We can’t wait on the weather.” An impatient tremble in the voice, clenching her small hands, moistening her lips, she presses his arm as the Land Rover slides through the rain filled pools. “We can’t wait on the weather with this being the best time.” He nods, then reverses to park under the trees. A moment’s silence as they stare at each other then he jerks the driving seat back, reaches behind him for the boots and wrestles his legs, one at a time, into the tunnels. She grabs for the other pair of waders, extending her bare legs and pulling up with both hands to press her feet against the soles before sliding out of her skirt.
Standing beside the open door, pushing his two hundred pounds into the yellow rain jacket, working the buttons, he motions to the lake visible through the trees. “We’ll be out of the wind and the wet and if we are seen on the island they will think we are checking bird numbers in the rain.”
The passenger door is open, she steps down from the seat. A few cautious steps stirring the wet grass, fastening her own rain-jacket, pushing dark dyed hair into a rainhat and tying the strings under her chin, watching, staring as he bends the brim to channel the rain away from his face.
“I told you, we shouldn’t be doing this.”
She smoothes rain from his sleeve. “Yes, we should. We discussed it long enough.”
The marsh is grey and green and their feet raise dark water into silver splashes. He helps her down the bank and they merge into a mist filled with the shadows of startled, shrieking birds, divers, ducks and moorhens, the deep water moving in slow circles from their boots. “Don’t be disappointed if there isn’t a result first time, there are so many factors.”
“The important thing is we are going to try.”
The water shallows and they climb onto the island pushing aside the reeds to reveal a wooden cabin perched on poles sunk into the marsh, built for the watchers of the waterfowl in the river estuary park.
She waits as he removes the padlock. “At least you understand. I want this done without all the love crap.”
Staring round the cabin, eyes adjusting to the semi-darkness, she bends, feeling under the wet rain-jacket, wriggles her pants down, stretching them to pull over the waders. She kicks them into the corner, unbuttons the jacket and pushes up the wool jumper. “Think it would help if you see first what I’ve got.” She smiles. “My female assets.”
Removing her bra reveals a pair of breasts, even larger than he had pictured, with dark red nipples, standing out above a thick waist and wide hips, his eyes moving down to short legs, thighs a firm fit for the boots.
Rubbing her hands slowly down his coat she presses against him, then feels between the tops of his boots. “Must be an excited feeling for a man, getting an erection? Need some help?”
“That won’t be necessary.” A straw mattress and a cushion is pulled from the bunk bed to the centre of the floor. He unbelts and unbuttons his coat.
” Ukk! I’ve got to lie on that? It’s damp and it smells.”
“The choice is that or the wet marsh.” He works his zipper, removes his wrist watch, then his glasses to a pocket in the coat as while she places herself cautiously on the mattress. Coats and boots rustle and creak as he follows her, staring at her. “Oh, and try to keep your legs up afterwards.”
Taking a sitting position she places her small arms round her knees, a strained, nervous tone in the voice. “Well, this is nothing like my first time.”
“When was that?”
“I was sixteen and so was he, and we wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. Slipped it in and next thing is he’s done it into a protective. ” She strokes his arm. “It was extremely disappointing. Didn’t feel anything and I have never bothered since although a couple of your sex have tried their best to persuade me.” She stares. “But I guessed right and you’ve got a proper one there.” A shiver. “Bigger than I need.”
” I’ll go in slowly.
“And no protective.”
“No ‘protective’ as you call it – just as nature planned it.” He presses her slowly back, easing himself forward. Raincoats rustle, boots rasp against boots. She gasps.
“I’m going to push.”
Her eyes are tight shut. “Yes, go on, push.” A longer gasp. A shriek. “There’s an awful lot of you and not a lot of me.” A pause, heavy breathing. “You’re right in so do what you’ve got to do.”
A flood of pleasure seizes him as he begins the penetrative movements. Small sounds, sighs, expelled breathes and grunts. He adjusts his position, lifts her higher on the cushion placed under her and becomes more vigorous, adopting a regular rhythm. “This is wild.” Her voice has a tone of surprise.
Holding himself up on extended arms, he looks down at the small sculptured neck and chin beaded with saliva. She wriggles under him. He bends forward sliding in with slow motions. “That nice?”
She stares up at the corrugated ceiling rattling with the rain. “I’m not expecting nice. What this fuck is going to do to me, that’s what’s nice.”
“But are you enjoying it? You’re supposed to.”
She bends her head, staring for a moment at the partly withdrawn erection, then up at him. “You deserve to do the enjoying; me, I shall enjoy feeling you giving me what I need. ”
He moves himself forward, pressing her legs wider apart, one hand fondling a breast, resuming the action. A pause. “I shouldn’t be doing this.”
