When I dare to brave her bedroom after an angst-filled hour in the kitchen wrestling with my orzo and chicken soup and what's left of my common sense, I find her awake.
Her bed's a mess. Its many thick covers have been kicked loose from their moorings, and her gorgeous leopard-print duvet is heaped sadly on the floor. The wastebasket's overflowing with saturated wads of tissue, the empty box jammed on top of it all, and the bedside table's strewn with empty blister-packs of Cold Relief capsules. The creased pale gold sheets are in knots, most of them pushed to the middle of the bed where Joanne sits.
She looks too defenceless and miserable for words- feverish and full of cold, muffled up in a heavy, frayed dark plaid man's bathrobe, which is too big even for her. She's leaning up against a mountain of creased, flattened pillows, hacking away, with her hand pressed uselessly to her mouth. It looks like the cough's jerked her out of sleep, as she's obviously just woken up from a much-needed nap. Her face is soft-looking, hotly blurred, smeary with sweat. She looks shrunken, delicate, unlike herself.
She turns her bruised-looking eyes on me, and gives me a slight, reluctant smile.
"Hey, C," she says hoarsely.
Her big brown eyes, not-quite-focused at the best of times, have started to look frighteningly glassy. They have a wide, too-bright cast, and they're set in ashy hollows as if they'd burned away all the smooth dark flesh around them. I know they're just swollen and bruised with tiredness, but her illness makes her seem so fragile. Everything about her looks worn, stretched and strained.
I feel achingly protective, struggling with a sudden desire to cool her flushed face with damp flannels, hold a handkerchief to her runny nose. Joanne may have an Einstein-worthy IQ, but she doesn't have a clue about looking after herself. What touches me most is that she usually seems so capable, a great, powerful black Amazon of a woman, all curve and muscle, butch, broad-beamed, buxom and beautiful. Well, to me, anyway. There are euphemistic, dissatisfying words to describe women like Joanne. Handsome. Striking. Attractive.
Her face has been beautifully sculpted, but she has terrible eyesight and tends to squint intensely at anything more than a few metres away, which I enjoy as it makes her look slightly more vulnerable. Her nose is a great cliff with pronounced African-mask nostrils, and her mouth is almost obscenely full, a surprising suggestion of passion considering how painfully uptight she is.
"How are you doing, hon?" I ask, sitting down on the end of the bed.
Joanne swipes her hand under her nose and sniffs hard. "I'm still a bit snuffly," she informs me in a stuffy, depleted voice. "It's not too bad, though."
I give her foot a quick squeeze. She makes a sudden face, her nose wrinkles a little as she takes a deep breath, and then she relaxes and grimaces at me.
"'Scuse me. Still got a bit of a tickle in my nose."
"Really? I didn't hear you sneezing."
She shrugs sulkily, clearly not wanting to talk about it. "I didn't... it's just been teasing me since I woke up. Driving me crazy."
I remember, from last night, how absolutely adorable the Counsellor looks when she's struggling with a stuck sneeze, and decide to move into her bedroom as live-in nurse until every last tickle and twitch of her cold has disappeared. Who knows when I might see this again?
Joanne's voice is still croaky from sleep. "What's in the bags?"
I start unpacking them. "Well, I got you some Kleenex for those snuffles and sneezes. They had this deal on two boxes of man-size- (sexist crap)- tissues for the price of one, so that should keep you going for ooh, at least an hour...full-strength cough medicine, cold comfort capsules, Vitamin C tablets." I unload the second bag. "I also got this anaesthetic chloraseptic spray stuff and blackcurrant menthol-plus pastilles for that sore throat, chocolate Ben and Jerry's to... well, take the taste away, mainly... aspirins, decongestant tablets for your poor nose...oh and some packets of herbal tea.
Let's see, camomile, peppermint, elderflower, eucalyptus, rosehip and ginger- sound fucking awful don't they?- but I think they help clear you up. Cherry cough drops...and," I pull out a heavy, dark jar of Vicks, "an excuse to give you a lot of back rubs. I mean, you're not getting any loving in this state, and a girl has to get off somehow, no?"
She smiles, unable to help it. "Thanks, darling, that's so sweet...how much do I owe you?"
"Fuck off already, they're on me."
Joanne grins. "Are you sure?... well, I'll take you out for dinner or something when I'm feeling better."
"Fabulous. In the meantime, can I get you anything?"
"Yeah...could you please get me something to drink, love?"
"Juice? Or do you feel brave enough to try that scary-looking herbal tea?"
"Too, umm... lesbian. I think I'd like a little juice, if it's OK."
When I bring the iced glass to her, she downs almost half of it, gulping with her customary greediness, which reassures me a little.
She's removed her heavy robe and is wearing a pair of red silk pyjamas- even with this dreadful cold of hers, she's still a beautiful dresser. She looks like a sick Nubian queen, lying there on her cushions, surrounded by peaks of duvet, her splendidly tangled abundance of Cleopatra braids blazing against her flushed cheeks. Her more-than-ample breasts, freed, for comfort's sake, from her medieval-torture underwear, are almost spilling out of the deep V of her pyjama top. In fact, the whole of her lovely, voluptuous body seems a couple of sizes bigger, having spread out of the harsh, mannish suits which usually contain her. Joanne, in spite of her politics, usually has an hourglass silhouette, as she relies on maximum, torturous wired uplift and the kind of underwear that's supposed to squash her lovely ass into something magazine-presentable, though naturally I'd rather she didn't suppress a single God-given inch of it.
I put my arm around her, and she leans against me, eyelids falling already. "C, stop fussing," she murmurs, trying unsuccessfully to swallow a yawn.
"I'm not fussing, and you're starting to piss me off. Has no one ever told you that it's nice to look after sick people?"
Joanne sniffs and rubs her nose lightly, a little-girl gesture which touches me so deeply that it hurts. "I never thought you were a big fan of 'nice,' honey."
