There seemed to be no end in sight to the mayhem that passed for daily life in the country. The beleaguered President had the military out on the streets, as well as the state police; but when you’re hungry, and the shelves in your local food stores are bare, you want to come out onto the streets and let those in charge of your life know just how you felt.
Gabriela still considered herself to be lucky. Her man, Alejandro, had a job and it paid well. But, with inflation at an all-time level, it went nowhere near to offering them the lifestyle that they had once hoped for.
She took work where she could find it and had given up on her plans to start a family. Who, in their right mind, would bring an infant into the world when their country was on its knees?
Alejandro worked in the oilfields and stayed away for long stretches at a time. She did at least hear from him often enough to quieten her concerns that being away from her; and also missing their times together — like ‘slipping her a length’ as he crudely put it — did not mean that he found company with others.
She knew it wasn’t so, because he lived in Juanita’s place, with her brood of three and Pablo, that often moody and unreadable man she’d been obliged to marry, many years ago. She had become pregnant and their wedding had to be hastily brought forward to save the extended Torres family any more embarrassment than the news she brought them.
The product of those unprotected couplings was Nicolas, a young man of nearly nineteen. He was soon to be in Caracas to attend an assessment day for the Military Academy. Alejandro would be home during the young man’s stay, and she was only too glad of the arrangement.
He might be family, but there was no way she would be able to handle the snippy and bitchy remarks if she was to be alone in her place with Nico, as the family called him, when he stayed over — just long enough to attend the assessment day, or days; depending if he made the grade — as she knew what some would say; the gossiping about a strong, good looking young guy being there and Alejandro nowhere to be seen.
She heard the gossip often enough from others that were to be overheard talking; how some, men and women, found solace with others for the times they lived through; moments of fleshy friction that meant almost nothing, but was a means to get through the hours of a day that seemed much the same as any other before it, or that would follow.
She, Gabriela Torres, wasn’t made that way, even if she did like Nico calling her ‘Gabi’. To hear it was to make her feel youthful; served to remind her that she hadn’t always been the fleshy, voluptuous woman that Alejandro came home to; the woman that he took to for long stretches at a time. Juanita continued to tell her, whenever it was possible to speak on a third-rate mobile phone connection, that her man missed her; worked long hours and found his distractions in that way.
She had none, save the occasional and unpaid minding of a neighbour’s child; her small and neatly tended apartment filled with the sounds of an infant’s cries; sounds that she might never discover for herself and from her own.
She and Alejandro might have to content themselves with having Nico to stay for a couple of days and nights, and no more.
Nico stepped off the bus and hitched his bag over one shoulder. The journey had taken longer than expected, and the time spent in the uncomfortable confines of that bus had not made it any easier for him to understand why his uncle had not travelled with him.
Gabi would be pissed off, and rightly so. He wasn’t so innocent that he’d miss what people would say of her; if Gabi was known to have a young guy staying over and ‘her man’ was away. They didn’t know who he was, family or otherwise. Arrangements might yet have to change, after all.
It sure made it awkward for him too; even if Alejandro had slipped him some money as if to ease his conscience. It sure didn’t help him deal with the situation that he now faced; he a young guy seeking to go into the military; an environment where you had to live by your wits. He was ashamed to admit that he’d always had a bit of a crush on Gabi…even if she was his aunt.
He’d been in Caracas often enough to know his way to her place. It had not been so long ago that they had all gathered at some eaterie for a family reunion, and to celebrate his last birthday — when he’d turned nineteen.
His kiss of greeting, on seeing Gabi, then feeling her against him as they hugged, had set his pulse racing. His kiss, meant for Gabi’s cheeks, soon placed at the edges of her beautifully smiling lips; the whiteness of her teeth a wonder; a moment’s press of her body against him inflaming the senses; aroused, not for the first time, an ache in his groin. What he had felt, then, broke every rule that his folks lived by; so, he’d lived on with a secret crush on that woman he thought of as Gabi.
He stopped and got his bearings; took in the wonders of the architecture all about him; heard the roar canlı bahis of the traffic and the piercing shriek of the traffic cops’ whistles; the impatient tooting of car horns in a rush to get on their way.
And, all the while, he thought of Gabi and how she would now look. It wouldn’t be any easier for her when she saw him…standing at the door of her place and not seeing her husband. It was too late to ask the Academy to give him a bed. He looked on that as a measure of last resort, and the Academy would think he was no good at planning ahead. Oh well; he’d have to think on his feet if the need arose.