Her eyes are closed tight. “Yes, you should. Go on, please. Do it. ”
In a detached state of pleasure, he adopts a rhythm of short and long thrusts and her pelvis twists upwards. A rush of wings as a flight of calling Canada geese passes over them: startled he feels his release, sudden sharp spurts.
She pushes out her tongue and rubs it round her lips, eyes wide open, staring, as if in a trance. He pulls slowly out, grunting, lifting himself from the mattress, grasping the heels of her boots and holding them up from the floor. “There, now it’s all down to you and your chemistry.”
“Forty minutes you said, then it happens. When will I know?”
“We will try a tester later next week.”
Pressing up her breasts, she smiles. “I’m made for babies don’t you think?”
“Your mammary glands are perfectly sized for breast feeding and your pelvic structure will support a good sized feotus just as nature intended but you could do with losing a bit more weight.”
A hand is waved in an irritated, dismissive gesture. “I dieted and lost twelve pounds getting ready for this fuck.”
“Impregnation is the scientific word.”
“Kate doesn’t believe in scientific words. “Get yourself fucked then at the right time’ is what she said when I told her I wanted a baby so badly it was hurting.”
“I suppose if it wasn’t me then you’d find someone else.”
“No, I wanted it to be an older intelligent man.” A giggle. “A man with good genes.” She looks up as a large bird makes a noisy forced landing on the roof. “You took much more persuading than I imagined though. Men are not as promiscuous as I imagined.” Dust from the roof floats down and she pulls the front of her jacket over her exposed breasts. “Then I was scared you would back out of it seeing the awful weather. You had the perfect excuse when I called at the lab and told you I had done the test and the signs said I was hot and ready and shouldn’t wait.”
He smiled. “A crisis you told my assistant.”
“A crisis right between the curse going and coming.”
“Mensturation. You are working in a scientific environment so try to use the proper words.”
“Whatever you call it, I’ll be glad to have done with it for nine months. Being a woman is a tough act, believe it.” She wets her lips with her tongue and the lipstick glows. “You did your part well. You’re good at it.”
He slowly lowers her legs back to the floor and helps her to stand. The bra is restored, her wool jumper pulled down, she picks up and puts the pants into a pocket then wraps the coat around her, fastening the buttons and pushing it down so the base covers the tops of the boots “Getting a baby in me is easier than it’s going to be getting it out.”
“That’s one fact you have got right.”
“Kate says that seeing me bringing up my breakfast is going to be gross.”
“Tell her it stops after fourteen weeks.”
“I’m so glad it’s you as you know these things.”
A laugh. “I think I’d be wise to change my mobile number. I can see myself being an advisor rather than a father getting calls in the middle of the night.”
“Can I say thank you?”
In a silence broken by the strident conversation of waterfowl, the splash of the water against their boots, the rustle of the rain on their coats, they wade back to the parking enclosure. She is detached, focused on the possible outcome; he sees a small figure barely tall enough to reach his chin, nicely shaped, not beautiful but with a youthful appeal. Yet she has inspired an uncontrolled emotional state of euphoria; a curious guilt for not feeling guilty, more relaxed than he could ever recall. He is, he reminds himself, a thirty eight years old male – a doctorate in ornithology – a scientific researcher on marsh birds – and she is somewhere close to half his age and, he decides, a possible candidate for child bearing obesity if she is not careful. He has read of these things in the tabloids – showbiz people and gays and lesbians – but this is happening to him. Science has always been more essential to him than marriage and family and he has contented himself with brief affairs. As the wet raincoats and the boots are thrown into the back of the vehicle, it is a realization that suddenly seems bewildering.
“If there is no result, then we will try again next month.” He gropes for his shoes. “But you rushed me today and next time, with a bit more notice, I will look for a lot more comfort – a hotel room maybe.”
She presses his arm. “That would be nice, Harold.” It is a shock hearing his name. “You’re so gentle and so experienced.” Smile. “My goodness, you really stretched me because for a moment there I didn’t think I’d be able to take it all.” Laugh. “But it was easier than I thought and much, much nicer. I’m tingling all over.” Looking down. “And leaking some of the chemistry.” Sigh. “And I think you enjoyed it. I must let you do it again anyway as a proper thank you.” Serious expression. “We can do it even when I’m fixed to wear the big bump.” She circles a hand under her breasts then leans across and gives him a careful kiss on the mouth. It is unexpected, their first meeting of lips.
He turns, pulls her towards him and returns the kiss, taking longer, looking for an excuse to use her name. “And if you hadn’t got Kate then I’d have to consider doing what our parents would have said was the correct thing, asking Myra, the expectant mother, to marry me. Then maybe we could both learn all about parenting, love and loving following all the rules of a polite society.”
She laughs with him, a soft vibrant laugh. “Stuff marriage, parenting and society, Kate and I are all fixed for the baby loving part, you can be sure and certain of that.” Another laugh. “I suppose being a scientific parent, if we married, you’d insist on our four children calling you ‘father'” Another kiss. “And you’d be right, ‘daddy’ is such a naff word.”
