“Why don’t you ever sweat, Alan Trywick?” she asked. “I’m sweating like a pig, and you’re carrying on like it’s a stroll in the park.” She wiped her brow and took a rest. The bright sun shone in a crystal clear sky on an unseasonably warm, mid-June day on the Cornish north coast. She had taken her sweater off, and was wearing only her sun dress.
He laughed, his long easy laugh. “You’re out of shape. You don’t get out enough in that crowded city of yours, except to eat or drink. When you move back here to be with me, we’ll take care of that.”
They continued up the path, to a secluded place they had discovered years ago. It was difficult to get to, making it theirs alone. The granite outcropping that formed these spectacular, rugged cliffs didn’t support much vegetation, so there was little shade to be found. Normally, that was a good thing, as the winds whipping over the frigid waters below made the sunshine a valuable commodity. They made it to their spot; a high shelf with a granite protrusion above it. The shelf was larger than the protrusion, so they could choose to be in the sun or the shade, depending on the weather. He laid out his blanket to sit on, then took out some water bottles from his backpack.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been here,” she said, wistfully.
“Not for me,” he said in a low voice. Suddenly, he caught himself and brightened up again. It wouldn’t do to get morose. She didn’t like it, and anyway, they had far too little time to waste that way. He was naturally upbeat, and that was one of the many things she loved about him.
The view was absolutely spectacular. Every year tonnes of granite fell into the waters below from these cliffs, as the sedimentary rock around the granite eroded. As a result, huge boulders littered the beaches several hundred meters below. The waves crashed over and around them.
Her phone dinged, announcing the arrival of a text message. They were surprised that it would work here. He snatched the phone from her hand, jumped up and ran to the edge of the shelf, then flung it as far as he could into the waters below. She jumped up and ran to him. He had both hands behind him.
“Give it,” she said, reaching her arms around him to try to get the phone.
“Sorry, it’s gone,” he said with his big smile.
“No, it’s not. Give it,” she said, trying to reach his hands. He moved his arms, but she finally grabbed his wrists and held them, working down to his hands. It wasn’t in his hands, so she started reaching for his back pockets, but now he held her wrists. Suddenly, he kissed her on the lips. She pulled away and he laughed again. Nobody could be mad when he laughed, it was the loveliest laugh in the world. He handed her the phone.
“I suppose that was Carver,” he said.
“His name’s Gordon. You know that.”
“No, it’s not, Lorna Doone. He’s the evil Carver, destined to force you to marry him.”
“And I suppose you’re my gallant Jan Ridd, who will save the day?” she said.
He bowed and said, “At your service, mi’lady.”
She looked at her text, then put the phone away. They talked the afternoon away, enjoying the weather and the view. He brought out bread, cheese, cakes and a thermos of tea from his backpack. After they ate, he lay with his head in her lap as she caressed his short hair. He read her an old poem that she didn’t remember hearing before, Cornish Cliffs. It was a perfect description of this place, this day.
Those moments, tasted once and never done,
Of long surf breaking in the mid-day sun…
As he read, she watched his mouth. His stubble, not yet full enough to wear a mustache, as he wished he might. The cool, clear, olive colored skin that never seemed to break a sweat. The fine features, almost feminine in their perfection and daintiness.
And in the shadowless, unclouded glare
Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where
A misty sea-line meets the wash of air…..
For some inexplicable reason, as she watched his mouth reading the poem, she wished nothing more than to kiss it. They had been friends since childhood, but only friends. They had shared many adventures when young, and had shared many deep discussions as they grew, but they had never been lovers. They had never shared a passionate kiss, though they had wrestled sometimes as lovers do. It was odd that she was affected thus today.
They met on the moors when they were eleven. He was Ivanhoe, storming the castle of Torquilstone with a stick, his sword. When Alis appeared, she immediately became the lovely Rowena that he was to save from the dastardly de Bracey. From that point on, they were inseparable, from one adventure to the next. One day he is Lancelot and she is Guinevere; the next he sails the HMS Lydia, fighting the Spaniards with Lady Wellesley on board. Then he is Don Quixote and she is Dulcienea. One day he makes an improvised bow and becomes Robin Hood, rescuing the fair Maid Marian from the evil sheriff of Nottingham. Alis adores Alan, and follows him everywhere, in all of his adventures.
