A trip into unknown territory for the GA. I hope ya enjoy it all the same.
I love travel, but hate airports, something to do with the crowds I think. Nevertheless, I decided to be patient despite the interminable comings and goings of gape-mouthed, gormless passengers and their loved ones. That's another minus point for airports; no one seems to know where they're going, I hate indecision. The bovine mass irked me, and my present domestic situation only exacerbated my discomfort.
Ivana's plane had landed and she would be here at any moment. I'd calculated about forty minutes from landing through baggage reclaim and out into the chaos of the arrivals hall, she was due at any time.
Then I saw her striking figure striding through the sliding doors. She spotted me and smiled in the same instant, patently ignoring the appreciative glances of the men she passed.
"Katy, darling." Her lips brushed my skin as she barely kissed me on both cheeks in the European style. "So good to see you again."
"You too, Vana." I took a moment to look her up and down, "You're as gorgeous as ever."
I didn't exaggerate, there she was in all her voluptuous beauty - tall, blonde, striking green eyes and that husky voice with the Eastern European intonation - No wonder she held such fascination for men, they were like moths to the flame.
Ivana was used to men; she knew their ways, which is hardly surprising when you consider her... occupation. A courtesan, a whore, a hooker, call it what you will, Ivana went with men for money. She's expensive though, her physical presence demands a high fee, and judging by the ever-present, hungry stares of the men in the arrivals hall, she was in great demand and was worth every penny.
During the times we've been out socially, I've seen her flick potential suitors away with a casual brush of her hand. A withering look from those icy-green eyes is usually enough, but I've seen more than one persistent individual left flared to a crisp, shrivelled husk in the heat of her aloof disdain and verbal belittling -- Ah, the poor moths.
We found the car and after negotiating the Heathrow spur, were soon speeding out of London heading West on the M4, heading to my cottage in the rolling Wiltshire countryside.
"So, tell me, how is Jared?" Ivana swivelled in the seat and I felt her eyes on me.
I flushed, "Gone." I felt uncomfortable,
Ivana had cut straight through the bullshit and she'd gotten right to the heart of my issues. "Gone? And how are you?"
I glanced across the divide between the seats and met Ivana's inquisitive, pale stare. I sighed and felt the fight drain out of me. It was as though someone had pulled the plug out of the bath and my emotions just sluiced down the drain. Hot tears welled and prickled.
"Not so okay?" Ivana's voice was soft and understanding. "I'm sorry, baby." Her hand touched my knee, "Shall we talk later?"
I nodded, grateful for her not pressing, I'd agonised over Jared's truculence enough. I'd picked at the scab of our degenerating marriage repeatedly, unable to resist, the way a child can't help but probe with its tongue at the space once occupied by a tooth. You know it's going to feel icky, but the draw is just too much.
"Thanks," I mumbled, trying to concentrate on the traffic.
How did I come to be associated with a very expensive escort, me, Katrina Jeffries, Barrister? It was very simple; we'd met as children long before Ivana drifted into the life she now led, long before I married an absolute pig.
Ivana's story really is one of ugly duckling turns into beautiful swan. The first time I ever set eyes on her, and I can recall the moment with clarity, she was a skinny, knock-kneed girl wearing the rattiest sweater I'd ever seen.
A Polish immigrant who'd managed to wriggle from behind the Iron Curtain, her father had packed her off to school in whatever he could find, expecting his seven-year-old daughter to cope as best she could. He wasn't managing too well himself at that time, a widower in a strange country, and with a seven year old in tow, hardly the best of starts.
Ivana wasn't faring well when I saw her in the playground, surrounded by a group of kids of both sexes, kids who were amusing their spiteful selves by taunting, calling her names, and making fun of her clothes. Even with her limited English, Ivana knew that what they were saying was nasty and she just stood, immobile, staring down at the ground down by her worn and scuffed shoes.
My childish heart ached for her, she looked so lonely, so sad, but I was powerless to stop them, there were too many, I was too young, and besides I was afraid. The only way I could help was to go to her when the crowd ran off collectively, suddenly bored with the sullen tramp. She looked at me with mistrust when I approached, and who could blame her, but I smiled at her and held out my hand. Ivana looked from my hand to my face.
I nodded and smiled: "I'm Katy," I said simply. "What's your name?"