“Oh yes, you’re so good at it I believe we’d soon get to enjoy making babies.” Stroking his face, “I can’t help myself, I dream babies.”
“So you’re not really a…”
She puts a finger to his lips. “Don’t like labels. I’m not really anything but just me – a help-you person in a visitor’s centre in a wildlife park, a female with, as you said, raging hormones. But right now Kate is the only person I’d want to be with, who understands me, who I feel close to and intimate. The baby will be our bond, our purpose. Well, my purpose.”
The wind shook more rain from the trees rattling the roof as they dried themselves with the car rug, watching a pair of curious ducks waddling up to see if there were any left-overs from a picnic. “Men live on another planet – except you, and even you would soon be off on your spaceship taking your sperm with you.”
The engine surges to life and first gear is engaged. “This has been quite an afternoon even for a spaceman. You have awakened something and, Miss Myra, I am pleased you seduced me – if seduction is right word – as I have made some unscientific discoveries. One is that you can be married to science but she is not a good parent.”
She holds his arm. “You’ll find someone. Someone really nice who you will love and will love you, and who will love being scientifically impregnated with that splendid equipment you have.” She strokes gently. “You’ll be a great father.”
Braking at the gate to the park he turns to her. “It’s been all against the social rules and historical custom but I suppose you could describe this as a kind of loving.” He turns the vehicle into the road. “A loving for a new life.”
A June sky filled with clouded light and the sounds of feeding birds, soon it will be full morning. High boots are astride him, moving forward as he lies prone in the tall marsh grass. She raises herself on muddied booted knees, a gloved hand seeking and finding, arousing and rubbing, her breathing lifting her chest under her open coat. Looking down, tip of her tongue protruding between wet lips, her voice a whisper, “Going..” she withdraws her hand, closes her eyes and slowly descends. “…innnn!” A soft sibilant sound, he grunts, she gasps, “Oh, but you’re big.” A pause then, cautiously, she lifts herself a few inches before going slowly down. “Am I doing this right?”
The boots creak as she begins to move on him, each slow plunge taking her higher, then deeper, punctuated by panting. “I’m riding a cock horse.” An exchange of sharp indrawn breathes echo across the wet marsh. “And it’s wild.”
His hands stretch up to caress the covered mounds of her breasts, scattering dew from the grass. “A better position?”
“Then I’ve got you ready already?”
He nods. “Are you?”
“You know I am.” She smiles down at him, lifts herself off and presses herself back against the dew-wet ground, spreads her waders wide, pulling up the front of her coat. His breathing quickening he slides himself between her boots and leans forward on raised arms. She grasps his wet shoulders, looking up into his eyes. “I’m so excited.” She pulls him down. “Knowing we’re going to do it so…” She wriggles under him. “… let me put it in.”
He smiles. “Go on then.”
A hand moves down, pressing between them, finding and feeling. He raises himself just enough so fumbling fingers can guide and position.” Another smile. “You’re there.”
The hand is slowly drawn away back to his shoulder. ” Now do it,’pregnate me.”
They stare at each other as he enters. “Oh, Harold.”
The thrusts are now long and hard pressing her down in small jerks. She is holding him, sounds like small sobs, sighing.
He shifts his position, pressing forward, inhaling, a pause, then it comes, filling her, lifting her in a long spasm, shuddering contractions sending ripples down the coats and the boots. A shriek. “Oh shit and sugar, that’s so hot and marvelous.”
A watery sun works through the clouds lighting the sea of reeds waving gently in the morning breeze; flocks of waterfowl hiss overhead heading for the feeding pools. He lifts himself up from the reed bed and helps her to rise. She presses her lips to him for a kiss. “An early morning fuck – supposed to be a good time.” A laugh. ” Firing you up. After you got that call I pictured you, one hand getting it ready while the other was pulling up your boots.”
“Damn it, it was five o’clock, I was trying to sleep. I was not expecting to boot up and drive here just so you could make use of my penis.”
“Nothing happened last month so you said watch the calendar again and use the thermometer.” A smile. “And I did like you said. And you are wonderful and you did me just like you said you would.” Another touch of her lips. “And you must have been thinking about it on the drive as the first thing you said was ‘Mount me Myra’. And I did didn’t I?”
“Remember, if anyone asks we say we have been out early checking nesting sites for signs of predators.”
She places her arms round him for a hug. “Or I could tell the truth and say I am still trembling from another splendid fuck and show them where I’m leaking baby juice down the sides of my boots.”
July and the seaside hotel was already crowded, the weather in heat-wave mode, but it had been the opportunity to spend time together over two days. They had walked the cliffs and the beach and talked, discovering a mind that was not entirely obsessed with parturition, a mind filled with dreams and ideas, full of curiosity and sympathy. He learned she had been a foster child with a loving foster mother who had to share her love among six other young children; an overcrowded house and a foster father who employed a mindless cruelty that he had convinced himself was the only way to care for young children.
