She Chose Me

Airlocked

My editor knows who she is. Thank you.

~~~~~

Fading autumn sunset caught the trees as I left the bus. Waited to cross the road, thinking about the last night I’d been with him. Her husband, and my closest friend, Allan. He’d died a few days later, a heart attack in his grim bedsit, during one of their periodic separations.

I strode across the park, my head in confusion. Our evening would be difficult enough for me, but I couldn’t begin to imagine how hard it would be for Betty. She’d told me when she phoned to invite me — this would be the first time she’d been with anyone but her closest family since Allan’s funeral, six months previously. So her dinner invitation to me was a sort of coming-out ceremony.

My mind wandered as my legs took me down the street with its lovely south-facing sandstone tenements, rich cream now that a century of the city’s smoke had been cleaned from them. I hadn’t been in her new home before.

I remembered the reception in the hotel, right after Allan’s funeral. Nobody had dared sit beside her, nervous of her sensibilities. I’d taken the empty seat, wanting to be there for her, for their children.

Then I was at her entry: number fifty-seven. The bell rang and the creaky close door opened to the buzzer. I climbed the three flights of stairs to the top landing where she stood smiling; thrust the bottle of Moet in her hand, kissed her cheek lightly. The faintest scent of patchouli oil. ‘Long time no see, Betty. You’re looking specially lovely.’

And she was. A formal evening gown; I’d never seen her dressed like this. I was glad I’d decided to wear a suit and silk tie. Even polished my shoes. Her arms tightened round me, then she smiled and took my hand. ‘Come away in. It had to be you John…’

I watched as she turned to face me. One of my oldest friends. We’d shared so much together, Betty, Allan and I. And my ex too, before the divorce…

‘I’m honoured. But why me?’

‘You know why. And… you said you’d bring a CD. For…’ her voice hesitated ‘…for Allan? What is it? May I hear it now?’

My fingers may have slithered unnecessarily on hers as I passed the carefully-wrapped album to her. ‘Allan and I bought this together at the concert, the last night I was with him. Neither of us had enough cash to buy it on our own. So, Betty, this is my last memory of him. I’ve a copy: the original belongs to you.’

She smiled at me, damp-eyed. ‘What a beautiful thought. Thanks so much. Put it on, will you, whilst I finish organising dinner? Um, but we’d better have a drop of something first.’

She drew me into the kitchen. Poured two measures of Stolichnaya. She’d even remembered my favourite vodka. I raised my glass to hers. ‘Cheers. Here’s to a lovely evening.’

I returned to the living-room, put the album on the player. Christy Moore’s voice swooped and soared with his guitar. I turned the volume up so she could hear it in the kitchen. Glanced round the room, bathed in the last of the evening sun through the big bay window. Books lined three walls. Everything else understated, except for the curtains. Liberty art-nouveau in iridescent colours, smelling new.

Then I realised what was missing: her children. I returned to the kitchen. ‘Betty, um, where’re the boys? I knew it was too quiet!’

‘Oh, off for a treat. Archie’s taken them down the coast for the weekend, he had business in town today.’

‘Well! I’m sorry to miss them, but I’m sure they’ll have more fun with their uncle.’

Allan’s brother Archie was a marine biologist. Nobody better to explore beaches and rock-pools with, for two bright lads. Betty glanced at me, a brief look I might have missed had I not been watching her directly.

‘Actually, it was providential he could take them. I… I thought I might feel… well, easier with you… if we were alone.’

She blushed, face and neck, down to where the modest tops of her breasts rose above the gown. She stepped toward me, tears trickling down her cheeks. ‘Oh, so sorry John, I’m afraid I’m not doing this very well. I just meant… I might want to talk to you about things without the boys here… and when you’ve been here before, I mean in our previous home, you always wound them up so high, they never got to sleep.’

I took her gently in my arms, kissed her brimming eyes. ‘Betty, my dearest friend, hush now. I’m just… err… I feel privileged that you’ve chosen me, for your first venture back into the social world. Sorry, I’m not doing so well either.’

‘I’ll be fine man, I’m just finding this a bit awkward. How’s your glass? I need more alcohol in me, I’ll get better. I hope…’

Her lips feathered mine before she turned to pour the vodkas. I reeled a bit from the brief sensation of her mouth on mine. We’d known each other… what? fifteen years, and had always kissed as friends do. But never on the lips.

