-05- A Small Comfort

Thalica, a widowed woman, single mother, and kind benefactor who gave me food and a place to stay temporarily along with a small wage in exchange for helping her with her bread making, is currently being held in my arms as we both are seated unsteadily on the floor. Her body is pressed against my own, and while I’m certainly feeling elated from what was a soft and pleasant kiss, I’m unsure of the next step I should take.

Her head is buried in my shoulder, and I think right now she may feel the same as I do. She’s afraid to look me in the eyes right now. Yet her body doesn’t push away from me, and she hasn’t asked me to stop stroking her soft and silky hair.

Try as I might, not a single memory that I have offers me any insight on what to do here. Because there’s not a single memory that I have of ever being in such a situation like this with a woman before, let alone a woman of such plain beauty as this widow, Mrs. Thalica.

“Mrs. Thalica… I admit to not… knowing what to do here.”

An arm slid up and over my shoulder opposite where her head rested. Her hand carefully slid behind my head and her fingers, spread, combed lightly through my dark brown hair.


“Yes, ma’am?”

“I will apologize in full later for my lack of manners, but for now will you just stay silent?  I… would trust you to endure being a gentleman a little while longer.”

I bobbed my head slightly to affirm, not saying another word. Her head lifted from my shoulder slightly and I could feel the wind brush off my skin as her nose, close to the nape of my neck drew my scent. It was followed by the soft and warm purchase of her lips upon my collar bone, and the hand of hers which freely dove through my hair pushed my head from behind and drove my cheek lightly into the top of her head.

I did the same, brushing her shoulder-length dull copper hair aside from her cheek to catch gently around her ear. Her cheeks were pale but rosy, a small number of freckles to gaze upon my reward for what, I do not know.

I was asked not to speak, but the question foremost on my mind was a simple one.

Mrs. Thalica, do you miss your husband?

It would be foolish to ask such a thing, which is perhaps why she asked me to remain silent, and gentlemanly. She had been widowed for five years now, certainly the absence of the man she loved and whose children she bore had left a long-lasting absence in her heart. I don’t dare think that someone like me would ever have the capacity to fill that void, but if a moment like this was something she needed, then I was at her disposal.

I found no distress in letting her do as she pleased with me. She was the only one who cared if I lived or died, and so if she wished to use me for a moment of comfort, she was free to do so as she pleased.

Perhaps enduring such a situation as a gentleman was beyond my abilities at this moment. My own lips pressed against the silky soft hair atop her head and I too inhaled her sweet scent.

Her lips, moving to my neck parted ever so slightly that I could feel her desire as she took from me what she wished. Her body shifted so that she sat upon my lap, and a hand soon came between my eyes and the world. Dim threads of light which now adorned the darkness of sight I was bestowed with, her lips met my own, this time parting them, allowing me to taste a flavor not once in my life had I ever the privilege to before. If I were not already with my back to the wall, I surely would have toppled over with Mrs. Thalica atop my body.

I wasn’t confident in my ability, but a gentleman is not rude, and so I met taste for taste as our tongues lightly danced with each other. A serene moment that was both timeless and over far too quickly resulted in my vision being restored, and two perfect sapphire eyes looking deep inside me, scouring for the answer to a question she seemed determined to reveal.

There would be no revelation however.

Only Mrs. Thalica and I, with my arm around her midsection and now tracing with the back of my hand, up a single wet streak which had fallen down the left side of her cheek from the corner of her eye.


“That is the name you have given me.” I replied, breaking the silence of me she had requested.

Her vibrant blue eyes reflected only confusion, visible to me who had no worldly experience with women or intimacy. As if caught in an illusion, she asked me to call her name.

“Mrs. Thalica.” I replied in kind.

“Tally.  Once more, won’t you call me Tally?”

I had never in my recollection called her such a thing, and I knew that if I did this, I would be violating something which I absolutely mustn’t.

“You are a beautiful and strong woman, Mrs. Thalica.  But that name is not something my lips are worthy enough to have pass through, I would sully it, and the memory to which it is attributed.”

As if cold water was poured upon her brow, my words shattered the illusion she was under and the endearing look that should have only been for her deceased husband to see, shrank away, to be replaced by the common and somewhat stern face she usually wore.

After a momentary pause, she lowered her gaze.

“It… seems I have troubled you.”

“You’ve done nothing of the sort.  How fortunate am I to receive your affection for having done nothing but be a burden?  I simply do not wish to deceive you with a precious word that does not belong to me.”

A light sniffle.