She laughs throatily. "Really, this nursemaid thing of yours, it's just weird. It's not like you at all."
"Good. I hate being predictable."
Joanne sighs and leans against me drowsily. Just as her eyelids start to fall, her nose-rubbing becomes more forceful- she pushes her clenched index finger up against her nostrils, distorting her face, and violently shunts it back and forth, eyes now squeezed tightly shut.
She waves her hand distractedly at me. "Just feeling a bit sneezy..." she sniffs and makes an irritated face, "excuse me a minute."
I tense in anticipation. Joanne's sneezes are wonderfully full and explosive, not the dainty, charming, almost soundless kind that make some women look cute and vulnerable. With an enormous, eloquent nose like hers, you could hardly expect them to be anything less than loud. Loud, unfortunately, is a pitiful word to describe one of Joanne's sneezes, which is why she automatically struggles to hold them back.
And here she touches my little weakness. I love to watch her struggling against the urge to sneeze, pretending she's fine, denying that she's ill. There's something about a beautiful butch dyke with a bad cold that just does it for me.
Avoiding my eyes, she stares hard into the milky light of the window and then repeats the whole ritual, following it up with a couple of convulsive, dangerously wet-sounding sniffs. Joanne makes a real effort to keep her eyes open, trying vainly to fight back her tickles- I can see the slight frown on her face, the inexorably slow, ticklish dripping of her runny nose as she tries hard to sniffle it back.
I frown in concern, but all I can do is thank God for the rough, reinforced denim of my jeans. Even though the heavily stitched centre seam is rubbing with a delicious friction against my inflamed clit, at least the stiff black armour of fabric won't show that I'm practically pouring wetness.
I try with a deliciously painful effort to think myself calm, to place a barrier between the sensory impulses that besiege my eyes and ears and this knee-jerk reaction I've had for as long as I can remember, but every time she helplessly heaves in breath, something hard and relentless twists inside me, at once pure relief and pure humiliation.
"Are you all right?" is the best I can manage, but I'm still quite amazed that I can form words without drooling.
Surprisingly, she shakes her head vehemently, her frustration making me want to throw her down on her empress's pillows and fuck her until she forgets all about it.
"I hate this!" she explodes.
I gently put my hand between Joanne's shoulder blades and stroke her back, just for a little comfort. "Breathe. And stop rubbing your nose like that. You'll draw it out."
She sniffs and opens her red, streaming eyes wearily. "No good...it's stuck."
"Just relax, it'll come."
Looking dizzy and light-headed, Joanne lies back on the pillows. "I'm relaxed."
"No you're not. Jesus- you, relaxed? Talk about an oxymoron."
She groans softly, "Damn English lit students..." and begins fretfully rubbing her nose again, pinching her nostrils between forefinger and thumb, damp-lashed eyes squeezed tightly shut.
"You're only making it worse."
She stares at me blearily, and states frankly, "I can't help it."
Her eyes are beginning to run slowly but steadily. "This..." she's interrupted by a strong, unavoidable hitch in her breath, "is torture."
Gradually, as she struggles with her tickles, Joanne rears further and further back on the pillows, her head tilting backwards until it's almost upturned to the ceiling, so I can see right into her quivering, tensing nostrils, watch their uncontrollable, hypnotic movement as they flare slowly, growing more pronounced and spasmic as her breaths grow shorter, higher, more desperate. Her eyes are running, tears drifting down her cheekbones in thin, delicate trails, and soon her irritated nose decides to join them, filling as she tries her best to sniffle the sneeze to its explosive climax. Joanne's face is open, receptive, expressive nostrils flared hugely, mouth open and contracting in a series of high-pitched, coaxing gasps, chin dented and trembling as the urge to sneeze becomes almost too much for her to take.
She takes in a great gasp of air, then another, her hands rising gracefully to cup in front of her nose and smother what she's sure is coming. Her face freezes entirely, head cocked expectantly, nostrils still distended, until it suddenly rushes through her, barrelling right out of her nose and mouth-
It's such a big, bellowing sneeze that she has to gasp for breath immediately afterwards. Joanne collapses onto her pillows, hand waving in front of her nose in an apologetic acknowledgement of the size of her sneeze- she's smiling openly, but she still looks a tiny bit shaken.
"Bless you!" I caress her cheek. "Feel better for that, honey? Looks like you needed it."
She makes a slight face, twisting her mouth to one side. "Nose still feels a bit tickly, but at least my head doesn't feel like it's going to explode any more..."
"If you wouldn't fight it so hard, you'd feel a lot better. Honestly..."
She starts to cough, her strong, muscular frame shaking convulsively. I sit down next to her, and slowly massage her back to soothe her cough, gently stroking away the tension, whispering comforting nonsense into her ear. I'm as gentle as I can be with her, and after the worst of the cough breaks down into a grinding series of chokes and swallows, I open the Vicks, slide my hands under her pyjama shirt, and begin to spread fingerfuls of it on her back to ease her stuffiness, massaging her with comforting, circular motions.
After a while, she leans back against me drowsily, yawning.
"Sorry," she tries to say through the yawn. "I'm lousy company, aren't I?"
"Shushhhh..." I kiss her on the back of her neck, "you really need some sleep. Just let me fix your bed first, and give you a little cough medicine before you settle down."
I prop her up on a mountain of cushions and pillows so she can breathe a little easier, making sure there's one pillow supporting her neck and one curving comfortingly into the small of her back. Then I straighten the sheets, pick up her duvet from the floor and tuck her in securely. She's about to doze off, but something's stopping her. From the way she's rubbing her nose, I think it's probably a stuck sneeze, but it's obviously not coming yet, so I measure out a plastic spoonful of cough syrup for her.
She makes a face like a fractious child, but then obediently opens her mouth, accepts the spoon and swallows.
"That," she says, hoarsely, "tastes like shit."
