Break out the popcorn and the chocolate! You’ve just joined the party for the second half of a double feature! The first half is over on the Brit Babes’ Blog today, so don’t miss out on the first half of Cultivation!
I’m celebrating the Brit Babes’ fabulous new anthology, Sexy Just Got Rich with a double dose of vintage K D Grace. Sometimes older stories are the inspiration for newer ones, and sometimes a romp back down memory lane gives us writers a chance to see how we’ve grown. That has happened with Cultivation, which is actually one of my very first published stories, one that I can easily use as a mile-marker in my growth as a writer, but one that I loved enough and, in which I found enough inspiration to use as a jumping-off point for my contribution for the Sexy Just Got Rich anthology – Buying the Farm.
Today I want to share with you how an old vintage story can inspire a new one, a more complete one by giving you THE WHOE THING! I said a double feature, and I meant it. While the first half of Cultivation is over on the Brit Babes’ blog TODAY, the conclusion of it is here on mine, so grab the popcorn and settle in for the second half. If you’ve not read the beginning yet, follow the links right on over the the Brit Babes’ blog and part I of Cultivation. If you’ve already done that, then enjoy the climax!
Afterwards be sure to check out the buy links and the blurb for the totally delicious Brit Babes’ anthology, Sexy Just Got Rich to see what Cultivation inspired, and to read totally sizzling stories by all eight of the Brit Babes. In the meantime, enjoy the read! And don’t forget to support our Thunderclap!
Cultivation Part Two
Apollo kneeling before her, Apollo healing her. The room seemed suddenly out of focus. She closed her eyes, fighting back tears.
“Are you all right,” he lifted a cool hand to her forehead. “It is pretty warm out today. You should lie down a minute.” He eased her back onto the bed. “Shall I get you some water?”
She shook her head. “I’m okay. It’s just strange being home, knowing I’ll never go back to St. Louis, knowing that … nothing will ever be the same.”
“I know,” she felt a tear slide out from under her closed lid. “But just for a little while can’t we keep things the way they are?” She scooted over and patted the bed next to her.
He hesitated briefly, then lay down cautiously. She snuggled in close to him and laid her head on his chest, breathing in the earthy scent of him, feeling his heart race as she slipped an arm around him.
“I’m dirty,” he said.
“So am I.” She ran a hand down his chest and brought it to rest low on his belly, feeling his breath catch and his stomach muscles tighten. “I watched you masturbate last night.” For some reason telling him seemed such a natural thing.
“You weren’t embarrassed?”
He smiled, “I was aroused.”
She held her breath. “Did you know –”
“That you were aroused too? Yes, I knew.”
There were a thousand questions she wanted to ask him, but the silence was so companionable.
Slowly, cautiously, he exhaled, then he enfolded her in his arms close to his heart beat.
And Apollo was chasing Daphne through the woods, so close that at times his hands brushed her skin, but even as his touch burned her with desire, she fled on, protecting her innocence. She felt his breath on the back of her neck, like a hot summer wind. Her nipples ached for the touch of his hand, and between her legs there was a swelling of need, a longing for secrets only he could teach her, if she’d only let him touch her there, if she’d only let him take her. But her innocence. Her innocence…
Cassie woke with a start, still lying in Simon’s arms.
“Are you all right? You fell asleep and I didn’t have the heart to wake you.”
“Apollo was chasing me.”
He smoothed the hair away from her face. “Did you turn into a tree?”
“Not yet.” That he knew the story somehow touched her, and once again she fought tears. “But I’m afraid I will any moment, and then I’ll feel nothing ever again.”
There was a knock on the door and they jumped apart. Simon stood quickly and straightened his clothes. “Yes?”
“Dinner’s ready.” It was Cassie’s father. “Have you seen Cassie?
“She’s here.” He shot her a quick glance. “We’re dressing a blister.”
“Well, hurry up. Joanie can be unpleasant if dinner gets cold.”