She had a very bright mind and there was talk of her going on to grammar school, maybe then a university, English being her best subject, but her education had been interrupted by the constant need to act as a nursemaid for the foster children, some still small babies. They had awakened her emotions, her realization of an unqualoified love she had never enjoyed.
Age 16 she had left the home, reinvented herself as Myra rather than the Joyce on her birth certificate and, with a good school report, had little trouble in getting a job at the Wildfowl Centre. From working in the visitor reception area she had moved to being a laboratory assistant where Harold, the research ornithologist, had discovered her to possess a natural curiosity and was a rapid reader, a quick learner.
Harold told her she had a face “like a Botticelli model” and showed her a reproduction of the painting in an art book. She had stared. “Got better breasts than she has.” Harold looked at her blouse beneath the white lab coat and agreed she certainly had. “Not as tall as her neither and my legs are thicker.” Harold nodded but said the face and the eyes were a good match.
She had flicked the pages thoughtfully and paused at a Mantegna. He told her the model was Isabella d’Este . She held up the book. “A baby on the way – she looks so beautiful and happy.”
That was the start as he recalled it. She wanted a baby, not a husband. She wanted good genes. Kate had encouraged her compulsive ambition after she had won on a lottery. Although the first prize had to be shared with four others who had also chosen the same winning numbers, there was enough now in the bank to cover what she calculated to be the likely costs. “And I can’t think of anything else I would want to spend it on.”
Arriving at the Wildfowl Park, she had been “kinda adopted” by Kate and another woman who had met her at the bus stop, helping her with her one small suitcase, offering the room in the cottage described in their advert. “Kate was always so kind and loving and I never got much of that before., and when Beryl took off to work in London I sort of moved in as a comfortable replacement and she taught me so much – sex included. Says she loves me.”
To Harold this all sounded somewhat unpleasant but he didn’t explore further recognizing Myra’s endearing naivety.
They had got down to “what we came here to do” in their hotel room only to find the bed creaked and groaned alarmingly and the mattress had a deep valley down the centre. He did only marginally better later with her leaning back against the edge of the bed but it was brief and unsatisfactory, both being tired with walking and talking followed by a calorie-laden hotel dinner so that sleep not sex became the priority.
Coupling was thwarted on the second day by noisy hotel guests and the daytime heat dictated the window being left wide open so both feared they would be heard by other guests also embracing fresh sea air through their windows.
A drink in the bar and an early night was the plan but, as a naked Myra plumped up her breasts and lubricated, a disco opened up on the terrace below their room. Closing the window only made them sweat and, after playing with his erection, Myra decided they would leave it until the morning.
They overslept, then were disturbed by an over enthusiastic chamber maid arriving to clean the room in the belief the occupants would be enjoying an early breakfast rather than each other.
Myra saw the humour in all this and voted the weekend a success. She decided “it was lovely sharing a bed with a real man to cuddle, and you’re a real man, Harold, no argument there.” She had a musical laugh and he smiled when she added, “Wouldn’t pick this hotel for a honeymoon, the bride would likely still be a virgin by the time she left. We do it far better in the mud on the marsh.” She pressed his arm, giggling.
“What’s so funny?”
“Being fucked among the ducks.” She imitates a child’s voice, “Mummy, how was I conceived?”
Dark boiling clouds and rising wind signal the coming of an August storm ending the heat wave. Ignoring the cloying heat he twists in the seat forcing his legs deep into his thigh high boots, his mind creating heart-beating pictures, the blue eyes clouding with pleasure, the long deep plunges, the exquisite sensation of delivering his semen. Then her laughter, pointing to the surplus sliding out of her white and warm, forming thin threads before pooling on her booted feet.
The storm is nearer now and he has pushed open the laboratory door, buttoning his raincoat, boots strapped up to his belt flexing and creaking. He presses a gloved hand to his crotch and feels a familiar thickening, the second time this month: the third, he reminds himself, in four weeks, a product, he has decided, of uncontrollable lust rather than scientific timing. It was difficult to admit but the desire to prove his fecundity had won itself a priority. He refused his mind permission to dwell on it.
The first raindrops form splashes on the windscreen as he pictures her standing, a small and vulnerable figure smothered inside a long raincoat, hat tied under the chin, and in her high wading boots, waiting under the porch of the visitor centre, nervous, excited.
It will, except for the storm, be a repeat of last month, and the month before that – back to May. There will be the embrace, then back to the Land Rover, the drive to the marsh where they will park before more kisses and she will ask him if he is excited, anticipating enjoying her small body. Then they will wade across the lake and once there she will kneel in her boots, lifting his coat so she can find and draw out what she likes to call “the babymaker”. For now the performance has become more elaborate, her enthusiasm on a new scale. Now she will hold it in gloved fingers and smile at him, fingering the foreskin, easing it back. He can hear her voice, “Let me kiss it ’till I can feel it touching the back of my throat, then I know it’s really filled and ready to do me.”
