I suspect you’re already reading Breaking Faith, if you’ve come this far. We’re reaching the denouement, moving towards the end of the story now. So, I hope you continue to enjoy the ride.
For those who haven’t been following the free read, I posted Chapter 1 on 13 January. Subsequent chapters have appeared each Friday, and will continue to be posted until all 50 have featured here. You can find those already posted via the archive; just search by chapter number. If you missed the start, you’ll find it here: http://stuartaken.blogspot.com/2012/01/read-free-my-novel-here.html
Read, enjoy, invite your friends along. As an author, I want people to read my writing, simple as that.
Friday 10th September
I spent the first part of the evening packing for my holiday, which I intended as a sort of retreat: a quiet time and space away from the madness of a world that seemed intent on making my life miserable. Perhaps Heacham had been right; perhaps I was wicked and was being punished for my rejection of his teachings. In my current turmoil, I couldn’t make up my mind on that or anything else.
A crofter’s cottage, on the edge of the ocean, seemed ideal. No telephone, no electricity, no television or radio. The nearest shop was the village post office stores, seven miles along a single-track road. It would be perfect.
Except that I had Dad’s dying wish; his gentle injunction to mate with more than one man before taking Leigh as my lifetime’s partner. It wasn’t a prospect I welcomed but it was Dad’s final request of me and therefore something I must do; something I felt compelled to do. The sooner I achieved it, the sooner I’d be free of that obligation and able to contemplate the life I still hoped might become mine.
Once I’d collected and packed all I needed to take with me, I found I still couldn’t settle. I wasn’t hungry and the prospect of dinner with Leigh and Netta looking at me, anxious and confused, wasn’t inviting.
I showered and returned to my room. The window was wide open and I let the air flow over my skin as I rested my elbows on the windowsill. The carved wren perched on its impossibly delicate legs on the log between my arms, its tiny pointed bill threatening to peck my breast. I picked it up and examined it. Old Hodge’s present meant the world to me. It represented real, unambiguous love and something solid and unchanging in a world that was in turmoil for me. There was within that small gift, so much care in a symbol of a natural world free of the complications human relationships seemed always to involve. I replaced it and continued my reverie at the window.
The wind changed and the air, although not cool, lost some of the heat it had borne for days.
My mind was full of all that had befallen me since I’d come to Longhouse. I was bursting with confusion and emotions I couldn’t identify, let alone express. I felt as though I must explode with anger, despair, frustration, desire, disgust and sheer perplexity if something didn’t release me soon.
I reviewed those things I could identify as changes, sources of anxiety or confusion, in the hope I might bring order to my chaotic world. But I found no consolation in the exercise. In fact, it seemed to intensify my negative feelings.
To add to my anxieties, now had come the news that Heacham’s trial was due and would prevent my holiday should I allow it.
I hadn’t been able to book my holiday through the travel agent where Leigh had bought my vouchers. Instead, I’d found private holiday accommodation, advertised in the Dalesman magazine. With a bit of gentle persuasion I might have exchanged the vouchers for money but that would have invited questions and, in any case, I might use those vouchers later to take Leigh with me on a holiday; somewhere warm, exotic and romantic.
So, I’d contacted the owner of the croft by phone, explained my situation and gained her agreement to accept cash on arrival. We would meet at the village and go to the croft together. She’d given me detailed instructions how to find the village, even explaining where to get the ferry for the crossing to the island and estimating my journey time so we could agree on a time for our meeting.
I must get away and be completely out of contact. This was an ideal way of ensuring my isolation and continued privacy whilst away. But I dreaded the arrival of a summons to appear at Heacham’s trial, knowing I couldn’t ignore such a legal requirement. I decided not to open the post in the morning and to ensure no one else could before I left for Scotland.
None of this helped relieve my internal pressure and turmoil. I still felt tight as a bowstring, felt something must trigger my release or I would snap and be utterly destroyed.
Thunder rumbled over the dark fells and I realized that night had fallen as I stood in contemplation. With the thunder came rain and, for one insane moment, I wanted to dash into the garden and let the torrent wash me clean of doubts and confusion. Lightening split the darkness, blinding me for a moment and moving me at last.
My back ached; my limbs were tense and stiff from my fixed position. I straightened up and stretched, swung my arms to bring life back into my hands and relieve the numbness in my elbows. As I brought my arms around in a full circle toward my body, my hand caught something hard and knocked it off the sill. It fell at my feet.
I crouched and, in the glow that entered through my partly open door from the landing, I saw I’d knocked Old Hodge’s birthday gift onto the floor. The wren had snapped from the log and lay as if dead beside it.
I felt rather than heard the cry of utter desolation that developed from breaking that symbol of love. The barrier to grief, to pent-up rage and disappointment, to unexpressed anxiety and confusion, to unrequited love was breached by that one cry. I fell to the floor and wept; sobbed my heart out and began, at last, to wash away my guilt and rage and grief.
Leigh came early in the cleansing process. I felt his warmth about me, his arms holding me, his hands using tissues to dab my eyes and nose. I heard his soft voice, full of concern, saying words with no meaning but comfort. And slowly I came through the first layer of my pain.
Exhausted, yet refreshed, I let him take me from the floor and lay me on my bed, his skin warm and gentle against mine.
‘Sleep now, Faith. Sleep and forget.’
I felt him move away as if he meant to leave. ‘Don’t go. I want you. I want you here.’ And he lay beside me on the bed, his body close to mine, his arms about me. He held me in a close embrace and made no sexual advance in spite of our nakedness.
The storm raged through the night about us but we were warm together, protected from its violence.
I felt safe in his arms. He was kind and gentle, holding me and stroking me for comfort, enclosing me within his soft embrace.
