Only The Eyes
You don't really know what sand tastes like until you've spent two days with your head at the height of a desert gerbil. No shade on the horizon. Sand as far as the eye can see. "Totally doable." Famous last words. My stubbornness will kill me for real this time. If I had not opted for a djellaba, my body would be 3rd degree burnt. My head is covered with a poor linen scarf to delay the inevitable. I just finished the last sip of my water bottle, it didn't even feel good because the water was so warm.
If I had listened to all the advice given to me, I would be buying some unnecessary souvenirs right now, to bring back for so and so. Yeah, I can picture myself doing that. But I’m just waiting on my stomach for death to come and get me.
It's strange what one thinks about before dying... The last message I sent to my loved ones, the one they will treasure forever although extremely stupid. The very intimate things in the bedside table that those who will empty my apartment will find. The dirty laundry basket someone else will have to take care of. Who will finish the rosé in my fridge? The conversation I wanted to have with an old crush at the upcoming class reunion. My last one-night stand that wasn’t that great. I could have fucked my coworker in the end. While I’m drying out like a prune here he's probably enjoying the air conditioning of the cafeteria. All these savings I could have used, I could have seen Bora Bora. And that revenge on my ex I will never get.
And what will be my very last thought?
I feel myself falling the same way I do when I fall asleep.
I open my eyelids with difficulty. I find myself in a blue cotton dress, lying on big pillows on the floor. I’m alone in a huge tent, full of carpets and fabrics of all colors on the floors and along the sides. To my right, a tea service tray, to my left, the opening of the tent on a sand dune.
My lips are no longer chapped, I’m not thirsty, I’m not dead. How long has passed since I was found and brought back here? The hotel concierge must have alerted people because he was the only one who knew where I was going. I walked in the desert for hours, probably not in a straight line either, no wonder it took days to locate me. I get up to sit down and my head begins to spin. Not quite recovered yet, I pour myself a tea that someone put next to me recently, it's still hot. I stay there, enjoying the bitterness of the leaves for a few minutes and realizing my good fortune. Once my head isn’t foggy anymore, I slowly get up and peek outside. No camel. The sun is beating down and the thought of being on the sand again doesn't appeal to me, so I go back inside until my rescuers return. My djellaba was cleaned up and left to dry on a hanger. My arms smell like orange blossom. The blue dress on my shoulders is not made for travelling in the desert. It’s a dress that goes all the way down to my feet, with a conservative neckline and long sleeves. I was hydrated, washed, dressed with care.
What feels like hours pass. Still exhausted from my adventures, I fall back asleep as soon as the sun sets.
The snort of a horse wakes me up. It’s still dark. Footsteps on the sand approach and a man in a dark suit leans over and enters the tent. He wears a turban that covers his entire face. Only his eyes and hands are uncovered. He brings with him a bag and two small lanterns which he puts between us when he sits down.
His deep blue eyes under the dim light look incredible. The white part makes them contrast with the dark color of his skin. There is something reassuring in his eyes but also a cold nobility.
— Choukrane, I say.
— Glad to see you awake.
He speaks with a slight accent.
— So do I! I owe you my life.
He opens his bag, inside are all kinds of food nuts, dates, dry figs. I want to throw myself on it.
— Help yourself, he says.
I take a little bit at a time not to look impolite, but the frequency with which I dip my hand in the bag betrays my hunger.
— How did you find me?
— I wasn't looking for you.
— You were on my way. It was best leaving you here until you could ride a horse.
His eyes shine in the light. I imagine a man with fine features under that turban. His manners, his way of holding himself make him elegant.
— What are you doing in the desert? Why are you travelling alone? I say.
— I could ask you the same thing.
His eyes narrow and I guess a smile.
I grab a date and ask the question that's been on my mind since he stepped in.
— Are you the one who…
I finish my question by showing the dress.
His yes is so definite that I do not dare asking my subsidiary question. Seeing my embarrassment, he goes on.
— I was respectful, he says. I carried you to the spring and used a cloth for your toilette.