Both of them assume that they will eventually marry. When they turn sixteen, Alis meets Gordon, who is two years older, and falls madly in love with him. She eventually loses her virginity to him. Gordon goes to university, leaving Alis alone. She uses Alan as a confidante, agonizing over Gordon’s absence. Alis follows Gordon to university. When she graduates, two years later than Gordon, she assumes they’ll move back to Cornwall. But Gordon will never move back. He loves the city, and he hates Cornwall. Alis takes a job teaching in the city.
When he finishes the poem, they sit silent for a while. She is moved by the view, and the poem, and Alan reading the poem.
“That poem was written for this day, this spot,” she says.
They sat silently, his head still in her lap. Then he got up and said, “The sun will be down by the time we get back to the car, if we leave now,” he said. “Let’s go.”
He bundled up their stuff and and put it in the backpack. Alis pulled him to her and kissed him on the lips, softly. They had kissed many times. Usually playfully, often with true love for each other, but not the kiss that only lovers share. This kiss was different than past kisses. It wasn’t ardent or passionate. It was a soft, tender kiss, yet held the promise of more. She held his lower lip between her lips gently, pulling his lip as she pulled away.
“Why?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Just felt like it,” she said, quietly.
“Why are you still single? You’re the most beautiful person I know. I should think the girls here would see that.”
“There’s only one girl for me,” he said softly, looking away.
Alis felt guilty that she spent so much time with Alan. He should be freed for another woman, but she couldn’t bear giving him up. He filled a need in her life that nobody else ever would, certainly not Gordon. Alan made her feel beautiful and happy, and in love with herself and with life. He made every day seem an adventure, and every dream achievable. Every time they talked, he told her how special and beautiful she was, and made her believe it. Even when she was in the city, they chatted on-line constantly. She wanted him to have happiness, but she dreaded the day when he would find a lover and leave her life. She knew it wouldn’t be the same, once he did. She would never leave Gordon, he was the only man she had ever had. But she would never voluntarily give up what she had with Alan, either.
When she was with Gordon, she felt insecure, about her looks, about their relationship, about everything. She wasn’t the same person in the city. He teased her about her weight, and when she moped, he laughed at her and told her to “lighten up,” that he was only kidding. She wasn’t a stick like some of the other girls her age, and she never would be, but Alan had convinced her that she was perfect as she was.
Alan loved everything about her body; her large breasts, her fair skin, her blue eyes. She had made the mistake of telling him once how hurt she had been when Gordon teased her about her weight. Alan loathed Gordon in any case, but that day he would have killed him if he had seen him. He didn’t like anybody saying anything negative about Alis.
They had dinner at their favorite pub. They arrived at Alis’ home by nine, and they clung together outside, taking a very long time to say goodbye, as they always did.
“I have to work tomorrow. See you after work? About six?”
“O.K.,” Alis said.
She talked to her mum for a while, then went to her room and called Gordon. They talked a while, but Gordon had to go to work early the next morning, so they said their goodbyes.
Alan picked her up a little after six and drove her up to the cliffs. They walked out to the overlook. The waves below crashed loudly on the shore. She shivered in the cold wind, and he held her. They ran back to the car and sat inside, talking. After a couple of hours, he took her home.
They held each other at her front door.
“Love you,” he said.
“Love you too. See you tomorrow?”
He had always assumed they would marry. But he had never made his move. When Gordon entered the picture unexpectedly, it was too late.
The next day, he called at one in the afternoon. “Let’s go riding,” he said. “I’ll pick you up.”
He loaded two bikes on the bike rack attached to his car, packed up waters, food and a blanket, and went to Alis’ house. She came out and they set off. They drove south across the peninsula and parked, then rode past one tourist filled beach after another. Mid-afternoon, they decided to take a walk on the beach to find a place to rest and eat. They locked the bikes and set off.