Her black eyes, which usually sparkle wickedly, seem dim and confused as she sniffles, then rubs her nose with the back of her hand as her face contorts. She holds up a hand, giving me her usual "I'm going to sneeze" sign as she struggles with the long buildup.
"Sorry, C...my nose feels...tickly...I...I-"
She braces herself, hands over her nose, but then her face clears entirely.
"I was going to sneeze!"
Joanne takes an experimental breath, and then falls back against the pillows, laughing at herself. "Damn!"
"Don't you just hate that?" I say, as I fill her a glass of water and dissolve two aspirins in it.
While I prepare the drink, Joanne plays with her nose, rubbing it again and again with her eyes squeezed tightly shut, breathing raggedly to simulate a build-up, as if trying to convince herself into a big, satisfying sneeze. Once or twice a glazed look fills her eyes, which, by now are copiously watering. When this look comes over her face, she turns her head, stares into the strong bedside light and then, knowing that it's not going to come out and unable to stand it any more, shakes her head violently as if she could get rid of the tickle that way, and goes reluctantly back to nose-rubbing, which clearly makes the tickle worse.
"Honey?" I ask, my throat dry from watching this performance. "This is going to bring your temperature down a little. Are you going to drink it?"
"Yeah, but I think I might have to sneeze," she whispers, her voice a little choked as she rubs her nose, "and I know if I start drinking that it's going to come...so I might as well." She accepts the aspirin solution, giving me a weak smile. "Thank you, C. This is all just so sweet of you."
She drinks it slowly, sipping as though it's alcoholic, with dignity and intense concentration. Every time she usually has coffee, juice or Coke she always gulps it greedily, but I know she has mild paranoia about any kind of medicine, even non-prescription.
Having finished the glass, she scrunches her nose, and then gives a soft snort, rubbing her nostrils hard.
I look at her with what I hope is sympathy. "You look like you're going to sneeze, honey..."
She nods frantically and rubs her nose furiously, making an irritated, sneezy face. Her dark eyes blink rapidly, her lips twitch and her nostrils begin flaring noticeably.
"Please, hon, can you..." Joanne's nostrils quiver and her lower lip pouts as she concentrates on containing the growing explosion in her nose, holding a finger beneath her nostrils, "hand me a tissue?"
I frantically unwrap the box, knowing that her built-up sneezes are not only explosive, but spectacularly messy.
She holds it for an impossibly long time. Her nose wrinkles as I break the seal on the lid.
I offer her the box and she snatches a tissue from it just in time.
A torrential blast explodes from her nose, drenching the tissue, and before she can reach for a fresh one her face screws up again,
I quickly, audaciously, pull two tissues from the Kleenex box and hold them to her trembling, twitching nostrils.
"Breathe," I say gently. "I can tell you're still holding one in."
"Hi...hi'm trying to...hode this back...it's too...haaaahh..."
She obediently inhales, and then her head snaps forward with a great, "Ahhhh- AHHH- AAASSHHOOO!" soaking the tissues, and my hand. She sniffs. "uhhhh...bless be..."
I calmly reach for a tissue too, this time to wipe my hand with. "Bless you indeed."
She looks down at my rather damp fingers, and her hand goes to her mouth. "God, C! I'b so sorry!"
"Don't apologise, love. You really needed that, didn't you?"
"Yeah, but I did't deed to cover your had id sdot,' she says stuffily.
"I think I'll live, sweetheart."
She rubs her nose, which is running thickly. "Cad I have adother dissue? I deed to blow by dose like, right dow..."
"Of course, poor baby..." Involuntarily, I reach up to wipe her nose and upper lip for her.
Suddenly, Counsellor Johnson is staring coldly at me. "C," she snaps, her words still stuffy but icily measured, "I think I'b quite capable of blowig by owd dose, thak you."
I drop the tissues. "Yeah. Yeah, of course...sorry..."
Subdued, I can't help but look at her as she reaches for a fresh Kleenex, and notice a great change in her expression.
Joanne looks sad, frustrated and ill, just as she did when I first walked in. She's the picture of misery, her huge black eyes damp and feverish, her lips quivering a little- no longer the Counsellor but a tired and tearful girl.
I know I have to be very careful. Vulnerable butches are difficult creatures to deal with, not least because I find them unbelievably sexy... I know it would be a nice if we weren't in the same room right now, but we are, and even though I don't feel like it, I'm the stronger one.
I give her a few moments to compose herself, turning away and fussing with the contents of my bag, tidying up the chaos at her bedside. I move busily about the room, pouring a glass of juice, placing the other box of tissues within easy reach on one side, piling her books on the table with their titles facing her, arranging papers and pens so she can use them when she's feeling a little better, lining up the water, lozenges and cough syrup so that she can reach them if she happens to get a tickle in her throat.
After much honking and snuffling, I know it's all right to turn round. She gives me a watery smile.
"Thank you, C. I don't know what I'd do without you. You'll make someone a lovely wife someday, you know that?"
I perch on the bed next to Joanne, gently stroking her arm with the flat of her my hand- she seems too groggy and miserable to pull away. Then I tenderly test her forehead, first stroking it gently and then actually trying to gauge the temperature, which sears my palm.
"Oh, honey, you're burning up!"
"I know." She rubs her eyes. "You'd better leave me alone. I'm a crabby bitch and I must be boring you to death...but I really do feel awful."
As if to prove it, she quickly cups her hands over her nose, a look of concentration on her face. Her eyes half-closed, she takes in a deep breath and freezes for a moment, eyes tearing, before she lets out a full, wet, unrestrained sneeze. "HahhTSSHHOOO!"
She looks at me, shaken and dizzy, her eyes watering. "'Scuse me..."
"Oh, bless you, honey." I put my arm affectionately around her shoulder, and she's feeling so weak and vulnerable that she doesn't push me away- in fact, she snuggles into me and lets me stroke her wildly messy plaits back into place.
Joanne smiles sleepily at me, and kisses me on the cheek.
