Still torpid through my heavy slumbers, I had great difficulty in waking up. Yet it must have been already late, judging by the indiscreet insistence of the light on my eye-brows. With closed eyes, I let myself be lulled by the monotonous sound of a shower, pattering on the foliage of the chestnut-trees. My thoughts were still scattered,ravelled out, — similar to the light clouds stretched out, far far above in the morning sky; and my vision of Therese was still reduced to the vague recollection of a happy event, with which Fate had recently gratified me.
Then followed a sensation of chilliness. The coverlet must have slipped off the bed. Mechanically I sought to draw it over me, but a hand stopped me and woke me up completely. Enveloped in her dressinggown, Therese was stretched flat on her stomach across the bed, with her face on a level with my haunches, and her eyes fixed on my body.
Doubtless she had intentionally denuded me, for the sheet was only partially raised and uncovered me with a most precise indecency.
Therese appeared to disapprove of my awakening; she looked upon it as premature, and when I became obstinate she said:
“Come now, darling. Pretend to be still asleep, just to please me.”
I wanted to be obedient to her; I wanted to defer the awakening of my desire, without fear of confessing to a loving woman the frail humility of my dormant Phallus. But the immaterial touch of her look already disturbed me, — that look which travelled over my flesh and lovingly took in all its details. Intractable to my will, my sex began to elongate under the tenderly amused eyes centred upon it, — and its throbbing, at first hesitative, soon quickened. Then, suddenly, — and at the same moment Therese was provoked to laughter, — it stood erect. Somewhat timorously she started back, letting her head fall on my bosom. I could see nothing more than her half-undone hair; but I could divine that her eyes were still fixed on my penis. And soon she returned to it. Her cheek, gliding along my body, already grazed my stomach with a prolonged caress. And suddenly, through the indescribably sweet contact of that warm caress enveloping the extreme nudity of my flesh, I was thrilled.
It was an intense yet only too brief sensation of voluptuousness, an involuntary movement having detached me from it. Yet I did not dare to provoke its renewal. So, seeking a diversion, I raised Therese’s dressing-gown, uncovering the slender curve of her legs and the adorable profile of her buttocks. There was not the suspicion of a refusal on her part; nor did she react when my hand strayed between her legs and reached her most secret spot. But, as though in response to my provocation, the already experienced warm caress once more enveloped my own flesh.
Meanwhile, under the hypertension of my sex, I became aware of the imperious appeal of an approaching spasm. Suddenly becoming more lucid, I sensed the danger of an unpardonable profanation: one that nothing could have excused. So, with a sudden movement, I detached myself from my wife’s excessively voluptuous tenderness, to throw myself upon her, with my face buried in the shady crossroads where her garden bloomed.
Did she realize the cause of my anguish? What matter! In a few days all thoughts passing between us would be clarified. However, I did not wish to let her fear that she herself had caused me pain. And in order to calm her possible disquietude I amused myself, with the tip of my tongue, in exploring all the nooks and corners of her flesh. This game, against which she defended herself by pressing her legs together, distracted us from the paroxysm of our desire; and soon Therese began to laugh, tickled by my incursions and amused by the resistance she succeeded in opposing to them. I feigned fatigue; whereupon her muscles relaxed; and before she had time to collect her wits, I separated with both hands the double rotundity of her buttocks and clove them with a mighty and indiscreet lick… Quickly turning away-and all the same somewhat annoyed-she drove me off; but she soon returned, laughingly, and raised a threatening finger, with the words:
“You are the limit! First of all, hide yourself under the sheets. You are far too improper.”
“Whose fault is that? I was sleeping very soberly this morning…”
For a few moments we quarrelled: each seeking to absolve herself or himself from all responsibility. Therese called me “Bluebeard” and a “woman-eater”; while I stigmatised her gluttony, — that of an ogress, who lies in wait for children at their awakening. To put an end to the dispute, we took refuge in our respective bathrooms.
The rain-storm that morning barely cooled the atmosphere, so by tacit consent we remained in the very simple attire of our dressing-gowns.
Having sent the gardener for provisions, we found our food in the pantry turning-box and had a gay little luncheon. Afterwards, we spent the greater part of the afternoon on a sofa in the drawing-room, Therese reading verses to me, hap-hazard, from an anthology. I listened to her; but, deaf to her protests, I had partly opened her dressing-gown, so as to lay my cheek against the delicate whiteness of her stomach.
She again protested, but without further convincing me when, at dinner-time, I took her on my knees; for, opening my garment and raising hers, I wanted her buttocks to rest in direct contact with my thighs. However, I respected the condition of apparent indecency which, as a last resource, she insisted on laying down, — chastely I drew down her dressing-gown over our dual nudity. And during the whole of the dinner we pretended to ignore the persistent swelling of my sex under the delicious weight of her loins.
Before the door of what was “her” room I no longer proposed, as on the previous day, to separate. However, Therese expressed a wish that we should be “very good”. The day’s programme appeared, indeed, honourable, our morning’s frolics having been prolonged beyond noon, and the remainder of the day having been only relatively chaste. But as soon as the light was switched off, our bodies-still thirsting for tenderness-sought for each other. Night becoming our accomplice, our bodies were enlaced in the maddest manner; innumerable caresses were alternated with hands, mouths, and flesh.
The total obscurity-humouring her modesty- let loose in Therese’s imagination a perfect tornado of erotism. There and then I foresaw in her an inventive mistress who, after many years of married life, would continue to renew and diversify our pleasure. I gave myself wholly up to her fancies, — fancies sometimes naive, rarely clumsy, more often most precise in their sensual intuition. But I avoided all contact (of however slight a duration) between my flesh and hers. The very persistence which Therese displayed in provoking such contacts and binding me to them put me on my guard against their inevitable evolution. Fatally and of common accord, they would have ended in total possession”. Now, this appeared to me to be still premature.
Why I should have had a difficulty in explaining. Was it a desire to prolong the disturbing charm of that virginity of hers? A yearning after those hours of initiation, the end of which would be marred by the act of possession? Hesitation to cause suffering to an already overbeloved flesh? Perhaps… Certainly and above all a fear that, through a brutal action, I might spoil a memorable date in our fleshly history. For that was indeed the very first day on which our bodies, having completed their reciprocal discoveries, were at last able to surrender themselves, without restraint, to a complete orgy of caresses… My most ardent wish was that the recollection of that day should remain impregnated with voluptuous tenderness, in a most unique manner, and without that discordant note which an act of violence, even accepted, would have produced.
Whether my reasons were sound or unsound, Therese accepted them.
Moreover, we knew instinctively that that night marked the extreme possibility of our expectations; on the morrow our dual desire would result in the union of our bodies, willy nilly. Filled with more confidence by the very certainty of that abdication, now so near, we dared to commit a piece of supreme imprudence. In the middle of the night, Therese, with legs apart, offered me her full-blown nudity; and with the moist extremity of my sex- though I stiffened my will against the temptation to penetrate her violently-I touched her sex ever so lightly. At first very slowly, my caress soon became more persistent, more rapid; then entered on the path of that supreme voluptuousness with which my whole body was vibrating. A cry came from Therese’s lips, — “Have me!” but on her palpitating stomach I had already offered a sacrifice to my lust. Therese brought her hand down, eager to retain that ephemeral pledge of our love; and soon, with our legs still entwined, we both fell sound asleep.