I bow my head to thank him. This man whom I do not see anything saw me completely naked. But his frank gaze makes me believe he didn’t take advantage of the situation.
— We should be sleeping, he says. Since you’re feeling better, I will take you back to the nearest town tomorrow. The road will be long.
— A few hours?
— We’ll have to stop at least once to sleep.
— I was that far away huh… How long did I sleep?
— Tonight will be the third night you spend here.
He gets up, goes back outside to get something, then comes back with blankets.
— The source you were talking about, I say, is it far?
— You haven't gone out at all? It’s right behind the tent.
— Oh. I'm going for a quick wash then...I won’t be long.
He hands me a soap. I pass with a lantern in front of the horse which remains motionless when it sees me.
I didn't realize how cold it was outside, the tent having retained some of the heat of the day.
I stay long enough to clean a few bits I doubt he was able to get to. When I return to the tent, he’s sleeping facing the entrance. I tiptoe in and slip under the blanket behind him.
— The night is going to be cold, he say. Cover up as much as possible. We leave early.
I blow on the candle and we are in the dark. There is not a sound. It is so silent that I can hear the sand moving under us with every little movement we make. How many times has he had to save stupid girls like me?
I can't find sleep. How did I end up two days out of town? Have I been moved?
— I can hear you thinking, he says
— Sorry ... I have so many questions...
— Which I'll answer tomorrow if you don’t mind. Sleep.
— Wake up.
I feel like I closed my eyes two seconds ago. It’s still dark. He hands me a cup of tea. He seems to have been up for a while. He doesn't have puffy eyes like he surely sees on my face.
— I should put my djellaba back on, I say.
— Or you could use it to cover your face. The wind has picked up.
The night has been so short, and the sound of the wind is so calming that I can hardly get going. He observes my laziness, sitting next to me, sipping tea.
— You talk while you sleep, he says.
— I've been told that before. Hope I didn't wake you up.
— I was already up.
— Was I saying anything interesting?
— Let's just say you had a very pleasant dream.
His eyes narrow. A memory of my dream comes back to me. I was in a tub, a faceless man out of nowhere stepped forward and dipped his hand into the bath water to give me pleasure with his hand. I feel myself blushing.
— Don't be embarrassed, he says. We don't control our dreams.
Did I say something intelligible or did I just moan? I don't know what is the least embarrassing. I get up to end this conversation. I get my djellaba and my bag.
— I’m gonna go fill up my flask, I say.
His eyes follow me getting out of the tent. And this tiny little moment makes me aware of everything that has just happened. That I came close to death, that he helped me, that he still helps me. The water cooled down overnight. The sand gently swirls around me. And to think that I thought I was dying and here I am, feeling the grains of sand crashing against my skin. I wish I was there to see what happened when he found me. Was he surprised, distraught, delicate? What did he think when he saw my face? How did he get me here? Did he put me on his horse like a sack or did he sit me up and hold me in his arms? Did he look at me when I was enjoying myself last night? I think back to his piercing gaze.
I’m about to help him fold up his tent, but he is waiting for me on his horse, ready to go.
— You leave it here? I said.
— Yes, this one stays here. Get on.
He holds out his hand to me. I wrap my djellaba around my neck and he pulls me up behind him. He kicks the horse's side with the heel and we’re moving.
— Can I hold you? I say.
In other circumstances it would be something I say to flirt, but I just don't want to fall in the sand today. He allows me to do so and I place my arms around his hips, crossing my hands over his stomach. I can feel his muscles tighten with every step the horse takes in the sand. I'm safe and a bit horny now. The sun is rising on the horizon. The spectacle is breathtaking. Funny how different circumstances make me enjoy the show.
— What do you do in life? Other than saving people in the desert I mean.
— I only do this. I’m paid appropriately for each rescue.
— By whom?
— It's never good for business when a tourist dies in our desert.
— Are you taking days off? Do you have a family?
— I’m not interested in having a family.
How can he endure the desert knowing nothing awaits him?
— But you don't miss...
— Love? Women? Don't you miss that?