"What was that for?" I ask.
She shrugs, and then says quietly, "You know, I was dreading this."
"Well... I thought I was..." Joanne stares up at the ceiling. "You know me... and I know perfectly well I'm uptight, reserved... I can't actually handle being overwhelmed by anything, not even a stupid little cold." She flushes even more heavily as she explains, "C, whether or not you believe it, I always try like crazy to stifle my sneezes. You must know I hate not being in control, I hate losing it- especially in front of you- and I thought I'd hate being fussed over. But I don't." She looks back at me and smiles sheepishly. "I love it."
I lie next to her and put my arms around her, feeling a long sigh escape from somewhere deep inside her as she rests her head against my neck. She feels wonderful, soft and deliciously curvy, only the thin silk of her pyjamas separating me from her intense, feverish warmth.
"Well, darling, anything you want. Chicken soup, backrubs, any form of TLC, I'm more than happy to oblige..." I notice a sudden, convulsive flaring of her nostrils, and, pretending I didn't see it, calmly add, "And as for the rest, I don't mind... sleep as much as you can, and whenever your nose feels tickly, just go for it."
Joanne sniffles, smiling. "Honey, you have no idea how glad I am to hear that right now."
She nods, wriggling her nose slightly. "Just a little tickle... sort of a... huh... ahh... a follow-up..."
I reach in the box by her bed for a generous wad of Kleenex and offer it to her. "Need to blow?"
She considers for a long moment and then shakes her head.
"Makes it worse. I... I just..." her face screws up dramatically, "Ihhhh..."
She gives me the most beautiful smile in creation as I hold the tissues to her twitching nose. I know this is a bold move, and I do it tentatively, eyebrows raising in a way which leaves my face open to questions, to rejection.
There is a slight change in Joanne's calm expression, but it's directed at the sensations in her nose, not me. "C, I'm sorry..." she says, her voice drawn tight, "but this is going to be..." her breath hitches involuntarily, "a little slow."
For a moment I see Helen's face beneath my outspread fingers instead of Joanne's- her slightly agonised pre-sneeze look is definitely coupled with a teasing smile, with wide, accepting eyes.
It seems almost as if she's flirting with me.
I calmly wipe the wetness from her nose, knowing I must be tickling, as she scrunches her face up in protest.
"That's not a problem. We've got all afternoon."
"We have, haven't we?" she says, and smiles.
I swallow hard, knowing that her fever must be making her bolder than usual, wondering if I'm actually seeing what I think I am- the Counsellor actually playing the elaborate and precarious game of sneeze-tease. If I kept a diary, I'd definitely suspect that she'd been reading it.
I stroke her cheek gently. "How's the tickle?"
"ahhh...ahhahhhh..." half exclamations, half gasps, rise like bubbles from her lips. "...it's building..."
Then her face freezes, and after a moment she exhales a soft, frustrated moan. "Damn!"
"Not exactly...gone." Joanne's nose wrinkles dramatically. "There, just... not about to come out."
I put my arms around her, and she doesn't resist, obviously in need of a little comfort. We lie there together, silent, for a few minutes, listening to the soup simmering and the old jazz-hits album playing in the kitchen.
Joanne sniffs and screws her face up, clearly resisting the urge to rub her nose in her usual manner even though her face has taken on an almost cartoonish "I'm going to sneeze," expression.
"How are you feeling, babe?"
Her voice is stretched thin and tight. "This is driving me crazy! It's getting worse, but..." she pauses, sniffing at the air expectantly, and sighs deeply.
I wonder what she'd think if she knew that terrible tickle in her nose, the one she s trying valiantly to quench, is making me so wet I can't stand it. Even with her stuffy, snuffly nose I'm sure Joanne can smell the dark, fleshy spoiled-spice scent which rises from me as though I'm a baking delicacy. I cuddle her tightly for a moment, and her face convulses suddenly and intensely, the sneeze almost- but not quite- exploding right out of her.
"What was that?"
She looks at me, dazed, forehead furrowing as though trying to work out the answer to a puzzle, and then moves closer to me, so close that I can feel her warm, lightly hitching breaths on my neck. "I don't know! Something really made me think I was going to sneeze for a minute there-ohhh!"
Her face contorts again, her body seizes up against mine, and this time it takes longer to ease before she can speak. She rolls away from me a little and stares back up at the ceiling, concentrating, but nothing happens.
As she looks back at me, her bleary, watery eyes suddenly widen beautifully. She grins as she leans over and takes a good sniff at my neck, which has an immediate effect on her nose.
I feel the intense build-up starting to course through her. Joanne's incredible breasts- unrestrained by anything but the thin, tight-stretched silk of her pj's- heave against my arm, which, even though it doesn't actually lead to the explosive climax of one of the Counsellor's tremendous sneezes, is almost enough to loosen the last thread of control I have which is presently stopping me from tearing her pyjamas off. As she's usually armoured in denim, leather, or the stiffly-knitted wool of her heavy suits, her almost-nakedness beneath the slippery red silk is too much for me.
Raising her head, she gives me an extremely watery smile.
"Damn! I think it's your perfume."
Experimentally, she sniffs again, the damp tip of her nose brushing my neck softly.
"Ohhh..." she inhales, then sniffs heavily, wetly, and I feel her luxuriant lashes fluttering against my skin. "That's it all right. I... I... I'm gonna-aahhh-"
She recoils from me, hands over her nose, facing the window... but nothing happens, and she turns back to me, eyes streaming.
"Damn, that was so close!"
"You shouldn't have pulled back like that."
She rolls her eyes. "Please, what were my options? I think having your patient sneeze all over you is above and beyond the call of duty."
I pretend to consider this. "Mmm. Well, blow your nose, or it's not going to work at all."
Joanne obeys, huge incredulous eyes staring at me over the damp knot of tissue. She applies none of her usual restraint, and the nose-blow is so heavy and wet that I feel my already soaked and swollen cunt respond uncontrollably, muscles knotting involuntarily and discharging yet more wetness.
