The world, on the other side of the glass, was suffering; buffeted and sodden. Gales had been lashing for the better part of two days. High winds had whipped the pines into thrashing wands, stripping the remaining pine cones to fall to the ground with little thuds, barely audible above the cacophony of the storm. Black, scudding clouds shrouded the landscape, creating bizarre, moving shadows of dark over dark, blotting out the usual features of the pine forest.
The rain, driven almost horizontally by the fierce gusts, had been falling, well, not falling so much as, sideways pile driving, against the cottage's gable wall, to collect and run in a dirty brown streamlet down the garden path like a snake.
The power was out, meaning that the television could not deliver its constant barrage of bad news and mind-numbing trivia. It was obvious that the weather would have caused trees to fall, floods to lie claim to low lying housing and perhaps, even, for people to lose their lives. It was blatantly obvious that this was severe storm force with damaging consequences, but was it really something that everyone needed to hear every few minutes in updates that really were nothing more than repetitions of the previous update.
Jan sighed and rose from the position she had been in for more than half an hour, kneeling on the seat of the sofa and resting her arms on the back so that she could watch through the patio doors, the havoc the weather was metering out to the surrounding grounds. Time had slipped by unnoticed, so lost in the ferocity of the wind, that the minutes flowed seamlessly into each other, her mind devoid of any real thoughts, at least, none that she would have been able to recall had she been asked.
The fire had consumed the last feeding of fuel so that only embers and the occasional flicker of flame from the residual leavings lit the room. Fortunately, Ray had laid in a supply of logs and coal in preparation, having listened to the reports of bad weather warnings over the last couple of days. The radio had sounded like the harbinger of terrible news, just as the sandwich board man in town, warns that the 'end of the world is nigh', the news bulletins had forewarned of the severity of the impending storm. Ray hadn't figured on the power going down, but would probably not have been able to do much about it in any case before he left to be a hero for the volunteer rescue force. Jan fed a few logs to the fire, watching to see if they would catch and then, pleased as they did, left the sitting room to make some tea in the kitchen.
Jan filled the kettle from the tap and put it on the stove, lighting the gas with a match and then watching the blue conical flames as they spurted from the burner. It was as if she were acting on autopilot. She was thinking about absolutely nothing, mechanically, perfunctorily going through the motions of making a cup of tea.
A stray thought flittered waif like across her mind; she wondered if Ray was alright, knowing him to be in the thick of it, soaked through to the skin, rescuing people from flooded houses or stranded cars. The orange-hulled dirigible boat the rescue squad used, slapping over waves in an effort to offer comfort to the hapless people. The scenes flashed over her mind's eye, of desperate arms, held aloft beseechingly, to saviours arriving in the total darkness, brilliant, searing searchlights flashing through the rain like laser beams cutting through steel.
Jan returned to the sitting room; the logs had caught properly now and were burning fiercely in the grate, throwing dancing shadows around the room and reflecting in the glass of Rays display cabinet. She sat on the rug in front of the fire, cupping her mug of tea close to her chest and folding her legs under her. Jan stared into the flames, conscious of the heat against her exposed throat where her bathrobe didn't quite meet. The tea, cooling in the mug, was forgotten as she absently put the cup down on the slate hearth. Reflectively, she thought about her marriage to Ray, almost five years now, a time that had seen him work at fever pitch in an effort to get his construction company off the ground and out of the Bank's dept. Jan felt neglected and selfishly so; he should be with her right at this moment, looking after her, not out, risking life and limb to save complete strangers. It was a selfish thought, she knew it, but you can't help the way you feel, she told herself by way of absolution.
He did belong home. He did belong in their bed, where she wouldn't mind being now, curled against him in the after glow of sex. He belonged here; with a baby in his arms, cradling a delicate head as he looked on in wonder at the life they had created.
The vision came to her unbidden and caught her by surprise. She tried to stifle a cry as the pain of her barrenness plucked at her heartstrings in a vicious reminder that they had failed to produce a child. This was really the whole reason for her melancholy, not the foul weather; her body clock was running and time was whizzing by. It wasn't that they hadn't tried, oh no, they had made love in every conceivable position, at any time and thoroughly enjoyed each other's bodies. It just hadn't happened, but neither of them had the courage to go to the Doctor to find out why, fearful of the answer, the discovery that one of them was unable.