The “Cornish Riviera” was beautiful this time of year. The sand was like sugar. The brilliant blue sky had only a few big puffy white clouds. They found a secluded beach with a tidal pool. Several of the beaches on the south coast had deep, man-made tidal pools that were crowded with tourists, but this one was isolated. These natural tidal pools formed occasionally. They had never seen this one. Alan took off his shoes and walked into the pool. The water was less than two meters deep, so it didn’t take long for the sun to warm the frigid water, once the tide had gone out.
“It’s warm,” he said. “Let’s go swimming.”
“I didn’t bring a suit.”
“Neither did I,” he said, as he stripped off his clothes. She turned her head. After he got in, he said, “Come on in, it’s lovely.”
She went behind some bushes, took off her clothes and wrapped the blanket around her. As she got to the edge of the water, she said, “turn your head.” Then she dropped the blanket and walked in, kneeling down to cover her nudity. They had skinny dipped together dozens of times before. When she jumped in, he swum to her and they splashed and played. They used the blanket to dry, then dressed and rode back to the car.
“My mum wants me to go with her to Tavistock tomorrow to visit my grammy. I won’t be home til late, so I can’t see you tomorrow.”
“Damn! I have a week to see you, and it’s more than half gone already. Why don’t you move back here forever?”
“Sorry, I have to go see my grammy. I’ll see you day after tomorrow.”
The real reason her mum wanted her to go was so she had a chance to spend time with her, not with her grandmother. She was spending a whole week of her holiday at home, but she was rarely there, other than to sleep and shower. She was visiting friends all the time, mostly Alan. They had long talks at the station, and on the train riding to and from her grandmother’s house. They had a lovely dinner in Tavistock before coming home. They arrived back at about nine. Alis called Gordon, then went to bed early and read.
She heard something on the window and looked up. There it was again. She turned off the lamp and looked out. A torch shone in her face, then it turned on the holder. It was Alan.
“What’s he doing out there?” she wondered. She put a robe over her nightie and put on her slippers, then tip-toed down the stairs. Her parent’s bedroom door was closed. They would be asleep by now. She opened the door just wide enough to slip through, and closed it behind her.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I missed you, and wanted to talk.”
You can’t. My parents are asleep, you’ll wake them.”
“Not if we talk quietly in your room.”
He was chattering. He’d ridden his bike, and the evening was very blustery. Even summer evenings on the North Coast could be quite bitter, especially with a stiff wind off the sea. The cold wind was like needles on her bare legs, below her robe.
“Take off your shoes and follow me,” she whispered. “Be very quiet.”
She took his hand and guided him slowly through the dark house, up the stairs and into her room. Closing the door behind her, he took off his jacket and they sat on the edge of the bed in the dim lamplight.
“What is it that couldn’t wait til tomorrow?” she asked.
“You. You leave in two days, I wanted to see you.”
They sat talking quietly. The wind was very strong against the drafty windows, and the room grew cold.
“I’m cold,” she whispered.
“Get under the covers,” he said.
She took off her slippers and lay down, pulling the covers up to her chin.
“Why don’t you move back here? You know you prefer living here. You can get a teaching job nearby, and we can be together.”
They had been through this a thousand times. Gordon wouldn’t even discuss moving back.
“I can’t,” she said, though she desperately wanted to. She missed living near her family, and she did miss Alan and her other friends. In the city, they spent all their time with Gordon’s workmates and their girlfriends or wives. They were nice, but she didn’t have close friends in the city. “I can get another job here, but Gordon could never find as good a job.”
“Leave him,” Alan pleaded. “You know you were meant for me, anyway.”
She didn’t say anything. They sat silent for a while, then he cheered up and they talked some more. Soon, he grew cold. He took off his shirt and started to pull down his pants.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m going to get under the covers.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Don’t worry, I’m a gentleman. Anyway, you’ve got two layers of protection.”
He pulled up the covers to his chin and snuggled up against her for warmth. He slipped his hand under her robe and held the back of her thigh.
“Aaggh, your hands are freezing,” she said, pulling her leg away from him. “Fat lot of good my ‘two levels of protection’ are doing.”
