Nobody Comes Back
“Where am I?” he groaned,voice weak. His eyes were closed and his lips barely moved, like he was speaking from somewhere down inside his body and his mouth was only in the way.
Desiree leaned down to soak the cloth in the bucket. Her body folded and stretched in a raw brown continuum of sinew and flesh. Toned from labor, she moved with supple fluidity more like dancing than work. She was naked but for scant black panties. They rode her hips like they were trying to catch up with the constant stretch and play of her body while the careless weight of her breasts leaned with the sweep of her gestures.
She brought the cloth up dripping from the bucket and wrung it over his naked body with both hands. As the blood rinsed off she was relieved to see none of it was his.
“Home,” she said. Her voice flatlined as if she resented the word.
He moaned, but it was too weak to cause more than a faint ripple of breath along his body.
You’re not him , she thought.
Desiree froze. She studied his face, which had little to say. She could have sworn he was asking what she’d just thought, as if she hadn’t thought it loud enough for his mind to hear. She shook her head and kept moving. The answer could only be no.
Lying across the white marble slab behind her house, he was long and slender. He was spangled with bruises, but there was no broken skin. He might have seemed fit, even defined, if it weren’t for the crumpled mess they’d found him in. She dipped and wrung the cloth over his body until he was wet from head to toe. He sputtered against the water hitting his face, still conscious, but just barely. Then she began scrubbing him down. She worked quickly, more concerned with putting an unwanted task behind her than being gentle. He groaned every time she scrubbed across a bruise. In the careless splashing, her own skin was soon shimmering in the late day sun, nearly as wet as his.
Never seen anything so useless . Silent words inside her mind, but spoken as if he could hear them. He groaned without opening his eyes. It sounded like he was trying to say “no”. She stopped and studied him again. He was nothing but an unexpected burden. A curious burden, but a burden nonetheless.
So what if you can hear my thoughts , she said in her mind. It’s nothing special, and neither are you.
His body tightened around a sputter of laughter that turned into coughing. She laid her hand on his chest and hushed him with an audible “shhhhh”. She waited for his breathing to level off. Then she soaked the cloth again and put it back on his skin.
She’d taken off her flowing peasant skirt and blouse even before cutting away his ruined clothes. As she scrubbed and lathered his body, she tried not to think about who he was or was not, but as she scraped the wet, soapy cloth over his skin, she noticed her hands beginning to caress him with growing care, as if they’d gone on and made their own decision about him without her mind involved.
He wasn’t so displeasing, after all – not so much like Trace as the others said - and maybe whatever misfortune had come down on him was none of his doing. Stripped of his clothes, the differences from Trace were undeniable. He was almost certainly younger, for one thing. This only reminded her she was still young herself. Too young for the years of anger that had strangled her spirit.
If she needed a reason to be as angry with this naked stranger as the rest of her world, it could wait until he was fully conscious and back to being whatever kind of man he was before.
She leaned down close to his ear. Her wet breast pushed against his slippery skin while she placed the palm of her hand on his forehead. Sensation warmed her nipple, unwanted but not unwelcome.
“Just trust me,” she whispered. “I’ll take care of everything, at least until you’re back to yourself. Then…we’ll just have to see what all of this is made of.”
He moaned in reply. She’d meant to rise back up and resume her task, but the tiny rush of breath that washed across her cheek and ear kept her a moment longer. Tendril tips of her dark hair grew wet against his neck. His hand made a feeble reach for her arm, but in his blind groping his fingers sank into the bubble of her breast against his chest. For the first time in six years, a man touched her breast and she didn’t bother pushing his hand away. It hardly seemed worth the effort considering his pathetic condition.
“Diamonds and rain.” His lips moved this time. She could feel the motion in the side of his jaw where his face was barely touching hers. Something like a hint of wet electricity prickled in the tips of his fingers against her breast. She rose up quickly and stood back.
“Delirious fool,” she said in her full voice. She absently rubbed the wet cloth over the breast he’d just been touching, barely noticing the scrape of its roughness over the gathering knot of her nipple.
“You’ll see…” Eyes still closed, voice barely enough for the dragonflies to overhear.
She found herself standing by his feet again, washing them a second time, much more carefully than the first, cursory scrub. She felt a strange desire to compensate for her initial haste, as if she owed as much to one of them, though she couldn’t say if the debt was to him or herself. She dipped the cloth and laid her hand on his thigh as she went back over his shins. As weak as he seemed, his body emanated waves of vital heat through her hands.
