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Clean White Linen

Ron warns that is, "a whole new take on carey - but DON'T go there if you're easily offended!!!!"

Clean White Linen

by Mark Aster

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Adult themes; parental discretion advised.
With thanks and apologies to Joni Mitchell.

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"Carey, get out your cane."

Sitting at the narrow desk, he raised his head and turned, turned to look at her standing in the bedroom doorway, hip cocked, white silk camisole and cotton panties, mouth quirked up at one corner, looking at him.

"We going somewhere?" In the evening outside the window the surf shushed. The fourth-floor apartment was small and cramped; the view out over the water mocked him with its immensity.

She crossed the room in two steps, sat on his lap, one arm over his shoulders. When she kissed him her mouth was soft and sweet and relaxed. She kissed him for a long time, her arm loose at the back of his neck, his left hand resting motionless on one long bare thigh.

"I couldn't sleep last night," she said finally, tilting back her head as his lips moved comfortably down her cheek, onto her throat. She had lain there for many minutes, naked under the sheet, his head cradled on her chest, his hair black and silver and grey tickling her chin, his breathing light and almost silent. Then she'd slipped out of his bed, out onto the tiny balcony, and let the wind play warm and salty over her skin. The moon had slipped out of one cloud, crossed a luminous empty space and buried itself in the mist before she'd yawned and gone back inside, fallen asleep curled around him. "The African wind; so loud and warm."

"Have you decided?" he asked. His mouth touched her neck again and she gasped; his hand on her leg tightened almost imperceptibly, but she felt the pull on her skin all the way up her thigh, between her legs, into the core of her. Her flesh under his lips was young and taut, and he felt, as he always felt, the warmth and aliveness of her, and he wondered at it. She touched his face, and he kissed her fingers.

She stood and took his cane from the corner, handed it to him. "Come on, I'll put on my silk and silver, and we'll go down to the Mermaid Cafe, have some fun." She bent and kissed him again, and his hand moved up her body and cupped one small breast, lightly pinching the flesh of her nipple between his fingers through the fabric. She sighed, and straightened, and went into the bedroom.

They walked down the long staircase and out into the dusk, down the sidewalk with the wind blowing, leaning slightly on each other. She barefoot, in long floral silk, silver at her neck and wrists, head high; he in worn black and grey, soft shoes, cane over his free arm, eyes on her now sardonic, now amazed, adoring. She took his hand in hers and squeezed, and she sighed and spoke, her voice small and clear.

"I don't know how you take it; my fingernails are filthy, I've got beach-tar on my feet..."

"Maybe it's been too long since you were scramblin' in these streets. They've got you used to that clean white linen and that fancy French cologne."

She put out her tongue at him and wrinkled her nose. A seagull called harshly, high and strange, beyond the buildings, and she looked up, her face serious. "It sure is hard to leave, though." He listened to her body move as they walked. The sky darkened into night.

The air in the Mermaid was thick and golden, rich with noise and smoke, scratchy rock 'n' roll and sharp mellow jazz. She leaned far back in her chair, bare feet on the table. She bought them a bottle of wine and drank too much. He sent her out onto the dance floor, and she whirled and laughed in the arms of the young men with long stringy hair and love beads. And she stood on a chair, feet wide apart and pelvis thrust forward, and she swung her arms.

"A round for these freaks and these soldiers!" They cheered and drank and took her into themselves again, and he admired the line of her body as she fell backward into their arms. Later, she came back to the table, smashed her empty glass down in front of him, and they left.

The sky was a dome of stars, the air shockingly cold. "You're a mean ol' Daddy," she said, swaying against him. She slipped trying to touch her lips to his cheek, but he caught her, held her up. "You're a mean ol' Daddy," she repeated, "but I like you. I like you. I like you." He leaned heavily on his cane, supporting them both back home.

They didn't turn on any lights or draw the shades; the stars and the moon lit her body as he undressed her slowly. Sobered by the quiet and the cold walk home, she held her arms out from her body silently, eyes closed. He sat before her on the bed, undid the clasps at her neck, her chest, slid the silk back over her shoulders and off. He leaned forward and took her right nipple between his lips, stroked it with his tongue. She shivered softly. He put his hands on her hips, hooked his fingers under the waistband of her panties.

Naked, she twirled gently around the small room as he undid his own clothes. The moonlight through her skin filled her with dreams.

"Maybe I'll go to Amsterdam, or maybe I'll go to Rome," her voice happy and golden; he smiled despite himself. "Get myself a grand piano and rooms and rooms full of flowers." She fell down backwards onto the bed, naked, her thighs open, her arms up. The bed creaked, and stopped, and she sighed, and the silence filled him.

They made love slowly, in silence and the moonlight. He thought of her far away as she kissed his body, thought of her bathed in perfect sunlight, surrounded by flowers and music. His body was tired, but she was patient and skilled; soon she swung herself over him, put her hand between them and guided him in, sighing and closing her eyes as she slid down onto him. He circled his hips, penetrating her slowly and gently. Her body shuddered.

"Ah, Carey fill me up, oh fill me," she breathed, "oh, ooh, you're a mean old Daddy," she gasped, "but you're outta sight..." and her lips closed over his again, and her tongue slid into his mouth and she moved over him and he surrendered to her there in the dark, and lost himself in her one last time.

The End

(Contributed by Ron from South Africa)

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