— I get what I need when I come back to town, don't you worry.
— About that... I wish there was a way I could thank you for everything you've done for me.
I tighten my embrace. I've been lowering my hands on his stomach for the last ten minutes. He does not seem to have noticed because his attitude hasn’t changed but the tips of my fingers now brush his crotch with each step the horse takes.
— You don't owe me anything, I only do what is expected of me.
— I almost died…You can take full advantage of me before bringing me back if you want. That would make me happy.
— This is a service that I do not offer.
He says it with so much confidence that I remain silent. Have I offended him? I take a little distance by putting my hands back on his stomach.
The silence that follows is so long that I fall asleep on his back and wake up when he catches me with one hand to prevent me from falling.
— Drink some water and come on the front, he says.
I follow his advice, a little apprehensive however at the idea of finding myself in his arms.
He hoists me onto the horse, and we set us on the road again. We go up a dune and I find myself pressed against him. Not that it displeases me, on the contrary, but since he refused my offer, I find myself in a little mental torture until the ground is flat again.
— How did you transport me when I was unconscious?
— Just like that. It's not ideal but it’s easier to keep someone from falling.
I imagine the journey. My limp body to have to squeeze in his arms. He must be used to it though. If he hasn't opted for a better solution it probably means it’s the most convenient for him.
He always answers my questions but stays on the surface. The mystery surrounding him excites me a little. I still haven't seen his face, just his eyes. And he remains so cold, distant. Usually, I’m the one turning people down. Feeling his lower abdomen against my butt makes my interest grow.
— You didn't even tell me your name.
— You never take off your turban, Ishmael?
— Force of habit.
— Could you show me your face?
— Just so I know who I'm talking to.
I turn to see him.
— So ? I say
— No, you couldn’t resist me.
He stifles a laugh and I feel like I've cracked the code.
— Do you want me to confirm? I say. There is definitely a time when you’ll have to take a sip anyways, right?
He stops the horse and slaps me on the thigh to move. He gets off the horse too and grabs his flask. He shows it to me, pulls what looks like a straw on the mouthpiece, places it under his turban and drinks, laughing.
I get so close to him that he has to look down in and I up.
— Come on, no games, show me your face, I say.
I play with my eyelashes to make him flinch. There is pride in his gaze, and a hint of mischief. I think he likes the way I talk to him. No doubt I would have seen his face by now if I hadn't bothered him so much about it.
— The wind is picking up, we must take shelter quickly. Come on.
And he wasn't wrong. In less than an hour, the wind is so strong that I don't regret being able to cover my face. We find refuge between rocks which block the storm pretty well. He puts a mesh on the face of his horse to protect it against the sand and I help him as best I can to put up a small tent.
— What do you do when you’re stuck that to pass the time? I say.
— Whether I'm alone or not.
His answer surprises me. I tell myself not to jump to conclusions. He said he wasn’t interested after all.
— Do you want to chat?
— Do you wanna have a little fun then?
He shakes his head.
— So what do we do? Are we looking each other in the eye until the wind stops?
— We sleep.
He lays down, crushing my hopes to pass the time more sympathetically. He crosses his hands over his stomach and closes his eyes. Maybe in reality I'm dead and this tent is a purgatory, some kind of test to know if they should send me on the pure side or not and maybe he was sent to tempt me. I too lay down with my back to him.
Who is sleepy at noon? Not me. I try though but the wind is too loud. I turn around and, to my surprise, the fabric of his turban fell off and I can now see what was under it. I had come to think he was hiding a bad scar or something, but it isn’t the case. His nose is long and straight, his mouth is fine, a very light black beard covers his skin. He must be in his forties, but maybe all that sun and sand has aged him. His peaceful face makes me feel safe as the storm shakes the tent.
Now that I've seen who I'm dealing with, sleeping next to him really tickles me. His breath on the back of my neck awakens my skin, which begs for a lips caress. I would love to feel him between my legs, let him do what…
I hear him swallow. The steady breath in my neck suddenly stopped. Is he awake?
