Antoine heard his mother’s call to him.
‘You will ring your uncle and tell him that you’ll take the holiday job, won’t you?’
‘I have done so already!’ he said on going to the top of the stairs and meeting her look upon him. His choice of career, in accountancy, would see him start a new full-time job in Bordeaux in two months’ time, and after the insanely long summer holidays all workers took in France. He would be joining their ranks soon.
‘Good,’ she smiled up at him. ‘You’ve done so well…made your father and I very proud of you.’
Elise smiled at her first born; a handsome young man who was studious; who could count his friends on the fingers of one hand and who had yet to be involved with any girl on a steady basis. He never spoke of what played out in that part of his life.
His uncle, Louis Durand, her brother, was an opinionated but clever man; easy with his biting wit or critical voice. He would either be of help to Antoine or push him into his shell. Worldliness was not yet a part of her son’s character set, even at twenty-four years of age.
At least there would be a counterpoint to Louis’ ways. His wife, Margaux, was a homelier and kindly sort; had said goodbye to her son and daughter, and they now worked here, in Paris. For her to have a young man in the house would soften the blow of not having one of her offspring working in their father’s wine business. She’d not heard the precise reason for Antoine choosing to go to Bordeaux but she would learn of it in time, no doubt.
‘Well, I’ll see you later!’ Elise called out.
‘That’s fine, mother. I’m meeting up with some people from Uni for lunch…then I’m buying some clothes for my work. Uncle Louis said that I’d get variety…but it also means attending to chores at their place…to ‘offset’ the cost of me living there…’
‘Trust him!’ Elise said on a flare of anger, as she came back into view. ‘You’re not earning so much that you could afford to pay board and lodging as well!’
‘Don’t fret, mother. I know Uncle Louis from the last time I was there.’
He would say nothing of how Margaux had mediated between him and Louis two years ago; nor disclose the bond that had developed between them. It might even become stronger now that his older cousins were no longer about.
Margaux met him at the station; her nervy, wondering look soon dispelled by the kisses to her cheeks that Antoine offered; the clutch of her hands to his shirt letting him know what it meant to have him by her side once more.
‘It’s been so long since I saw that look in your eyes upon me…’ she smiled, her lips trembling as she gazed at him.
‘The last six months have been agony for me too…but I had to make it through the exams. I called…to let you know where my thoughts were.’
‘It’s not the same…’
They rushed to the city centre car park; fell upon each other and exchanged fiery and deepening kisses. They had thought to end it but the drug had become too strong to give up.
‘I stayed true to you…’
‘I would have understood if you hadn’t.’ She looked across the space between them as Margaux started the car. ‘I had to do what your uncle asked of me, darling…’ She leant across to kiss him; felt Antoine’s hand stroke the soft skin on the inside of her thigh, before it moved to press soft flesh under her summer dress. ‘Don’t…not yet. You know what happens when you do that to me…’
Antoine nodded. He sat back and looked out of the window at the city skyline, every time Margaux negotiated a twist in the ramp leading down to the exit.
He took to remembering how it had begun…
In that summer, two years ago, he had been invited, along with his parents, to spend a few days in the home of Louis and Margaux. That stay turned from a few days into weeks. He worked as an odd-job guy; swept out the buildings where the wine presses were housed and any other work that Louis, or the foreman, instructed him to attend to. The pay was lousy, but it all helped, and what was there to spend it on anyway?
Itinerant workers were company and they’d hang out at the end of the day and play games. Most of them were hooked up and into each other. There was no one spare for him to take up with.
The hard physical work toned him; shaped and firmed his body, and he wasn’t cooped up all day in some office; looking out of the window and wondering what was going on outside.
Aunt Margaux wasn’t seen about much during the day as she had her work in the vineyard’s office. She was a buyer of the bottles and corks; saw to the printing of labels and the rest of it. There were occasions when bahis firmaları he would see her in the garden, the sun in her auburn hair; she’d be wearing a pair of shorts that flattered her slender legs; a cotton cami- top revealing the firmness of pert breasts and toned, tanned, arms. On other occasions, he would glimpse her by the swimming pool as he tended to the grass cutting; but as the summer days grew longer, and hotter, the need for that lessened.
