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The Uniform

by Nick Nicholson © 2008


Erotic FictionThe lieutenant sat in an antique armchair that would one day be destroyed, along with the hotel, by the purifying blast of a bomb. But on that night, in that singular moment, everything in the room still possessed an existence, however tentative, an existence innocent of its destiny. Even the lamplight had a fragile life of its own, illuminating the hardened terrain of the lieutenant's face with a shadowy glow that I would never forget.

Sophie and I wore our best dresses, the best afforded us by the war. We sat next to each other at one end of a long sofa, each of us holding a glass of champagne in one hand, a smouldering cigarette in the other, affecting a demeanour of faux sophistication, as only young girls can, that we silently hoped would be sufficient to mask our fear and exhilaration.

The lieutenant extinguished his own cigarette in the ashtray on the side table, and immediately reached for another. With smooth unhurried motions, he flipped open a lighter, lit the cigarette, crossed one leg over the other and turned his head towards us, the intensity of his gaze penetrating us like bullets. War and its constant air of impending destruction surrounded us in an ever-tightening noose but the lieutenant's well-oiled gestures were free of the anxiety of dwindling time. A mist of smoke drifted ghost-like around his face.

He did not speak. He had no need to.

*     *     *     *

It was the uniform that had announced the lieutenant, that bewitched Sophie and me when we first saw him two weeks earlier in the restaurant. Grey, impeccably pressed, decorated with the accoutrements of office, the uniform described a power, an authority that was at once both understated and palpable. It was not the costume of a mere actor, it was the heralding flag of a commander who had proven himself in battle.

The three officers who accompanied him that evening became drunk on wine and victory. The lieutenant, however, remained composed, like a smiling father ever watchful over his errant children, ready to contain the situation should frivolity threaten to overwhelm them.

Sophie and I were closer to each other than we were to our own siblings. Twin souls since childhood, the outbreak of war had banded us even closer together. That night, in the presence of the lieutenant, a mutual desire was born, a shared yearning, electrifying and frightening in its grip on our young hearts. We held each other's hand tightly under our table and fought in vain to avoid catching the eye of the lieutenant.

*     *     *     *

The champagne worked its inevitable magic. Our constricted veins loosened and the blood within us flowed like a river meeting an engulfing sea. Sophie leaned over and whispered something to me but it was as if I had been injected with a drug; a languidness coursed through my limbs and her words were carried along with it.

The lieutenant removed his service cap and placed it on the side table, adjusting its position so that it sat squarely, as if to maintain a sentry-like view of the room. Intuitively, I recognised this as the signal. It had begun.

No one could know. I took a gulp of champagne to quell the fear of disgrace and the urge to run. Sophie, my dear, dear friend, followed suit. I glanced at her; the champagne glass trembled in her fingers. I knew what she must have been thinking, for the very same thoughts plundered my poor brain as well.

Mute with anticipation, we watched, unable and unwilling to take our eyes off the lieutenant. He stood, tall and straight, like a lighthouse in the middle of the room, and cast his luminous gaze upon us; we, two insignificant ships lost on a night-black sea; we, the two little awestruck admirers who dared accept the presumptuous invitation to join him in his private room. The lieutenant was well aware of his power, of his power over us, and he wielded it with a knowing, tacit confidence.

As if all the time in the world was his to play with, the lieutenant then proceeded to release the buttons on his woollen tunic, slowly, one by one, with the deliberation of an advancing army. The uniform that had fostered the illusion of unbending metal was now softening, yielding, allowing the possibility of human touch to breach its barriers.

The lowest button was undone. The tunic fell open, revealing a stiffness in the crotch of the lieutenant's trousers that pushed hard and tight against the fabric. Sophie's hand slipped into mine, just as it had in the restaurant, her skin damp, her grip insistent. From an adjoining room, the sweet muted strains of a popular song started up, wandering blithely into the room like a somnambulist. Beyond that, the dull thuds of far distant explosions could be heard, like a Wagnerian leitmotif, an unsettling counterpoint to both the music and the fierce thrumming in my chest.

The lieutenant's eyes, as grey as his uniform, glistened with undisguised carnality in the half-light. I felt as if I was bound to the engine of a runaway train, hurtling recklessly into the dark landscape of a foreign country. Once begun, there was no turning back, no reprieve for the guilty.

