Monday, October 17, 2011

"Therapy Rapture" by David Russell (Short Stories)

Genre:  Romance

Short Story Type:  Short Story Collection

Summary:  Ever had secret thoughts about a counsellor? Fitness trainer? Ever put two and two together? Therapy Rapture does just that, skillfully blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
The accompanying poems deal with aspects of romantic sensuality, with some emphasis on the aesthetics of disrobing and the relation between swimming and sex. They have been featured in several anthologies produced by Forward Press in the UK, and three of them, “Bathing Girl”, “Beach Girl”, and “Lovers Undress”, are on the internet. The story, the poems, the illustrations set out to explore the erotic with delicacy, refinement, and sensitivity.

One Story from the Collection:
Therapy Rapture

A breeze smiled on me, soothing the migraine of the day's travelling. Rowena, my therapist, was so soothing. Her almond eyes were a warm synthesis of liquidity and matured resin, her lips verging on purple. She was dark, sultry, feline, laid back, reserved, accommodating, but with such potential for elusiveness! Her low velvet voice melted my reserve and made me ache, my fingers poised to do that touch talk. She had a hold on me, so tender, so yielding but so firm; I had some token resistance, some caution, but I wanted that, I arranged it; but I did not know what to do about it. I'd been in my self-protective shell for so long, and always tended to put others down for being conned. Good that I finally got out of that job – where I had had to stretch my upper lip near snapping point – what I felt about my supervisor; that good lump of severance pay will give me time so sort myself out. But I had committed myself to what I had decided was essential treatment. She had to bring me out, and it would be a sustained operation – as she outlined to me, there was a multitude of blocks. We had been consulting together for several months, and at the mental level had melted quite a lot of defensive barriers. How often had our breath felt like a string, pulling us closer to that introductory caress, how often had I felt we nearly touched each other as we delicately paced our minds through those depth confessions! (Or how good she was at covering up a possible web of stresses and tensions which was strictly her private area!) What traumas must she have experienced to get that delicious equipoise which now faced me, defined me, challenged me, the positives balancing the rejection taboos of my past? Her body language rippled and throbbed; the way she controlled the crossing and uncrossing of her legs, they way she wore skirts of just the right length, or jeans just loose enough to ripple – knowing how to caress herself, knowing how to make her clothes caress her. Rowena just had to get really turned on by her favourite, delicate fabrics. She certainly showed me a wide variety of outfits at our various consultations. My wishful thinking simmered; perhaps there was a coded message underneath her assured professional front. My eyes alternated between her body and her file, between the hand controlling her pen and the eyes, brain and body controlling me. I had laid myself open to her by consulting her . . . there is always two-way potential . . .

She had put on no scent, but the natural perfume of her aura permeated me. I was a confused cocktail of trance and articulation.

She had spent one long session struggling to coax me into positive thinking. Through the usual heavy family conditioning, and through a good number of snubs and vicious deceptions I had grown so many defensive membranes that now felt congealing, coagulating. Next session I had to go back to her, with a progress report on the programme of self-redirection she had drafted for me. As ever, Rowena urged me to incorporate my dreams into the healing process. She switched on some rippling, vaporous meditation music with a background of natural sounds, water and breeze on her hi-fi, got me comfortable on the couch, then sat beside me, looking me, hypnotically straight in the face. I felt that she always mentally undressed me in these sessions, put out laser rays on my buttons and zips; that was what made them so effective, sustained her hold on me. Her mind embraced me; I wanted her to take it into her own body, and absorb mine. Her lips and nostrils were in titillating concert as she faced me and acknowledged me. I ached for her hands I longed to reciprocate. The buttons on her blouse, the suggestion of the crisp bra within, were so magnetic. And when she touched the buckle of her belt, her fingers almost clinching to undo . . . Rowena induced a trance in me, barely repressed by formality, and I felt it was taking hold of her. It was obeying a non-verbal instruction; it was tunnelling out of the prison of routine obedience. I ached for her hands to undo my clothes. In my interview sub-text trance I was transported, with her, to luscious glades and woodlands, to sultry beaches, or to a velvet-padded bedchamber, where that lithe but ample form would be revealed in its full glory, through a modulation of half-clouded moonlight and maroon lamplight, open windows, alluring skirts of half-drawn curtains, caressing breezes . . . some pigeons cooed in the distance, as if they might have registered something . . .