She puts the tissue down and looks quizzically at me, eyes more unfocused than ever, then convulsively rubs her nose again.
"You shouldn't do that, honey."
A heavy sniff. "Can't help it," she sulks, congested and miserable.
"Oh, poor you. Is your nose still tickling?"
Joanne nods violently. "Like crazy. I told you that blowing my nose would make it worse. Always does."
"Come here, then."
She cuddles up to me again, and I feel her taking in a tentative sniff at my neck.
"Oh, so you are going to sneeze all over me?"
She looks up at me, embarrassed, as her face contorts. "I...I'm trying not to..."
"I think it'll probably be strongest here..." I indicate the soft area under my ear, where I usually apply most of my perfume.
Joanne experimentally sniffs at that spot, and makes a soft, slightly agonised, drawn-out noise in response.
"Tha...that's it..." she sniffs again convulsively, her body stiffening and tensing as she waits. "C-" she warns me, " I'm really gonna blow!- Aaah- are you sure about this?"
"Positive. Is it really working, though?"
Of course it is- I can actually feel her nose twitching against my neck. I just want her to try to talk, to drop her guard, to finally let loose. Joanne's slowly escalating build-up enhances, exaggerates my own almost-painful arousal.
She nods violently, incapable of speech for a few minutes. "Ihhhh... hhit tickles..." she whispers, after a while, her voice breathy and trembling.
"I really think I'm gonna... sneehhh.... ahhhhh.... sneeze-aaAAAHHTSHHOOO!"
Prodigious amounts of spray land softly on my neck, as she tenses and recoils again, the dam of her self-control having burst completely. Joanne's whole body shivers against mine. I feel her tense and relax over and over throughout the fit, her immense, heavy breasts shaking violently against my bare arm with each sneeze, turning me on incredibly.
I'm torn- I want her to sneeze, and I desperately want her to stop. I don't know how long I can stand this kind of closeness.
"AhhhhCHSHHHOO!" she explodes again, the spray falling on me again and gently teasing the soft flesh of my neck.
Her nose, sensitive and ticklish from her cold, protests the onslaught of my perfume as she takes another reflexive breath in.
"Ahhh! AhhhhSHEEOOOO!...uhh..." Joanne makes a soft moaning sound as she feels another irresistible, uprising sneeze coming on, and has no choice but to let it come. "Ohhh..." Her head rears back, "ahhhhhSHOOO!"
We lie so close that her own release and pleasure courses through my body, coming to rest in the very centre of myself in a warm, undeniable, knot of desire which has to be dealt with.
As Joanne lets out her final, "ahhh ahhhhhHHSSHOOO!" I acknowledge just how soon this need of mine has to be relieved, but no matter how much I want to run to the bathroom and bury my fingers as deep as is humanly possible in my cunt, I can't seem to leave her.
Joanne lets out a voluptuous sigh of relief as she falls luxuriously back on her pillows. "Ohhh... bless me..." she murmurs, looking so satisfied I can't help but smile.
"I take it that felt good, sweetheart?"
Joanne's eyes are still ecstatically closed- she looks ridiculously post-orgasmic, which frustrates me further. "You have no idea."
I reach for some more tissues and hold them to her nose. She complies with remarkably little resistance, relaxing on the pillows as she expels a long, powerful, unselfconscious blow, so heavy and intense that warm wetness seeps through to my fingers. I gently wipe her nose, and although her eyes are closed as though blocking me out, I can actually feel her relaxing- she's enjoying this.
When she's finished, she smiles up at me. "I wonder what Helen would say if she could see you like this."
"I don't think she'd be that surprised."
Joanne touches my cheek. "I'm not, either."
"Ohh..." I start up from the pillows, grinning mischievously at her. "Oh, so you knew I was a soft touch all along, did you?"
"Well, that, and..." she smiles back at me, "a few other things."
I swallow with difficulty. "Like?"
"You know that 'sphinx without a secret,' thing that Scott always says about you?"
"Well," Joanne says deliberately, though her dark eyes shine with an uncontrolled wickedness, "that's not strictly true, is it?"
"What do you mean?"
Joanne smiles. "Simply that we've all got our secrets. Even you. For instance-" she pauses teasingly, "I don't even know what your name is."
I breathe easily again. "That's it?"
"I think it's quite important," she says, nettled. "But I suppose it's not quite as relevant as, shall we say, the matter at hand?"
I groan. "All right, who told you?"
"Holly. She was in the street outside Abraxas last night. I suppose she went in afterwards... she'd just broken up with Jamie, and she was clearly caned out of her mind. She realised I had a cold, and started laughing her ass off. Asked if you'd been paying me a little more attention than usual. It didn't take much to get the rest out of her."
"How do you..." I shrug. "How do you feel about it?"
Ironically, she surveys the meds on the night table. "Somewhat flattered. But also...I don't know. Mainly, I felt sad."
"What were you sad about, honey?"
"Oh, Jesus, C," she snaps. "I'm sad because it's obviously the only reason you fucking like me."
I've never heard her say the F word. All I can do is shake my head.
"Oh, come on." She looks away from me, out of the window. "Monday was the first time you've ever shown any interest in even being around me. I was so happy I tried to kiss you, and you weren't having any of it... shit, I should've known something was up."
There are tears in her eyes. I feel hopelessly inadequate. I don't even know if she's right or not.
"Is that it?" she demands. "You've just been hovering around me in the hope that I'll sneeze?"
I had no idea I was going to say that, but it comes out anyway.
"Forgive me for not believing you."
"Forgive you?" I mimic her viciously. "If you don't mind, I'll do no such thing. What am I to you, anyway? All you ever treat me like is a stupid slut. What are you so upset about? Do I matter at all to you?"
"You think I'm gonna tell you that?"