Holding his resolute gaze upon us, the lieutenant reached down to the buttons on his trousers. An instinctive modesty forced us to avert our eyes. We were so much the same, Sophie and I, both ensnared by the excitement of the forbidden, yet overwhelmed almost to immobility by its grasp. My body betrayed my desire; sensing an increasing dampness between my legs, I squeezed my thighs together and shifted as imperceptibly as possible in my seat.

A moment later, regaining the feigned casual bearing of experienced women, we turned our faces back to the lieutenant. His erect penis stood exposed, unwavering before us, instantly asserting its defiant presence in the room. Our shock, our dual lusts, could no longer be stifled. Confronted with his hard flesh, Sophie and I both gasped. An image immediately crossed my mind, that of some hitherto unseen weapon drawn to the front line and unveiled, its display foreboding imminent devastation upon the enemy, shattering their morale and resolve.

Sophie was braver than I. Releasing my hand, she moved forward off the sofa and positioned herself on her hands and knees on the floor. Like a prowling cat, she moved towards the lieutenant. Her hips and buttocks swayed, her dress dancing loosely around her thighs, in time with the muffled song. I could not look away. Sophie's boldness transfixed me. She stopped at his feet and rubbed her cheek along the length of his pant leg, inching closer to the lieutenant's stiff sex. Sophie looked over her shoulder at me, her eyes hooded with a heavy sensuality, and beckoned.

We were in the midst of war, a collective psychosis. The world had gone mad, and so we did mad things; Sophie and I allowed ourselves to sink into a depravity we imagined only existed in the bedrooms of whores. Swallowing the remains of my fear, I stood and walked to the lieutenant. Sophie kissed his sex; I kissed his lips, and thought to myself, So this is what betrayal tastes like.

The kiss lingered, a delicate dance on the edge of a knife, then broke. Intoxicated, I dropped to my knees. Sophie released the lieutenant's cock from her mouth and motioned it towards me. For a moment, I looked into Sophie's eyes. I saw love, or rather, a kind of love, a love born of the freedom in knowing that one's days are no longer guaranteed, that the face of death offers licence to enter the dark corners of one's being, to seize that which may never come again. I took the cock from Sophie's hand and devoured it with my young mouth.

Piece by piece, the lieutenant removed his uniform. Unencumbered, he abandoned himself to his passions. In a frenzy, he stripped us of our dresses and undergarments and threw us to the bed. I was taken first. His sex penetrated my body like a plough unfurling soft moist earth. Sophie cooed in my ear and stroked my hair, a loving witness to my glorious defilement.

*     *     *     *

We became as one body that night, a three-headed hydra lost to its own decadent pleasure in some mythical place beyond this world and its wars. I knew then that this night would never come again, could never come again.

Sophie and the lieutenant fell asleep in each other's arms, sated, as naked as newborns. Sleep held out its warm arms for me too, ready to embrace me in a momentary peace. In the seconds before I drifted into slumber, I gazed at the lieutenant's uniform draped over the end of the bed. It struck me that the runic insignia on the collar, the double lightning bolts of the SS, seemed to me as both a portent and a macabre symbol of our names, Sophie and Sabine.

*     *     *     *

Two days later, Sophie was seen kissing the lieutenant in an alleyway. She was denounced by her French countrymen as a collaborator. I, of course, knew the truth, but what could I say? The world took another step towards utter insanity. Sophie was paraded in public, her head shaved, her dignity forever obliterated, her family forever shamed.

She never told of that night. I was spared the horror that Sophie endured, but for her, that horror became a taint that could never be washed away. Three months after that fateful night, Sophie was found hanged in her bedroom. To this day, I mourn her.

I never saw the lieutenant again. For a while, I thought I wanted to, but I could not bring myself to seek him out. My love for Sophie would not allow it.

Several years after the war, however, I made some discreet enquiries and discovered that the lieutenant had fought on the Eastern front in 1944, where it was presumed he was killed. His body was never found.

*     *     *     *

I have been blessed with children and grandchildren. My dear husband, bless his kind soul, died seventeen years ago, oblivious of my secret.

I am an old woman now, nearing the end of my days. The blood is slower, but still, it flows. On rare occasions, when I am lashed with loneliness, I think of that night, that mad night, and I press my hand between my legs. I can still hear that old song, lodged in the depths of my memory. My lips mouth the words in silence:

If the nightingales could sing like you,
they'd sing much sweeter than they do,
for you brought a new kind of love to me.

If the Sandman brought me dreams of you,
I'd want to sleep my whole life through,
for you brought a new kind of love to me.

© 2008 Nick Nicholson. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

Bio: Nick took up writing two years ago. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

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