The next day Simon went to the fields early, and Cassie worked in the garden alone, thinking of Simon, thinking of Deke, thinking of Apollo and Daphne. She was walking in the woods that evening when Deke arrived. He wore his best jeans and smelled of deodorant soap. Under the edge of his John Deer cap, his hair was still wet from the shower. “Your dad said you’d be down here hiding in the trees.”
“The pileated woodpeckers are excavating a new nest,” she said. “There’ll be chicks soon.” For a moment they stood listening to the resonant drumming.
“I need to live here, Deke,” she blurted, as the woodpecker drummed again. “Your parents have your brother and sister close by. My dad has only me. We agreed we’d live here, remember?”
“Is that what’s been eating you?” He pulled her into a bear hug. “Hell, Cass, there’s plenty of room at home for your dad too if he wants. But if he doesn’t,” he added quickly, “we can live here. It’d probably be better actually. There’s so much that needs doing on your dad’s place. He hasn’t been able to take care of it like he should since his heart attack.”
She felt her hackles rise again. “We’ve managed.”
He gave her a peck on the forehead and mussed her hair. “Oh sure, you got by, but look at this scrub here? How many acres of good farmland is just going to waste because he never got around to clearing it.”
Cassie pushed him away. “This scrub is old growth forest, Deke. It was here when the first Fieldings homesteaded, and it’ll be here when I’m dead and buried beneath it.”
He chuckled softly and tried to pull her back to him. “Things change, Cass, and you might just find when we have a couple of kids to clothe and educate that a few extra acres of farmland will do us a whole lot more good than all that bullshit you learned at college.”
She stepped back and squared her shoulders, feeling her gut clench. “I stay and the trees stay and you go. Now.”
He heaved a sigh and scratched his head under his cap. “Cass, listen to me, you’ll see my point in time and –”
“I said go.”
For a moment he stood staring at her as though he were waiting for her to change her mind. Then he shrugged, turned on his heels, and walked back through the trees.
Cassie felt like her chest would burst from anger and from all the feelings she had no words for. She wiped furiously at her eyes. Was he really so obtuse that he didn’t understand what mattered to her, or did he simply not care? Did he not see there were things that, once set in motion, could never be undone?
She wasn’t sure how long she stood beneath the hickory tree feeling paralyzed, feeling trapped, watching the shadows move across the leaf mold and disappear, whishing she could do the same. After what seemed like an eternity, she looked up to see Simon standing next to her.
“It’ll be dark soon.” He shuffled from foot to foot suddenly embarrassed. “Your father said you’d be all right. He says you know these woods like the back of your hand.” He stepped closer. “But I thought… I thought maybe you might need someone — ”
She didn’t give him time to finish. Instead, she lifted her arms around his neck and pulled him to her, finding his mouth warm and yielding, responsive in ways that sent tremors down her belly and into her groin.
Gently, he pulled away. “We should go.”
“No!” She pulled him back to her. “Don’t leave me like this.” She tugged his tee shirt from his trousers and shoved it up to caress his pectoral muscles, feeling them tighten beneath her touch. “Give me what I need, Simon. I may never have another opportunity.”
His large hands cupped her breasts, and he slid his thumbs over her taut nipples before he caressed the curves of her hips and the roundness of her bottom. “There are always opportunities,” he whispered against the hollow of her throat. Everything in her ached as he paused to drag the shirt off over his head and drop it onto the ground.
“It’s not really change I fear, Simon. It’s that things will stay the same forever.” The tears started again.
“The choice is yours. It’s always yours.” He brought his hands to rest on her shoulders, then shoved aside the straps of her tank top and bra, pushing everything down until her breasts were mounded, nearly toppling from her clothing. Then he traced the path along her collarbones and down her chest, lifting her breasts free from the constraining garments into his kneading hands. She watched through a faceting of tears as he took each nipple in turn, suckling as much of her fullness into her mouth as he could, then circling the stippling of her areole, with feather strokes of his tongue.”
“Oh God,” she cried out. “I want… I want so much.”