“Yes, I know my hands are cold. That’s where you come in. You’re nice and warm.”
She held his hands in hers to warm them, and to keep him from putting them elsewhere.
“Want me to tell you a bedtime story?” he asked.
“Yes!” She loved his stories. They were always original, and always about her. What was most impressive, he always made them up on the spot, as he went along. He was a great story teller.
She lay on her back, looking up into his eyes. He lay on his side, facing her, his head perched in his hand, looking down into her eyes.
“Once upon a time, offshore between Land’s End and the Scillies Isle, there existed a land called Lyonesse. It was ruled by an evil tyrant called Gordian.”
The heavy in his stories often had a name that sounded like Gordon.
“Living in that land was a poor blacksmith named Awen, and a lovely maiden named Alyssia. She was a beautiful lass, and the poor blacksmith was quite taken by her. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the money for a dowry, so he was unable to marry her. Alyssia loved the poor blacksmith as well. She wouldn’t have cared for the dowry, but her parents refused to consider the poor blacksmith.”
“It happened that the evil Gordian broke his sword fighting the Normans, and announced to his kingdom that he would reward the man who could replace it. People from all over the land, and beyond, vied to be the one who would make the finest sword. On the appointed day, the blacksmith took his sword to the castle. He waited in a long line to present it to the evil king.”
“There were many beautiful swords, with jewel encrusted hilts. The poor blacksmith had no jewels, so his sword was plain, and drew the scorn of many. When he finally got to the front of the line, late in the day, the king’s men told him to go away, that the king would not consider such a plain object. But the king, hearing them, insisted that he see every sword brought to him.”
“What the king’s men didn’t know is that the blacksmith had taken his sword to the mermaid of Zennor and asked her to cast a spell on it. She recognized the blacksmith as a pure, honest and humble man and agreed. ‘The first man that uses this sword will be bound to it for life. It will be as a part of his arm,’ she had said.”
“When the evil king raised the sword, he could feel the power in the sword throughout his body. The weight and balance of the sword were like none he had ever held. ‘I must have this sword,’ the king told his men. ‘Tell all the others to take their meager offerings and leave.’ When he gave the blacksmith his reward, he asked him, ‘What will you do with such a large sum of money?’”
“The blacksmith said, ‘I can now marry my Alyssia, the fairest damsel in the land.’”
“When the evil Gordian heard that, his heart turned black, and he sent men to determine if Alyssia was the fairest damsel in the land. Seeing that she was, they carried her to his castle, locking her in the highest turret. When Awen returned to his village, he went immediately to Alyssia’s house. He presented his reward to her father and said, ‘A dowry fit for your lovely daughter. I beg you for her hand.’”
“’You’re too late,’ the father said in distress. ‘Men of the king took her yesterday.’”
“Awen returned to the king’s castle and confronted him. The king laughed at Awen, a small, powerless man. Gordian said, ‘I should put you to death for your insolence, but for the fine sword you made me. Go away and live.’ All the people in the court laughed at Awen, but he stood his ground defiantly.”
“I fight for the honor of the maid Alyssia, who you stole from her parents.”
“The king’s face turned red with rage, and he had a scowl on his face. He took his sword and ran at Awen, vowing to kill him. He raised his sword, but the enchanted sword cut off the head of the king.”
“The king’s men were so happy at the death of the brutal tyrant, they gave Awen his lady and some horses. They rode to her house, gathered her parents and left that land forever, jumping on a ferry and escaping. The mermaid of Zennor had cast a spell on the isle, and it sank beneath the water, killing all that lived in that evil land. Awen was able to set up a blacksmith shop in the land of Cornwall, and they lived happily ever after. Their descendants still live in Cornwall to this day. And that’s how the lost land of Lyonesse came to be lost.”
“Did you like that story?’
Alis laughed. She loved his stories, and the way he told them.
“I love it when you laugh. You’re far too serious most of the time,” he told her, his eyes sparkling.
“I laugh most when I’m with you,” she said.
He leaned over and kissed her on the tip of her nose.
“It’s getting colder,” she said.