The sight of her, at times, made him regret that there were no girls, or young women, amongst the group of workers to distract him from aberrant thoughts…of him going with her; all thoughts of Margaux being his aunt dispelled by the sight of a vibrant woman in her bikini, sunning herself by the pool; what that aroused in him and found expression in his shorts.
At supper they would talk of inconsequential things, with Louis directing proceedings whenever guests were around, or came to stay. Then, her attention would be diverted away from him and she would offer soft words of apology that they had no time to themselves; a concern that he had not heard Margaux express before.
To wake in the course of the night, and to find that he had been dreaming of her had its own destructive effects upon him, until Louis announced that he had been called away to some EU event or other; a conference that meant he would be gone for two, maybe three days.
He exulted at the news; could not believe what he was hearing when Louis said that he would rely on him to help Margaux in every way necessary, in administrative tasks, while he was gone.
‘Really?’ he had blurted out. ‘Are you sure?’
‘I wouldn’t have asked it of you…told you how it’s to be! You are doing a business degree aren’t you…know about taking orders and processing accounts and money claims from suppliers?’
‘Then you’ll learn a whole lot more from Margaux. Now, stop doubting yourself and get to work!’
He remembered meeting Margaux’s soft smile and thinking how he would be able to endure being in the house alone with her; knowing that he lusted after her; that a teenager’s crush had evolved into an emotion so much deeper; what her summer clothes modestly, but surely, revealed to his gaze; the effect that she had on him and that might now find full expression.
‘What you’ve produced here is very interesting,’ Margaux told him late in the morning of his second day at work in the cramped admin offices set at one end of the cool storage and bottling area. ‘I’m not good at spreadsheets, but this way of recording and showing production figures against bottled output is a new view…a fresh, younger man’s look.’ She had touched the back of his chair and leant closer, brushed her fingers over the skin of his neck. ‘Shall we go and have some lunch…like the others are doing now?’
The staff knew the score; that a nephew was gaining work experience. They had all been told by Louis to answer questions about the business, but not to treat him as if he was the son of the patron. They had seen him before, some of the more loyal employees. So, there would be no special favours.
‘I was working on it last night…’
‘I heard you come past my bedroom door,’ she said across the small space between them. Margaux took in his changed appearance. Antoine looked so youthful; his slender face showing the hint of a dark beard to his jawline; the shock of his dark hair in stark contrast to his tan; and it was in keeping with a cream polo shirt and chino slacks; scuffed moccasins on his feet. ‘You could have knocked…’
He looked at her and smiled. ‘I was tempted to…’
It would have been so easy to do, but it would have been only too predictable…after seeing her through the crack in the door as she undressed for bed and he had lingered; satisfied his curiosity like a peeping tom. He had crept to his room, laptop in hand and with his mind crowded with images of her sleek panties and the tumble of her small, pert breasts, revealed after unfastening her bra. He had been transfixed on seeing Margaux stroking her skin to ease the sensation, he thought, of their confinement in her underwear.
Margaux took hold of his arm. ‘You were tempted, but then convention got in the way?’
‘Something like that, yes,’ he laughed; giving her a look that showed that he had meant what had been said.
Margaux unlocked the back door to the family home. It was comfortable but by no means palatial, like some owner’s houses he had seen. The house had Margaux’s unmistakeable touches all around, in every room. He wondered how she managed it, juggling work in the kaçak iddaa business and running the home. Louis didn’t seem the helpful sort when it came to domestic chores; a throwback to more traditional married life structures.
‘Get some red out of the rack, would you? I’ll get the cheese and some bread, Antoine. Want some fruit?’
‘Of the forbidden kind?’