"No, that would be pretty insane, wouldn't it?" I hiss.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you're ridiculously repressed for someone who has nothing to be repressed about."
"Nothing? And that includes you? You're nothing, are you?"
"You know I am. Forget this. All of it. I'm not... I keep telling you, you don't want me. I'm not worth it."
"You're not even going to let me work that out for myself?"
I gasp, feeling the unexpected pressure of her hard, lovely fingers, cupping the sodden denim-contoured curve of my cunt.
"Fuck that," she says in a voice which isn't hers- too thick, too primal. "You don't have to let me."
I want to jump from the bed, run as far as I can, but the temptation of her long, thick fingers at my soaking, swollen pussy is too much for me to resist.
"You're not going to move," Joanne says, her voice tight and sweet with joy. "You can't, can you?"
"I've made you all wet, haven't I? Damn, C. Do you know how wet you are?"
Struggling to keep my breathing level, feeling a rush of heat to my clitoris, I shake my head dumbly.
"I think you do." She touches my clit with the lightest press of her thumb, feeling how hard it is. "I think I've been torturing you all day. I think my sneezes made you so horny that I can do anything I like to you now."
With queasy irony, I realise that this is the first time I've ever been dominated.
And I love it. I fucking love it.
In response, I move, and position myself on her knees, staring directly and hungrily into her eyes. She grins at me. "Well, that was quick. I wonder why..."
I remain silent.
"What were you doing while I was asleep?" she asks, teasing. "You weren't, by any chance, getting off in the bathroom?"
I shake my head. "No." It's true. I'm too aroused to be able to fabricate a lie.
"You sure you weren't playing with your pussy? I bet you can make yourself come in a moment. All that practice."
"Catholic girls," I tell her sternly, "aren't supposed to masturbate."
Joanne's rich, doped-up blues-singer's laugh shatters her butch top pose for a moment. It's true. I never play on my own. For fuck's sake, I never have to.
"Well," she says sternly, reapplying her thumb at my clit in horribly slow circles, "You should have."
"Because you've been storing it up all day, honey, haven't you?" she purrs. "You must feel like you're about to explode. You should have jerked off before you came in here. I don't think it would've taken much. You should have rubbed your hand as hard as you could against your cunt-"
I groan. I can't help it. There's an intense ache there that refuses to slacken, an ache which her teasing fingertips are building in me by the second. Just a fraction harder, and they could release it- but just as I think that, her touch stops being insistent, fades out to feather-light, and I feel my clit swelling and hardening in response to this terrible frustration.
"-then you wouldn't want to be fucked so badly. You wouldn't want it so bad that you'd end up in bed with me. Boring Ms. Johnson. Counsellor. You don't want me."
"I do..." I whisper. "I do."
Joanne smiles sadistically as fresh wetness rushes warmly through the yielding, tissue-thin denim, dampening her fingers.
"Is that for me?" she asks harshly, applying the most delicious pressure on the cleft of my labia. "Your beautiful, wet pussy...is that for me?"
"You know..." I shudder, feeling distinctly out-of-reality, unable to believe that the Counsellor is eulogising my pouring-wet cunt. "You know, Joanne." I never call her by her name. Still toying with me, she only half-registers that I have.
"No, I don't. Is it for me? Do I turn you on? Or is it just my cold?"
"I can't tell."
Her eyebrows raise as she toys idly with me. "I believe that."
"I don't give a fuck what you believe."
She laughs triumphantly, if a little shakily. "Now I know how to get you to be honest."
I give a shivery laugh. "What, stick your fucking fingers in me? You're gonna do that every time you want the truth?"
"Just this time." Joanne rubs back and forth, back and forth, the muffling of the denim between her fingers and my wetness torturing me. "Besides, my fucking fingers aren't in you, are they?"
I shake my head, trying to grind against her fingers, but she withdraws entirely and smiles at me teasingly.
"But you'd like them to be."
I nod, feeling like there's no moisture left in my eyes, my throat- it's all where I want her long, eloquent fingers to be. I want- I need- her to penetrate me, to fuck me so hard I scream and cry.
Something strange has happened to my labia. Even in my hottest nights with Anna, they were turned-in and delicately moist, but now they've turned outwards, like an opening flower, raw and swollen in the cool air, so slick they feel like I'm running oil.
Her teasing is driving me crazy. She moves me to pain with the waiting and I try to rub against her fingers to relieve the harsh, dry mouthed ache and itch in me.
"C, for the famed seductress you're meant to be-" with a rush of relief I can't articulate, I feel her fingers at the heavy metal studs that fasten my jeans, "you really should know that you take your pants off first." She smiles, as she gets another accidental-on-purpose handful of soaking denim pussy. "You're so wet I can even feel you now." She touches me lightly at the wide, spread-open cleft of my cunt. "Almost."
I wriggle out of my jeans and she whips off my vest with one sudden upward movement. I'm wearing nothing else. I kneel there, straddling her knees, bare and unquestioning though I can feel myself shaking with the most primal of desires.
But all she can do is stare at me. In spite of her filthy mouth, she can't keep up the bitch act for long. Her eyes are tender and hungry, making her look naked although she's fully clothed- most self-styled butch tops do tend to cling to their clothes during sex.
Fuck that. If there's a time to remove those pyjamas, it's now.
I begin to unbutton the top and she shivers. I try not to let on that I notice, although something particularly un-hardcore in my head tells me not to let her get chilled.
Not much chance of that, anyway.
I may act the frothy, flouncy flirt but I'm pretty determined. Besides, she's still staring at me like she's still a ten-year-old baby dyke getting her first eyeful of Daddy's Playboys. Not that I'm centrefold material, but I do have my better features, and she's presently dividing her straining attention between the Top Three of them.