She pushed his thighs further apart and brought the soapy cloth between them, slowly rubbing the firm muscles, pushing the cloth under his balls and around his cock. He was thicker than Trace. Probably longer, too. Even soft, there was a defined flair to the head. It was the first thing she looked for when she cut off his clothes. It was the only way to know for sure after all this time.
She spent time and care washing his cock and balls, lifting his pliant flesh as she scrubbed around his contours. He moaned again, but there was something more than whimpering pain in the sound of it now. His head turned slightly to the side and he lifted his hand to touch her arm. For a moment she thought he might even open his eyes, but he stayed where he was - half way in, half way out. His cock even seemed to thicken as she washed him, and she held the meat of his member in her hand and felt the strong pulse in his flesh while his fingers traced the length of her forearm.
He would live. That much was relatively sure.
It was impossible not to think of the scores of naked men she’d scrubbed and massaged over the past three years, all fully conscious, clean and unbruised, often reaching for her as her hand skimmed up and down their inflated cocks. She was prized at the resort for the strength of her hands, where she catered to pampered libertines who lay back like chronic patients taking medication they knew could never touch their symptoms.
The first three years after Trace had left she worked the olive grove on her own. It had left her hands rough and strong. She was almost a different woman from the wrists down. But the olive trees became too much to keep up with, and she had finally given in to Lassiter’s offer to work the resort.
Lassiter had paid Desiree his first visit exactly three months after Trace disappeared. “You can’t go on working the grove on your own,” he’d told her, sitting calmly in the fresh emptiness of her house. Trace’s house. “Not without help,” he’d said. “We can make it easy on you if you work with us. We can make your financial problems go away.” He’d come to make the same pitch every few months, and every time, the grove had become a heavier burden, her financial situation that much deeper and problematic. She’d finally acquiesced, but with conditions.
“I’m not going to be one of your whores,” she’d told him. “I’ll set my boundaries as I see fit. You’ll see that they’re respected. This is non-negotiable. Either way, this is the last time you’ll ever set foot in my house.”
Lassiter had grinned, letting her know it took longer than expected, but that he’d known all along she’d agree sooner or later. She’d walked past him without so much as glancing at his face and went to the door. She’d held it open in stoic silence until he stood up and walked out.
But washing this half-conscious stranger was nothing like her work. This was nothing like anything she could think of. There was no point of reference, and that was surely the most vexing thing of all. She was forced to recognize a powerful thread of want inside her to believe he could really hear her thoughts, that in all the universe such currents of understanding exist. Why should her own history of dancing with misfortune define anything more than the ghost town of her own life? She slipped through a few seconds of thinking this way, but she came out on the other side embarrassed, feeling her mind was betraying her.
Warmth pooled in the gathering knots of her dark nipples and she let go of his cock. Wet towel hanging from the left, her right hand drifted absently to the shape of her simmering mound insinuating itself against the tightness of her panties. The pressure of her fingers felt like a shove to the blood flowing through her. Press once. Press again, a little harder this time.
Too fucking long , she sighed inwardly.
She bent down and soaked the cloth again, wringing more water over his face. He sputtered for breath against the splash. She soaked his hair and brushed it back with her fingers. Then she carefully washed his face, studying his features as she cradled his head and rubbed the cloth over them. She was ready to move on, but found herself wringing more water into his hair and weaving her fingers into his locks. She scrubbed and massaged every inch of his scalp, carefully turning his head from one side to the other as she worked her fingers around the shape of his skull.
The backs of her fingers brushed against the dark stubble along his jaw. His mouth hung slightly open. There was air pushing through his lips. Not much, but enough so when she leaned over close she could feel the tired warmth of his breath on her lips.
Weak, but touching her. How long, she thought. How fucking long?
Her face inched closer, lips touching his lips. She didn’t kiss, only hung there to feel the touch. His lips were warm and a small wisp of his breath entered her mouth. She closed her eyes and felt a fine thread of soft electricity spiral through her body.
“Who are you?” he whispered against her mouth, barely audible. She wasn’t sure she felt the shape of the words more than heard them. His hand came up to her hair.
“Don’t touch me,” she told him calmly. It sounded like he said “okay”, but his hand stayed where it was and she didn’t bother pushing it away. The feeling in her cells and the words out of her mouth completely different things. The words sounded hollow, empty, while her cells felt like they were flowing over. She reached between her thighs and touched her pussy through her wet panties again, pressing.