I pretend to have a sexy dream, mumbling, moaning softly. I wait a bit, see if it moves behind me but nothing, not a noise, as if he had vanished.
I moan again but this time I add "Ishmael..."
I get horny on my own with all my moans.
— I know you are not sleeping, he whispers.
His voice travels though my ear to my inner-thighs. I continue to pretend I’m asleep. He moves behind me. He gently presses his body against mine. Even if I asked for it, I was not ready. The heat between my legs suddenly increases and I try my best to breath normally.
— You're a temptress. You seek my attention...
He grabs the hem of my dress and runs his hand under it. He brushes my skin with his fingertips, caressing my bare legs and it causes an irrepressible moan.
— …You have it.
— I thought you didn't provide that kind of service.
— Well, I help people in need, I give water to those who are thirsty.
His hand makes its way behind my knees, behind my thighs, up to my butt where he finds, tucked under my tight legs, my sex already swollen with desire. This brushing will drive me crazy. He spreads my lips gently.
I turn to watch him. He had put his turban back on his face. I could lose myself in his eyes. He lifts his coat up above the knees. He takes my hand and places it on his erection. I feel hair, I feel a stiff vein along his hard-on. My body arches at the thought of feeling it stir inside of me.
— Please… I say.
He chuckles. He uncovers it completely and I see it, pointed in my direction. I can't believe he offers his cock rather than his face. Whose the thirsty one? I want to feel his hairy balls smacking against my body. I can’t take it anymore.
He slowly rubs his body against mine, his cock slipping in my crack, playing between my cheeks.
— You're going to drive me crazy! Fuck me!
He slides a finger in me. It’s not much, but it’s so good it stops my whining. I move back and forth on his hand. The slippery noises it makes turns me on.
I get up, remove my dress and find myself naked in front of him. I crouch down next to him, take his hand and place it on my heavy breast. His rough desert savior hand grabs it, feels me. He closes his eyes. His cock taunts me, I want it. I'm about to mount him but he stops me.
— What? What? I say.
— It's my service, not yours.
He flips me around like a pancake and spoons me, grabbing my wrists on top of my head. With a slow, almost limp motion, he pushes his cock in my body. He comes out and in again with a lascivious thrust, and it's like my mouth is tasting his cock inch by inch.
— There, he said as if to calm me down. You have it.
It does calm my nerves. Finally experiencing the thickness of his cock invading is a delight. He keeps moving slowly. His firm balls touch my thighs every four seconds which makes me miss and enjoy his cock at the same time.
— It's so good, I say. Don’t stop…
He takes a long breath, as if to give himself the strength not to come immediately.
My lips sucks it each time he moves back. He lets go of my wrists and comes to stroke me in the front, just as slowly. All the sensations intensify.
— I want to see your face, I say. I want to see you when you lose your mind.
— You just have to lift...
I turn around and take of the fabric from his face. He smiles at me.
— Does that change anything? he says.
He leans in and puts his lips on my neck. A shiver runs down my back as he continues to move in me in long rolls of the hips.
I turn my face to offer him my mouth. He takes it like he takes my body, fervently. This slowness, this softness drive me absolutely nuts.
The sucking sound of our mouths, of our bodies is too much. He rubs the launch button, stroking it firmly from within with the tip of his cock. Everything is done in slow motion and my orgasm goes up the same way. My body contorts with the pleasure. He's not picking up the pace. The long pleading moan that comes out of my mouth surprises me and keeps me going. It’s like he's bringing me back to life from within. He explodes in me, screaming his orgasm in my ear, filling me up of his most precious sap. He gives a last reflex discharge in my body, before pulling out and leaving me full.
And to think I could have never experienced any of this…
Someone taps on the shoulder and I open my eyes. I'm back in the first tent.
There he is, sitting next to me, his face covered again, sipping tea.
— You talk while you sleep, he says.
— It looks like you had a very pleasant dream.
© All rights reserved — Charlie MP - 6/17/2021
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I'm going to translate the short stories I post on this site, little by little, since some of you would like to read them in English.