"OK; take your time; relax. You had to sustain top speed throughout the day, so slow down now. If you feel you’re on the point of rushing at anything, take a deep breath. Sift through your past, and let the key facts come clear. Try to tell me everything. Don't be shy, don't hold back, even though something might hurt a bit; but if it does, that’s a signal for a better sensation to be on the way. All that's happened, all you've wanted to happen, all that's held you back, enforced an orbital rather than a linear progression” – there was the implicit drawing together of our lips through her words. Lips make a perfect balance of the solid, the liquid and the vaporous. My mind sustained the distance; my mind also wanted to become a bridge . . .

I was writhing, aching, panting, yearning for my dreamy encounter to happen. I told myself what she had repeated to me so often, live, and with her tantric chant and natural sound recordings – breezes, waterfalls: get all of your will, all of your imagination in harness, and it will happen, it will, it will . . .

Express your deepest dreams and longings, no matter how preposterous they may seem to your rational faculty, or have been in other people’s dismissive judgments. You've got to hold on to your dreams, and build up your trust that they can be made real . . ."

I recounted a composite of fact and fabrication. You’re a perceptive reader, so I am sure you can tell truth from fabrication. The day after I had fixed up my therapy, I took the plunge and placed my ad in the contact magazine. I'd held back from it for ages, battling with that preconditioned revulsion against the top shelves, but what the hell? The behavioural revolution had gone on in leaps and bounds; I just had to join it. There was absolutely nothing to lose . . . if everyone who read it thought it was ridiculous, or dicey, or dangerous . . . then they simply need not bother to reply. "I want a fearless encounter with a fully liberated woman who knows how to elicit the libidos of repressed males from under several layers of inhibition. I can gently initiate, and slowly release the sluicegates of orgasmic abandon. What is postponed in enriched." There was a nod, a wink, and a smile, but no patronising giggle; I felt opened up, and able to continue.

There: silly adverts get silly responses; or inspired adverts get inspired responses; nothing to lose either way. OK, just place it on your mental back burner, provisionally forget about it while you attend to your everyday business, but wait and see . . .

The reply letter, true to form, came through the post when I had got over my initial itching expectations, and half put it out of my mind. It was on pink, perfumed stationery; the envelope was deckle-edged. It was a terse message: "I can give you what you want, but I must prepare you to give me what I want: you must be fit. Through me you will shed your layers of reticence" – with telephone number of course.

That got me thinking: I had admitted to myself my need to work on myself. So should I have hired a fitness trainer? Good idea basically, but maybe a little cold and clinical – though some of those photos at the Pilate Centres are pretty impressive. Must keep some suspense and mystery, some sense of the unknown. But maybe she would have some aspects of that . . .

Rowena’s lips quivered in an attentive smile. Her eyes darted in all directions, but frequently sparkled into my face; she was playing a good game of pin-pong with her professional detachment.

But it did work: what was this. “I spent many years in the Andes, tutored by a tribal sage, and shared the stored wisdom of the millennia. My clairvoyance is all-embracing; I can read your body and your mind. I intuit every depth of your needs." Just what I needed! Throbbing magnetism in the last straw! Breathy words to commit me, to tip me out of my trough of hesitancy. She was exercising me, toning me up by letting her eyes over all over my body . . . her eyes, in turn, bated me, drew me; she was the moon; I was her tide.

I located the block where she lived half an hour before the appointed time. I felt I needed split-second timing to make this work properly, so I walked around the block several times, twitchingly – every 30 seconds or so looking at my watch, using the cracks between the paving stones to divide and carve up the last of my waiting time.

