead. Demanded pins. Tucked it here and spread it there, as the air grew quiet and heavy around them.
” See?” She said, putting her face alongside the girl’s.
The two faces looked frankly back.
“That’s less… boxy. You have a lovely face, but you do need to get your hair off it to show off its shape.”
V stood up straight again.
“A bit like you need to show off YOUR shape, girl.”
Persephone lifted her arms over her head and said:
This time, when V bent to her task, tugging the cloth back to snug it in under her bosom, or tight to her ribs, this time, V could smell her. There was brandy, yes, and a hint of sweat. But underneath it an earthy sweetness, like a ripe autumn apple. The smell went right through V and sang in the spaces inside her head, and again she was blooming, eager and pink.
“I don’t know…” whispered Persephone, and grunted a little as V’s nimble fingers pulled the dress taut under her breasts, pushing them up and together, high over the neckline.
“It’s so bold…”
And she turned her head to V and their mouths were mere movements apart. Their eyes met and flickered, drifting all over their faces, their mouths. The two women shared breath and hung, trembling, perched on the edge of those slow beating moments of blinking and heartbeat and possibility.
Gathering herself somehow, anyhow, V spoke harshly, deep in her throat, hardly knowing what might spill out.
“Are you… are you courting?” The fuck? Courting? Where had that come from?
“Courting?”, giggled Persephone, “I don’t know that I’ve ever heard it called THAT before..”
She looked puzzled for a moment. Grew still. Frowned.
“Oh I see.” She stood up hurriedly, blundering into V and recoiling a little.
“You think I’m a, that I’m a CHILD!” Pause for hand wringing and shoving her hair back. Breath.
“I have had sex! I have!”
The dress hung again, anonymously. V sat down on the squashy bed. Bed springs sighed wearily.
“Well, I should hope so.” She said drily. “Be a waste otherwise.”
“Do you really think so? A waste?”
The kid cupped her own bosom and tugged at the cloth. Looked down at herself and looked thoughtful.
“Well. It wasn’t awful. He was rather sweet. But it took him ages to find… it…”
“You left it to him? Oh.. love. You can’t leave it up to them..”
“It was over too quick” said Persephone, mournfully. “I take… longer than that. But it was nice, though.”
“Good, good.. I mean at least you know what it takes, right?”
“Oh, I do. Take a look in that drawer if you don’t believe me.”
A fine selection, thought V. A cheap sex-shop cream plastic thing. Two bullets. A tiny rabbit and a cock. A big brown slab of a thing. Jesus.
Persephone’s breath on her neck.
“That one’s too big.”
“I…. I don’t doubt it.”
Their eyes locked again and V tried – in the end vainly – not to look down her dress. Glimpse of roundness. Darkness beyond. The kid stood up. Cupped her boobs again. V really, really wanted to do that, too.
“I’ve other dresses too.” Of course she did. Not a single t-shirt though, V would bet. She turned. Looked back over her shoulder.
“Would you mind? That silly button?”
Everything got a bit…fuzzy, then. V, as if in a dream, rose from the bed and, with clumsy fingers undid the button. Persephone moved off, to the wardrobe, dress sagging a little, open on her naked neck. She rummaged. Found something younger, in a single colour. The blue of gym knickers. Same cloth too by the look of it. Where did this girl shop?
She hung it on the wardrobe door and V stopped breathing. In a couple of awkward heaves, Persephone had unzipped herself. She shrugged out of Laura Ashley.
V saw the deep dimples at the base of her spine, the knobby climb of it up to pale shoulders and the sweep of neck. Back down to the perfect geometry of hip-notch to thigh. The strength in each from years of hockey and horses and heaven knows what. The perfect arcs of her glorious, glorious arse. Percy looked like a statue come to life, a musical instrument, a dream come to life. True, young, dimpled beauty, in awful, simple, awkward underwear.
“Persephone. Love. That’s a truly terrible bra.”
“I guess.” She looked down at it, and cupped herself again. Lifting, squeezing, just as V had done through the medium of the dress.
“But, you see…” she cast a glance over one bare shoulder, ran her gaze over sprawled and slightly tipsy V.
“I just don’t know any better.” And she pouted. And she took it off.
V didn’t attempt to stand, just scrambled across the bed to her, and Persephone watched her come, and, just as V reached her, she stepped back and her tits moved so beautifully and there was torsion and flex in her bare belly and the jump of muscle in her lovely thighs. She stopped and hooked her thumbs in her waistband and the visibly damp, plain cotton fell and Percy was naked, sweetly, fantastically naked. So much more beautiful than Margaret’s mosaic creature upstairs. Alive and warm and pink.
V struggled with the buttons of the orange shirt. It was difficult with eyes locked to Persephone and every sense straining towards her bare skin, as if V was a Pointer, eager at the leash.
Persephone watched, bent and put her hands on V’s knees and leant over the fumbled buttons and kissed her.
She was inept and clumsy and all teeth and bumped heads and biting and wet and awful, awful, awfully, terribly hot. Hot and sweet and she tasted of brandy and eagerness and, and, and, sex.
V struggled backwards, bruised but eager, trying to get rid of the damned shirt. The last voice of her reason made her slow. Took on the voice of all her old women. You can’t afford to waste a thing. Persephone didn’t help, just pushed her down and nuzzled and bit and reached inside the shirt as it opened and grabbed at V’s tits.
Finally, the last button gave and they were skin to skin. Warm belly to belly and tongue to tongue. The tiny prickles of Persephone’s wiry hair spiked at V’s skin just above her waistband.
Oh.The heat of her.
V touched her at last. Found her hands could almost span that whole waist. Tiny and young and lithe and eager. Percy squeezed Vand kissed her and filled her eyes with her tits and her grin and shrouded her with thick hair and heaved at the brass zip and. Out spilled V’s tits.
