Togetherness in Wiltshire
Trying not to wake his wife Louise, who was fast asleep beside him, he squinted at the box on the bedside cabinet and reached out for a tissue. He blew his nose as quietly as he could, trying not to move too much. Having thrown the tissue in the bin, he surreptitiously slid open the cabinet drawer and pulled out a large, clean white handkerchief, one of a dozen or so he had brought from home. He shook it open so that it would be ready if he needed it, and then shivered as he slid down under the duvet again.
For the last five days, James and Louise had been “guests” at the Common Cold Research Centre in Wiltshire. Along with several other guinea pigs, they had been monitored first to see if they were about to develop colds. When they had been given the all clear, they had all been given nose-drops last night. Some of these had contained a cold virus, and the others were harmless.
James realised that he was one of the ones who had been given the virus, and that the “something different” he had awoken with was a streaming cold that had blossomed in record time.
The irritation at the back of his nose started again, and as it increased he raised the handkerchief to his face. He tried to stifle the first of several sneezes, each one increasing in volume and strength. He glanced over his shoulder at Louise, hoping he hadn’t woken her, but she stirred sleepily and said,
“Sounds as if you’re coming down with a cold.”
He blew his nose wetly, wiping his nostrils with the now-damp handkerchief, and said, “I don’t know about ‘coming down’ with it. I woke up sneezing and it seems to be fully-developed already!”
James slid down under the duvet again, facing away from Louise. As he did so, she rolled over, flung her arm over him and snuggled up to him. A few minutes later, she started to stroke the back of his legs gently. James immediately began to feel aroused, something that seemed to happen more readily when he had a cold or the flu. He blew his nose again, and turned over to look at her, holding his handkerchief in front of his nose. This muffled his voice, which already sounded throaty from his cold.
“Do you realise that you’re very likely to catch my cold if we get as close as you seem to want?”
“Umm, I’ll probably catch it anyway, and isn’t that why we’re here? I’m sure they want to see how quickly married couples can share their germs, and we don’t want to disappoint them, do we? Perhaps there’s a record we could aim for. ‘The fastest transference of cold germs.’ Kissing should give us a good start …”
Louise took his chin in one of her hands and pulled it gently towards her. James pulled his handkerchief away just in time, as Louise gently brushed his lips with hers. Then she moved on to kiss him more firmly. His lips opened a second after hers and their tongues explored each other gently, Louise becoming more and more excited at the thought of catching his cold in the near future.
Another itch in his nose began to turn into a sneeze, and James pulled away from Louise, his face becoming slack and his breath ragged. He shook out the damp handkerchief and just managed to catch the spray from his sneeze in it: “Aah … aah … shioooooo!” He swallowed rather painfully (“wasn’t the sore throat part meant to come before the sneezing and runny nose part?”), and then pulled back and sneezed forcefully twice more into the sodden handkerchief. He groaned self-consciously, blew his nose, wiped it, and put the used handkerchief on the bedside cabinet. He reached for a clean, dry one from the drawer below. Holding it by a corner, he shook it open with one hand and wiped his nose again, ruefully.
Louise moved towards him again and kissed him, more forcefully than before. She ran her fingers lightly over the swelling in his pyjama bottoms. She then undid the button and helped him slide out of them. By this time James was becoming very aroused. They moved closer together, Louise rubbing his penis between her fingers. With his free hand, he began to explore Louise’s inner thighs, and then slid his hand gently towards her clitoris. Louise half-groaned and half-sighed with the pleasure she had been anticipating for the last five minutes, in fact, since she had first realised James was developing a nasty cold. Her pussy was becoming very moist, and the more she thought about catching James’s cold, the wetter it became. James seemed to realise this. He gently leant over her and slid his swollen penis inside her. She gasped with the suddenness of it and began to move gently to his rhythm. All the time she could feel his breath on her face, and this she inhaled eagerly. His nose was now beginning to run a bit, and he sniffled, hoping it didn’t drip on her.
Then the irritation began again, and James was not sure what to do. He had never sneezed before when he was making love. He stopped moving, and said thickly,
“Hang on a minute, I think I’m going to snee … ee- aah… aah… aahr… isshhooooooo!”