Marina came to the door with inaudible footsteps. Wearing a navy-blue tracksuit and white trainers, greeted me – blonde, hair down to her shoulders, lithe and lean, with a touch of Spartan austerity, but also rippling and glittering – one who had done her balancing exercises at the gym, literally and metaphorically. Her tanned complexion looked authentic, weather-beaten; no sign of make-up – to my eyes, anyway. She sized me up with a benign but penetrating glance. “You’ve spent too long been overly in awe of the hard-to-get, take their remarks too literally. Your previous situation is going to be reversed with me. You’re going to get into shape; but you’ll realise that discipline is what sets you on the path to true pleasure.” Her laid-back facial expression, the warmth and softness in her eyes assured me that the discipline would not include canes or whips! She could command an exquisite poise in muscular tension – the right amount of strain for this human elastic band. There was something lunar, tidal in her soft breath control.

Her 10th floor apartment was warm, alluring after the bleak concrete staircase; sparsely furnished, a balance of thick purple carpeting, a dark green divan and armchairs, large glass-topped table and four long wall mirrors, ideal to reflect bodies full length, seeming to be of polarized glass. I attuned to the thought of her flexings, her press-ups, as those keen green eyes peeled back their lashes and answered my penetrating gaze. I felt my tight stomach muscles matching hers.

"Hmm; I could see from your advert that your mind is right; now I've got to get your body right."

She went to a back room, and came back carrying a grey tracksuit and a pair of new trainers, black edged in white.

"Get changed. We'll go for a jog first, limber you up a bit." She went into the bathroom; I obeyed her instruction.

It was bitterly cold in the frost-tinted park, but this was counterbalanced by the simmering heat of desire, its thermals shimmering skywards. Her breathing was exquisitely timed. The rippling of her loose tracksuit gave me a thrilling intimation of her lovely proportions, counterpointed the underlying firmness.

It was quite a spacious park where we did our preliminary jog. It was bitterly cold, and for a few seconds I wished I’d never embarked on this adventure. I knew there were people who did it in the winter cold. But then the heat circulation got into its stride, and my sense of well-being began to well up. My legs got tingling good after the first ache. Delayed action, long-fused timer . . .

We completed a circuit, and then returned to her flat, where we had a ten-minute cup of black coffee – no sugar. Then Marina took me by the armpits and drew me up to face her.

"You've done all right" said Marina, "certainly rose to the first challenge. But I want to put you through a further physical ordeal – which will make fulfilment total. I want you fully toned to do me justice."

She led me out of the flat, down another spookily-lit corridor in the block, to that clinical space, bathed in subdued neon – “OK; it’s the gym”.

There it was, full of equipment but bare of people, except for the odd shadowy dark blue uniformed attendants, male and female, lurking in the background. We changed into our clingy black shorts and tops, provided in the changing rooms. I followed all the gruelling exertions which she led, up and down the wall bars, up and down the ropes, over the vaulting horses. She also forced me into some press-ups. It must have taken several hours. I felt a strange cocktail of aching and tingling; the frissons were gradually simmering. I was aching, but guided by that gymnastically garbed body, ached for that body . . . the lighting was just right; not so glaring as to detract from the sight of the physiques. Legs straightened and angled beautifully.

“Are you OK for the next?” she said with a smile.

"I'm on, darling" I replied.

"OK Honey; first of all we've got to loosen up with a dance. You're going to go through all the steps you know, and then you'll discover some new ones."

She led me into an empty ballroom, glittering with mirrors, strewn with plush maroon velvet armchairs and sofas, dimly lit in orange from ornate chandeliers. Sure enough, the sounds of Madonna's Immaculate Collection were honing through the loudspeakers elevated on the walls. That album was just right: parts of it made me reflect coolly – parts were bitter, hurting; parts of it bade me to enter new, deep areas . . . hypnotic videos throbbed through my mind . . .

"Just give me a minute for the next wardrobe change."