Pressing. Digging. Just a little. Just a little more. Fingers reaching inside the fabric for the briefest touch, the quickest stroke. Petals – no – smoldering wet flesh of a living, breathing woman –blossoming with unrelenting heat.
“Let it rain.” His lips whispered against her lips. The touch of his breath seemed hot now. He was delirious. He was gone around some distant corner and she couldn’t hope to see him from where their bodies got left behind.
“Is this what you meant by diamonds and rain?” Her voice was soft but the question was reaching hard. She pushed her knotted nipples against his wet chest. Beating heart against another beating heart. The tip of her finger slipped inside.
She breathed back into his mouth, remaining careful to keep her lips from pursing into a kiss. She felt his lips purse and reach and she rose back upright, ripping her hand out of her panties as if she’d just been shocked. She took a brief moment to look at his face before turning on her heel and walking into the house.
She was back quickly, carrying two small toiletry cases. Setting them down on the crudely set marble tiles, she fished out the razor and scented cream she used herself. She lathered his face, and then slowly shaved him, carefully dragging the razor over his features, stopping every so often to rinse it in the bucket until his skin was evenly smooth.
Setting the razor on the edge of the slab, she ran her fingers over his face. He had different skin than Trace. The pigment was wrong. It was thicker somehow, yet so much finer to touch.
She dipped the cloth again and wrung more water over his neck and chest. She laid the cloth aside on his belly as she began scrubbing his arms and chest with her bare hands. One hand paused over his heart. As far gone as he was, the beat was strong, and it seemed to pump just a little harder in the moment her palm came to rest on the spot. She felt the odd sensation of warmth emanating through her hand in waves. Currents traveled up her arm, culminating in tiny bursts of sensation in her nipples and pussy.
She had to be imagining things, the sensation shivering through her even now. Such things were better suited to characters in myths and legends. It had to be the emotional strain of the past three hours: the urgent call to the ferry landing to collect the wrung out body of the man she’d hoped would never come home. The others had been so sure it was him, but six of the right kind of years could change a man in any number of ways. Desiree had kept her misgivings to herself. She’d looked at the crumpled man laid out on the ferry deck, fighting to keep the tremors she felt inside from showing, and quietly said, “I suppose we better carry him home.”
She went on rubbing the soapy water across his skin. The sure motion of her hands was changing as she began to massage as much as wash him. Her palms slipped over his chest, criss crossing back and forth before sliding down along his torso toward his hips. His breathing settled into a deep, steady flow.
“Who are you?” he asked again, eyes still closed but with a stronger voice than before.
Watching his face, Desiree allowed her hand to pass over his cock and balls again. Lingering. Touching. Feeling. Testing his resilience and texture, his building warmth. He was barely moving, but his pulse felt even stronger and his cock grew thicker. She cupped him in the curl of her hand, just holding him a moment. She closed her eyes and sighed. Small, steady waves of warmth emanated through her hand. The other hand slid along his thigh, exploring his shape, her fingers pressing like spider legs into the meat of his flesh.
“It doesn’t matter who I am,” she told him. “Do you understand who they say you are?
Moment by passing moment, she felt the sensation of his consciousness filtering into hers, the sense he was breathing shapeless feelings into the sphere of her mind’s changing world. A strange mixture of calm and confusion flowed into her. His cock grew thicker, longer. The warmth in her cradling hand became a radiant heat.
It wasn’t real. It wasn’t happening as her imagination was trying to convince her. Yet even knowing this, she allowed the feeling to keep flowing through her. It was a harmless, fleeting indulgence, and she could laugh at herself another time for giving into it.
His cock kept growing and he began to sigh aloud. She finally opened her eyes to find him looking back at her. His eyes were barely open, but he was watching her intently. There was a stirring pulse in the warm flesh in the cup of her hand.
Trust me. Trust me like I’m trusting you.
It was palpable as a whisper inside her head, except his lips never moved, and the feel of the words was somewhere else, as if she were hearing them with another part of her body. She watched his face, barely aware of the slow caress of her hand as his cock began to prickle with the vibrant throb of life. Her other hand slid back across his chest, stopping at each of his nipples as she worried them with her fingertips.
“You’re trusting me because you have no choice,” she said out loud. “You’re half dead.”
