“This is not going to be easy.”
She reached across and took his plate. As she ate she began to tear up. He was converting his gravity for her. He was willing to stay in the Notches.
“You do not have to do this,” she said softly.
“I am past the point of no return. I will stay with you as long as you wish.” He felt this was the honorable thing to say.
She had never before experienced the sensation of such a promise. It was the natural continuation of the kindness he had shown since rescuing her at the Edge yet it was completely alien to her prior life. Here was a person willing to help because he cared about her. She was deeply emotional and wanted to do something for him. The radical thought she had earlier was no longer seeming so radical. Mutt halfway suspected she might be his lover if he agreed to stay. But he had no idea what she was really thinking.
After their meal they put on weight suits and meandered awkwardly around the Notches. In the split garden they passed under a canopy of sideland trees emerging from opposing plots oriented at right angles and converging overhead in their reach for the sun. They rested on a bench in the shade, easing the strain on their ankles from the uncomfortable suits. Back in the angle Mutt felt like he should make a pass to see how far she would go in light of his promise to stay. But he felt dirty drawing a link and instead invited her to a game of siders, this time with him moving first, and she again won. He concluded he had corrected the first-move advantage. She retired to her side and read an illustrated anatomy text, one of the few odd books left behind by previous occupants. The radical idea she had earlier was now receding. She needed to have more sense in her life and the idea was definitely not sensible. Mutt lay on his haysack bored beyond belief. He was too preoccupied with Ivy to read and kept sneaking peeks at her in the chair. She was wearing only a short indoor skirt and an airy blouse with bare shoulders, her skin shimmering from the exertion of the walk. He craved her intensely to the point of pain. Ivy caught his glance and knew what he was thinking. She loved watching him pant like a puppydog knowing how much he wanted her. It made her feel like he was under her spell, that she was the center of his world. But she also knew that all that lay between him and satisfaction of his raw desire was a simple yes. She found the anatomy text, with its clinical illustrations of human reproductive systems, oddly arousing. She knew if she went to him now she would not escape his clutch. So she stayed in the chair and let him suffer.
He eventually fell asleep. She lay down on her haysack close by and watched him breathe. Now that he was resting, not overbrimming with desire, she felt enormous sympathy for him. She could make him happy, just as he had given her hope. He was a beautiful man, kind and gentle, and she wanted to be his wife. But she decided this could not be, that she had to resist temptation until they made a proper commitment. Who knew what the future held? They had only known each other a few weeks. Mutt awoke and turned to face her. Ivy realized she was going to have to escape his clutch because he was already holding her. He was tender, not pawing, wanting only to hug and kiss softly. She was stimulated by his gentleness and began to kiss more deeply. Although he had felt her bare breasts before he had never taken off her blouse. He reached down to her waist and lifted it off with a swift motion. She raised her arms to help almost like a child undressed by a parent. She simply did not realize this might be an unwise thing to do. His shirt had already been unbuttoned before his nap and he now removed it and held her closely chest to chest. Ivy did not think she was going to escape because she did not want to. He began to massage her thighs but she caught herself. She moved away to the edge of her haysack and wagged a finger at him. He felt almost biologically programmed to pressure her, to nudge her toward closer physical intimacy. Yet when she pulled back he felt ashamed, like he had violated his promise to protect her, not exploit her. He eyed her with a funny expression.
“Can I look at you?” he asked.
“You see me all the time.”
“You know what I mean, with desire. Let me adore you.”
Ivy was flattered but unnerved. She knew he was removing her remaining cloth with his eyes and she liked it. She tried to imagine what he was thinking before realizing the images were her own. She needed to be closer and moved back to his embrace without saying a word. Somehow Mutt got her skirt off without her noticing. He massaged her legs tenderly before sliding his hand beneath the last bit of cloth. She sat up topless before him, her head leaning back with eyes closed, as he found her and began to stroke. He penetrated with his finger, feeling the coarseness of her pubic hair on his palm, the tightness of her cloth on his knuckles. She placed her hand on his but did not move it away. Instead she caressed it as he moved in and out. Mutt realized how far they had come, and he wanted to go further.
He longed to ask her a question. He had assumed the answer.
“Have you ever been with a man?”
She looked at him wide-eyed.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
She moved his hand away and scooted backwards beyond his grasp. He continued to caress her feet which were all he could reach. He felt stupid touching her at all when she had again pulled away. But he could not resist her flesh. Ivy saw the pain of desire on his face. She tried to stop the images filling her head but could not. She thought about how it would feel if she relented, if in a moment of weakness she let him mount. She imagined his chest bearing down upon her breasts, her legs separated by his heaving body, the tightness of his grasp until his final thrust. She wanted to be in that position.