Marina disappeared through a mahogany side door, leaving me agog with expectation. She came out in a flowing, low-cut purple satin dress, split skirts – like I'd seen in some 'Come Dancing' broadcasts. Her stockings were near flesh-colour, on the tantalizing edge of bare legs. Those lovely forms moved alluringly through and behind the splits. Sure enough, true to my intuition, Justify My Love came on, deep and sensual. Her shoulders were available to touch; her lips came close. My mind modulated between that video and our tactile reality, as if they were vying against each other. We swayed each other backwards and forwards; through Maria’s undulating movements, beautifully raising her skirt, her shoulders were available to touch; our lips came close. Her body wings flirted alluringly with the horizontal. Her back zip was giddily tantalising. Our dancing was sinuous, muscular, delicious. She drew out of me ballet steps and movements that I never thought I could do, undreamed of suppleness on my trunk, spine and legs. I felt as if I had satisfied a professional. I must have managed a pirouette. Our bodies orbited each other, into planet, out of asteroid, out of planet, into asteroid, into nova, out of nova . . .

"Well done, honey; you got every bit of me moving. Now we'll go on to Part 2. Undo me at the back." I had had a welling up of fantasy desire to do just that, cumulative too; all those years of Hollywood and video belles I had longed to disrobe, the chaperoned sensual icons . . . and then to have the sluice gate opened by an order from reality . . .

Oh, what I'd dreamed of, brought to life! The dress shimmered down to reveal Marina in an exquisite cream corset, luminous, reflective, flickering in the orange light. Madonna in the flesh! At last I could see her legs in full. I had already kicked off my shoes. She stripped me down to my shorts and singlet. We danced on, writhing, edging into an embrace. I massaged her back, felt her erected breasts under the boned corset. We swayed ourselves breathless. My inner fires were rising, seething.

"Now for the deeper plunge; we'll do a swim together."

We left our clothes in a heap in the ballroom. Marina led me through a long, dark corridor to the pool. It was huge, glass-roofed, warm, exotic, flanked with palm trees. The water was turquoise; it was an encapsulated lagoon. She pointed to the changing room in the far corner. There's a costume for you in there, ok?"

What suspense as we changed! Marina had been really telepathic in her planning. They were 50s-style Jantzen trunks. I got a wonderful thrill as I pulled them on in a real flush of hitherto unfulfilled youth. Never before had I felt so sexy in trunks, with someone eyeing me up that I really wanted to; it was almost as if I was going to appear in a male strip show, to show myself to all the most beautiful women in the world, who would sigh in ectasy at the sight of my body. And Marina felt like all those beautiful women rolled into one.

We both tiptoed out of our cubicles, and came to the pool's edge. Now was the other side of the coin: I had been pretty turned on by the corset, but now Marina was in a clingy purple swimsuit with white stripes top and bottom. My bathing icon was before me, the sight of her glorified by the tinting of subdued light, Ursula Andress and Esther Williams rolled into one. Had there ever, in my whole life, been a plunge like this?

I got into the water first, and drew Marina down by the shoulders to join me; such beautiful shoulders too, just muscular enough. We splashed about a bit at first, then raced together, on and on, until I lost count of lengths and laps. All this unaccustomed exertion was releasing ever more energy. We did lots of different strokes, but my favourite was to see Marina doing the backstroke, her lovely breasts and thighs thrusting up through the water. My reverie alternated between the pool and a bed. We felt so youthful, so healthy, so supple, so strong. The heady power of this exercise was turning us into two supermodels. We submerged, embraced under water. Our self-made maelstrom was tightening our clinch. This was a breathtaking build-up – the flow, the ripples from outside building up the flow, the ripples from within. The Swim Fan sequence surged through my brain. I loved the first stirring of erection in my trunks, and sensed her fires were rising with mine. We were within an ace of doing it there and then, but Marina held me firm.

"We've got to go one step further on our path to make things complete.”

She took my hand and led me on. We approached a shower cubicle. She grabbed me by the waist and pulled me in, “next item in the unwinding sequence” she whispered.

