I minced up the steep gravel driveway, already regretting the choice of footwear. The heels had seemed a good idea at the time. They complemented my black silk top, black harem pants and green silk embroidered jacket well. I felt good – except for the heels.
He was ready, standing at the screen door, eyeing my progress and my attire with some bemusement. “You’ve made more of an effort than I did’, he murmured into my ear as he pulled me into our customary greeting. Laughing I agreed, enjoying the slight difference the heels made to my height as his arms encircled me, while owning; “The heels may have been a mistake”. There was no time for our habitual cuppa, and we quickly headed back to my car. Renegotiating the driveway in the heels gave me time to consider his remark about “making an effort”. As far as I was concerned he had made a considerable effort – his forays into the world outside were always chancy. But today he was seizing a “window of mental health” opportunity and that was more than enough of an effort on his part, for me.
We were going to a local restaurant to celebrate our photographer friend Sara’s birthday and academic achievements, so I’d dressed with care, wanting to signal my sense of occasion, and therefore I appreciated his brief acknowledgement of my own effort. Earlier that day, unable to find something in my wardrobe appropriate for the sudden burst of warm weather, I’d rushed out to buy the pants and top. However, while I wanted to honour Sara, in choosing my clothing I also had other considerations in mind.
It was the first time CM and I were stepping out in company as a couple in our companionate relationship, and I frankly had no idea what to expect.^^ Along with Sara I was catching up with a small circle of former work colleagues who were also joint friends, for the first time since I’d returned from overseas. This was also the first time they had met CM, although his name had certainly been bandied about in their presence – often, in the early days, associated with considerable angst. The sizing up when we entered the room was fairly discreet, but he noticed, and quietly commented. Blushing, I airily admitted that his name had been mentioned, and left it at that.
I also wasn’t sure how we would conduct ourselves as a couple among other people, but he made it clear we were together. Seating himself beside me, he consulted on the menu, was attentive and outgoing, finding something in common with each of my friends, and I could see he was making a good impression. The group ate and chatted and circulated, admiring Sara’s presents, paying me compliments on my attire and apparent well being after my overseas travel, all the while flashing information and photos of events, people and places between us.
Sara made a speech, she and her children blew out candles, cut the cake. Standing near her, chatting to one of my other friends, I glanced across the table curious at how well CM was coping with the unknown crowd.# He saw me looking, gave me an inquiring look in return and we did the eyebrow exchange friends and couples do to signal that it’s time to make a move.
Back at his house we made tea, talked to the cats and hunted out the copy of Bladerunner 2049, from a box in the storage cupboard. Eyeing the tempting waggle of his corduroy covered buttocks as he stood on a stepladder searching for the right box, I recollected that it was nearly 9 months since we’d watched the original film together. We’d made lots of attempts to follow up and a lot of emotional water had gone under that bridge in the meantime. We’d agreed to be companions back in June, but it hadn’t been easy with his worsening depression over winter, followed by my overseas travels. The way the evening had unfolded felt like a very real consolidation of our patience and waiting.
Heading upstairs to the entertainment area I asked for permission to lay down on the couch with my head on his thigh, and, when he agreed, asked if he wanted a ‘modesty cushion’ – since sexual activity remains off limits.++ He found my question amusing and declined so we settled in to watch our long delayed entertainment. Acutely aware of his arm around my shoulder, of his cock in close proximity to my face, I consciously enjoyed my desire while breathing slowly to keep it check. As the film unfolded my hand sought his fingers where they curved over my arm and they intertwined briefly, sending pleasure spiraling through my belly and cunt.
A little while later we took a quick intermission (we are older, our bladders are dodgy) then resumed our places. This time, as I started to settle my head back down he quietly tucked a cushion between us…*
Drinking a last cup of tea before I headed home, we discussed the film in detail, comparing it to the earlier one, considering questions of aesthetics, underlying ethics and social structures. After being bathed in sensual euphoria, it was hard to switch to thinking mode, but I did. I really appreciate that he wants to know what I think and believe, that he wants to share his own ideas and questions.
The following day I was happy to report to CM when he called, that I had not rushed home for a wank but instead fallen asleep thinking about the pleasure of the day. (Note we do talk about sex a lot – its not walled off in a forbidden corner). Wanking had been on the cards earlier that morning, but it was a very different proposition to my more usual fantasy driven, frenetic, (and often isolating) pleasure/pain activity. Long, slow, languorous, it fed on the connection and intimacy I’d felt the day before, resulting in a full body orgasm that took a long time to play out. At that point I realised that we are not only companions but on a deeper level we are lovers, even if we never share in standard sexual or indeed kink activity.
Sex bloggers and writers often emphasise the heated sexual exchange, and I am happy to read dirty sexy words and physically follow on from my reading, but this companionate relationship is taking me down a path I’ve not ventured on, in 45 years of sexual activity. It is slowly beginning to dawn on me just how unique the experience is. I’m gradually relinquishing my hankering for a fucking frenzy, not because I’m resigned to a “lesser” outcome but because I’m replacing it with something that feels mentally, physically and emotionally more profound.
Note: I’d already written this before I saw the prompt, and although it’s not overly wicked, there are lots of before and after moments.
^^ Just a few weeks prior to that night’s outing I’d nixed a discussion on the workings of companionate relationships I’d requested earlier, because I had begun to understand that we were quite simply living it; our companionship is in the process of unfolding organically.
#Coping is of course one thing, fixing quite another. I am under no illusions as to the nature of the beast we are dealing with, but I am appreciating the lessening of the darkest moods which isolated us over winter.
*Despite my concluding remarks about moving past the fucking frenzy approach (which has fueled lots of fantasies and wanking in the last eleven months) I still can’t help but wonder what the modesty cushion was needed for… It may be that I am moving in one direction and CM in another. If so it will be interesting to discover what the middle ground contains.
Prompt 345 Before & After