He will grunt, hands stroking the wet rainhat, until she removes her mouth, looking first up at him, the rain sparkling on her face, then down to the erection standing out from between the tops of his boots. She will stare at it, eyes wide, before positioning herself. Those first strokes, she had told him, were among the best; being stretched open was such a wonderful feeling. He could hear her voice pitched higher. “Big slow strokes.”
He smiled at the thought of her wide-eyed response to his assurance that he loved the feeling of her tensing herself on his penis. It stimulated him, he told her, to massage her very core with every thrust of his boots pressed tight between hers, his “babymaker” pumping away. She had responded by analyzing the ejaculation – the “hot flood”, then a second lesser one; a pause then the penis would throb with a final spurt before she felt it contract. Was that, she had asked, a good scientific description of the arrival of four million sperm?
What he now enjoyed was witnessing her panting orgasm signaling the arrival of the “hot flood”. He loved it when she called out his name as he reached the point of his climax. She had smiled when he told her, as they caressed afterwards, that she should call the baby Harold if it was a boy; Harriet if it was a girl.
The storm was short and they waited in the Land Rover until the worst had passed. Myra, held firmly in his arms, shrieking and holding hands to her ears with each coming rumble following the lightning flash. He tried to distract her, shouting above the rattle of rain on the roof, telling her she should leave Kate and he’d find her a small apartment where he could visit her. Then intercourse would be simple. Another flash, another crash, another shriek, then a shake of the head.
Moving through the dripping woods and across the storm soaked marsh, they had waded to the island and performed as he had pictured and she had repeated her thunderstorm shriek with his ejaculation. She excused herself saying had been like a internal thunderstorm. “You poured it in like a cloudburst.” And for the first time she called him “darling” and pointed to the white streaks around the boot tops. “A display of your scientific fertility.”
Standing, she had put her small arms to his waist, turned and pressed her head against his coat. “I like doing it out in the reeds: seeing the sky, the fresh smell of the air, the splash of the water, the lovely feeling of being properly fucked by a real man.”
The water had risen almost to the tops of her waders in the storm flooded stream and he had to hold her. What, she had wanted to know as they climbed the bank, was the best position for fucking when the foetus was evident? She had, she feared, now got so used to what he liked to call penile intromission she would feel deprived without it. “Bet you will too and you’ll need to find another Myra.”
September arrived with cold winds and tears. Harold offered his handkerchief to dry her eyes. “My millions of sperm that reach your uterus are nourished by the mucus of the cervical canal – what you call your ‘juice’ – but sometimes the alkali balance is too strong and kills the sperm – hence we are trying these tablets.”
He holds her close, stroking. ” Another possibility is with the fertilized egg. It travels down the uterus within a week and it grows projections which enable it to burrow into the lining of the uterus and once it has happened pregnancy begins. But sometimes – a process called nidation – it fails and the result is a heavy and debilitating period such as you have just experienced.”
He kissed the top of her head. “It’s not something to worry about. Here again the tablets may help but usually nature corrects the problem and it only requires patience.”
A tear stained face looks up at him. “I never thought making a baby would be this difficult, especially as now we both enjoy it so much.”
The only light was on the first floor of the laboratory, a beam of yellow and silver forming a path across the car park and the marsh silent in the thin cold November rain. She climbed the stairs and found him leaning across the bench studying a report.
“Hello, not interrupting anything important?”
The wet raincoat removed, the hat and wet boots heaved off: a small form in a plaid skirt and white cotton blouse with V top and fringed hems; face wearing a shiny foundation, false eyelashes and lip gloss. She moved round the bench and there was the embrace and a kiss. No, she was not interrupting anything important. A pause for another kiss, she put his hand to her blouse, pressing in his fingers. “Big and soft is what you said.”
He stared over his spectacles. “You must take special care of your mammary glands as you’ll need them so always wear a good bra.”
“I left it off, Mr Sexpert, so you could examine them.” Deep cleavage appeared followed by the sight of a pink nipple. “And the panties will come off easy so you can inspect that inviting area too.”
“Myra, don’t be stupid. We are in the laboratory, someone will come in.”
“We can go somewhere, anywhere, so you can examine them.” She looked up at him, a hand feeling for his zipper, whispering. “I want to excite you. ” She licked her lips. “You do enjoy it? You do don’t you, I can see it in your eyes?”
“I don’t deny you easily get me aroused.”
“I get aroused just thinking about it. I don’t know what has happened to me. I really don’t know. I’ve been so, well – what’s the phrase you scientists use – so clinically detached. Now I start thinking about you when I’m doing other things and next my hand is down and I’m fingering myself and that makes me wet.” A pause, lips are licked. “I’ve gone all goofy, not like me at all. Is it one of those parturition indicators you talked about?”