He snuggled up against her and they lay quietly, his face against hers. His stubble tickled her. She turned away from him and he nestled into her back like a pair of spoons in a drawer. He began caressing her hair, pulling it away from her face, and put his lips on her now exposed neck below her ear. His breath was warm on her neck.
“I don’t know what I’ll do when you leave, Alis. I can’t bear to be apart.”
“Shh, I know, I know.”
He continued stroking her hair and kissing her neck. She turned her head and their lips met. Their kiss was tentative at first. Then she turned back toward him, and they embraced.
“I love you, Alis. I always have, and I always will.”
“I know, Alan. I love you too.”
They kissed again, harder this time. His hand slipped down to her side. He put it inside her robe and stroked her body, from her hip to the curve of her breast. He untied her robe and began to open it.
“Take this off,” he whispered to her.
“No, I can’t,” she said, but she didn’t protest as he helped her out of it. His hands rubbed her all over as he continued kissing her. “We can’t do this,” she pleaded.
“Are you sure?” he said, breaking the kiss.
Her heart was racing, and she wasn’t sure of anything except how much she wanted him.
“I love you, Alis, and I want you now.”
Alis thought, “if he takes me against my will, it’s not really cheating, is it. Oh, God, he feels so wonderful.”
He put his lips back on hers and kissed her deeply as he continued to explore her body. Her nicely rounded buttocks, her full thighs. He put his hand under her nightie and rubbed her breast, finding the nipple. Alis moaned. “Oooh, God, no. No, we mustn’t.”
“Do you really want me to stop?”
She didn’t say anything. He rubbed her buttock, then moved his hand around her thigh and found her warmth. She inhaled sharply as he touched her there, the only man other than Gordon to have ever done so. “Oh, God, no, we can’t do this,” she said.
He put his hand over her pussy, and she involuntarily spread her legs. Her need was great. She wanted him so badly. He could feel her warmth through her panties, and he rubbed against her mound. He kissed her passionately, as they had never kissed before. He slipped his hand under her panties and rubbed a finger up and down the length of her slit. He found her opening and dipped his finger in.
She raised her hips slightly to meet his finger. His finger easily went in her highly aroused vagina. Her mind was flooded with lust, and she continued kissing him as he fucked her with his hand. He broke off their kiss and removed his hand, just long enough to pull off his underwear.
In a panic, she realized that she was going to have sex with him. There was no turning back now. Her heart raced as he pulled off her nightie, then pulled down her panties and removed them. She lay naked in front of him. She could see the infatuation and worship on his face as he beheld the object of every fantasy he’d ever had. She touched him; he was hard. She shivered slightly. She pushed out thoughts of right and wrong from her mind. She didn’t want to think about anything.
He kissed her again. Now he had free access to her nude body, and he took his time exploring every inch of it. His lips moved down to her breasts. He loved her full breasts, and he kissed and suckled every inch of them. He put his fingers in her again, and as he moved them in and out she pushed against them, fucking his hand. He touched her clitoris with his thumb and she shuddered. She held his hard dick and pulled him toward her. He mounted her and they coupled. When he had fully penetrated her, he put his lips on her and they thrust together rhythmically.
He pulled out of her and mounted her from behind while they lay on their sides. This allowed him a free hand to play with her body while he pumped his hard dick in her. He played with her breasts, making her nipples stiffen. Then he touched her down there, looking for her clit. She guided his hand to the right place and held it as he gently rubbed her little button.
Her mind was flooded with sensations. Her entire body was tingling as she neared orgasm. He grunted in her ear as he spilled his seed in her, but he continued pumping his dick in her, allowing her to reach her climax. She was near the crest, and she seemed to ride the crest forever, not going over and not receding, right on the top. Her body was a single nerve ending, centering on her pussy. The pleasure was almost excruciating. Her body tensed, then she exploded in orgasm. Her ears were ringing as wave after wave of intense pleasure washed over her. Her pussy had contractions on his dick that lasted almost thirty seconds. Neither said a word as they collapsed in a heap together, still coupled.
Finally, he kissed her cheek and said, “I love you.”