I try to be as soft and romantic as possible as my fingers make their first direct contact with Joanne's breasts. Delicately, gently, no-sudden-movements- I know how to undress hard-acting butch girls- I undo the Chinese-style buttons on her red silk pyjama shirt and, still looking hypnotised, she straightens up from the pillows like an obedient child as I delicately remove it, giving her a well-done kiss on the neck.
Then we both stare at each other. My God, but it takes a lot of "bored dominatrix" practice- even more than I've had, to be honest with you- to keep up the act while looking at breasts like hers. That fifties-schoolboy slang word rises into my head like a bubble. Melons. Watermelons. I cup them in my hands, feeling their intense heat.
Her tongue moistens her full, dark lips as she stares, leaving behind a sheen on the soft flesh and I make the same gesture in half-conscious response. I'm still so wet and open that the tiniest touch could get me off, but to say the least, my attention is elsewhere. I stroke her breasts, marvelling at their glorious softness and weight, whispering to her in an under-my-breath litany about how beautiful she is, until I finally feel her relaxing. I sketch slow, loving kisses down her collarbones and breastbone, lick the flesh of her breasts, take her nipples, one by one, into my mouth, starting a slow, teasing lick and then sucking hard as a baby, only half-registering the choked noises she's trying not to make as I joyfully register the heavy, rich scent of her own creamy goodness through that tissue-thin red silk at her cunt.
Her fingers, toying with the roots of my hair, shake as I gently bite her nipples, but she knows the longer she delays the bolder I'm going to get, so she lands a sharp slap on my ass.
I trace a teasing little finger down the silk-covered cleft of her labia.
"My God, that's hot. You want to lose those pants? They're driving me crazy."
I slip them off, with a little reluctant help from her, and stare at her pussylips- a darker shade than the usual cinnamon colour of her skin, tender-looking and slightly distended. They look so soft and thick, so biteable, that I immediately shift down the bed for some lip-to-lip contact, smelling the pungent spice of her sweetness.
A soft-looking patina of white wetness coats the darkness of her lips, and I move to lick it off.
No. Too much, too soon. Joanne actually hauls me up, and the power in her muscles makes me think twice about moving too fast.
"Let's take it slow," she says soothingly.
"I don't want to take it slow."
"Oh?" she asks so casually that she might be discussing ice-cream flavours with me at de Rokerij. "What do you want?"
"I want you to fuck me, you teasing bitch."
She touches my throbbing clit lightly with her fingers and I shiver.
"Just relax," she tells me.
"Lie on me, then, and pretend."
I sink down onto her obediently, intoxicated by the softness, the almost creamy texture of her flesh, the dusty-feeling pillow of her belly, the intense, pungent warmth beneath the spring of her bush.
I lick her. I run my thirsty tongue around the dark country of her body and her moans roll under me, subterranean, as we rock back and forth, my cunt pressed to hers, all four sets of lips kissing.
Shit, this woman is beautiful. I wonder why nothing about her nakedness surprises me, and think perhaps I've imagined her body before, at some other split-second of orgasm, or held it in me at night between the sweaty sheets. I don't remember thinking of her like this, naked, powerful, feeling big, solid and wonderful as a Henry Moore sculpture beneath me, so how can I want to tell her this is how I always imagined it would be?
Joanne slips her knee between my thighs and rocks me gently back and forth, smiling serenely at my heat and openness as I ride her, slide her, slick licks of cunt-juice beading the flesh of her thigh.
Her body moves under me, warm and generous, undulating, like waves holding me up. For a terrible minute I feel tears in my eyes, my throat. Something is wrong. We've hardly touched each other, and already this is something more than a casual fuck. A quick skating glance at her face lets me know she understands this too. Like one of my mother's religious icons, Joanne keeps her eyes on the ceiling, but when she looks back at my face the tenderness in her eyes chokes me.
"All right," she says, agreeing to something I don't have the voice to ask, and starts to touch me. Heaven and hell mixed, a cocktail so rich I think I'm going to gag, but all I do is moan from the bed of my dry throat.
Within seconds I begin to spasm against her fingers, but she takes them away and, without meaning to, I almost start whimpering. Then I realise she isn't being sadistic- that even if she has firm control over me, her cold is controlling her. The rounded tip of her nose is twitching, the flesh of her breasts shaking and shimmying as she tries to hold back, but she's overwhelmed.
"Are you all right, sweetheart?"
She sniffs and screws her face up. "My nose- huhhh...ihh-iss tickling-"
"Go for it."
She glares at me and I grin back. Poor darling, trying so hard to be big and butch... well, I do have a little weakness for the unscripted, unfortunately for her.
She sniffs again, wet and deep, then starts that soft, desperate, primal breathing that almost tips me over the edge. "Hehhhh-huhehhhh-huh!-huuhhh-huhISSSSSHHHHOO!... uhhh..."
I take advantage of this beautiful momentary lapse to sink down slowly onto her belly, deliberately forcing the weight of my wet cunt onto her bare flesh.
I straddle her, and she feels the thin layer of my sex-oil soak into her parched skin.
"No-" she gasps, but I just laugh. "Jesus, have you forgotten who you're fucking here, Counsellor?"
Anger darkens her face. "Believe me, I hadn't. Are you as good as they all say?"
"I don't know. Why don't you have a look?" I raise myself up on my knees. "You've been going on about my pussy..." I grind my ass on her pelvis, legs splayed like an unselfconscious child's, body tilted back, showing her the whorls of my cunt. "Is it as pretty as you thought it was going to be?"
She gazes into the concentric beauty of it, as though trying to study where one of those Escher infinity paintings begins and ends. She nods, helplessly.
"And have you thought about it?" I tease, knowing just how close to the bone I'm getting. "I mean, even you, Ms. Johnson, must get horny from time to time. You'll never mean to, but I'm sure you do. You must get bored at work sometimes. You must want this."
She stares at me, expressionless.
"Well," I tell her, "you can have it now."
And I lower myself onto her face.