He looked quickly round the laboratory then pressed her small nubile body against him. “You’ve a gift for bad timing, picking the worst possible moments. And what is Kate going to say about these blatant sexual advances?”
“She’s not going to know about them.”
He bent, found her lips and took a kiss. “There’s almost week before…”
“More I do it, better the chances. Beside I’m in the mood for – what’s the proper name? – penile activity.”
“I’ll see if I can book a room at the motel.”
She disengaged from the kiss. “Can’t wait that long.”
She lifted herself up onto him, her arms around his shoulders. “Ten seconds and I’m out of my skirt and panties. Another kiss. Her right hand disengaged from his neck and went exploring. “Lock the door then let me check Harold’s babymaker – see if I can wake it up.”
He returned from the door, turning off the laboratory lights so only the reflected glow from the outside security lighting illuminated the room. The zipper was open, he lifted her onto the bench, pulled her free hand forward and she sighed at the feel under her fingers. He grunted, “I don’t know if the angle is right, this bench is thirty-two inches from the floor.”
“Well try. It’ll be a first – a scientific experiment.” She giggled. “Can you feel me stroking? I can feel the sperm pump filling.” The other hand joined the first. “Tell me when you’re ready. I know I am. Want to feel it shooting in.” She pushed her mouth forward but his lips were out of reach. “Been wanting you inside me for the best part of today.”
A silent pause broken by quickened breathing, instruments on the table clinking together as she pushed herself towards him. Her hands moved back to his shoulders and the voice was strangled with emotion, almost a whisper. “I want to feel you going into me, Harold, fuck me.”
It was a difficult angle and Myra -five two – against Harold’s five eleven – found herself off the table, legs wrapped around his torso, arms circling his neck, jerking herself against him like an inexpert tree climber. “You’re not in deep.”
“This is absurd.” He pulled out and she squeaked and her feet found the floor. “And security will be making their rounds soon.”
“Let’s wade to the island and do it there. I like it best there.” Her voice in the half darkness had a pleading tone. “I want you so badly.”
Harold shook his head. “I confess I’m just as frustrated as you are but in a week you will be ovulating again and we’ll go a proper hotel – London maybe and take in a show as well – and – well, maybe this time you’ll score.”
“Never mind scoring, I just want you. Let’s recline the seats and do it in the Land Rover.”
“I should rent a flat and we could have sex every night by the clock and again early morning which is supposed to be a propitious time.” He moved to the door and restored the lights.
She blinked at the glare, wiping tears. ” It’s just so..” she hunted for a word. “…just so awesome feeling you going in and – well, it calms me. I sleep wonderfully after.”
She found the raincoat, pushed her feet into the boots, the lights were switched off again and she followed him down the stairs. There was a small reception area by the front door with two upholstered upright chairs for waiting visitors. He paused and looked around then moved one away from the window to a dark corner and placed himself, undoing his flies. “Climb aboard and ride me.”
“Saw it in a movie but I don’t think I can do it like that?”
“Because of you I’m uncomfortably fired up now so open the coat and the blouse, slip out of the skirt and pants and I’ll show you.”
She found his lap in the dark and cautiously lifted herself on to his knees. “Can’t see for you to put your plunger in.”
“Feet on the floor, lift yourself up and then when I say, go down slowly and I’ll guide it in.”
“Like this… oh…oh…” A long sigh, a sucking of expelled air. “Oh.”
His voice was tense. “Now, up and down. You must do some of the work”
Noisy breathing. “This is nice, Harold, this is making me feel so much better.”
The chair creaked in time with the rhythm. “Oh, Harold, you’re enjoying it too, I can just see your eyes all big and shiny. I’m all dizzy.”
Breathless voice. “Go down again slow, then quick and I’ll come”
The creaking became a rattle, her boots scraped on the tiled floor, then a shriek followed by a gasp. “Oh Harold, that was totally awesome.” She lifted herself off. “That was some fuck. Oh, I can feel I’ve stained your trousers and I am messed up too, all down the lining of the coat.”
“The toilets are over there and you can put the light on now. I think though we have buggered up this chair.”
Half an hour later they were in the Kings Arms facing each other over the table, over their drinks, exchanging shy smiles.
“I love the feeling of having your semen inside me. I’d like you to invent some kind of plug to keep it all in me rather than leaking out, like now. I’m so messed up – I’ve ruined these panties – but I’m throbbing, warm all over.” She touched his hand and pressed it. “Would you analyze that as being an orgasm? If it was it was awesome.”
“Sorry about the pants, in bed we’d only have soiled sheets to contend with.”
“We left lovely circle marks that time at the hotel – two shades of brown.” She touched his arm. “Right now I’d love to curl up against you in bed and go to sleep with your arms round me.”