She must have seen something in my smile that gave her confidence. I can only assume that she recognised some kindness, for she reached out slowly, ever so slowly, and touched the tips of my fingers. She was like a shy, tiny animal that wants to trust, but is reticent by nature. Our fingers touched and Ivana smiled at last.
"Ivana." I heard her speak for the first time. We clasped hands, friends, and walked away to a quiet corner away from the madding crowd.
Twenty years had passed and now we were no longer the innocents we were, doubly so in Ivana's case. Her father had returned to Poland a couple of years after the breaching of the Berlin Wall, Ivana followed him, fell upon hard times in Krakow... It's an old story; you can figure it out for yourself.
I continued my pampered existence, pre-destined, all mapped out for me anyway, exams, university, the legal profession, marriage to Jared, a bright star in the City... Another old story, I won't bore you with details.
Ivana and I managed to stay in contact, despite the miles, the years, and the gulf of cultural divide. We'd met more and more often as Ivana grew more affluent and she acquired the means to travel as she wished. Now, here she was again, just in time to witness my marriage crumble.
"He's a pig." She pronounced it 'pick', never seeming to shake her accent in spite of the years she'd spent in England - Or perhaps she cultivated the enunciation? I would imagine it would be a hit with some of her clients. "He doesn't deserve you." This came out as 'deh-serf'.
We sat on the comfortable sofas, on opposite sides of the room but facing each other. It was already dark outside, a consequence of autumnal England, but Ivana and I were securely ensconced in the cottage. We had locked doors, music, and red wine enough to sink a small boat.
I laughed, genuinely laughed, at Ivana's candid summation of my husband's qualities. "Don't hold back, Ivana," I grinned, "Don't sit on the fence."
Ivana flashed a wicked grin in return and swirled the dark red liquid around her glass. She looked pleased, as though she'd scored a point in some game.
"What about you?" I asked, "Why no man in your life?" I rolled my eyes at the gaffe, "Well, I mean no significant man."
Ivana became suddenly serious; she looked at me over the rim of the glass and sipped.
"What need have I for a man?" She shrugged her shoulders.
I noticed a fleeting, forlorn look flicker across her face and realised just how attractive she really was. The pale candle light caressed her soft cheeks, and even slouched in comfortable pyjamas, Ivana's full-breasted form was evident. I felt a surge of that original compassion for her that I'd known in the schoolyard, her expression was so bereft.
"What is it?" I was curious, even though we'd been best friends forever; Ivana had always remained tight-lipped about her real life lovers. I suddenly realised I knew very little about that side of her.
She'd had boyfriends as a teenager of course. As soon as she'd undergone the metamorphosis from gangly kid to glorious young woman, and it was quite a startling transformation, the boys had been interested. Even then, she kept them at arms length, and it wasn't until I actually analysed that period time that I recalled just how remote she'd remained from the male sex. It was as though she was only following convention by showing an interest in boys. The sudden insight was startling.
Then she'd followed her father back to Poland, my life moved forward at a pace and I suppose I became distracted.
"What?" Ivana looked at me.
"What is it?" I repeated. Why is it you've never even mentioned a man to me?"
"Don't." The word dropped between us like a stone.
"Why not?" I ignored the tone in her voice. I suddenly wanted to know more. "Is it a broken heart?" I was half joking.
"Something like that," she nodded slowly.
"Who? The mafia man? A client? Who?"
"Please, Katy," - 'Plis Katy', she wasn't putting the accent on, I could tell, she was becoming upset.
What had I stirred? "I'm only concerned for you, Vana. I'm beginning to think there's something wrong."
Ivana sighed and closed her eyes. She shook her head slowly from side to side. "Nothing's wrong. Nothing, I promise."
I pressed on. "Well, 'cos if it's a broken heart... I know how it feels." God that sounded so self-pitying!
"A broken heart?" Ivana's scoff caught me off guard. "That asshole isn't really worth it."
Why the anger? I thought to myself. Why the vehemence? Then the idea slithered into my mind.
"Did he...? Did Jared...? I mean... ever...?"
Ivana stared back at me, stony-faced and silent.
"He did! He tried it on with you didn't he?" Of course he did, how could I have been so blind, so stupidly na´ve? Then came the inevitable: "Oh God, Ivana, did you...?"