“I have never known a man,” she said after a long silence.
Mutt desperately wanted to deflower her.
“Then shall I protect you for your future husband?” He pulled his hands away and rested them on his lap. He had to grit his teeth in offering to respect her virtue. He could imagine nothing more satisfying than ravishing her right now.
Ivy reached down with both hands and grabbed her toes. She looked back up into his eyes.
“Are you not my husband?”
Mutt was taken aback by the question, pregnant as it was with possibility.
“Yes,” he answered earnestly, overcome with feeling. He knew now that he loved her.
Ivy held his gaze.
“Then I will be your wife.”
She reached down and removed her panties.
Mutt was so overwhelmed by this simple act of disrobing that he feared the joy to come would be too brief. He also felt that he was about to do something wildly irresponsible. Was he taking advantage of this poor girl’s desperation, her fear of abandonment? Was he violating his promise to protect her without regard to his own desires? But even worse to him was the prospect of continuing to live in these cramped quarters without consummation, to face day in and day out a warm nubile body that he desired with a passion he had never known possible. There were times to let love have its way and worry later about the consequences. He could hold no other thought than of being with her, of expressing their love completely, of feeling her perfect body intimately in his embrace. While these thoughts raced through his head it occurred to him there was a duty he must uphold, the duty to give her pleasure. If she was to offer him her virginity, he must reward her trust, he must ease her transition to womanhood, without pain, without regret. If she was giving herself to him, he must return the gift. This epiphany had a calming effect. He did not know what he was doing, but who would in these conditions?
There was no need to talk. She sat on her bed cradling her knees, completely naked, looking at him expectantly. From his perspective she was seated on a wall, her legs pointing toward him, her head pointing outward facing his at a right angle. He was seated on his own haysack, again massaging her legs, moving up her thighs. How to approach such a woman? Mutt had often fantasized about sex. He had fantasized constantly about it with Ivy. He had kissed her, caressed her, fondled her intensely in this very room. But he had never thought through the mechanics of uniting their bodies. In his fantasies she was always oriented the same. He had never considered how to make their love a reality, how to physically join as they actually existed. He lay down on his bed close to the wall resting on his side. She snuggled in between him and the wall, lying on her back on her own bed, in the position in which he had so often comforted her. Her nipples rubbed against his chest and he ran his hand along the curves of her body to her naked hip. He had never felt her buttocks without the pressure of cloth on the outside of his hand. The nakedness was alarming. He felt like they had grown up. He realized he had been thinking of them as children but they were now to be husband and wife.
Husband in wife, he thought, and smirked.
“What are you smiling about?” she asked.
“I’m just happy to hold you.”
He realized with embarrassment that he still had his underpants on even while Ivy lay naked and exposed beside him. He turned on his back and removed them, then pressed back up against her. The warmth and softness of her body, the removal of all cloth that separated them, was overwhelming. He had had more confidence trying to pick her locks but now that heaven’s gate was open he was not sure how to enter. He decided he would just kiss her and see what happened. She felt him grab her leg and pull it over his hip, exposing herself to him. She reached down and touched his penis, curious. She had felt it before but never so close to her vagina. It was not hard. She toyed with it. He reached across her back and placed his hand between her legs, approaching from behind. He began to rub her again, only this time to moisten her for penetration. He had been to the Stoika and done what all patrol boys do. But the experiences were no more meaningful than masturbation. He felt truly like a virgin now, unsure how to handle a woman he cared about. Her pleasure was more important than his if only because his pleasure depended on hers. It was too confusing to sort out. As he rubbed her his insecurity gave way and he grew erect. Soon there was no other thought in his mind than how to get inside. Ivy liked his hardness but began to wonder what she had gotten herself into. She did not feel she could back out having propositioned him so directly, yet she was afraid of her foolishness. She truly believed that being with him would have cosmic significance but was not this proof of her insanity? The only sure thing was that fooling around was a way to get pregnant, the last thing a girl still a teenager needed. But that was exactly what she wanted.
