Brett looked at the window. A large crow was there eyeing him, cocking its head before flying off.
Hmph, he must not like my guitar playing. Brett restarted the song. He was half way through the first stanza when the phone rang.
“Hi Brett, It’s Deirdra.”
“Hi sweetie, what’s up?”
“The kids and I are moving in with Steve.”
What the FUCK?
“Are you sure that’s what you want?”
I must be some type of fucking loser. She won’t marry me, but, she’ll move in with that sleazy grease monkey two weeks after we break up.
“Yes, I thought you needed to hear it from me.”
What did I do to deserve this? “Will I be able to see the kids?”
“Yes, I’ll make sure of it. It may be a few weeks. I’ve got to go. Steve will be here soon.”
“OK, Thanks for telling me. I’ll talk to you later.” Brett missed the phone cradle three times.
I didn’t do anything wrong.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hi Brett, This is Freya. Deirdra asked me to check on you. She said you didn’t sound right when you talked.”
“No, you’re not. I hear it in your voice. We want you to come to dinner.”
“I’d rather be alone.”
“Yep, which is exactly why you shouldn’t be. Now, get your butt over here. Understand?”
“I ... uh...”
“I don’t want to hear it. Dinner is in forty-five minutes. The only thing you need to bring is yourself. See ya.”
Damn, I guess I’m going to dinner.
When Brett arrived thirty minutes later Freya hugged him.
Wait, did her hand graze my ass?
Jay waved, “C’mon in. Dinner’s ready.” He led them to a breakfast nook.
Freya said. “I hope you like lasagna. We have ice cream with strawberries for dessert.”
“That sounds wonderful.” She must have asked Deirdra. He looked at her.
“Yes, I asked. Now, dig in.”
During dinner, Freya and Jay kept the conversation light and Brett laughing.
As they ate dessert, Jay turned to him. “How are you holding up?”
“Let’s see, In one three day period Deirdra left me. My pastor kicked me out and I’ve lost ninety percent of my friends. Now, not two weeks later, Deirdra’s moving in with that asshole! How do you think I’m doing?”
Freya clasped his forearm. “Brett look at me. I know you’re hurt. Anybody would be. You haven’t done anything wrong. You love Deirdra. She knows that and she cares about you, that’s why she called us.
“It’s going to hurt for a while. It’ll get better. I promise.”
Jay stood. “Brett let’s take a walk. A few minutes down a wood path will clear your head.”
Five minutes into their walk, Jay pulled a bottle out of a stump and chugged it.
“Jay, that’s Everclear!”
Jay held a finger up as he drained the bottle. After the last swallow, he chunked it. “Let’s go back.”
Freya looked at Jay when they walked in. “Oh, hell no! I told you, you’re not going to be in my house smashed out of your mind.” She yanked a blanket and pillow from the closet and shoved them at Jay. “Get your ass outside.”
Freya pointed. “GO!”
“Maybe, I should leave.” Brett said.
“No, it’s OK. He’s a grown man. He has to make his own decisions. Want to watch a movie?”
“Sure, why not.”
Over the next few weeks, Brett spent a lot of time with them. Some nights, Jay slept inside and on other nights, he didn’t.
Brett had sat unmoving the entire night. His fingers stroked Deirdra’s sweater, the one she had left in his car on their second date two years ago.
This spot by the river had been his oasis and the night his friend but, that was before. Now, his oasis was barren and the night had cast him out.
The light of false dawn reflected on his Bowie knife laid on its sheath on the ground before him. Brett lifted it and sighted along the cutting edge checking for nicks. He turned the knife so the point faced inward and gripped it with white knuckled hands. His eyes closed, he filled his lungs with air to steady himself.
Brett jerked and dropped the knife.
Beside him was a thin cat. It’s red fur matted and the outline of its ribs poking out. It bumped its head against Brett’s thigh and looked at him. “Meow?”
Brett stroked the cat. It preened under the attention and pushed it bony spine against his hand.
“What are you doing out here, little one? I bet, I know what you want.” Brett reached over to his tote bag and pulled out a half-eaten stick of beef jerky. He broke it into small chunks and piled it in front of the tabby. After eating, it climbed into Brett’s lap and burrowed into Deirdra’s sweater. It lay there and looked at him buzzing with contentment.
The cat’s simple acceptance of its situation shattered Brett. Deep convulsive sobs racked him. He picked the cat out of his lap and held it close. Hot tears poured down his face as he vented the poisons of anger and bitterness from his heart. The cat’s purring soaked into him and scrubbed the ichor from his soul.
As the storm within eased, the cat wriggled out of his arms. It gave one look back before disappearing into the brush. Brett was too exhausted to follow. His throat dry and raw, he tried to stand. His muscles stiff from sitting in the same position all night rebelled. Brett crawled to the river’s edge and drank. Satiated, He rolled over and slept.