I took her silence for admission. Something cracked, a childhood innocence fractured. I stared at Ivana, not believing, not wanting to know, that little girl in the playground, the one I'd reached out for... I couldn't see her in the woman opposite me.
I heard her call my name but ignored the plaintive cry as I stumbled into the kitchen, the flagstones felt cold underfoot. The night outside the French doors was wild, heavy rain spattered against the glass as I stared unseeing out into the dark and the tears rolled unchecked.
"Katy?" I heard the tremor in her voice. "Katy, please believe me, I didn't..." she was standing close behind me, so close I felt her breath ruffle my hair when she sighed. Ivana gripped my shoulder and turned me to face her. "He tried to force me."
I boggled at her revelation, literally, my mouth hung slack and I swear my eyes bulged. "What?" I was stupefied. "You mean he tried to rape you?"
Ivana smiled, perhaps relieved that I didn't dismiss her claim out of hand, then she gave a wry grin. "He tried..." She shrugged her shoulders. "But the mafia, remember? I've learned to deal with that."
"How...? When...?" I was picking at scabs again, would I never learn?
"It doesn't matter how or when. I know why he did it." Ivana's tone was faltering. She stared at me intently and sighed heavily again. "He tried to make me do it." She backtracked a little -- Was she trying to spare me? "But it was only pathetic attempt really." Her tone grew derisive, "He's such a wimp."
"But he actually tried to force himself on you?" Anger flared deep and hot.
"It doesn't matter." Ivana had both palms on my shoulders. Her eyes locked onto mine, held them. "I know why he did it. I understand why he tried."
"Why?" I was mystified.
"He saw the truth."
"Truth? Vana, this doesn't make any sense. My husband tried to rape you and now you're babbling about truth. For fucks sake," I was exasperated, "Tell me, tell me what the fuck you mean."
She muttered something in Polish, her eyes rolling. "Shit," she whispered and winced. "He recognised that I... He saw what I felt..."
Her hands still on my shoulders, her eyes watched mine. I heard the wind gust and the wet sound against the windowpane. Snow Patrol were chasing cars, a melody on the stereo that still calls to mind that feeling, that first recognition of Ivana's true emotion for me.
Jared saw the truth, she'd said. The truth was Ivana loved me. I couldn't comprehend why that would motivate him to attempt to force his attention upon Ivana. Was it jealousy? Was it an affront to his male ego? I couldn't understand at the time, but of course, the whole revelation was new and shocking. Ivana had had time to analyse Jared's reasons.
Although my mind was a chaotic whirl, a maelstrom of confused thoughts and tangled ideas, I still noticed Ivana gazing at me. There was an expectant look on her face... The poor girl, she had no idea how I was going to react to this. Like a slap, I realised that she had just taken a huge gamble; she'd revealed all to me and was expectantly waiting for some kind of sign. How would I react? How did I feel?
It could've been the wine, the wrench of estrangement from Jared, the revelation that he was a potential rapist, or the eventual, explosive disclosure that Ivana loved me... Whatever the reason, all I recall of the next moments is that Ivana's face moved slowly, almost imperceptibly closer. Although her face moved closer, I was physically moving, I sparked what followed, and suddenly we were kissing.
I'd never kissed a woman that way before, not as a lover. I knew I wasn't lesbian, knew it with certainty, I loved men, well a certain appendage at least, but this felt so natural, and after the first tentative touching of lips I warmed to the new sensations eagerly.
I offered no resistance at all when Ivana slid her tongue into my mouth. I felt her big breasts squash against me, suddenly surprised by that first tingle between my legs.
I held Ivana's face in my hands and actively sucked at her tongue. She tasted of red wine and faint tobacco from the cigarettes of an hour ago, a flavour of desire imprinted on my psyche ever since.
The kiss continued to roll while Ivana unbuttoned my pyjama blouse and exposed my breasts. I fumbled at her buttons, pushing her away while her blouse gaped and her own big breasts swayed.
"Katy..." Ivana gasped.
"Don't," I warned. "Don't say anything." I didn't want to break the spell. Morning be-damned, all I wanted was the here and now. The analysis, the guilt, whatever, all of that shit could wait. I felt the arterial burst of desire and lust flood into my sex, my whole body thrummed, every nerve receptive, even the roof of my mouth tingled.