“We’ll do that next time. That’s a promise.”
Sipping her drink, she gazed as if trying to memorize every feature of his face. “I don’t know how to say this and I expect you will be furious annoyed but I’ve got to tell you.” Another gulp at the drink. “I think I must have fallen in love with you or something really, really crazy like that.”
He continued looking at her, his own gaze not shifting. “No, I am not annoyed, rather I’m very flattered. It can be a positive healthy thing the emotional bond between the mother and the father of her child.”
She nodded. “Not a sperm donor but a lover. That sounds totally nice – Harold my lover.”
“But you’ve already got a lover – Kate.”
“So, lucky me, I’ve got myself two lovers and it’s not Christmas yet.”
He stood up, still staring, holding the glasses to go to the bar. “Maybe so but I’m not sure now how this will all pan out for you, or for me.”
“I was in an amateur operatic group one time and we did ‘Kismet’.”
He turned away. “If you trying to say you are a fatalist, I don’t buy it. Gin and tonic,yes?” He smiled. “No, of course, no alcohol for a putative expectant mother.”
“A vodka tonic. Sadly, I’m not a putative or expectant anything yet.”
Although it was now late Spring, it was cold in the hall; economising on the heating. Chairs did not feature in the furniture and the women were scattered across the room perched on cushions, instructed to stretch their macroiliac joints.
AAll those years of being told at school to sit with my legs neatly arranged,@ A woman looked at Myra. AAnd now they tell us to sprawl splayed out all anyhow. My headmistress would have had a fit.@
AIf your waters break and they are brown, khaki or green,” said the midwife, Athen ring the hospital. The baby’s in distress.@
Myra swallowed, looked round the walls for distraction. Large printed posters: ‘Is it Time?’ (a cartoon woman in a skirt with a pool of water between her feet) and ‘How will I Cope?’ (the same cartoon woman minus her skirt, encircled with syringes and scissors, pear-shaped tears dripping from her face). She hastily forced her mind to wanderY
It had been the two days before Christmas and Harold had found her weeping holding out the tester. He had stared first at the tester, then at her, grabbed her round the waist lifted her off the floor hurled her round then kissed her. “I’ve done it then.” She had corrected him. “No, I’ve done it with your help. It was my falling in love with the sperm donor that finally did the trick.”
He had smiled. “Well, that excuses me from buying you a Christmas present.” More serious. “But now comes the tough part.”
Myra stared up at the hall ceiling. Yes, he had got that right. She shuddered. Kate had gone nuclear when she had thrown up over her piano. Then every morning, head into the toilet bowl, late to work and told off.
The faint but distinctive smell of disinfectant mixed with antiseptic brought the room back into focus. The midwife, who looked to be younger than anyone else in the room except for Myra, was holding up a plastic-headed rag doll. A crimson silk sachet was attached to its body by a long cherry-coloured ribbon. AThe placenta, as some of you will know…@ The midwife paused holding up the sachet. AThen it squeezes out and comes down through the pelvis like this. But sometimes it gets stuck – like this, or this – and sometimes it’s upside down which usually means a Caesarean. Once it’s out, we tug the umbilical cord@ – she pulled on the ribbon – Aand out pops the afterbirth.@
ABe prepared for a lot of blood.@ A woman seated by the window pitched her voice to a near pain level. AI wasn’t, I fainted. I’d just like to say, I’d just like to say that it’s not as easy as it looks. I have been through it, you see.@ She looked pointedly at the midwife, who obviously had not.
ACoffee time,@ said the midwife hastily.
While they dipped digestive biscuits into their plastic beakers, they watched a video of a woman howling in labour. Myra decided it couldn’t be like that all-the way through and these must just be the edited highlights, like the sports results after the news. She decided she had heard and seen enough. Harold had said ante natal classes were all going to be about breathing and exercises. She closed her mind to reality.
She saw Harold reaching down between booted legs and parting them: the smell of crushed reeds and, yes, bird shit; his voice, “Are you sure about this.” She saw the peculiar veined shape of his monster babymaker with its large head framed by folded skin. “Are you sure about this.” Yes, she was sure. Now she wasn’t. It had been the craziest idea of her entire life to date. Listening to these women she had the awful certainty she could never be a proper mother. Bloody hell, she’d had no training. But Harold – oh Harold – he had been just so wonderful. And she was sure she was going to get him into the most terrible trouble.
Myra returned from her frightened thoughts to hear a woman at the window declare, AAnyone who tells you it=s a beautiful experience is lying. It=s torture, even with an anaesthetic B the worst pain you=ll ever feel. It=s like that scene from the movie ‘Alien’ where the monster bursts from the astronaut=s stomach.@
ABody image, body image,@ said the young midwife abstractedly, looking up in her notes. ABe positive. Your newly changing body is never to be thought ugly, only different.@
Myra looked down and stroked her bump thoughtfully. She returned to her reverie.