“Then have it. Have it all. No one’s keeping it from you.” He knelt in front of her, working his way down the flat of her stomach, pushing and shoving her clothing out of the way, tasting the salt of her sweat, nipping the goose flesh of the sensitive path down to her navel. There he nuzzled beneath the waste band of her cut-offs, fumbling with the fly until he had freed a path over the curls of her pubis. His hands slid over her hips, easing the shorts down, cupping, caressing, fingers finding pathways and crevices thickening and moist.
“I don’t know what to do,” she gasped.
“Yes you do. You’ve always known.” He slipped one leg out of her shorts and lifted it until her foot rested on his shoulder, then he trailed kisses from the swell of her calf up the inside of her thigh until his mouth met his fingers. For a second he knelt before her pouting vulva, fingers still fondling and stroking, holding her open to his hungry gaze. Then he released a sigh and the warmth of his breath sent shivers over her pussy and up her belly.
She whimpered softly at the lavings of his tongue — cautious at first, almost shy in its exploration. Then he grew bold, tongue darting, teeth nipping, lips suckling until his face glistened in the growing dusk with the sheen of her pleasure, and her legs gave way as she came.
He caught her. Making a nest in the leaf litter with his tee shirt, he lowered her onto the ground. She was still writhing as though she did not belong to herself, but to a possessing spirit who lived only for pleasure.
She watched in fascination as he lowered his jeans, releasing his erection, the tip moist with beading pre come. From his pocket, he took a condom and carefully slid it onto his cock, then he offered her a shy smile.
She opened her legs and lifted her hips, guiding him into her dilated pussy until he filled her and stretched her almost, but not quite to the point of pain. And when she so full of him there was no room for even a thought that wasn’t of him, he began to thrust and rock and rub, carefully at first, creating exquisite friction against the exposed node of her clitoris until it thrummed like a high tension wire.
The veins in his neck bulged as he gained speed and power, thrusting faster and harder. Then he gathered her still closer, his hands cupping her ass, pressing her to him, pushing still deeper until she was sure he would split her in two, and yet the thought of him stopping was unbearable.
And suddenly Daphne stood still. With the catch of her breath, she turned on tiptoes and lifted her arms to Apollo, who enfolded her to his heart and entered her, expanding her to take into herself the universe and everything in it.
The woods echoed with the cries of pleasure.
When Cassie returned from the woods, still pulling leaf litter from her hair, Deke was watching television and sipping coffee with her father. She nodded to her dad, then turned her attention to Deke. “We need to talk.”
He sat the cup down hard enough to splash coffee. “You got that right.” He followed her onto the front porch and plopped into the lawn chair balancing it on its back legs. “I’m listening.”
“I can’t marry you, Deke.” Her bluntness surprised even her.
“What?” The chair dropped back onto all fours, and Deke grasped the arms as though he feared being catapulted out. “Just because of a little disagreement? Surely we can work this out.”
“No we can’t. We’re just too different in too many ways. I’m sorry.”
“We weren’t that different till you went off to St. Louis.” He stood and moved toward her, but she stepped back. “I waited for you, Cass. All these years, me wanting a family, and you off in college.” He spat the words as though they were vile.
“You’ll find someone else. Lots of woman would happily give you a family.” She paced the porch, gathering her thoughts. “But I’m not the one. Fielding Farm is my home, and I’ll farm it how I see fit, college bullshit and all.”
“You’ll regret this, Cass, and when you do, I may not be around to take you back.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
He shoved past her and down the steps.
Her father joined her on the porch just in time to see the gravel spin beneath the tires of Deke’s pickup. “You sent him packing?”
For a long moment, they stood in silence watching the sunset over the tender green of the young corn field across the road.
She nodded again.
“Took you long enough.”
She shot him a look of surprise. “But I thought –”
“I’m not so old I don’t remember what love looks like, Cassie, and that wasn’t it.”
Cassie’s laugh came out more like a sob, but before she could find words, he waved her away. “You’re making me miss the news, so off with you, down to the porch swing to plan the newer greener version of Fielding Farm.” He snapped his fingers and offered her a mischievous smile. “Almost forgot, you’ll have to share it with Simon now, but I reckon neither one of you’ll mind that too much.” He kissed her cheek and went inside.
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