The heat of the midday sun woke him. He took another drink from the river, stood and stretched. He groaned as tight muscles threatened to cramp. He put on his shirt and gathered his things. He took care in shaking out and folding Deirdra’s sweater. He put his bag on his shoulder and took one quick look around to make sure nothing was forgotten.
In an hour Brett was back on the public trails. As he started up the last hill, four crows took off from a tree and cawed. He gave them a disinterested glance and moved on. The parking lot was in sight when Brett heard a voice from the picnic table area.
“Hey, What are you doing here?
Deirdra? He touched his tongue to dry lips and turned. Deirdra sat at a picnic table with her back to the concrete table top. Warmth flooded his heart as he went to her.
“I had the day off and decided to hike. What about you?”
“The kids are with mom and dad. So, I figured I’d come out here and relax while I’m waiting for Steve to get off work. What have you been up to?”
“Not much other than work, I’ve been hanging out with Freya and Jay a lot.”
“They’re good people.” Deirdra nodded. Who are you seeing?”
“N ... no one. I don’t want to.”
Deirdra shook her head. “Brett, that’s not good for you. It’s been almost three months, you need to be seeing people.”
Brett bit back a retort. Instead, he changed tacks. “How are the kids doing?”
“They’re OK, They’re still getting used to Steve but, he treats them well.”
“That’s good. When can I see them?”
Deirdra bit her lip and looked away, her voice a whisper when she spoke.”I ... I don’t think that’s a good idea. Steve and I are getting married.”
He clutched the bench to keep his hands from shaking. The burning in his lungs reminded him to breathe. “Really?”
“I told him I was going to let them see you and he went ape shit.” She glanced at him. “I’m sorry.”
“So that’s it huh? You’re throwing everything about our relationship out the window. Am I supposed to forget about them? I love them and they love me!”
“I know they do and you were good to them, but Steve is their new father and he doesn’t want them seeing you. He says it’ll confuse them. Maybe, in a year or two he’ll be OK with it.” She made a show of checking her watch.”I’ve got to go. He’ll be done soon.” She gave Brett a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.”It’ll be OK.” She got up.
Brett made a decision. “Deirdra, hold up, I’ve got something of yours.” He pulled out her sweater.
“I’ve been looking for that! I thought I lost it.”
“I found it in my car.”
Once she was gone, Brett glared into the sky. “I hope you’re fucking satisfied.”
He went home and took a shower, letting the hot water drive the knots out of his body. Afterward, he decided to go to Jay’s and Freya’s.
When he walked through their door Freya wrapped him in a tight hug. His cock jerked as her large breasts pushed into him. He jumped when she goosed him.
“God, you smell good!”
His eyes traced her ample cleavage. Even with her top unzipped, the tightness of the dark green velour shirt proved she wasn’t wearing a bra. He blushed when he saw her smirk.
“I’m making some green tea would you like some?”
“Sure.” Brett sat in the nook. It had become “their” spot for conversation.
Freya brought their cups. “What’s that?”
“It’s The Masks of God by Joseph Campbell. My buddy Brian asked me to read it. He thought it might help me.”
Freya sat at the table. The touch of her leg to his sucked his attention to her.
Her green eyes twinkled as she sat up straight and pushed her breasts toward him. “What?”
“I want to make love to you.” Shit, did I say that?
Her grin widened. She shook her head. “No, you don’t. You want to have sex with me.”
“OK, I want to have sex with you.”
“Not tonight, She pointed at the paperback. “tell me about your book.”
Well, she didn’t say no, at least.
They talked for a couple of hours. Topics ranging from philosophical to silly were discussed with laughter and seriousness.
Freya stood and stretched, pushing her bounty towards Brett. “I have to run to the ladies room. Why don’t you pick a movie for us.”
“OK.” Brett made a couple choices and set them on the coffee table. Is that the shower? He waited a while and then decided to get a drink. As he got up, She walked into the room.
Freya, her damp hair parted in the middle, stood before him in a sheer, leopard print, negligee. Her full firm breasts, with small aureoles and hard nipples, hung as ripe fruit. Sleek and toned, her midriff sat in majesty above lavish delectable hips. Her sex was bare. Muscular and shapely, her long legs completed her beauty.
Oh, my. He stepped to her. Their eyes almost level, he peered deep within her. He found only acceptance and desire. He kissed her.
Freya sighed and wrapped her arms around him. Warm and lively, she pulled him close and gently ground her sex against him as their tongues dueled.
Brett broke the kiss and slipped around her. She laid her head back upon his shoulder, as he kissed her neck. Freya moaned, arching her breasts forward as Brett cupped them.
With deft movements, she pushed the straps of her negligee off of her shoulders. Taking the hint, Brett slipped them down to free her breasts.
“I want you.” Brett whispered.
“I want you too. Wait a second.” Freya broke the embrace and walked to the closet. She pulled out a thick dark brown quilt and spread it on the floor. Going back, she returned with a lion skin. One last trip brought two pillows. She took a moment to spread the skin over the quilt and place the pillows.