It was so delicious; the steamy water pouring down, that tight embrace in front of the mirror, us still in costumes, the slow peeling down, the clinch, the foaming soaping, the gell, the abandoned thrusting in quasi-tropical heat, the total cleaning, the thrust together of all body parts, the rubbing all over with voluminous towels. It was so transporting, we could have been anywhere in our world of travel dreams.

We went back to collect our clothes.

“We've done the water element; now is the time for the air: we're going to parachute to ecstasy."

Whatever happened next passed in a flash. Rapid dry and change, zoomed into taxi, careering but coolly controlled ride through the night to a small airfield. We opened the taxi doors, to be caressed by a warm breeze. There was a charter plane waiting for us, sleek, with swept-back wings, its piston engine purring alluringly. In the cabin were two parachutes and jumpsuits, one for each of us. The pilot was tall, lean, angular, a bit Latin looking. He rapidly veiled his face in goggles. The plane did a rapid take-off, almost vertical. Marina beckoned me to the porthole. The whole of the planet below felt fleshy, voluptuous, crying for us both to join in its embrace.

"See the earth below, darling" said Marina, the woodland and scrubland bristling, the shimmering veins of streams and rivers. Now we're going to take our plunge through the air, just as we've taken it through water." She put on her jumpsuit and parachute; I followed suit.

The cockpit cover slid open; we tumbled out of the plane, embraced and kissed in free fall. The sky bore down on us; the ground rose to clasp us. We tumbled out of the plane, embraced and kissed in free fall. Then our parachutes orgiastically bloomed above us. We swayed to the ground, and cast off our parachutes; they billowed aside, writhing erotically.

"You've passed your test, and earned my love. Now take me darling. I've toned up your body, so now you're gorgeous. Now give your all to me, every gram of your firm flesh, your every muscle, sinew and bone. Give me all!"

A wind was rising around us. We kissed deeply, going to the bottoms of our lungs as if drawing from the power of the wind. We unzipped. There was a thunderstorm above us, answered by our own. Some night-owls made a brittle accompaniment. Our limp wet clothes were electrified by our lusting bodies. Off they peeled, to show us to each other like two naked gods, proclaiming themselves to the elements. I threw myself on the ground, and pulled Marina on top of me. The earth was soft, the grass was thick, the natural bed was just yielding enough. We lunged into the bed of nature. It was so fulfilling, so wonderful to feel the wet leaves on the flesh of my back, and Marina on my chest, heaving, our muscles clinched. We rolled over; upper and lower rotated into an exquisite blur; hard strength came swelling, muscular. It felt as if the thunder clapped to our every thrust. It was long and slow, strong and deep. It was long and slow, strong and deep. Time was frozen, suspended by our volcanic fires, earth, water, fire and air welded in orgasm around ours. Then the thunder did clap, for real, with our climax, and released a warm shower to bathe and bless our fulfilment.

"I've come, darling; I've come", moaned Marina, "I’ve always been able to choose; I've had so many, and some of them were really good, but of all of them, you're the first man who ever really made it with me."

* * *

We must have fallen asleep on the lush ground. The next thing I remember was being woken up by a long, breathy kiss, to find myself back at the hotel. Marina was wearing a bright blue dressing gown, obviously fresh from a bath or shower.

"You outstripped my expectations – hmm; that body, that self-assurance. we've really sealed our pact, darling. Now we must both part, to make our big marks on the world, to meet again with all the wealth and power we have won by the strength we have given each other. But let's make it special, and make our parting add the finishing touch to our perfect sensuality."

I realised I had had my clothes changed while I was asleep.

She led me to a luxury suite. All was soft and sheltered, in counterpoint to the elements. And that fresh satin underwear: what a fabulous modulation on the open air theme. Wild nature and the heights of artifice certainly did fill in each other's gaps. Dew and quality soap formed a super gamut. There was a last clinch and goodbye in the airport lounge. Something really great had happened; I was built up.