The cinema of her mind played the erotica of their honeymoon beside a small stream that eventually ran into the Mediterranean Sea off of the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Their holiday apartment was close to a spectacular waterfall where the ice-cold water fell thirty feet in silver, shimmering curtains, to hit the basalt rocks of the riverbed below. The graphic imagery played of the way he had turned to her with a smile, kissed and then, with a thumb under the straps, stripped off her bikini beside the crashing water. Her mind added to the romance of the occasion as he entered her body, thrusting until they both cried out in climax while the spray off the waterfall soaked their heaving bodies. She remembered the scratches the rock face gave to her back, where she had used the wall to lean against as his cock rammed into her willing body, her legs wrapped around his hips, his hands supporting her buttocks, fingers kneading her skin. The scene was hot; it had been one of the first impromptu holiday fucks of many. As the two weeks passed, they found themselves screwing in the sea, on the beach, the shower and of course, bed; but by far, the best had been by the waterfall. It had been the first time they had been able enjoy each other without the distractions of family, work or other commitments; it was the forging of their bond in a union of bodies.
Her breathing rate increased as the erotic memories flashed across the lids of her closed eyes. Her increasing arousal caused her nipples to harden and scrape slightly, against the terry cloth of her bathrobe. Jan's lips parted to allow her tongue to snake out between her teeth and moisten her lips.
Unconsciously, her hand crept downwards, parting the cloth of her robe to expose her neatly trimmed pubis. Her other hand slipped under the fabric of the robe, to find her nipple, hardened by the eroticism of her daydreaming. Forefinger and thumb trapped the hardened nub, squeezing and pulling it to even greater hardness. She gasped as her aureole puckered in pimples, her fingers producing a delicious tingle through her breast.
Jan layback, feeling slightly buoyed by the nap of the rug, her robe fell in shrouds to either side of her body, her head rested against the edge of the settee, giving her an elongated view over the contours of her body between the mounds of her breasts.
With fingers of each hand, she pulled her labia apart, pulling open and up so that her clit was fully exposed and pushed out to prominence. A fingertip brushed over her excited nerve centre causing her to breathe in sharply at the electric touch. Her finger slipped further down, passing between her lips and then into her cunt, hooking hard behind her pubic bone while the finger of her other hand retraced its predecessor, catching against her hard nub of nerve endings forced forward by the finger inside. The combination was devastating; she came hard, wetting her fingers with her cream, slicking her sex with lubricant; all the time, the scene of her and Ray's stand up session played across her memory, fuelling her desire. She calmed, but continued running the almost pornographic scenes in her mind's eye.
Fingers were okay as a quick fix as this had been, but Jan had a greater need, to be filled and fucked into submission; taken to the summit of passion until her body had excreted all that she was able to give in payment for his spend.
Slightly dissatisfied, Jan rolled away from the fire and rose to retrieve her rabbit from its safe haven of the bedside drawer. If she couldn't have Ray's turgid cock pounding into her, then it would be the next best thing.
The shocking pink coloured toy was retrieved from her bedside cabinet, the batteries were still good with enough power to spin the ball bearings and make the end rotate while the whole thing vibrated. Jan smothered the end with some "Glide" lubricant and returned to the warmth of the hearth.
She lay as before, stretched out in front of the fire, on top of the sheepskin rug. She placed the rabbit on the hearth and took a sip of her tea. Her mouth was dry as it usually was at the prospect of sex. Just one of those inexplicable reactions, her saliva would dry up at the mere thought.
With the residue of the lubricant on her fingers, Jan touched her labia, smearing the silicon liquid over her lips and clit. She grabbed her rabbit, turning on the variable dial until it squirmed satisfyingly in her hand.
She held open her lips with first and second fingers, bringing the tip of the pink toy ever closer, teasing herself with a deliberate slowness, building the anticipation of its mechanical touch.
The buzzing tip touched her clit, sending a shock wave through her body. She thrilled to the touch and began imagining Ray doing it to her. Slowly, she pushed the squirming toy into her body, feeling the oscillating tip pass her muscles until it nestled deep inside. The ears of the rabbit, vibrating furiously fell to either side of her clit, exciting her already hardened nub even further.
The combination of oscillating tip, rotating beads and vibrating ears soon her writhing as a devastating climax built in her guts. She took her self over the edge, gripping the toy and fucking it into her, all the while running a mental image of Ray doing her good and hard.
With a cry of Oh my God! Jan came in a rush, her back arching as her come gushed from her body, splashing against her hands, soaking the rabbit and sheepskin all at once. She fell back as little aftershocks rippled through her in diminishing clenches of her stomach muscles.
Jan relaxed, allowing the waves to pass over her. It might not have been Ray, but her rabbit could bring her off quicker than anything. She dozed, bathed in the memory of a shattering climax and the warmth from the fire.
Sometime later, when her breathing had deepened into a light sleep, Jan woke with a start. Subconsciously, she had heard a noise that didn't belong to the howling wind and storm outside. She listened intently, shivered at the coolness of the room where the logs had been consumed and pulled her robe tightly around her as she rose to feed the fire more fuel.