“I like the way the fur of the big cats feels on my skin.” She smiled at him. “I think you’ll enjoy it too.”
She went to the bookcase and lit two dark green candles and turned off the lights. From a box, Freya pulled a stick of lavender incense and lit it in the flames. She set it in a holder and went to the edge of her nest, just out of Brett’s reach.
Keeping his eye, she finished disrobing and reclined on the skin. Her head on the pillow, one hand resting above her head, one massaging her sex. “Join me.”
Brett undressed as he soaked in her beauty. He went to her and entered her embrace. The fire between them grew as caresses took on urgency. Kisses became longer and harder. They struggled as each attempted to assert dominance. Flashes of sweet pain erupted as they nipped one another. Brett ducked down and assaulted her clit with his tongue.
Freya’s hand tried to knot in his short hair as she howled, thrusting her sex against his mouth. She shuddered, again and again going rigid with the last. She fell back to the skin, her submission complete.
Brett kissed his way across her tummy, pausing to explore her belly button. Her breasts he approached with awe, relishing their soft firmness against his lips. He sucked each of her nipples deep into his mouth, drawing each in as far as possible.
Freya moaned and rubbed her sex against him. She tried to pull him up, but he refused.
Taking his time, he explored both sides of her neck and planted little kisses across her face. When she tried to reach between them, he moved her hand.
Sitting back, He let his hands cover her mound as his thumbs massaged her lips. Her sweaty body glistened in the candlelight as it twisted to his rhythm. Freya’s head moved side to side as she moaned. When her breathing became pants he stopped.
He slid into her. Freya gasped and locked her legs around him. He pulled her legs away and put them on his shoulders. Driving forward, he curled Freya into a tight ball under him. His hands filled themselves with the flesh of her ass.
This, his first coupling, not his first intercourse, but his first joining with a woman who wanted him was more than lust. He brought fear, fear of rejection and doubt about his worth. He brought anger for the life he had denied himself. As he drove into her willing body, each of her grunts and moans drilled to his core. There was no tenderness here, only primal need expressed as frenzied thrusting.
From Freya, he was taking, taking back stroke by stroke his shattered self-respect. In the burning crucible of her cunt, the pain that strangled his life melted away.
He roared as the world exploded in his face. His stomached cramped as he hunched into her, each spasm blowing seed into her body. Brett shrugged her legs off of his shoulders and collapsed onto her. He gasped as his burning lungs fought for air. He lay on her, his head pillowed by her breasts, listening to her heart beat.
A wave of peace washed over him. He looked at her. A feeling of tenderness blew through him. “I...”
Freya’s fingertip touched his lips.” No, you don’t. Here, lay beside me.” Brett rolled off of her and she gathered him in her arms. She kissed him. “Thank you. That’s the first time in six months a man has touched me.”
“Jay was arrested in a crack house trading blow jobs for drugs. I haven’t let him touch me since. I’m not getting AIDS.” She caressed his face. “That was very good and I plan on doing this with you often. However, we are friends, friends that share physical intimacy and that’s it.”
Bret shook his head.
Freya nodded. “Once your heart heals more you will want to explore other relationships until you find the right woman. Jay is my second marriage and my last. I’m not looking for another husband. What I want is a single friend who will share sex with me. Will you be my “friend” until you find a lady of your own?”
He considered her words. “Will we be friends after?”
Freya smiled. “Yes, but no more sex. I won’t hurt another woman. I’ve been there.”
Brett kissed her. “Yes, I’ll be your friend.”
“Goody!” Freya pulled a comforter off of the couch. “Will you hold me?”
Brett saw a lot of Freya over the next few months. Whenever they went out she insisted on paying her own way. She did allow him to take her to a steak house and dancing for her birthday.
When Jay was around they were discrete but, did not deny their “relationship.” At first, Brett would go with Jay to his twelve-step meetings until it became clear Jay had no intention of healing himself. Instead, he threw himself headlong into his illness. At that point, Brett focused solely on Freya.
Jay stayed away for longer and longer periods. At times, he was gone for a week or so, his addiction taking him where it would.
One evening Brett walked into Freya’s to find Jay passed out on the couch. He arched an eyebrow at Freya.
“The dumb ass came in while I was out shopping. He’s too big for me to move.”
Jay stirred. He looked at them with bloodshot eyes. “ Hey, Freya let’s go to the bedroom.”
“No, go back to sleep.”
Jay struggled to get up. “Aw, c’mon baby don’t be like that. I need some pussy.”
“I said no.”
Jay started towards her. Brett took a step towards Jay. Freya motioned to him and he stopped.
“Please baby,” Jay fell to his hands and knees and crawled towards her, “I told you I’m sorry.” Jay sobbed. He hung his head as he stopped in front of her. “Please, I want some pussy.”
Freya took one decisive step back. “I told you when you went to that crack house we were over. I’ve only let you stay here out of pity. Now, get back on the couch before I throw your ass outside. It’s twenty degrees.”
Jay clasped his hands on the ground in front of her. “Please!”