She very deliberately drained the fresh measure down her throat and poured herself another, laughing nervously. ‘See? I need Dutch courage for this. Or maybe that should be Russian courage? Sorry.’

I astalavista porno gazed out of the window at the distinctive skyline. She busied herself before the cooker. ‘Just need the potatoes to boil, then we can eat. Now, it’s time to show you my new home.’

‘Yes please… it certainly has beautiful outlooks, front and back.’

She led me through the flat, chatting lightly. A bedroom each for the boys, a spare room, original Victorian bathroom, living room… and she paused before the last door. ‘Um, and my private space…’

She took my hand, led me into the room. A heavily-scented world, vases of flowers on every surface, the bed shrouded in what looked like silk covers. William Morris wallpaper on the back wall, several modern oils on the plain surfaces. She glanced up at me shyly, waved vaguely round the room. ‘I’ve been trying to brighten myself up John. This is the first time since I was a student that I’ve had a room entirely to myself.’

‘It’s lovely, woman. Somehow just you. Well done for yourself.’

On impulse I bowed my head and kissed her brow, maybe to cover my jitteriness at being admitted to her sanctuary. She looked at me quizzically, turned and left.

I hadn’t noticed before, so absorbed had I been in learning this new Betty, but the oak table in the large dining-kitchen was formally laid: white lace tablecloth, crafted placemats, fine cutlery, crystal glasses. I lifted a fork. Hallmarked silver. I’d never seen this stuff before, though I’d dined with Betty and Allan often enough, when they’d been together. Maybe family heirlooms. She’d tell me if she wanted to.

The bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape had been breathing. She filled two large crystal glasses, served the meal. The wine was the perfect accompaniment to her rosemary-scented lamb casserole, and the bottle was empty by the time we finished the food. ‘Oatcakes, blue stilton and port to follow… Want it now, or later?’

‘How did you know that’s my favourite afters? Um, maybe later, you’ve fair filled me up for now.’

Her finger touched the side of my nose. ‘Oh, a lass has ways of learning about her dinner-guest’s tastes… So, if the cheese is delayed, maybe the living room now? Coffee?’

The last of the sun was gone, and she knelt to turn the gas fire on. I looked at her books as she returned to organise coffee in the kitchen, noticed a lot of obviously new ones. Asked her about them when she returned with the tray. Her face dimpled as she looked in my eyes. ‘Well, you surely didn’t think I’d been doing nothing since Allan died? I’ve really been getting into contemporary writing by way of self-therapy; Kelman and Alasdair Gray. And of course, Liz Lochhead…’

‘Of course. Can’t keep an old feminist down…’

‘Less of the old, John.’

The gentle slap on my cheek didn’t hurt, but it served to remind me that my friend was indeed a few years my elder. And in a delicate emotional condition. ‘Sorry, Betty…’

Then I remembered. ‘Oh, I brought you a wee housewarming, just a sec…’

I returned from the hall with the giftbag. ‘I hope this’ll help you forgive me. Hardly contemporary, but I hope you’ll like it.’

She drew the volume from the bag. Placed it on the table, launched herself at me, her lips firmly on mine. ‘Oh John, how did you know?’

It was the McDonald edition of Burns’ ‘Merry Muses of Caledonia’. It had taken me a search of the city’s many antiquarian booksellers, and a few quid to boot, to secure it for her. ‘Because I remember discussing it with Allan and you a few years ago, and noticed your eyes light up when I explained that it was his collection of erotic songs and poems. So when I saw it last week, I immediately thought of you.’

She clung to me as we sat on the settee. I was aware of her breasts pressing my arm. I shuffled and she moved away a wee bit. ‘John, it’s such a lovely thing to bring to my new home. Maybe you can sing me something from it later?’

I hadn’t been expecting that, sipped my coffee to cover my discomfiture. I’d bought it because I knew her love of Burns, and the volume was so hard to come by that I was sure she wouldn’t have it. But now I was aware that she might read something more than literary interest into my choice of gift. Singing from it, and the two of us alone? Jesus. No, I couldn’t do that. I mumbled. ‘Not so sure about singing anything Betty, my voice isn’t what it was.’

‘Hmmm… maybe we should crack the champagne, to ease your throat?’