She heard it again, a scratching at the door.
She picked up a poker from the companion set, hefting the weight as she crossed the floor towards the door. Jan peered out of the small diamond shaped window in the centre of the plank door, but couldn't see anything. The glass distorted anything on the other side at the best of times, where it had purposely introduced imperfections and bubbles trapped with in its surface.
Jan noiselessly, flipped the cast-iron latch and slowly opened the door, standing to one side in case whatever was on the other side threw its weight at the door and take her out. The wind whipped at her robe, driving leaves and rubbish between the gap of the door and jamb.
She couldn't see anything, so opened the door slightly wider to allow her head and shoulders through. She peered into the darkness and reflected light from the window, but shadows were all that were there to be seen until, a darker shadow from the blackness of the night moved. Suddenly, two luminous eyes fixed Jan in the doorway, staring intently back at her.
The wolf took a step closer, its head coming into the relative light cast by the crack of the door while the rest of its body stayed in the shadows. Even though she could only see a part of the animal, it was obvious that it was in a sorry state, rain dripped from its snout, fur hung limply. The poor thing was completely bedraggled. She instantly felt sorry for the plight of the timber wolf.
Jan stepped back behind the door, holding it open and made clucking noises to encourage the beast to come closer. She didn't know what she could do for it, but perhaps getting out of the weather might help. She knew that it must be in a desperate state, wolves will stay away from humanity as much as possible, fearing them as a threat to their existence, but occasionally, close contact is inevitable in the wilds. On those occasions, a grudging, but wary respect is given.
Cautiously, the wolf took another step forward and then, another until its head was inside looking around the room, checking the place out for danger. Jan stayed where she was, with the reassuring solidity of the door between them. She wanted to help the creature out, but at the same time, was aware of the danger she was putting her self in. This close, she was able to see just how large a timber wolf is; its shoulders were level with her hip.
She gently pushed the door against its sodden flank, forcing the animal to make a decision, whether to come in or go back outside. It chose to enter; she shut the door, closing the howling wind and rain out of her rapidly chilling living room. The wolf turned to face her, three feet between them. They regarded each other silently, each with their own thoughts, wondering what happens next.
It was Jan who broke the silent spell first, feeling chilled; she shivered and slowly moved toward the fire side. The wolf watched her, turning only its head, eyes intently staring, unmoving until she sat on the settee.
The wolf shook its self, throwing rain in every direction, but still it kept a steady gaze on her as if waiting for an invitation to the fire side.
"Come." Jan found her voice and was rewarded by the animal's cocked ears and tilted head. She tapped the floor with her foot, not thinking that fire to a wolf is a mortal enemy, greater than man in some respects.
It seemed to make a choice, because it took several steps toward her and the fire then, sat on its haunches, keeping a space of about three feet between them. Its sheer size surprised her. She had seen several wolves, both in the wild and at a zoo, but never this close or with anything to compare for perspective.
"Hungry?" She asked, not expecting an answer, but needing to make a connection. Jan rose from the settee, slowly so that she didn't startle the wolf and backed into the kitchen area to see what she could find to feed the animal. The refrigerator had the remains of yesterday's chicken in cling film; she took it out and then found a bowl in a cabinet which she filled with water.
She returned to the living room and then laughed out loud. The wolf was still sitting as before, but now had steam coming off its fur and a pathetic expression on its face. The scene struck her funnily and eased the tension. She relaxed a little, knowing now, that it wouldn't hurt her unless she did something stupid.
She placed the bowl and chicken carcass on the floor in front of the animal and then, backed off to go to the bathroom and fetch a couple of towels.
The chicken, bones and all had gone when she returned a few minutes later. Steam was still rising off of the wolf's pelt, but at least, it didn't look quite so sorry for its self. Jan sat back on the settee, moving slowly, but surely, letting him know she wasn't scared of him. She shuffled forward to be within arms length, a towel in each hand. He looked at the towels nervously, twisting from side to side as she closed on him, but remained otherwise, still, sitting in a pool of rain water.
She started rubbing his shoulders with the towels in circular motions. His eyes closed half way in obvious enjoyment. Gradually, she rubbed more vigorously, fluffing up his matted coat. Jan dried him off until the towels were sodden, covered in mud and the detritus of pine needles and burrs from the animal's fur. During the drying process, she had risen from the settee to kneel alongside the huge canid. All the time, it sat as before, submitting to the pleasure of being dried off, the expression of bliss closing its eyes. Jan reached for another towel from the settee, scooted around so that she was face on, sitting in front and began to rub its neck, cheeks and throat. She kept talking to the animal, reassuring him that she only wanted to help, muttering inconsequence's soothingly.