I hooked my thumbs into the elastic waistband of the pyjamas and peeled them down over my hips. I kicked them off and waited, naked from the waist down, the cotton blouse loose around my torso.
Thank God for the gym, I can recall thinking. I knew I didn't have the 'it' quality that Ivana possessed, no sense in kidding myself, but I was confident about my body nude. I wasn't half-bad if I do say so myself.
Ivana shrugged off her top and quickly slid the bottoms down. She stood in front of me, proud, statuesque, and magnificent. I swallowed heavily at the true splendour of her figure. I felt a brief stab of pity for all those poor men, the ones who would never know her physically, and even the ones who had possessed her body -- I had the whole of her, I had her physically and I was in her mind. I also knew that if you possess the mind, you possess the body.
I let the blouse fall and waited for Ivana to come to me. We kissed again, only now when we embraced it was skin against skin. I felt Ivana's hands on my back, and I followed the same track along her body with my hands. She felt so strong, so firm. She massaged my breasts and I reciprocated, holding the weight of hers in my palms while she murmured quietly.
Ivana suckled at my nipples, taking each teat into her mouth and rolling her tongue around the pebble-like tip. As she tongued me, I felt her hand push between my thighs, insistent, probing, and I wished I'd paid more attention to my personal grooming.
Unfazed by the dark bush, Ivana eased me back onto the kitchen sofa and placed a cushion on the flagstones to save her knees. I blushed when she pushed my knees apart. I was suddenly embarrassed to be so exposed and so vulnerable. Ivana, my best friend, I'd never envisaged this scenario, not ever, and to be so open in front of her like that was inhibiting.
She giggled at my gasp when I felt her breath down there, a brief heat before her tongue found me.
"Oh my God!" The realisation of what was happening hit me. Ivana was licking me, licking that place. It felt too good to tell her to stop. Besides, we were past the point of no return.
The inhibition melted as I looked down over the front of my body, down through the valley between my breasts, down to the busy heat at the junction of my thighs. I saw Ivana's blonde hair in that most unusual of places, right there between my legs. She was looking back up at me as she lapped at my sex. Her eyes crinkled at the corners when she smiled into the crease of me, the cheeky bitch even winked.
I could only groan and gasp, surrendering to the tingles of pleasure at my core. I forgot my chagrin over my hirsute state as the ripples surged, Ivana was so, so good at this, so adept. Her hands smoothed over the insides of my thighs while her mouth remained firm against me, her tongue deep and insistent, a living thing probing deep into my secrets.
"Don't move," gasped Ivana when she eventually surfaced. "Stay exactly there."
I did as I was told and waited, wide-legged, and with my buttocks hanging over the edge of the cushion while Ivana disappeared. She re-appeared a moment later, this time with an open bottle of wine in her grasp. She took and inelegant swig from the upturned bottle, and, holding the stuff in her mouth, she settled back onto the cushion on her knees.
"Shit!" I called when I felt the squirt of wine inside me. I heard a loud slurping and then Ivana's face appeared, the gleam in her eyes sent a thrill of excitement through me. What a thoroughly wicked sparkle it was, her devilish expression and that glint -- Smouldering and erotic.
Ivana lay along my body and pushed her lips to mine. I knew what she wanted. The mix of wine and my own juice squirted into my mouth as Ivana manipulated the oily lips of my sex and her fingers slid over my clit.
"You like?" She grinned at me.
"Yes," I managed to hiss in reply. I groaned and fell back. "I'm going to do it..." I trailed off as Ivana pushed two fingers into me and slid them in and out. The obscene, liquid sound of me gave away just how aroused I was. "I'm going to come."
One hand busy between my legs, Ivana used the other to squeeze a breast, forcing my already distended nipple further upright. She licked at the halo around the tip and then sucked the teat between her lips. I cried out in ecstasy at the pleasure/pain of Ivana treating my nipples so harshly. She had the balance just right. The moment of tenderness had slipped to the purely physical now, and my body ached for Ivana's genius as she sucked and nibbled at my sensitive places.
She abruptly left my breasts tingling and raw, but so deliciously aroused, and gazed at me with a long, blazing look. The intense look of concentration on Ivana's face was just as erotic as the sensation of her fingers stretching me. Her eyes had a heavy lidded aspect that told me she was just as aroused as I was. Even if her face hadn't given her away, the tight, puckered circles around her nipples were a sure indication of her excitement.