* * *

All through the account, Rowena was rapt, riveted, penetrated my eyes with her stare. "Well, I was really hypnotized by your story. You can really feel positive about the world now, can't you," she breathed, "and so can I. For the first time ever since I started practising, I've really got through to a patient. It feels to me as if all the blocks that have been built up since childhood have been cleared away – yours and mine. I feel so fulfilled; I . . ." she blushed and stopped short.

"What is it?" I asked, a little taken aback. In a split second, our roles were reversed. My prompting instruction came quite naturally.

"Yes; this is two-way now. You can tell me."

"Did that really happen to you?"

"No, it didn't; but I really wanted it to."

"If you really want something enough, you can will it to happen; just let your imagination take you over . . . You . . . made me feel like Marina. I want to be Marina. I want to have that effect on you."

My courage gelled. "You can be; you are." This was the realisation. We joined each other on the sofa, quivered to an embrace, held a breathy, tongued kiss. Arms, shoulders, legs, hips all harmonized.
Rowena took a deep breath: "I love dressing up, feeling caressed and massaged by soft, delicate fabrics, feeling clinched, embraced by tight-fitting but comfortable shoes, belts, bras, blouses, jackets, even the occasional hat. It's like music really; it's great for the whole process to go in reverse, getting undressed – the flip side of dressing in front of a mirror, fabric caresses being phased into body caresses – play the film backwards, then let the caresses of a body take over from those of the fabrics, the elastic, the leather, allowing an interlude of gentle wafts of air . . ."

The words coagulated in mny throat, then burst out in a loaded whisper: "Be yourself, find yourself, reveal yourself. Let the layers of your body answer the layers of your mind, by the rolls of a Turkish bath. Please . . . undress."

Rowena stood up, very straight. For a moment, she looked almost cold and official, as if she were, professionally, going to end the session. (That, by the way, is always a turn-on for me. I always find hard professional women so sexy.) But then a power far greater than her status radiated through her.

"I must confess . . . I have often fantasized about being a stripper, ached to do the seven veils . . . but it's so much better when it's a real, personal response."

Rowena disrobed magnificently, with all the freshness of novelty and coyness newly abandoned, half-giggling, half shily, but getting more of a thrill at every move on zip or button. My zips and buttons made a delicate harmony with hers. Her sober, dark green consultant's outfit came off, then her crisp cream blouse. Now she stood before me in a clingy black crimped body stocking. She blossomed out of her repressive cocoon. How her breasts had strengthened! Her eyes lit up at the sight of my legs and torso as they were revealed to her; my body, too, was what she wanted. In her secret world of thoughts, she must have always been prepared for this occasion. So had I. I had put on my sexiest black briefs in anticipation. I divested to accompany her. She beamed with delight. "Your body's so gorgeous" she panted. Our undressing half-felt like athletic rivalry. But we both came out winners. What a revelation when the clinical detchment of a profession was cast aside with the clothes!

Necking and petting rose to their fullest refinements. Rowena raised her arm in the air. "We surrender, darling" she cried. The suspense was almost unbearable as I pulled down her body stocking, to reveal her in brief underwear to match mine. "Give yourself to me, as I to you," I panted.

We took each other with the full force of our deepest dreams and longings. Every sensual vibration of my account of Marina came here into concentrated play. Rowena had had a repressed childhood. It almost felt as if it was worth all those years of repression for both of us to get such a fabulous turn-on form this final release. Every move was crowned with kisses and clinches of muscle, all over, breasts in armpits, hip to hip. Erections, general and specific, were beautifully extended; we dived into the immersion of two-way orgasm.

First the carpeted floor after that, then a shower, then the consulting couch, then the bath, then the bed, gave both of us the most marvellous therapy either of us had ever given or received. Rowena's in-depth consultation had really worked on me – and mine on Rowena. Good to bridge the gulf between the professional and the personal!

Now both of us really could face the world positively. Our interviewing and persuasion skills have improved a thousandfold. All the blushings and fumblings were now confined to areas of intimate encounter. And we're both super-fit now too – ace swimmers and parachutists, unflinchingly, perpetually camera-ready, determined to preserve those sexy bodies, clinch and caress to perfection.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone's life could be like that!

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