Mutt pulled her leg up more forcefully then reached over and pressed his tip against her opening. He moved it with his hand back and forth rubbing her intimately. Ivy tingled at this halfway sex, feeling his head move along her lips, slightly separating them, but he was not inside. Still pressed up against her, he moved his hand to her hip and pushed down as he tried to thrust inward. The angle was too awkward and he slipped out. This was not going to work. Yet he had been at the edge of paradise and wanted to enter. Ivy sat up looking distressed, beginning to doubt the wisdom of her submission. Mutt took a detour and began kissing her breasts. This was familiar territory and he loved how her nipples responded. She liked him nibbling on them and her doubts began to fade. She knew that however uncertain she was she had to do this. Now if only the boy could perform. He sat back and looked at her, taking in her physical beauty, her naked vulnerability, wanting nothing more than to consume her completely. He was also trying to figure out a strategy. How could two people fit together when they were oriented at right angles? She was seated cross-legged. He took her by the shoulders and turned her so that she was facing down toward his bed, then leaned her back onto her own bed so that she was facing him. To make love he would have to stand on his bed while she lay on hers. Ivy sat up again feeling unsure. The mechanics of the situation were not arousing and felt more like a doctor’s visit. Having found a workable position Mutt decided he could not be too direct. He sat down beside her with their heads at right angles and kissed. Ivy liked his willingness to relent even if she knew it was temporary. They kissed without fondling until finally he again gently pushed her onto her bed. Ivy lay on her back, prone, as he moved over to mount. She held her knees together as if doubting her decision. Mutt ran his hand between her knees and up her thighs. She parted her legs slightly and gasped as he began to rub. He moved his body over and wedged himself into the opening of her legs. She pressed her thighs against his hips as if trying to expel him, then relented and opened up.
She felt his tip pressing against her trying to penetrate. She knew now she could not go back even if she wanted to. She was his, pinned by his body, to be loved or used at his pleasure. He pushed slowly, gently, as her body moved with his. He was not inside, just tasting her opening, as the pressure from his tip rocked her rhythmically back and forth. He grabbed her naked hips and steadied her body. He would now move forward, into her. She arched herself to receive him then lifted her feet and rested them on the back of his calves. The firmness of his legs excited her, making her wetter. He pushed forward, her flesh resisting until it could resist no more. She slid past. He felt the slippery warmth, the moistness of her sex, enveloping him. He had penetrated her slightly and her body could offer no more resistance. There was nothing but a single thrust between him and paradise. He began rocking slowly, moving in and out only part way, not wanting to hurt her. He entered deeper and deeper with the rhythmic pushing, now halfway. She winced as he parted new muscles in her walls. She lifted her legs and wrapped them around him. He felt the warmth and skin of her ankles resting on his lower back, locked together. They had been so intent on their raw pleasure they had forgotten to kiss. He leaned forward and kissed her deeply, feeling her tongue meet his. He rubbed his hand across her breasts and felt that their bodies were merging, much the way Lace described her experience in the tank room. He wanted to look into her eyes as he took her fully. She placed her palms on his chest as if she might shove him away then slipped her arms around his back, embracing in a final act of surrender. He rocked more heatedly and insistently now, pushing finally as far as he could go. She gasped in pain at the fullness of the penetration. He pulled back uncertain whether to return to that place, unsure whether her moan was from pain or pleasure. It was both and she did not want him to stop. She lowered her feet to the bed then grabbed his naked buttocks and pulled him fully inside her. He suddenly felt out of control, that she was the one having him, that his will no longer mattered. He was so overcome he almost ejaculated so he pulled back to the edge to gather himself.
She looked up at him concerned, not knowing why he was pausing. He calmed down and embraced her tightly, feeling her breasts squeezed against his chest. He kissed her softly, let go his embrace, and laced his fingers into her delicate pink hands pushing her arms over her head in a posture of submission. He entered her again, slowly, fully, savoring the tightness of her lips as they parted. This time she accommodated him without pain and he withdrew and entered again, quickening his pace. Ivy moved with him, angling her body to take him as deeply as she could, trying to draw out his essence. Their bodies had found their natural rhythm. He released her hands and she ran her fingers along his back, digging deeply into his skin. She was overcome by his body, the physical pressure of his flesh on hers, the sense of being taken by a stronger being. She had asked for this but felt now it was beyond her control. She saw in his face extreme pleasure, an agitated need to push forward until release. She would have no choice but to receive him for his grasp was inescapable. Ivy was stimulated beyond comprehension. It was not primarily the raw physical pleasure that excited her but the transformation of this man into a rutting beast with her his natural object. She knew that he had no other existence than the flesh of her body, the folds of her sex.