Her eyes glowed in mine. She leant over me as she eased herself from the settee. I couldn’t avoid a glimpse of her dangling breasts, naked under the gown. Felt my face flushing. Couldn’t look in her eyes, but knew hers were on my face. Then mercifully she was gone. I’d adjusted myself and regained something of my composure by the time she returned with the bottle and two flutes. ‘You need to do the honours John, I just can’t open these things without it squirting all over the place.’

I opened and poured, thankful that the awkward moment between asyalı porno us had passed, and that my hands had something to do for a minute. Our glasses chinked. ‘Well, proper champagne, so — salut, ma chère amie!’

She giggled. ‘I warn you John, this stuff goes straight to my head…’ She cocked her face shyly, ‘…but maybe that’s just what I need?’

Her silk-encased thigh was against mine. I forced a nervous laugh, shifted myself fractionally away from her. Managed to look in her eyes as I sipped my drink. ‘Well, maybe it is… So, apart from work, and the boys, and reading, what else’ve you been doing with yourself?’

I just managed to bite back ‘since Allan died.’ She frowned, eyes moistening, eventually raised her face to mine. ‘What d’you think, man? Trying to come to terms with my new life…’

The tears began to flow. My arm went round her, drew her to me. My hand stroked her hair. She jolted when a stray finger momentarily touched her ear. She nuzzled into me, whispered. ‘And having you here is part of that process. Part of my healing. You know that?’

For a moment, the intimacy didn’t feel right. She was my old friend and comrade. We’d shared many interesting times, she and Allan and I. And my ex-wife, who had also been Betty’s close friend. I wanted to comfort her as she struggled to come to terms with her new world. I felt conflicted, I shouldn’t be touching her like this, when she was frail and vulnerable.

But she’d decided to invite me to this re-invention of herself… and Betty was a powerful woman. Had been a feminist since the early sixties, she’d told me. She knew what she was doing. So I allowed myself to relax, and my hand remained in her hair. Stroked her ear again… Part of me knew it was what Betty wanted. Fuck, what I felt and wanted didn’t matter, and I was becoming less sure by the second of what they might be. This was about my friend. Her hair ruffled from my breath. For the first time I noticed bits of grey there.

She whispered ‘D’you remember the cottage in the Dales? The summer the two of you gave the boys and me a break? What was the name of the village?’

‘Course I remember. Kettlewell.’

‘I felt something then. Between us. Something… well, something sexual. Did you feel it John?’

I racked my brain. It all flooded back. It had been her first separation from Allan, and their boys had been young. The cottage my new wife and I had rented in Wharfedale had lots of room. We’d invited Betty and her sons to join us for a few days, had met them off the train at Skipton. I was the only driver between us, and I’d taken Betty to the pub a couple of times whilst my wife put the boys to bed.

‘It’s coming back to me. Remember taking the boys up Great Whernside whilst the two of you got pissed in the pub…’

‘No! Not that John. Remember when you drove me to the pub, just the two of us?’

I remembered being aware of Betty’s sexuality then, though I was only a couple of months married. Remembered the guilt I felt. No way could I tell her that now.

‘Yes, I remember. It was all a lovely holiday. Allan moved back with you as soon as you got home, I think?’

‘Pretty much. So didn’t you feel the connection with me, when we were alone in the pub, and in the car?’ She nuzzled closer.

Fuck, was she persistent. I was awkward. And excited now. ‘We were close friends Betty. Yes, I enjoyed being with you.’

I had to get up, do something. Anything to be physically apart from her for now. At some stage she’d put Haydn’s ‘Clock’ on the player. The final heartbeat notes faded. I grabbed the book I’d brought her; anything to defer where she seemed to be heading. ‘You said earlier you wanted me to sing? Which song?’

‘John Anderson’.

Her voice was very assured. It was one of the most explicit songs in the collection. Wrong move, John, I thought. But I’d asked her. Had to sing now. Sipped the Moet, raised the book, flicking pages. ‘John Anderson then, for you, Betty…’

I found the key after a few stumbles, and my voice established itself, was fully into the song by the third verse.

‘I’m backit like a salmon I’m breastit like a swan, My wame it is a down-cod My waist ye weel may span. Frae ma top-knot till ma taes, John I’m like the new-fa’n snow. And it’s a’ for your conveniency John Anderson, my jo.’

