I don’t think I noticed when the train stopped. The long roll through the green-grey bush, the sudden break into the rolling plains of the wheatbelt, the big, bright, dark-blue skies and that deceptive, brutal sun; all had conspired to lull me into a rumbling doze, massaged by the steady, rhythmic clack of the track below the wheels.
Maybe in the haze and daze of the journey, the hypnotic shimmer of air-warping heat above blond-burned stubbles, I had been dimly aware of the slow deceleration and eventual halt of the train. But my drowsiness could not rouse my interest enough to take note. Until I heard the vacuum swish of the door, the clump of sturdy boots in the passage and the slump of a body in a seat across and behind me.
I think I thought the train was at a station – one of those small, solitary platforms – really no more than small, raised dais – at which you can only join or leave the train if you have booked well in advance. I registered through somnolent eyes the stretch of the wheatbelt away from my window to a solitary ghostly tree on the horizon. I registered a similar view out of the opposite window, turned, craning my neck in the search for a sign announcing our station, our platform.
But the shimmer of expanse stretched away in all directions. It was at that point that I turned to see who had joined us, out here in the desolation of paddocks.
He was looking out of the window, battered hat perched back on his head, its brim drip-dipped down as if melting. Wise, green eyes stared into the distance, a dark brown fist supporting the bristle on his chin, the sharp, inquisitive nose. Patience. Kindness. Those were the first impressions.
He turned to me, a long, magnificent finger rolling out from his fist to brush the molten brim.
“I’m sorry to disturb you, ma’am” Well-spoken. Sincere in eye and tone. A small smile. Sad eyes.
I mumbled something about how he had not disturbed me at all. Turned back to to look out of the window.
A long, low diesel hum, pitched low enough to lull the senses, even enough – no sound of acceleration, no preliminary clank or whoosh of brakes, or jolt of carriage – just a low, vibrant murmur through the still, sultry atmosphere, adrift in the expanse of that hot, still afternoon.
We stayed there. I had a vision, as if I was soaring high, of our small train, still in its glimmer-glare surrounds, a solid metal block among the fragile, crackling stubbles and occasional spindle-branched tree. We did not move.
I turned back to the latest passenger. He was still gazing out of the window, lost in thought, it seemed.
I was about to turn back, having thought better of my question, when he answered me.
“It did stop for me. I came from over the hill. Waited til it came. It always comes. It always stops for me.” He turned, those eyes surveying me as if gauging my reaction. Weighing me up. His gaze flickered, I’m sure, to my lips, when I smiled.
“Not a bad service…” I smiled back at him, noted, again, the quick flit of his gaze. “Are we waiting for someone else? Am I going to see someone galloping over the hill toward us?”
A long, deep, genuine chuckle. “A posse, maybe!” A warm smile. A cheeky twinkle in those eyes.
Those eyes. A beautiful deep but definite green. Alive. He held my gaze.
“Or a highwayman..” I don’t know why I said that. There was something infectious, perhaps, about his laugh, the imagination, the humour.
“Stand and deliver, fair maid!” A hand extended as if threatening me with a sword.
“O sir! You do frighten a poor maid so. I beg ‘e, have mercy upon me and my frailties!”
“I’m a highwayman!” He laughed. “Debonnaire and gallant as I ply my trade. Show me your baubles!”
An outrageous flirt. I knew it at the time. And I welcomed it, although I don’t know why: the ridiculousness, the spontaneity. That silly thing when you recognise that his humour – that he – appeals – to you and you want to know more.
“O sir! But you do sport with me so. I have nothing to give you”
“Maybe – but a couple of hours of your company might soften a vagabond such as I. May I?”
The question was accompanied by raised eyebrows and a languid gesture toward the seat across the aisle from me.
And he played it – played me – beautifully. Interested in me yet dropping pearls of information about himself; asking my opinions, my likes and dislikes but always light, bright. An occasional quip, an expression stating more than words. A touch on my arm. And I liked it. Very much. The flirting, the steady, natural game he played. His lips, the lower one, as if pondering whether to purse or not, protruded ever so slightly below the upper, giving an impression of a grin barely suppressed. But when he smiled, they pulled together then parted to reveal even white teeth. I even liked the tiny beads of sweat which rested like dew among the light stubble. It hinted at something beyond the humour, the connection – an intensity, perhaps, something pure and inalienable, unstoppable. Like the sweat on a stallion.
He caught me watching his lips, fascinated by the elasticity involved in his word formation, the way they puckered and stretched so smoothly and effortlessly, soft yet exaggerated in their movements.
I know I blushed. I know he knew he had caught me. I brushed an imaginary strand of hair behind an ear. Something to do. A distraction. I looked out of the window.
“No sign of the posse?”
“No…” I smiled, turned to him. “It seems no one is coming to rescue me..”
I loved the malleability, the softness with which his lips brushed mine: inquisitive, searching for a welcoming response, yet firm and determined as his tongue peeled its way into my mouth. I loved his hand firm on my back, supporting me yet preventing me from falling away from his eagerness.
And I loved his hand coming up to brush my cheek, affection, tenderness, care as his lips softened mine, softened me and I gulped him in, pulling him to me. And I was lost.
A delicious urgency, that’s what I recall. An unstoppable gentle momentum geared solely to impart a passion which I felt had been withheld for so long. There was none of the frantic flurry of a man lost in desire, but a steady, deliberate seduction of my senses: steadfast, irrefusable, sensuous and erotic.
Determined hands slid under my blouse, smoothed the skin on my sides, fingers, stretched across my stomach, the hint of one near my hip before my skin prickled under light pressure as he moved toward my breast, cupping it over my bra, thumb lazily rubbing above my nipple until he could feel its hardness straining to his touch.