This was sure to be a new experience for him, and one that he felt emotionally ill-equipped to deal with. To kiss her at that party and to be in Gabi’s company, even with the others all around, had gotten to him. With anyone else, he would have sought to take things further between them as drink loosened tongues and lessened inhibitions.
He found himself at the corner of Gabi’s street; saw the many colours that the building’s owners had painted them; some carrying an advertisement; others with clothes lines hung on ceiling hooks, or from racks fixed over the railings of their balconies and access-ways. It was all a riot of colours, shapes and discordant sounds.
It did nothing to quell his sense of keen anticipation.
‘You look beautiful,’ he blurted out, ‘just as I remember you, Gabi.’
‘Thank you…I wanted to make today special,’ she told him, a disconcerted look soon crossing her face. ‘Where’s…where’s Alejandro?’
‘Hasn’t…hasn’t he called you?’
‘No, and why should he do that? I was told the two of you were travelling here together! Come on…tell me?’ She sought to control her rush of anger; looked at him challengingly. ‘Did he tell you to keep quiet about this plan of his until you got here?’
‘No…other than he had work…work he couldn’t get away from,’ Nico blurted out unconvincingly.
He stepped away as Gabi jabbed his chest with one finger, the nail biting into his skin and through the thin fabric of his cotton shirt. It clung to him; the walk had made him sweat more than he had taken in, about his appearance. Gabi’s anger now made him anxious for what she would seek of him by ways of an explanation.
‘Work! He’s working on someone…that’s what! Is that it and you’re not telling me? Go on, spit it out…what’s the story?’
‘Jeez! I don’t know! I’m caught in the middle of this, Gabi!’ His small valise fell to the floor at their feet with a thud.
Nico heard her sigh as Gabi turned away from him; noted the angry set of her slender face. He felt a rush of longing as he saw her blouse stretch across her breasts; took in the swing of her earrings; saw the light in Gabi’s tinted hair; it wasn’t the wispy black that he remembered, but more a rich brown with a reddish tinge; how the sunlight from the balcony now caught its wispy curls.
He pushed shut the door he had come through, his eyes now accustomed to the dim light within.
‘Don’t do that!’ she commanded, sternly, grabbing at a somewhat tattered handbag. ‘I’m going out. I need to find a pay phone and see what that husband of mine…that shit…has to say for himself about this!’
‘I’ll come with you…’
‘No, you won’t,’ she said sternly, glaring at him. ‘You’ll stay right where you are! I don’t need any more trouble…’
His temper flared.
‘If that’s what you think about me being here…that I’m nothing but trouble, I may as well go to the Academy!’ he shouted. ‘I’ll just tell them the problem I’m in. It’s not so far. It’s only a few more klicks walking the streets of this goddamn place! I’m not responsible for your problems! Got that?’
His uncommon anger made Gabi hesitate; provoked her into a touch to the warm skin of his arm. She stood close to him, took in the young guy’s appearance. He gave as good as he got. She liked that in him.
‘Stay here, please, Nico? Just give me a few moments to sort this out?’
She gave him another baleful look; sought to quell the upset in not having Alejandro here with her. The good-looking young man before her really didn’t need this after the journey he had made; but she sure was angry. She had made a fuss; smartened up her appearance; had chosen to look on the occasion, of them both being here with her, as something of a treat; a departure from an only too humdrum normality for her; a life spent alone. She had chosen not to leave the city and be with Alejandro and in a strange place.
Nico looked at his watch. ‘He should be at my home by now…’
‘I sure hope so,’ Gabi flared, in renewed anger. Alejandro’s behaviour was quite at odds with all that had gone before in her marriage to him. She now had an uneasy feeling about all that she might soon discover; that she would have to confront. Nico’s presence was of little consolation.
Gabi wondered if her sister would have anything to say on this development in what she thought had been a mutually agreed plan; for her son, Nico, to bahis siteleri be here…with her and Alejandro.
She really wasn’t ready for the conflict of emotions his presence alone with her now aroused. Anger could so easily give way to other feelings; those it had been only too easy to suppress when Alejandro was by her side.
She scrambled in her handbag and sought what money she had, feeling uncommonly angry that money had to be spent on discovering her husband’s whereabouts.