He uttered another weak groan while his eyes closed again and a faint smile lay across his mouth. His cock pulsed harder, swelling with heat and blood. Desiree became aware of the absent stroking of her hand and began to massage his ripening flesh with deliberate strokes. The aching pulse in her nipples felt in synch with the pulse in his rigid cock. It had to be another trick of her strained imagination.
But then his hand moved. Just far enough to reach for her hip, naked but for the slender cut of her panties. His touch fell somewhere between an accident and grasping. His fingers went blind against her skin and searched until they latched onto the waist of her panties. He gripped the fabric without pulling.
There’s always a choice . The words seemed to enter her consciousness through his fingers.
She realized her hand had stopped moving up and down his rigid cock. She held him still. Upright. Tight. Clear sap oozed from his prominent dome and dribbled down the exposed length of his shaft, mixing with the suds and water. His moans and grip were still weak, but the hard flesh in her grip was rippling with heat and a vital pulse.
Beyond the slab where she stood over him were the neglected olive grove and pastel sea beyond. She wondered how many times she’d resisted the urge to set those trees on fire and sprint through the smoke and flames to dive in the soft lap of the tepid waters. Those trees had ruined her life and she hated the sight of them. They’d simultaneously ruined her hands and made them famous. They ruined the thin shreds of her spirit left in the wake of Trace’s disappearance. It was a curse to have to look at them every day.
You’re wrong , she thought, knowing her words were somehow filtering down through the layers of his consciousness. For some there’s never a choice.
She smeared a thick drab of shaving lotion in her palm and rubbed it around the base of his cock. She slathered his balls with the palm of her hand, and by the time she took hold of his shaft to stroke him, his flesh surged with fresh heat and blood.
A slow blossom of oozing heat was continually unfolding in her pussy. His grip on her panties was loose but persistent, inadvertently stretching them out of place. She brought her free hand toward her breasts, smearing the smooth, firm mounds with the same cream the other hand was slicking up and down his cock. Sensation shuddered through her nipples in the slick pinch of her lathered fingers. Then she pushed her hand down to the mound peering above the edge of her panties as his hand dragged them down. Fingers raked along her straining lips, dragging upward.
“We didn’t choose this. Did you choose whatever happened to you? Any of this? Do you think I would ever choose such a useless heap of muscle and bone?”
Her hand kept slipping up and down his cock. He felt sleek. Hard as the marble under his body. The index finger of her other hand drew absent circles around the buzzing knot of her nipple.
You chose this. You could have left me for dead. But you chose to bring me here . It became a whispered chant bouncing off the walls in her mind.
“You think you know all about choices and trust,” she said. His eyes opened again, tiny slits that tracked her every move. “But I’m going to teach you something about both.”
“I…” he groaned weakly “…trust…” his hand seemed to find itself and moved deliberately under the misshapen stretch of her panties “…you.”
Desiree picked up the razor while his fingers burrowed into the meat of her ass. His grip was suddenly strong enough to light up her nerves and make her head swim. With her jaw set in a defiant grimace, she held his cock upright with one hand and began carefully shaving off the hair around the base of his shaft with the other. Half spat curses hardened in her throat but never came out. Her pussy shivered with hot sensation as she dragged the razor over his skin again and again until his cock was smooth and hairless. She lifted his nutsac and shaved underneath, meticulously following the shape of his balls until they were smooth as plums.
She set down the razor and studied the long, full shape of his cock as she fondled him. He groaned and reached for the top of her inner thigh, where the smear of her nectar wet her skin. She suddenly thought of Sirai, one of the whores at the resort who told her more than once, “If you’ve seen one cock you’ve seen them all.” She almost laughed. There was something proud and rich about the stranger’s hardness. Something natural in the way her hands fit around his shaft.
She wanted to hate him for landing in a heap on the broad marble slab behind her house. She wanted to hate him for looking just enough like Trace to fool the others. She could have rained blows across his body with wildly flailing fists, taking out all her hatred for Trace on him. But in his near total state of helplessness, his desire was bringing him back to life one piece at a time.
Or was it her? Was she coming back to life one piece at time?
It didn’t matter now. Her pussy was doing all the talking. All the begging. She leaned over and raised the bucket over his body, tilting it over to rinse him clean in a sudden rush that soaked her nearly as much as him. After she dropped the bucket, she shoved her wet panties down and off, then she climbed onto the wide slab where he lay, straddling his body with her knees on either side.