Mutt stopped and withdrew. He wanted to try a different position. He was standing while she was lying and the awkwardness of thrusting from that position was exhausting him. They were now having sex, fully familiar with each other’s bodies, and he felt it was okay to try it differently. Ivy was put off by the sudden change. She had been in a heavenly place and was ready to take his seed. She did not want to wait. Mutt sensed her tenseness and pulled her next to him.
“I do love you, Ivy. More than any man has ever loved a woman.” He had never been more sincere in his life. Ivy was mollified but remained silent having come down off her high.
Now it was back to business. He asked her to stand on her bed with her back against his bed. This way he could mount lying down while she was standing. Gravity held her feet firmly to her own bed so she could not climb high enough for him to fit naturally between her legs. He had to bend his knees with toes pressed against her haysack for support. The weight of Ivy’s body bore down fully on his manhood. She tried to push upward off her mattress but Mutt, not sensing her pain, grabbed her legs from behind the knees and lifted her up so that she was now supported only by his body. She grimaced as he pushed uncomfortably deep inside of her. He continued to thrust obliviously.
“Stop!” Ivy yelled. “You’re hurting me.”
He pulled out as she dropped her legs to the bed.
“I didn’t realize,” he said.
Mutt sat up bewildered. He had lost himself in the rush of physical pleasure. He had forgotten who she was.
“Let’s go back to how we started,” he suggested, “just holding each other. It does not matter what we do.” It did matter to him, immensely, but he was reminded again of his promise not to use her.
They lay again horizontally at the corner where the beds met, this time with Mutt on his back and Ivy on her side, her bare leg draped over his naked body. He was no longer erect although he had not come. The fact that he had been inside her, that he had explored her body and known her full depth, made him feel like a man. He still wanted to ejaculate. He could not imagine this experience ending with less resolution than masturbation. But his agitation was subsiding and he was content to hold her tenderly.
Ivy lay there frustrated. She had felt with him a union that exceeded her wildest fantasies, but it had abruptly ended and shifted to something less personal. She began to doubt her resolve to receive him. He grabbed her hip and began to rock. He wanted to be tender but he found himself sliding her over his body as he became erect. She pulled her leg back and brought her knees together. Mutt was dismayed. Had he let the moment pass? He did not believe he would ever sleep again if he did not come. Ivy sat up, leaned over and kissed him, then reached for her socks. She put them on and rooted around in the sheets for her panties. He was dumbfounded. She was covering up her nakedness and he would no longer have access to her body. It occurred to him that she regretted what they had done, that she had yielded to his pressure and now felt dirty. He did not know what to do.
Mutt sat up as well.
“I am sorry, Ivy, if you regret what we did. I did not want to hurt you.”
She did not know if he meant physical pain, or emotional.
“It is difficult for me to live here with you and not desire you,” he continued. “I have simply never felt this way before.”
“Every girl has a crack,” Ivy said, tartly.
“Well, not your crack,” Mutt responded.
“I am sorry. I am truly sorry. It is torture for me to be here and not be with you. I see you all day long, I can see nothing else. Your body is perfect, warm, soft, inviting. I cannot help but touch you, to try to push things. I should not have done that. But however bad you may feel, I will never in my life have a more meaningful experience.”
Ivy looked at him, crying. She rolled over into his arms.
“Do you love me, Mutt? Really, truly love me?”
“I do. And if that means not being with you, then I will have to abide.”
She took his hands.
“I loved being with you. I have never felt more desire. It was stupid. We could get pregnant. I don’t know what to do.”
She turned away and leaned back into him. He grabbed her shoulders and began to caress them.
“Why don’t we sleep? ” he suggested.
They lay back down horizontally in the corner, both on their backs, holding hands. Mutt had a feeling of despair but knew he had to rise above it. Ivy could sense how desperately horny he was. She felt it was cruel of her to stop. She closed her eyes and began to think of how he felt inside of her. It had been painful but wondrous. She felt as though her body were missing a part and Mutt had supplied it, almost verbatim the sentiment of Lace even though Ivy had never read the novel. As these thoughts passed through her head she found herself unconsciously removing her socks. She turned toward him and began rubbing her feet along his legs, seeing how quickly he became aroused. No matter how much he tried to control himself he had only a single desire. Her original resolve was returning and she began to fondle him. Mutt thought maybe she had settled on a hand job compromise. That would not be at all fulfilling after their sexual union but he was in no position to bargain. She kissed him fully on the mouth.
“Do you want me to take off my panties?”
Mutt looked at her surprised, trying to think of something clever to say.
“Yes” was the best he could muster.
She reached down and removed her panties. He took them and tossed them far across the room.