His cellphone rang out, so she tried Juanita’s. It went to voice mail. Moments later, and with her doubts on the up, Gabi felt the cell tremble. She saw it was her sister.
‘Hello…you can guess why I’m calling,’ she said without any lead in.
‘To tell me that Nico’s with you…’
‘Oh sure! Only…only he’s alone with me, and it’s not what I expected or planned for. This wasn’t part of our deal and…and how do you think it’s going to look, him staying here with me…just the two of us in my place?’
‘Some women would think that a plus…to have a good-looking young guy with a woman who’s living alone right now.’
‘I wasn’t supposed to be ‘alone’!’ Gabi yelled, choosing to sit down on the coping stone edge of a dried-out fountain. It hadn’t been seen to work for a long time. ‘Are you, ‘alone’ or is Alejandro with you?’
There was a long pause.
‘Things are hell here, sister…daily riots as there’s no food or little of it in the shops…nothing!’
‘So, what’s new? I have that problem here too, but I survive, but only just, mind you!’ Gabi was irritated that she could make no headway in getting to the truth of what had happened.
‘Alejandro persuaded Nico to travel alone…to stand on his own two feet and rely on no one.’
‘Only, he didn’t tell me!’ Gabi flared. ‘How convenient to have Nico out of the way, too, now,’ she hissed. Juanita had said a week or so ago that her other kids spent time with Pedro’s folks. ‘What am I to think of what’s happening…with Pedro away too?’
‘You do what you want, sister! Pedro can speak for himself…if he wants to.’
Gabi held the phone away from her ear and stared at it, as if there was an answer to be found in doing that. ‘Ask my husband to call me…I want to hear it from him what’s going on. Do that for me, will you?’
She left it at that. With her nerves all a jangle she made her way home, oblivious to those she met on the crowded pavements; ignoring the placards and fly-posters inviting people to protest about all that was happening to their country and not in their name.
She had worries much closer to home, but she would see her way through. It might involve Nico, after all.
Nico heard her key in the lock of the flimsy door that had been strengthened by thicker planks screwed to its inner face and with bolts set upon it. He had noted those on the outside too; their fixings allowing padlocks to be fastened, if the place was left unattended for any length of time; which he assumed it would be, if Gabi went to whatever work she was fortunate enough to find.
‘What’s happened…what did Alejandro…or my mother say?’
Nico put a restraining hand to her arm as Gabi made to rush past him and after coming into the room; a welcome waft of fresh air, and her perfume, easing away, for a moment, the fetid atmosphere where he had stayed.
‘It’s what she didn’t say…’ she blinked back her tears; clenched her lips to stifle blurting it all out. ‘Is your father there, when…when your uncle Alejandro is too?’ She waited for him to reply; she then heard him sigh; he could not help but avert his gaze from her questioning look upon him. ‘Go on…tell me! You know how it goes between people!’
Gabi met his appraising look upon her. The young guy would see what she could offer to any man, if she was inclined to do so. Her sis had the same fleshy figure; but a body that had been ravaged by bearing three kids. The tough times they all lived through would have helped her shed some of it; perhaps incited her Alejandro to try it on and make a play for her if they were ever alone in the same house.
The man really was an idiot to think she’d not see right through this ‘no show’ on his part.
Well, two people could play that little game and she had a good-looking guy right here and beside her; his appraising looks upon her a sure sign of what he was thinking. It really wasn’t the first time she had met those looks from him and, perhaps, now was a time to follow through on them.
‘Not always…I don’t know of it,’ he blurted out, his hand soon clutching Gabi’s as she sought to steady herself. ‘I’ve thought of nothing else…all day…how I was to face up to it and what it would do to you…to know that Alejandro would not be here.’ He drew closer still. ‘I’m sorry…I really am, Gabi.’
‘It was meant to be so different,’ she told him on a soft and breaking voice. ‘I got a few things in…what I could find for us to eat…call it a reunion supper before your big day tomorrow at the Academy.’
‘It’s…it’s bahis şirketleri enough just to see you and be here with you again…Gabi,’ he now said on a fleeting smile.