She laughed and looked back at him in dismay. ‘I’ll have to watch what I say, won’t I…and close my bedroom door…’
‘You knew that I was there?’ he stammered in reply.
‘Yes…now come on. Lunch will be over before we’ve had a chance to sit and enjoy it, together. I don’t get the chance when he’s about…’
Antoine heard the change of tone in her voice. ‘His moods are unpredictable…you mean?’
‘No, they’ve become a part of him.’ Margaux smiled wanly and picked up the tray with their lunch. ‘Out on the terrace…vite!’ She laughed; her face suddenly transformed. ‘Enough of his. I want to learn all about you…what your plans are now that you’ve become an A student at university…I’d like to breathe some different air, too, while you’re here.’
He knew then that he had fallen under the woman’s spell.
The ‘to do’ list that he had been set was whittled away far too quickly. The office manager, not Margaux, opined that he had tested his spreadsheet and, he too, liked what Antoine had produced in the barest of outlines. He would talk to Louis and see if an expert in such things could develop it further.
‘Antoine had better copyright the idea…he may be onto making his fortune!’ The three of them laughed, but Antoine knew that Margaux was being drawn in; that she now took more than an aunt’s interest in her ‘nephew’.
Alone again, she spoke softly. ‘Don’t rush at the work or I’ll not know how to distract you or myself…’ She was flirting; now stood close and grabbed at his hand. ‘Louis is staying over an extra day…’
‘And it bothers you…being alone with me for too long?’
‘You’re learning, darling…how to read my mind.’
‘It’s the same for me…but then, you knew that.’ He gave her hand an answering squeeze before leaving Margaux’s side. Footsteps were to be heard in the corridor beyond.
The door was pushed open without a knock on it first.
‘We need some help in the vat room and cellar,’ Jean the foreman, a burly, short and tubby man told them. ‘Monsieur Louis said that I should ask monsieur Antoine if he could help us…’
‘I’m coming. I’m through here for the day…if that’s alright with you?
Margaux waved him off, a moment’s look being exchanged. ‘Your uncle’s jobs for you here are over…so go!’
Antoine heard himself asking her if they could go for a walk after supper; they would take the dogs. The air was sultry and he reckoned a thunderstorm was brewing. He had taken in the build-up of cloud on the horizon, but he cherished the chance to be out and to be in her company; to not feel hemmed in by what he felt for her and Margaux’s reluctance to help him.
‘Good idea! I’ll get the leashes and we’ll go!’
‘You won’t be cold?’
He looked at her, took in again, as he had done all evening, Margaux’s ochre camisole top; the thin shoulder bands stark against her skin; the flattering cut of her jeans; the red nail varnish on her slender toes that she soon concealed in some pumps; how her breasts moved as she tied back her hair and quickly fastened it behind her head. The woman, not his ‘aunt’, inflamed the senses. He felt the knot of longing for her and looked away.
‘No, I won’t be. I know the weather around here…we’ll have time for that walk you’re so keen on, before it breaks.’
They had fun…ran with the dogs or threw their favourite toys for them to retrieve; all the while delighting to have the chance to do this. Margaux shouted out in her new happiness.
‘It’ so good to have you here…come on!’ she tugged on his hand. ‘The clouds are rushing in…so we mustn’t get wet!’
They looked skywards even as the first drops began to fall. They soon became a soft rain…then a torrent. They ran in the gathering gloom, the dogs scurrying and barking in their collective fun.
Margaux took off her shoes and ran barefoot. ‘Come on!’ she urged. ‘I’m soaked…wet through already!’ She raised her face to the sky and just laughed; turned to look his way.
But Antoine’s gaze was already fixed on her; how the rain had soaked her top; how delectable the sight of her now was; Margaux’s breasts were now perfectly shaped and revealed to his gaze.
He ran after her; saw her smile as she looked over her shoulder; as they ran kaçak bahis among the vines; the dogs still at their feet.
‘Wait!’ he called out.
‘No! Catch me…if you can!’ she cried out on a captivating laugh.