A father figure was what Kate had called him. In the sense that he was the father of the foetus giving her so much grief, she was right. No, Harold was just her donor. Harold was an amazing gentle and caring person. No, Harold would insist on her following some strict scientific child raising regime. Probably Kate would too. Damn, she had never thought it through properly. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Myra landed back on the planet with a bump. They were arguing about breastfeeding and the young midwife seemed to be losing. A woman was expounding: AGet over disturbed nights, nappies and toilet training and then the really hard work begins. The moment you give birth you can forget leisurely lie-ins, last minute holidays or spontaneous screwing.@
The last word spun Myra back into space. Would Harold expect her to be available for him after the birth. She recalled making some vague promises.
She switched back into the hall where the woman was in full flow. APriority and omnipotence – that is what babies demand. They rule your life. I blame myself. I shouldn’t=t have let him near me at that time of the month.@
Myra gulped at the last phrase- the calendar on the back of the door and the hurried calls to him after reading a thermometer and looking in a mirror for tell-tale dried mucus on the vulva. Then, that warm autumn Sunday afternoon, they had waded to the island and it had been different; especially loving, they had taken time, caresses and kisses before she had held it and inserted it. It had been unhurried, a hundred delicious tremors until she had been begging him. It had seemed of longer duration and she had been overwhelmed with her emotional reaction.
The room returned with a voice directed at the harried midwife,ADoes the father have to come in with you?’ The class started to break up. ‘I mean, wouldn’t it put him off for good?@
ANonsense. A calf length maternity frock broke in. AIt does the selfish bastards good to see what we have to go through. My God, they’re not the ones writhing in agony, are they? Wham bam, thank you ma’am, that’s their attitude unless you rub their noses in it. Every woman should force the man to be there.@
With a start, Myra realised the class was over and they were all milling around the hall finding coats, trying to decide on what buttons could safely be fastened.
She struggled into her boots and coat and stood outside looking for the lights of the Land Rover. A woman took Myra=s arm. AYour first? Take fuck all notice of what they said in there. Mood swings. When you have a baby, you fall in love like you’d never ever believe, and without being unfaithful or having to shave your legs.@ Lights came out of the dark with the hum of an engine. AAnd there is nothing in the wide universe to beat the pleasure of a man inserting his rod, shooting you up and getting your ovaries to do their stuff.@ Myra had nodded, thanked her, and found herself smiling
Myra let him come round and hold the door open for her. AHow was it?@ he asked solicitously. She heaved herself into the passenger seat and sighed. She thought it had been fine. He looked at her. AI=ll bet you=re already getting as impatient as I am.@
She took his arm. “Oh Harold, I don’t think I can do this, not by myself, I’m scared shitless.”
“Yes you can, and I’m going to be there to see you do.”
He turned the car into the main road and horned a pedestrian making a late dash before the lights changed. AStupid bastard.@ The tone of voice didn=t change. AI do love you, you know. I thought you should know that. @
ANo, I don=t know.@
AI realised right after those first times when we performed intercourse in the rain in a very sexy costume of raincoats and waders, I realised I could not have done it unless I loved you.@
AAnd I realise now I’ll not be able to go through with it without my loving you.@
AThat=s all right then.@ They drove on in silence.
“I was talking to that agent again about the vacant cottage to rent barely nine miles away. You don’t owe Kate anything and we are going to live there – you, me and Harriet.”
She corrected him, “He’s a Harold – you saw the scan.”
“Indistinct scan – a girl – a little Myra – believe me.” He switched to headlights as the park came into distant view. “We are going to live together in the cottage and if I shape up as a nappy changer, you might even decide to marry me.”
“Oh Harold, I can’t. I’m too stupid about everything. It’s not right.”
“No, scientifically speaking, it probably isn’t. But it’s what we are going to do.”
There was a pause at traffic lights for roadworks and he chuckled. “I think we should get married before the arrival of the second one of the four you once mentioned as your family project.”
“That was just a joke.”
“Scientists don’t do jokes.” Another chuckle. “So you will need to select bridal trousseau with the emphasis on maternity wear.”
She lent over and kissed his cheek as he jerked the LR into gear. “Darling, could we discuss this with your babymaker inside me. That’s when I feel loved and then we might share more sensible visions.”
“The weather forecast tomorrow is for showers but we can meet nice and early before even the migrant birds are fully awake and, suitably dressed in our sexy raincoats and boots, we will wade to an island in the marsh where I take sex-starved women and where I know we will not be disturbed.” He winked, used a free hand to stroke her hair. “There I can show you the rental agreement for the cottage and we can go through the Mothercare catalogue. Then I might …”
“Oh Harold! Oh darling! Oh shit!”
“Just one thing though, it’s called making love, not fucking from now on.”