“Perhaps I made a mistake asking you to endure.”

I shook my head as I stroked her hair gently.

“It was not a mistake. It is manners alone that separates men from beasts.  And though a gentleman, within all men lay dormant a beast, who will tear the world asunder for what they desire.”

She giggled, lightening the mood a bit. “Is it only men who have a beast within?”

“Aside from the obvious tail we men wish to wag in front of a woman we desire, I have no doubts women have their own inner beast they must too wrestle, with much greater effort as well.”

She turned around, but remained seated in my lap. “Gar… may I have your hand?”

I extended it out, and she took it, bringing it to her lips and kissing each one of my fingertips. Then she brought it lower and my hand was placed upon a clothed bosom.

“Will you allow me this much comfort for a while? The beast you speak of within that I wrestle against… in your arms it feels tame. The children are gone, and I would rather they not know their mother can behave in such a manner.”

“Are you sure you wish to present such a moment of vulnerability to me, Mrs. Thalica? I cannot guarantee that you will have no regrets.”

She chortled. “I have spent every day of the last five years and more filled with regret. Right now, all I am asking for is a moment of comfort.”

“Then, if it is only a moment of comfort you wish for, that much I can provide.”

My hands fell to her midsection and I wrapped my arms around her body, pulling her body closer to my own in a warm embrace. I began to kiss and suck on her neck, daring to mark my benefactor in an unbecoming way for a virtuous widow. Her hands reached up for either side of my head and she awkwardly touched my ears at first on her way to my hair, which she grabbed fistfuls of, pulling me further into her neck where I, in a momentary loss of control, bit hard upon.

She gasped audibly, at the same time calling out the name she had given me casually.

“Mmmnnnhh~! Gar…”

My hands, ungentlemanly as they could be, traced up her body––erotic, hidden under only a dirty frock. No unmentionables came further between my touch and hers, she sighed deeply in pleasure as she drunk the comfort she asked of me.

I kept things as chaste as I might, and we spent the late afternoon into the evening in each other’s embrace. She could still say she was virtuous, it was but a moment of loneliness she showed to me, and she lay in my arms, on the cool floor, her head against my chest and her hand pawing at my chest.

My fingers twirled her locks of copper, and our warmth intermingled, but only our warmth.

“Feeling hungry at all?” She asked me cutely.

“I could stand to eat.” I replied, being a person used to three meals a day at a minimum.

She giggled, mirthfully.

We got up and she took me by the hand into the kitchen. I stood behind her and like one, I guided her hands into making more sandwiches, slicing the bread, spreading the mayonnaise, and scooping the egg salad by hand which I then licked clean from her fingers.

We stood as we ate, feeding each other slices. Her blue eyes enchanting me further into seduction, whether intentional or not. If I were asked at that moment how I felt, I would say I was more than interested in her as a woman, but I was the one being led, not the one leading.

When our meal was done, the rest of the egg salad resting heavy in our bellies, I washed the dishes as the sun set, and waited for her to bid me good night.

Rather than that happening, I received an offer to warm her bed.

“I must decline, Mrs. Thalica.  That alone I must decline, even if you ask.”

The face she wore was not one of disappointment, I would come to understand.  It was one of determination. She went upstairs and returned shortly after with the bedding I had been using for the last two nights.

“Good night, Gardavan.”

“Good night, Mrs. Thalica.”

I spread out the bedding and lay down. My own desires had risen and fallen throughout the late afternoon, and though calm now, I wondered if what I had done was truly okay.

It was certainly a questionable action for a gentleman. I had dozed off a short while after settling into the cool space on the floor near a corner far from either of the two windows on the first floor of the bakery-residence.

There was a small jolt and then a feeling, soft as a pillow which had disarmed me as I lightly slumbered.

I became conscious at some point in the night, and found that Mrs. Thalica had come downstairs, along with a second bedding cover, and joined me while I slept. Her breathing was rhythmic and mellow, lulling my own self back to sleep. I put my arm protectively over her body, and pulled her into my chest.

Was this the fragility of a woman, which I knew nothing about?  The thing which provokes a man to wish to be better, to have the power to care and protect something?

It was a feeling I never had the chance to experience before.

I… wanted to hold her forever. I wanted to steal a kiss from her lips again. I… wanted to be improper. I wanted her to call me Gar again, and I wanted… to call her Tally.

So I did.

She would never hear it. Being fast asleep it would be fine to expose my own moment of weakness, wouldn’t it?

“May you have a peaceful dream, Tally, my angel sent from heaven.”