Gabi touched his face and nodded. She rose to give him a gentle kiss. ‘It’s so sweet of you to say it like that…’
‘I mean it…’
‘Don’t you think I know that?’ Gabi pushed past him and went behind a partition. He heard a fridge door open and then the clink of two bottles. ‘I’m going to have a beer with you…catch up on what’s been happening to you and your life. Tell me about tomorrow…what they’ll do to you?’ Gabi led him to a threadbare couch and made him sit close beside her; did nothing as her skirt rode up her fleshy thighs to reveal silken smooth skin.
Nico sighed; ached to put his hand to her skin and to stroke her thigh until Gabi stopped him. He had fantasized, often enough, about what they would do if the circumstances ever arose; even as the object of his aching desire was seated beside him.
Gabi’s hand moved.
‘It seems that you and I have time to do as we please…’
‘Yes…yes,’ he gasped as her hand moved certainly; brazenly clamped on the swell in his trousers. ‘I…I can’t keep what I feel from you now…Gabi…Gabi!’
She worked him slowly; met his startled gaze upon her. Gabi pouted a soft smile.
‘Then don’t do that…hold back on your feelings. We’re together, and I don’t expect Alejandro to call me any time soon…not after all that you’ve told me.’
Even as she squeezed on him, Nico moved his hand over her skin until his fingers pressed her panties; stroked her cleft that his fingers soon discovered. She clamped his arm and guided his movements; leant in to offer a kiss that deepened; that led them to lock their mouths on each other’s; to explore with tongues; that encouraged the tug on clothes and the caress of Nico’s hands to Gabi’s breasts.
She broke free; stood before him and lifted her blouse over her body and cast it on the seat beside him. Nico stood up, uncertainly; he stripped off his shirt and threw it down.
Gabi gasped on seeing his form; the tone of his young body; felt the heat under her fingers before she moved to tug at his belt; to seek him and to pull free what she sought of him now and he ached to bring to her.
‘Ai…ai…so strong,’ she murmured appreciatively.
He fumbled though their kisses as Nico unfastened her skirt and pushed it and her panties to the floor; as they embraced; the shiver of abject longing coursing through their naked bodies as they clung to each other; breathed in each other’s heat and in acceptance of what was to follow.
Nico knelt down; traced a path with his lips and tongue over her belly’ pressed his tongue through the tangle of hair that hid her secret place. He’d heard his friends talk of how these things went. It was his first time; he’d learn of it quickly enough from someone he cared for deeply’ a woman he had lusted over in his pubescent ways. Everything was now made only too real; the flashy warmth and bounty of the woman who now sought to claim him.
Gabi held his head and guided him in his awkward touches. He stood up.
‘You must have so many girlfriends who enjoy what you have…’ she asked, looked down as her hands slowly stroked his trembling length; brushed its glistening tip. ‘You will have something with you to cover yourself?’
Nico shook his head vigorously in denial. Gabi heard him sigh. ‘No…it will be my first time…you will be my first love…in this way.’
‘Oh Nico…Nico!’ she crooned in some dismay.
Gabi embraced him; breathed hotly in his ear and kissed his shoulders, throat and then his mouth; all the while tugging and caressing his erect, trembling and straining prick. She pressed her belly against it; dug her hands into his buttocks to keep him hard against her.
‘I will show you, my darling, Nico! 1…I will show you!’
She quivered out of longing and fear; fear for the risks that she was now taking. She would know of him, and he would soon learn of her. She wanted to blot out what she imagined of Alejandro with someone else. She certainly wanted to know of it with Nico.
‘Show me…please show me?’ he asked through their renewed kisses, their slow questing touches of discovery, as she drew him through a curtain and into a space that served as a bedroom; the bed loosely made; the air still and somewhat fetid. He now knew where he would spend the night…
‘Relax, darling,’ Gabi whispered hotly, her lips on his mouth. She then guided his kisses to her body. ‘I’ll show you…I’ll show you…it will be special and wonderful…for both of us…Nico, I promise!’
Nico stood over her as Gabi lay down on the bed; her breasts flattening; their tips hard and erect. She held out her arms to draw him down to her, spread her legs and made him lie between them.
‘Touch me…kiss me…just enjoy me…learn of it all and with me?’
Nico soon saw her relax and lie back on the bed, a soft smile on her lips and her coaxing hands gentle and soothing, encouraging him. Her body moved; she lifted her hips to meet his flickering tongue on her and within her body; her hands guiding or making him stop and to persist in his tasting of her.