Her fingers moved inside me, working with such persistence, wriggling to bring me closer to the brink. Then she kissed me again and my climax exploded.
Our tongues squirmed and danced as the sensations rolled on and on. I pushed myself onto Ivana's hand, mashing my sodden centre against her. I even gripped her wrist and tried to shove more of her into my body.
Eventually I lay spent. I sagged, limp and panting while Ivana gazed at me with such tenderness in her eyes.
"I loved you from the start," she murmured. She lowered her eyes shyly at this new revelation. "You were so kind to me."
"All these years?" I marvelled at the longevity of her emotions. I pulled Ivana close and hugged her while the ripples of pleasure softened. Then I added softly, "Shall we go up to bed?"
Ivana followed me up the stairs to the bedroom. Hand in hand in a re-enactment of our first meeting. What a world apart between the two occasions however, we were no longer those two little girls, and it was in that room I tasted Ivana for the first time. She lay back, propped up on a pillow, and offered herself to my lips and tongue.
I explored every inch of her body, marvelling at the soft texture of her skin. I massaged her taut back, running my thumbs down the canal of her spine, tickling her flanks with my nails so she shivered and giggled like a girl. We kissed each other's mouths, sighing and panting as our fingers touched slippery, secret places, and I experienced a thrill of achievement when Ivana finally came heavily on my hand.
I recall the intent look on Ivana's face and understood that she was committing each moment to memory. If she was like me, she would unlock those secrets when she was alone, examining each detail from every possible angle, re-living each sigh, moan, and subtle nuance of our lovemaking, enjoying the whole scene over again.
I split the delicate folds of her labia with my tongue and probed at the hot, liquid opening of her sex. The sound of her gasp made my own insides clench as my clitty and bruised nipples throbbed anew. The slick smoothness of her labia under my tongue aroused me; I never knew that pleasuring a woman with my mouth would be such an enjoyable experience. It was so different from the texture of a penis. I had nothing to take into my mouth, no invader, but the moans and sighs as I manipulated Ivana's tight clitoris with my tongue spurred me to greater efforts.
At one point Ivana virtually dragged me up to her face and sucked greedily at my tongue. She grinned at me lewdly when she broke the kiss with a loud smack and our lips parted.
"I wanted to kiss myself from your tongue," she said before pushing me back down between her legs.
Ivana's first climax brought on by me was dangerous. She began slowly with tiny groans and little squeaks, which then grew rapidly into a crescendo as she came like a steam train. Her limbs thrashed, she clawed at the bed sheets and left the covers in rumpled confusion. I looked up at her face and saw the cords on her neck stretched and taut. Her eyes clamped tight, and her facial contortion gave the impression she was in physical pain. She grunted in a most inelegant way, but I knew exactly how she felt, she had to give voice to the flood of those feelings that boiled inside her, those sounds were a safety valve.
Eventually she calmed, panting and weak she looked at me and smiled wanly. "I love you," she whispered, but I couldn't return those words and a spear of sadness caused the tears to well in my eyes.
I moved close to Ivana on the ruin of the bed and held her close. I wanted to love her and started to speak, to try to explain, but Ivana shushed me and I cried quietly in her arms while she stroked my hair.
We slept in fits and starts, one or the other waking at intervals to begin the whole cycle all over again. Our lovemaking was softer and gentler at these times; she was so sweet, so gentle, but so adept! On one occasion I woke, groggy but groaning with lust to find Ivana licking me again, while at another time all I had to do was roll her onto her back as I kissed the sleep away and she opened her thighs with indecent haste, eager for my fingers and tongue once more.
In the morning, late morning as it went, there was no awkwardness, no hint of post-coital embarrassment when I woke up to see her naked and smiling, a big, steaming mug of coffee in each hand.
"How do you feel?" she immediately asked.
I grinned at her concern. "Fine," I replied and took a mug from her.
"Really?" The relief was in her voice.
I didn't know where we were going. I had no idea; I only knew that, for the moment, I wanted to be with Ivana. I wanted her completely. It wasn't love, not for me, and there was still the question of me liking a hard man, but for that day, maybe the week, month, or even year, she was enough.
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