“You’re not getting those back any time soon.”
She smiled and went down on him. He felt her lips, this time the ones on her face, envelop and suckle him. It was heavenly but he wanted to know her again. He lifted her head and they kissed. While still kissing, she leaned back onto her bed. He sat up and positioned himself to her side. He reached down between her legs and began to caress her, seeking out her pulp as she began to breathe heavily. He rubbed her for a minute, it was all he could wait, then moved on top and spread her legs. He grabbed her by the hips and lifted, moving her closer to his bed. This time he would kneel. She propped her feet against his bed and he positioned himself to penetrate. He again wanted to look into her eyes as he knew her fully. He pressed against her and felt little resistance. She parted around him and he pushed until their pubic hair met. He was in heaven again. They moved rhythmically, this time less uncertain about their bodies. He took her delicate hand and held it to his face, marveling at this creation, resolving to replace the loopy yarn with a real ring. He did not want to stop. He had already been with her once only to lose her and he could not lose her again. She was now his and he would finish. Ivy lay on the bed falling back into her reverie. She did not feel the same pitch of excitement as when he first entered her, when she so desperately wanted him to come, but she felt a steady intimate pleasure. Mostly she was intent on giving him pleasure, for she loved the intensity on his face and his efforts to be tender while doing nature’s work. She assumed he would not pull out, that however irresponsible it was for them to make love, natural climax was ordained. He moved with more intensity as he swelled inside her, wanting to fill her up, to make her his. She moved her hips to meet his thrusts, taking him eagerly, waiting for him to come.
On the edge of orgasm he pulled out. He had become confused. Should he be ejaculating inside of her? Did she assume he was going to pull out? Staying inside meant trying to get her pregnant. He did not know what to do. Ivy opened her eyes. She was not disappointed this time. The moment was so natural she was not sure he had stopped. The memory of his friction inside of her made it feel as though he was still there.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I almost came. I had to stop.”
Mutt looked at her. She reached up and kissed him.
“It’s not sex if you pull out.”
Mutt could not agree more with this sentiment.
He realized now she was in it for a baby. Mutt was startled. Pregnancy of course was always a possibility. But his desire to have sex was detached from the thought of procreation. He had just assumed that at some point in their lovemaking he would stop and come on her stomach or the sheets. But now he dipped his hips to position himself and thrust upward into earthly paradise knowing not all of him would return. He realized that they would make love fully, that whatever restraint he felt must dissolve. Nature would take its course and if that meant a child, what could be more natural? All children should be conceived with such passion. His fear of pregnancy gave way to a desire to impregnate her. That was the whole purpose of sex, was it not? He no longer wished to thwart it. Their bodies moved with a common purpose. He would leave behind a part of himself and from that part she would create new life. His rhythm was now unconstrained and she accommodated him as fully as she could, glistening with sweat. He imagined their coupling from across the room, envying the man entwined so intimately with her beauty. He felt his passion rising, that ticklish feeling preceding orgasm, and wanted to fill her womb directly. He knew he had passed the point of no return and would ejaculate. It seemed crazy to come inside of her but even crazier not to. She felt his body tensing. He was now on the cusp, moaning, and he grabbed her hips and thrust with such intensity he reached a new part of her. She knew now she was his and there was nothing she could do but take his seed. The deep penetration was painful but all she could feel was the throbbing and warm spurts. He clung with all his might draining himself into her. He had so much to give he did not think her body could contain it. He stayed inside her as the climax faded, unwilling to pull out. He had found paradise and was afraid that if he left he might never find it again. But the lust soon subsided and he realized he had just had sex with a woman he barely knew and for the express purpose of getting her pregnant. It was truly crazy. But he loved her and he stayed inside because he did not want any semen leaking out. He wanted every sperm to stay in her body and one of them to make a baby.
Ivy tapped Mutt on the shoulder. He kissed her and withdrew. She swiveled sideways and lifted up her knees looking at him contentedly. She felt she was a cup from which there could be no spill. She lay on the haysack with a feeling of completeness she had never experienced. She knew that he was still inside her, that she was carrying his seed. If she did not get pregnant she would soon enough for she was now his. Mutt had awakened in her a primal longing, a desire to be loved and to bear the child of the man she loved. She had consumed his essence and they could be no closer. This was how she had always imagined union with a man. There was no fuller way to express her feelings than to have his baby. But her desire to carry his child served an ulterior purpose.
For it was the only way to destroy Celeste.
Check out chapters of The Cube right here.