His lips worked away from mine, kisses on my cheek, pulling at skin by my jaw, beneath my ear, my earlobe, my neck, which I exposed for him as delectable strands shivered down to my breasts, across my stomach to my thighs.
I loved the feel of his muscular back under his shirt, the ripple as his arm moved to guide his hands across my body, the flow of him as he moved to kiss my throat, my chest, the shallow start to my cleavage, where I felt the slick of sweat run under his tongue.
“Mmmm. Salty.” he murmured. “Beautiful”
And he crashed back to my lips so I could taste my saltiness for myself, mixed on his tongue and lips.
He pulled away, that smile, large-pupilled eyes gazing down at me, the puckering lip almost smiling. Fingers, buttons eased through their holes, a fidgeting release of my bra. His mouth on my breasts, taking each into his mouth, my nipples hard like nuts in the warmth and swirl of his mouth, the slow rock of his hips as he moved between my thighs.
My hands resting on his hips plucked at his waistband. A well of anticipation, wet desire and hunger was rising in me, a shrill chill pooling below my waist exacerbated by the streaks shooting through me from the exotic tease of my breasts.
A fumble at the button. The rip of the zipper. Working my hands in to smooth buttocks, edging elastic over. Down. Moving my hand round until I could feel his weight, his firmness. Feeling him lengthen and swell yet more to my touch, my admiring stroke along his shaft and down to cup heavy, heaving sack, tracing a finger through soft skin and back to encircle him again.
A groaning sigh as he stood, cock twitching-proud, to bend, fumble at my skirt, peel my panties away, sink back to me. I look back now and wish we had the time to explore more, for me to take him, to taste him in my mouth, for him to have used those soft, pliant lips between my legs, to have felt him delve his tongue into my heat, to have melted to the tug of my swollen lips between his. To have felt his tongue swirl and stab at that sweet spot. But at that moment, we wanted to immerse ourselves in each other.
And I loved the way he fell into me, the weight of him, his masculinity, the crush of his chest on my breasts and the rough, soothing comfort of his hips between my thighs as I stretched to take him in to me. I loved the firm, sultry penetration, the sense of being filled by an intensity of beautiful muscle and sinew, of blood and bone stretching me, of my clutching, clenching response as he reached my depths, of the quavering whimper which wriggled up through me to tremble out of my mouth as he kissed me, drank me, a hand on the back of my neck to smash me to him, another soothing a breast and its puckered nipple.
I felt him heave into me, groaning in his struggle to drive deeper, felt myself raise my hips, swing my legs back to take him, to feel more of him sliding inside me, to welcome the polished creaminess of his smooth slide, to feel the sleek slipperiness of our bodies smearing together in the humidity and warmth of the cabin.
And I loved the exquisite detail of him, detectable because I was so open to him: the gorgeous elegance of his stroke coming to rest briefly against me, the hard bone grazing my clit, the feel under my reaching fingers of his tight-clustered balls, swollen, I fancied, clinging to the base of his plunging cock.
And I knew he would come when he raised himself off me, agony written on his face as he braced himself on his forearms, the sweat streaking his cheeks, his chest sleek and glistening above me as his buttocks moved beneath my heels, now locked on his undulations. And as he paused and cried and pushed into me I reached up and brought him to me, to my mouth, into my arms to feel him shudder, throb and gush into me, his whole body freezing at each racking, cramping spurt.
It was the slowing down, the return of the sensuous, long stroke, still intense, unbeaten by the climax, the sense that, despite all being given, he wanted to give more, He was still large inside me: I could feel the graze of his balls brush my buttocks, felt the sticky trickle of his spill, still wanted him – in me – to shatter me. And so I rose and fell to his easy stroke, absorbed him, felt myself gulp him and squeeze him, holding him in me until a low sweeping trembling rolled over me and he held me and kissed me as I shook and shuddered around him and under him.
Later, after we had exchanged uncertain looks, shaken by what we had unleashed, after we had rearranged ourselves, the train moved. I was in the dunny when I heard the engine power from idle to effort, heard the whoosh and puff of brakes released, the creak and shriek of wheels gaining traction.
And he had gone.
After a few minutes, when I judged he should definitely have returned from the bathroom, I walked through the carriages looking for him. I overcame some shyness to ask the attendant if he had seen my lover, described the hat, the stubble. Was astounded when he told me:
“Ma’am. I’m not sure what you mean. If he didn’t get on at the last station, he didn’t get on at all. We don’t stop for people waiting by the side of the tracks anymore. Haven’t done for years”
I checked the disembarking passengers at each station where we stopped, waited longer when we got to Perth.
I never did see him again.
May 15 1899
“When I came over the hill, broke from my cover by the eucalyptus, the train slowed and stopped as I knew it would. There was a lady in my carriage. I admired her, would have liked to have courted her, perhaps married her.
I didn’t think the police would be waiting for me in Merredin. I thought I’d got away. Well I didn’t, did I? I should of got off the train at one of the pissy stations, but I liked her, see? I liked being with her, laughing with her. And she liked me. If I had known I would of got off the train. Or maybe made love to her if I’d known the police would come on board after me.
Can you try and find that girl? Tell her what I felt. Tell her I’m sorry.
I don’t know what will happen in the afterlife, but if I can, I’m gonna try come back and find her. I will.
I gotta finish now. It’s nearly nine o’clock and they’ll come for me soon.
I’m sorry for what I did, for the pain I cau….”
© DeviantWriters 2018