They rolled and they kissed and they bit and they wrestled. Never more powerfully as when they peeled off V’s jeans. Snapshots and voices and gasps and delight and soon the fumbles and fingers and squeezes and nibbles grew slower, more serious. Less wrestling, more art. And then the gasping and pink-rubbed and bitten and fair-skinned Persephone was sprawled on her own spread hair, spread on her tousled bed and V, her blood singing and wracked with fiery electricity was settling in for the long haul, the exploration, the discovery.
V bent the pliant Persephone. Arranged her. Stroking each knee and calf she opened her, leaned on her knees, and laid her legs flat. V knelt and gazed at her, from wide eyes and flushed cheeks to dark nipples to that uncreased stomach and the sharp edge of hair. Persephone was neither lush nor fair, but some lovely thing in between. Her hair was dark, but not thick, and ran in inward runs of corkscrews and curls, and beneath its perfect symmetry her skin shone palely and V could see the wrinkled seam of her, a neat and perfect line beneath the hair.
Laying her fingertips on each resilient thigh, she leaned in, kissing her way around each hip socket, nudging the underside edge of Persephone’s hair with her nose. In these deep hidden places her skin was fragrant and heated, salty and sweet and the harvest-smell, life-smell of the girl was heady and bright.
With each hip-hollow explored, both women were loose and hot, breathless. Their eyes locked and lips bit, and Persephone reached out a hand and touched V on shoulder and cheek and whispered:
V spread fingers on hips and with thumb either side pressed the seam apart and with her pressure, so too, did Persephone rise, rocking her hips up into V’s grasp.
And the seam split, parted on peach pink flesh within and V was transfixed by beauty and scent. As Persephone unfolded, unclenched, V felt herself answer. Felt the cooling along her own slit as her wetness met the air. She groaned and arched her back, squeezing, looking always down at the loveliness opening in Persephone’s thighs.
“My god girl. You’ve the prettiest cunt. It’s like a butterfly.”
V leaned closer in and traced the unfolded wings, wondering what colour that was.. not pink or peach or mother of pearl.. but some melded, shifting sense of all three. She stroked and Persephone moaned and writhed and V had to hold her tightly to keep her still as she bent to her work. She shuddered with pleasure at the taste of the girl, the sweet fresh salt on her new-spread wings, the sour hollow between, the hurrying wetness that filled her mouth and the fragrances which flooded her nose.
Persephone’s fingers were tight in V’s hair, holding her guiding her, bucking lightly against her, and V could feel in her hips and the taut, muscled thighs the hint of a gallop rising and near. She bit deeper and drew the girl on, and then cold on her hip she felt the smooth kiss of glass.
Reaching, she found the rolling pin, and giggled over Persephone’s twitching belly.
“Girl, now here’s a nice surprise.”
The wide eyes grew wider at the sight of the thing, and wider still as V laid the cold glass on her lips. V parted and spread her, so that she opened up and nudged the blunt end of the rolling pin inward until it was snug and tight. Persephone made strange agricultural noises as V began slowly to turn it, slicking it up with her tongue and pressing inward,backing up, pressing inward, backing up.
Percy became rigid, her hips cocked off the bed, her back arched, her mouth open groaning one long drawn-out O at the ceiling.
Slowly V pressed on until she felt the glass rod reach the end of the girl’s cunt. Then, with gentle but deliberate force she began to fuck her. Persephone found her voice. The voice of another woman entirely, a woman possessed. Guttural, fierce, wet.
“Yes. Yes. Yes. Fuck me. Fuck me harder. Fuck me with your big glass cock.”
And V wondered if something like that might be done. She shuffled up the bed and cross-straddled the girl bringing her own slit to bear on the end of the thing. Gasping with need she socketted it tight against her perineum and laid her cunt over the glass, squeezing against it, trying to hold it.
She found a place where it worked. It was bloody uncomfortable and parts of it hurt, but she wanted it, bit down into the pain and thrust against it, against the girl. Persephone pushed back.
The two women rocked and thrashed, cunt to cunt, wrapped around the rigid glass. Both grunted and gasped and shook, trying to hold onto the one axis that worked, eyes locked and muttering filth. Muttering filth at each other and to themselves.
Persephone’s hands left her pretty bruised tits and found V. Found her left hip and thigh and latched on. V felt the spears of her fingernails dig in, watched her snarling and thrashing her head, drawing blood from her own lip and then suddenly wide eyed, she arched and threw V off and the tearing of nails on her flank tipped V over too.
After the shuddering and gasping and twitching subsided they crawled together and lay stickily wrapped in each other’s limbs. Occasional after-shocks palsied their hips and their knees as they cuddled and soaked up the glow.
Eventually, Persephone spoke:
“You know, you were right.”
“I was? About what?”
“My hair. Definitely bisexual”. And she snored.
This whole tale was inspired by the main image – taken by the splendidly frank and thoroughly cool VSG – who some of you may know. The idea took a while to take proper hold and VSG has been a terrific collaborator; and in many ways – her kindness, decency, clarity and all-round-spot-on-ness – she is our Haiku-in-the-North. If you don’t know what that means, I’m not going to explain.
The glass rolling pin I credit to a delightfully filthy conversation with the Imaginary – yet still impressive – Agatha.
Finally, I am very happy to thank my editor, the often incandescent but always brilliant Swirlingfire, who helped a great deal with cobbling something more or less delirious into a coherent tale.
Finally, get yourself along to Kayla Lord’s Masturbation Monday theme, this week with a visceral title image by Molly Moore. I like to think Persephone’s face was not dissimilar during the, ah, climax of the tale.