He tried but slipped and fell; slithered across the slicked grass and simply lay there, laughing; the rain beating down on his upturned face. His shirt and trousers were muddy, but so what? He was with her; the moment to really get together seemed to have arrived.
Margaux drew near and fell to her knees beside him. ‘You’re so good for me…’
She bent to kiss him. Antoine rose to meet her. Their mouths clashed in gasping and deepening kisses that he tore his mouth away from. He had to put his lips to her breasts and to tug at her nipples.
‘Inside…inside…do it inside…’ she moaned and pressed her hands to the swell in his jeans, then stroked his taut belly under his matelot styled T- shirt that stuck to him like a second skin.
They rushed. They laughed. They had eyes only for each other now.
They lusted after each other as their sodden clothes were torn from each other’s bodies. They fell on each other with gasping sucking kisses; knew of an immediate and unquenchable longing.
They were naked. Antoine lifted Margaux up and into his arms.
‘The back stairs…it’s quicker!’ She rode his questing fingers; felt their touches part her and stroke in lingering caresses. ‘You know…you know now…how I feel and need you…like this.’
‘It’s the same for me…’
He pushed on the bedroom door, his breaths heavy with longing and effort.
‘My turn…it’s my turn…’ she breathed as Antoine lay back on his bed and she licked, sucked and kissed him; as she straddled him so that he could touch and she delighted in all that was now exposed to her gaze and touch.
‘That…that feels so god…’ he murmured as her nipples brushed his chest, then the tip of his penis before she held it between her breasts in a wanton and incredible act of release. He reached out to her but there had been no need.
Margaux kissed him even as she guided him into her. ‘Bring it all to me…all night…like this…let me know of you…of you alone whenever it is possible.’
Antoine tugged rhythmically on the soft spiral of hair that followed a path to where she had taken him. Margaux rocked and swayed; tugged and settled on him, expertly and excitedly; her breaths halting.
He moved her; felt Margaux raise her legs and clamp him to her as she lay back.
‘Find me…darling…just let go and have no cares. I need that from you!’ Margaux had wrapped her arms about his neck and had begun to buck her hips to encourage him in his deepening movements within her. ‘I’ll show you…do to me what you know, darling…I’ll show you the rest!’
Antoine lost it; wondered who was fucking who. She wanted it all from him; clawing and pinching his skin; met his kisses or offered them in return; sought so much that he wondered at his control now that he had seduced these moments from her; or had she dons so from him?
‘Mark me inside…not there!’ she cried out as his lips and mouth sucked on her breasts; breathed in her scent; as he licked the sweat off her skin. “You’re with me…a woman…forget everything else!’
He did. Oh, how he did. ‘I’m…I’m so close now…yes, so close!’ he groaned.
‘So am I! So am I!’ she squealed as they lost it; Margaux shuddering in release; jerked and tugged on him as he came; as she pulled him deep into her and rocked…rocked…and rocked…their kisses sucking the breath from their bodies until they were utterly spent.
Antoine felt the lightest of caresses to his arm.
‘Sorry…I was remembering how it all began between us. You looked beautiful then…are beautiful now. You helped to make me who I am…’
He had delighted in her. He had woken the next morning to find that she had gone; that she was making breakfast at an unearthly hour; that she was in the kitchen with only a white diaphanous nightdress that left nothing for him to imagine of her body.
He had gone to embrace her; to just breathe in the warmth of her body and to know that it really had happened between them.
‘I needed you…needed to know that of you. Forgive me…if I have betrayed your trust in me… in the image you have of me?’
‘It is one of a beautiful and passionate woman. Someone that I cannot get enough of.’
He turned in his seat to delight in her. ‘I have something to tell you. When I graduate…I have been offered a job in Bordeaux. I will be close to you…were you ever to need me.’
‘We live on, darling. We live for the day. I needed to hear you say that.’
He saw Margaux’s lips tremble and knew that they had a place in each other’s lives like never before.