I wanted him to join with me. I wanted it and it was right. ‘I want you, Leigh. Please.’
I rolled to face him and he kissed my mouth, gently, for a long time our lips met and knew where they should go. When he moved away I wanted him to stay and kissed his mouth again. He guided me then, with his lips and tongue, showed me where the pleasure was, how to give and to receive. I learned quickly, desire uncovering what my body knew by instinct.
I stroked a hand along his back and felt him do the same, felt the feather touch of his palm and fingers on my willing skin. He kissed my face, my neck, my shoulders and I found my mouth seeking his skin to kiss in turn. We moved and he stroked one hand from my shoulder down the front of me across the space between my breasts and down my abdomen as far as the short hair that marked the space I wanted him to fill. He stroked on down and I moved my legs to give him access. He caressed the insides of my thighs in turn, brushing his fingers so softly against the lips of my divide that it was barely a touch at all, yet it brought such pleasure that it had me rising up to meet him. I stroked his back with one hand as the other sought new places to explore. I found his manhood. As my fingers touched and stroked and held him, he hardened and grew rigid and I knew that this part of him would enter me and penetrate my very centre.
His mouth moved to my lips and we kissed and tongued and mouthed each other in a passion that was in danger of overwhelming me. I knew I wanted him inside me and we were ready. He moved to kiss my breasts and took each nipple in between his lips in turn, sucking gently, tonguing the tips so my body arched in answer and I felt a new sensation deep inside me.
I took his manhood in my hand and guided it toward my moist divide. He led my hand from there and placed it on the firm curve of his bottom as he slowly found my entrance and explored me, the very tip discovering the magic nodule and touching it with such sweet softness that I gasped with the delight of it, my body filling with sensations of excitement and arousal.
He lingered there, caressing that one place with gentle strokes that sent ripples through my body, making every portion of my skin aware of touch and feeling, so that his lips on mine were sweet and warm and moist with love, his hands traced exquisite joy around my shoulder and my side. He moved the stroking hand along my body, caressing the curve of my breast, making my nipple rise to firmness as his fingertips encircled it, then whispering down my abdomen and gentling my hip as he slipped the palm beneath my rising buttock.
I held my breath as he drew the tip of his manhood along the length of my divide and found the willing, wanting opening. He put his lips over my mouth and tongued my tongue with his, nudging his way into my mouth as he entered my very centre. There was one brief instant of sharp pain and I was woman.
I encouraged him toward me with my hands cupping his buttocks and he thrust on past the fragile barrier and stroked into me until all was pleasure. I let him guide and show me. He kissed my mouth, my eyes, my cheeks, my ears. One hand played in my hair as his other taught me how to rise and fall with him, matching his slow movement so the base of his hard manhood touched against my magic spot and caused the growing sense of wonder to pervade my entire body. I was alive in every cell of being, every touch was pure delight, my hands discovered his delicious body, stroked his back, his arms, his beautiful firm bottom as he rose and fell above me. I spread my thighs a little wider to heighten the touch of him on my most sensitive part. He responded, moving higher up my body and gentling my bottom with the hand beneath. We moved together, rising, falling, breathing the same air and oblivious to everything that was not the single being we had formed.
The pleasure filling me grew and grew as he moved within me. It built in waves of pure enjoyment until my body pulsed with wonder and I cried aloud in joy. He let that climax take its course and moved within me, matching my pulsating pleasure as it slowly faded. Then he moved more deeply within me, thrusting his whole length of manhood deep inside me, in and out, the tip almost leaving me but returning to my depths as he plunged into my centre and touched again that heightened point of pure sensation. I held him to me, my hands moving with his body as he thrust inside me, feeling pleasure building once again, raising my hips to meet his thrusting, plunging delicious movement. He took the hand from my shoulder, drew it down my side and slipped it underneath my bottom with the other so he held me to him. Still he moved within me powerful and strong with desire and love.
I felt another wave of climax breaking over me and ecstasy discovered me as we became one with wave following resounding wave through my body from my centre to the very tips of all my being. I felt his force burst deep within me, felt the throb of his life, his being, merging with my own and we both cried out in wonder and delight as amazement surged and we became a single joyous unity of love and pleasure and delicious exultation.
Slowly we descended from that high, that other plane of being, into a soft gentle world of self-awareness. I had never felt so whole, so utterly complete, so wondrously at one with me. He stayed within me, gently moved his hands to take his weight onto his elbows, stroked my head and neck and shoulders with his fingers.
We kissed, softly, slowly, lingering as we caught our breath. My hands caressed his back, his head, his ears, his arms. We gazed at one another in the dim light from the open door.
The storm returned to us and we knew then it had raged and thundered as we loved, had rained as it still did, had strobed our glowing bodies with its lightening flashes as we moved.
I felt the gentle echo of the climax as my centre clasped the relaxing stem of him inside me in a soft rhythmic reminder of the waves of passion that had ruled me.
There were no words to say what I felt. I could say just one phrase to describe it. ‘I love you, Leigh’
He nodded in the dim light and I saw his eyes were full of wonder. ‘I promised I would never say these words unless I meant them. I love you, Faith. I love you absolutely and without conditions.’
It was enough for us just then. Practicality dictated we must part but reluctance to accept that made us stay together until moisture from our love began to leak from me and I gently urged him move and give me tissues. I smiled, recalling the garden scene with Netta, knowing now what she’d felt as I had teased her. Even her intrusion to my thoughts didn’t diminish my delight.
Leigh lay beside me, one arm round my shoulders as I lay my head upon his slowly moving chest. ‘Did it hurt?’
‘Very briefly, very little. You made me woman tonight. The pleasure was amazing. I feel wonderful. I love you.’
‘I love you, Faith.’
We spoke no more; satiation stealing passion from us so we slept.
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