As his sneeze came out, he turned his head politely as far away from Louise’s face as he could. Louise was slightly disappointed. She would have liked him to sneeze over her fully so she could inhale the spray, but it was still arousing having him inside her as he sneezed. He picked up his handkerchief, and blew his nose into it forcefully, trying to eliminate the itch inside. When he had finished wiping it, he grinned sheepishly at her and said, rather nasally,
"Sorry about that! I couldn’t help it."
"Never mind. With any luck I’ll be doing it soon as well," Louise said, hoping fervently that she would.
James began to move inside her again. She responded eagerly, imagining him first spraying her with infectious sneezes, then looking after her as her cold developed. Their rhythmic movements increased until at last James climaxed, with Louise following immediately afterwards. James rolled onto his back, exhausted with the combined cold and lovemaking, holding his handkerchief to his nose. Louise lay back, satisfied as she had never been before – it had been an inspired idea of hers to come to the Cold Research Centre, as she had been too afraid to tell James what really turned her on when she was making love. She hoped that he would finally realise without her having to put it into words.
After they had got up, showered and dressed, James rang the bell that summoned one of the doctors to their room, and was examined to see if he really had developed a cold. James was blowing his nose as the doctor came in, and he could see from the notes that James had been given the virus and was exhibiting all the symptoms. However, he took some swabs from James, just to make sure it was the same virus as he had been given. James asked whether he needed to change his behaviour in any way since developing the cold, but the doctor told him to behave exactly as he would normally do with a cold, especially with regard to speaking to people, sneezing, blowing his nose, touching things and washing his hands.
At breakfast they found that one other person had developed a cold overnight, although she was in the earlier sore throat stage and hadn’t started the runny nose or sneezing yet. Louise wondered if any of them were envying her, perhaps coming to the Centre for the same reason as her. James sneezed several times during breakfast, and Louise watched him covertly, becoming excited once more at the thought of making love again that night.
Throughout the day, James’s cold developed even further, and his nose was looking red and sore by the end of the afternoon. His voice became huskier, another symptom which heightened Louise’s desire. They went out for a short walk but didn’t go very far; James was feeling tired and chilled, despite being wrapped up in a thick jumper, jacket and scarf.
After dinner, Louise asked James (hoping it didn’t sound too obvious to the others) whether he wanted an early night to nurse his cold. He agreed, and wearily stood up to go to their room. Louise asked the doctors whether they could give James anything to ease his symptoms, and they were given some paracetamol and some Vick’s vapour rub.
Back in their room, James undressed and gratefully slid under the duvet. When she was ready for bed, Louise gave him some paracetamol with a glass of water, and then asked if he would like some Vick rubbed on his chest. James nodded. Louise put some of the vapour rub on her fingers and started rubbing it gently into James’s chest. James was so tired and the rubbing was so relaxing that he didn’t notice the itch that was starting again in the back of his nose. As his nose was now blocked most of the time, he lay back against the pillows, his mouth open so he could breathe more easily. His breathing was noisy, and gradually became more ragged, but the rubbing had almost a hypnotic quality and he didn’t realise he was going to sneeze until it was too late. Louise, well aware that her husband was going to sneeze (she had been monitoring his expression and breathing most carefully), manoeuvred so that her face was in front of his. She didn’t interrupt the massaging of his chest, not wanting to break the spell James’ had slipped under.
Suddenly, James’s head reared back. He gasped twice, and then the most enormous sneeze exploded from him, spraying Louise wetly in the face. Louise took the deepest breath she could, inhaling as much of the spray as possible. She then prepared herself to do it again, as one look at James’s face told her that a helpless sneezing fit had just started. He lay there weakly, spraying her several times more. Louise inhaled as much as she could, and then handed him a clean handkerchief to blow his nose in. She took another one for herself, and after wiping the spray from her face with it, she held the dampest part to her nose. She pushed the damp cotton into her nostrils and inhaled deeply.
The next morning, James was woken up by the muffled sound of Louise sneezing, and he smiled secretly to himself.