Unsurprisingly, she's speechless. I brush my lips and the hood of my clit over her forehead, her eyelids, her nose- which twitches temptingly- before softly coming to rest on her damp, half-open mouth.
She gives me a tentative but comprehensive one-over with her tongue, tasting my come-slicked lips.
"Not like that. Suck me."
Her mouth is shockingly voracious, huge and hungry, her tongue tensed hard, entering me quick and lashing as an angry snake. I feel the heat of an orgasm flush into me, so I keep questioning her- if I came now, it would all be over.
"What do I taste like?"
As I lever myself up so she can answer, Joanne smiles.
I smile back at her and notice, to my delight, that her face is starting to change, ripples of unease distorting its beauty.
The sneeze, huge though it is, only mists my open lips further, but I can feel its force even in that delicate kiss of spray. Slowly but surely, I lower myself back down onto her mouth and rock, waiting for the next tickle to take its course. I don't have to wait long.
She sneezes right in me, a short, wet, muffled, snuffly sneeze- "HahSCCHHH!"
The sheer force of it shakes me to the core.
It's like nothing I've ever felt. Before I can recover she sneezes again, more forcefully.
The wetness of the sneeze explodes right inside me, mingling with my own as the eruption shakes and moistens my slick, fat, heavy lips.
"Bless you," I say cheekily, but unable to keep a tremor out of my voice. I wonder why she's suddenly started sneezing so much, so uncontrollably- it could be just her cold, but... Oh God. The perfume!
The perfume I sprayed on my bush last night at Helen's because she wanted to see how Holly's little gift to me worked.
The perfume that Holly tested out in the Shark before she gave it to me- on Joanne, no less.
The perfume which works- if there is such a thing- rather too well.
Joanne shifts her head slightly and snatches a breath, her nose just touching my soft hair, and as I greedily watch her ,the breath quickly hitches into a series of gulping gasps.
I don't have to tell her what to do. Struggling though she is, she takes my soft wetness in her mouth.
"Huh- huHUHhuh- hahhhISSSSSSHHHHewwww!"
It's more defined, this one, and even more successful, the flare of her nostrils directly exploding onto my clit, her mouth reflexively embracing my labia in a thick, sucking kiss.
I grin down at her mischievously, raising myself a little on my knees. "Something getting up your nose?"
I feel her breaths come against me, cooling me, as she pants, trying to hold back. "You know something is."
"Oh, this?" I rub myself against her face, the disobedient little tendrils of my perfume-scented pubic hair brushing her nose abrasively. At first they merely tickle the outside of her damp nostrils, a tantalising, featherlike pressure, but the perfume's still strong and the damage is most definitely done- her whole body strains with the urge to erupt.
I rock forward, my hair filling her wide nostrils, penetrating to their sensitive core.
"HUH-" she gasps dramatically. "Huh! Huh-TSSSSCHHH!" the release of the sneeze muffled in my still-rocking cunt.
Her sneezes have a note of desperation and urgency I can't resist.
She explodes as I rock back and forth, again and again. Spray moistens my already damp hair and lips with a delicious tickliness, cooling my dark, insistent heat. Joanne sniffs and I can feel the suction on my own skin, pressed wonderfully close, the twitches of the tip of her nose against my hyper-sensitive clitoris making me shiver.
"Huhhh... huhhhh... huhHHEEEISHHHOOO!"
In the brief respite she has she tongues up my wetness, penetrating me painfully hard- she's not entirely comfortable in such a submissive pose, which makes it all the more wonderful for me.
Still, she doesn't move, and carries on sniffing and sniffling at my perfume-soaked hair, trying to work up the tickles which already irritate her nose. She wants me on her face even though she's suffering for it, letting out tremendous, forceful wet sneezes, sniffing back the perfume with her runny nose, our mingled moistness salting her mouth, easing my sliding, velvet-smooth rocking against her tongue which licks hungrily at me whenever she's not controlled by the teasing nudge of the perfume.
Then her tongue slacks off, her breath comes, warm and urgent, against my labia, heavier and stronger, rising from what feels like a deeper part of her each time.
Shorter and more urgent, the breaths, more desperate-
"huh- huh! huhh-huhhhh-hah-hah-hah-HAAAH-"
And then the explosion, defined and wet, making me shudder and shake.
Wetly, she sniffs at me, and before the perfume can cause another sneeze she says, tightly and strained,
"You smell like-"
Then her face clears. She stares up at me, shocked. Stalemate.
"You evil little bitch, C."
"What?" I ask innocently.
"The Shark," she says distinctly, if rather incoherently. "That fucking perfume of Holly's. And she told me last night what it was... it was for you, wasn't it?"
"Who else?" I smile down at her. "You're not going to punish me?"
"No," she says, and I almost moan, as I know that's the worst punishment of all. "I'm not into that shit."
Then she roughly grabs my cunt.
"But I am gonna fuck you till you cry."
She makes me lose it, and I make her lose it.
Mine. She's mine. The perspiration breaking out on her forehead, misting her breasts, running in sweet, sweaty rivers down her belly to her cunt, the blood pounding in her ears- my ears?- like walls of water, like the wind, for me, all for me. I feel stoned. Words bursting like bubbles in my head, a string of thick, inadequate, badly linked school-reader words.
This woman is my woman and I am hers.
As if she hears it too, we fuck to that rhythm. No longer cool and chilly, her mouth grabs frantically for my cunt, her tongue lashing my clit as her powerful fingers squeeze my ass, the tender, swaying motions of her tongue becoming thrusts as she makes hungry, childlike noises in her throat- and just before I'm going to explode she pushes me away.
"Is this for me?" she demands hoarsely. "Do you want me?"
Without waiting for an answer, she fucks me harder.
I moan and cry and rock against her, grabbing the empty air and then steadying myself, hands clasped around the bedposts, until I'm coming, a violent, harsh orgasm which shatters whatever lies I have left, and I scream and scream without knowing what I'm screaming-
"You, you, you...I want you..."