Desiree held his cock against the roiling lips of her nectar oozing slit. Now he was shaved as smooth as she. She rocked her hips, pressing his cock snugly into her grinding wet furrow, massaging herself against his burning rock of flesh. Her clit throbbed and felt every bit as hard as his cock. She moaned in spite of herself.
“Here’s your fucking choice,” she huffed breathlessly.
His eyes opened wide, really seeing her for the first time while his hands reached blindly for her rolling hips. His chest heaved with deep, living breath.
She wanted his cock inside her, but she refused to shove him home while he was so far gone. It was bad enough she felt ashamed of wanting so much. Weakness. Nerves in her cinnamon flesh she couldn’t begin to control anymore. She would never feel him inside. Neither him nor any other man.
How fucking long had it been? How many fucking choices derail and break you down to stone?
Heaving a painful groan, he pushed himself up, leaning backward on his hands as he studied her face. She held perfectly still, holding the burning shaft of his cock against her aching slit.
“I have everything to ask, and nothing to say in return,” he said. “Except now that I can really see you I still don’t know if I’m dead or alive, but at least I know which I would rather be.”
Breath punched its way into her body, then punched its way back out again. Their arms went around each other’s body at the same time. Face in neck and face in neck. Lips searching for the right place to kiss. Tongues licking skin and heat and sweat. Her hips ground harder, losing all sense of grace and control. Her breasts shook with her body’s lunging exertion and she reached between them and pushed the tip of her cock into her foaming maw.
The slick froth smearing the pulsating underbelly of his cock was all her. She slipped her fingers in it just before grinding onto him, swallowing his rock hard flesh inside her. She was alive and magnificent for the first and last time. Her clit scraped along his burning skin while her heart beat its way through the space between each little explosion of her life.
There was an unstoppable strength in his searching hands now as they roamed the silken terrain of her undulating body. He was holding and caressing her at once. Touching her like she was something more than she was.
“Fuck!” It rose out of her throat as a cry, but the meat of his shoulder caught the sound as she sank her teeth into the solid knot of sinew.
“Fuck!” He growled as she marked him with her bite. His body was suddenly lunging back at her with deep, forceful thrusts. He was throwing himself into her with long, hard strokes as she threw herself back at him with all her strength and none of her mind.
Time started to change shape until she realized his tongue was deep inside her mouth. She was acutely aware of her nipples sliding up and down his skin as they moved together. She wondered if her body was melting around the deep, hard drive of his powerful cock. Or was it all her? Was she bucking him back against the marble slab like the worthless heap of flesh they’d thrown on the ferry barely three hours before?
The line between her existence and his became a flailing blur as their bodies tightened into a knot that would never be unraveled. Something inside her began detached and began to float.
She pulled her face back to see his eyes. She saw the olive trees burning down inside them as they devoured her.
“Tell me your name!” she pleaded. But he merely threw back his head and shoved hard into her shuddering pussy. Suddenly he was gushing hard and deep inside her. The rush of wet heat sent her head flying back and her throat opening around a quiver of silent gasps. It felt as if a rush of liquid color was suddenly pouring into her body. She shivered with delicious agony, froze a moment in place while she gnashed her slash against his cock.
When she started to move again, she was barely aware of where she was or in which direction she was moving, but then her face was against his chest, and she realized he was lying back against the marble again. She listened to him breathe a while. He didn’t speak, and there were no more whispers from his spirit in her mind.
This wasn’t him. Whoever he was. The Trace she’d known would never allow himself to be reduced to this. His kind of arrogance would die first. The stranger was unconscious again, his cock still tucked inside her oozing sheath.
Desiree pressed her lips to his a moment, then pushed herself up and off him, setting her feet back down on the tile.
It took longer to roll him over than she thought. She was used to handling men’s bodies, but he was too far gone to help. She finally got him turned onto his stomach, with his ass facing upward.
She picked up the second bag she’d brought out of the house, rooting through it until she found the two vials she wanted. She mixed the ink right on the edge of the slab, until she had a pool she was sure would be enough to work with. She wouldn’t need much. Next came the needle. She poured alcohol over it and held it to dry in the air. She dipped it in the ink and then drove it into the high side of his right ass cheek. He groaned and made motions as if he might be coming around.
She dipped the needle and pierced him again. She did it again, and then again and again, until the blue D began to take shape in his skin.