~~~~~

There was no fourth verse that evening. Betty lay back on the settee, eyes hooded, slightly glazed. One hand teased her nipples, now prominent through the silk gown. The other was at the valley between her thighs, pressing the fabric into herself. ‘You know what I need John. Be my John Anderson, just this once. Release me. I’ve chosen you… help me find myself, please?’

I gave in. Admitted to myself that I desired this as much as she did. Sighed, dropped the book on the table. Lowered myself beside her, took her in my arms. Buried my face in the soft crook between neck and shoulder. ‘I want you Betty. Want to fuck you, for both of us. Sorry, I can’t handle what’s happening between duş porno us. Not sure where I am.’

She rose, took my hand, drew me upright. ‘Not sure where I am either John. But…’

Her hand went behind her back, moved. The gown fell from her shoulders. Tight little tits, pouting nipples. ‘You know what I need. Take me.’

My head, my being, spun away from wherever it had been. I knelt to suckle her, this new Betty, this sexual being I’d never allowed myself to acknowledge. Her hands were behind herself again. The garment slid to the floor. Cunt aroma filled my nostrils. My head lowered, my mouth tasted my friend’s sex, naked and trimmed below her garter-belt. Once forbidden, but now so right.

She drew me up. Breathed ‘We need to christen my bed. I bought it for my new life as a liberated woman. You have to be my first.’ Wearing only garter-belt and stockings, she grasped my tie and led me to her room. My arms went round her, drew her nakedness to me. I breathed her sex aroma through the patchouli, and we kissed. I was gentle, careful, respectful at first, but soon lost myself in her moaning passion, my fingers exploring her flesh, learning her; as her trembling hands removed my tie, unbuttoned my shirt.

I had to know what she needed from me; felt her shiver as my forefinger and thumb tweaked her nipple. Pinched harder to be answered by a groan, and the sensation of her cunt clutching wetly on my upper thigh. I broke the kiss. ‘Betty, I didn’t bring condoms, I wasn’t expecting this…’

‘It’s okay, I went back on the pill last month.’

She had my cufflinks undone, the shirt sliding from me.

‘But’ I whispered, ‘I’m single now, and I’ve been…’

‘Shush, I know, you’re a randy goat, though an honest one. I anticipated that. Bought condoms. Now, I need what’s in here.’

She knelt before me as the suit trousers and briefs slid down my legs, and unlaced my brogues. Her tongue flickered the pulsing head of my hardness. She carefully unclipped and removed the flimsies remaining on her body. Lying back on the bed she stroked herself, her scent filling the room. She reached under the pillow, extracted a condom from its foil. Leaned forward. ‘This is my job,’ and she sheathed me, fondling as she unrolled the thing, arousing me intensely.

I gasped as she leaned back again. She wasn’t a conventionally pretty woman, and her years and two children showed on a rather careworn face. Our brief holiday several years previously apart, I’d never really considered her as a sexual being, but god, her firm tits, erect nipples yearning for attention… Slightly pouched belly, wantonly spread thighs, sexdew sparkling between pouting labia. She whispered, ‘Bet you never guessed at what I was hiding?’ I shook my head.

‘You’re utterly fucking gorgeous. Tell me what you want Betty. This has to be good for you.’ Her fingers went between her labia, teasing herself. Her eyes burned me. ‘I want…’ face tensing as she pleasured herself, ‘… I want whatever you want John. Anything.’

My cock jumped. Fuck. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but it wasn’t that. My face must have given me away. Her thumb was on her clit now, two fingers pumping in her vagina. ‘No John, that was the wrong thing for me to say. I know you’ll be kind and gentle and loving.’ A huge smile illuminated her face as I felt my blush spreading. ‘I do want that. But I want more. Want hard and nasty, everything. Including…’ she drew her knees up, and a wet finger touched her anus ‘… including up my bum. I’ve never had that, and I want it from you. The start of my new life.’ She gasped. ‘Jesus, I’ve never spoken to anyone like this before John, not Allan, nobody.’

I was shaking with need as I watched her eyes. My cock quivered above her. I’d wondered about her invitation this evening, allowed myself sexual fantasies about Betty, for the first time, as the date approached. It had been a conscious decision not to bring condoms. I hadn’t wanted her to think… well, that I was interested in having sex with her.

But I hadn’t anticipated anything like this, her forwardness, her openness about what she sought. She’d planned to get fucked tonight. She was right of course; if she hadn’t been so explicit about what she wanted, I’d have made love to her gently, easing her back into what was now obviously her vibrant sexuality. Well, the hell with that. She wanted ‘hard and nasty’… that’s what she’d get. I’d never have guessed at the sub in this powerful woman. My voice changed to a growl, ‘I promise I’ll give you everything you want. Just tell me if I try to take you too far.’

Fuck, I’d never spoken to any woman like that.

‘There can be no… too far. Open me up, take what you need. That’s what I want.’

‘Jesus… then spread yourself wider woman. I need to taste you properly.’ I knelt between her legs, bowed to lick up her thighs. Something so beautiful about the softness of an inflamed woman’s inner thighs… her scent became more intense as my face neared the centre of her need. My nose buried itself there suddenly, surrounding me with her sexuality, ohgod the taste and smell of her cunt. Her labia were engorged, spread open, the entry to her vagina a pulsing need, a carnivorous flower seeking prey. It opened and clutched at my probing tongue and my friend, this new sex-being in her, moaned and grasped my head.