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At the corner of the bar of the Liberty saloon the woman sat alone, marking time. Above the whiskey and gin bottles the calendar with artwork of an inadequately garbed Hedy Lamar announced the early days of April, 1944 were slipping into history. The taproom swarmed with soldiers in uniform, awaiting the day when ships would take them across the Atlantic to defend their country.
The woman was not beautiful. Even the drunkest soldier in the bar would have been hard pressed to characterize her as pretty. Her chin was too sharp, her nose slightly wide for her gaunt face, the body enclosed in the spring frock seemed haggard, as if she’d been dieting severely. The breasts seemed little more than slight bulges revealing not a raging canyon of cleavage, but a shallow valley between two hillocks.
But she had attempted to supplement where nature had refused to do it’s best for her. In the style of the times, her sparse lips were boldly enhanced by intense red lipstick, matching the gloss on her nails. The eyebrows were plucked and lined darkly, her lashes dripped with mascara. The skirt, perhaps a bit short considering the coolness of the early spring, was cut above the knee, revealing more than a hint of leg and a curiosity of what might be above. Her mane, tumbling below the shoulder, was bobbed beautifully, and the sheen was perfect. Although she was slightly older than most of the men in uniform, she still emitted an aura of youth, of innocence. She would definitely be termed ‘attractive.’
A short corporal who had imbibed perhaps more than was wise approached the girl. “Hey, baby, whatcha doin’ here?”
“Waiting for someone,” she replied in an icy tone.
“Well, why don’t ‘cha wait for me? You could do worse, ya know.”
“No, thank you,” she retorted, the glacier freezing.
“Aww, c’mon,” the soldier brusquely demanded. The woman’s demeanor indicated she had absolutely no desire to speak with him. From a nearby table surrounded by seven or eight soldiers rose a man who progressed to the scene. “Hey, corporal,” he suggested, “Adams says he can beat you at pool.”
“What!? Adams ain’t got a hair on his ass. Where is that son of a bitch?” And he advanced to the rear, searching for the pool table.
“I’m sorry about that, mam’n, Jackson didn’t mean any trouble,” the private first class apologized in an accent dripping with cornfields.
“Oh, that’s no problem. Thank you for helping me.”
“You’re very welcome, mam’n.” Searching for something else to say, hoping for just a kind word, he asked, “Are you from around here?”
“Sort of. I run a cleaning shop a few blocks from here. But I grew up in Laurel, Delaware. I’m just up here trying to do my part for the war effort. My name’s Alice Dryer.”
Shaking her hand, he admitted, “I’m Harold Corrigan, mam’n, from Guthrie Center, Iowa.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Harold.” Her first impression was of youth, much too young to be involved in this terrible crusade, and that behind his gangliness he emitted a quiet comportment she found appealing. “You’re going over soon?”
“We ship out the day after tomorrow.”
“Are you scared?”
It was impertinent to ask this of him, as brash as it would have been to suggest he was unprepared or unfit. And yet he answered, as honestly as he could, “A little, I guess. But they say once you get to fighting, you’re too busy to be scared. I sure hope so, mam’n.” His voice trailed off.
“You don’t have to call me ‘mam’n.’ Alice will do just fine. Is Guthrie Center a good place to be from?”
“Well, I like it. Although before I enlisted, I’d never been anywhere else. Oh, I’ve gone over to Des Moines every year to the State Fair. But it’s beautiful in the summer, when the corn is high and the swallows are going after beetles.”
“I’m sure it is,” she pleasantly agreed. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
“No, not really. Oh, Mildred sort of thinks she’s my girlfriend, I guess. Once she found out I was planning on enlisting after we graduated from High School, she took a shine to me, and we started going to dances together and such. She writes to me a few times a week, lets me know what’s going on back home. And she put a star in her window for me. But I told her not to wait for me; I’m not sure if she’s the girl I want to marry after I get back.” Alice heard the unspoken echo, ‘If I get back.’
“That’s wise of you, I’m sure. Still, she must be very proud of you. I think you’re a hero, doing your part to beat the Nazi’s. I try to do my part, too. It’s very important for us stuck at home to do anything we can to keep your morale up. I observe one extra meatless, wheatless and sweetless day every week.” It was obvious that she, like the rest of the country, was drastically patriotic, willing to deny themselves anything for the country, zealous to assist in the coming victory in any way they could. Trying to change the subject, not wishing to seem too important, she asked, “You enlisted right after High School? Why did you choose the army?”
“Well, mam’n — I mean Alice — I thought the Army would czech taxi porno give me the best chance to fight, and my uncle was in the 37th Infantry in the first War. He told me real men went into the Army. So I joined up eight months ago, and I’ve been in training ever since. Don’t know why they haven’t sent us over to kick some rear ends before this.”
The boy and young woman sat and chatted in the crowded bar, mostly about life in Guthrie Center, a bit about her, but she seemed guarded in her responses to his questions.
Soon one of the members of Harold’s platoon spoke to him. “Hey, Corrigan, we’re heading over to the whor – – I mean, we’re heading over to Second Avenue.” This was the area where the brothels were, and although Alice probably wouldn’t speak to the girls who worked there, she still appreciated their sacrifices for these poor boys who needed their services.
“Naw, I don’t think so,” Harold responded, “I’ll see you guys back at the barracks.”
“Suit yourself,” the other soldier said, and led a group out in search of succor.
“If you’d like to go with them, I wouldn’t mind,” Alice told Harold.
“That’s kind, but I’m fine right here.”
“You mean you don’t want a girl?” Seeing the semi-shocked glance he returned, she continued, “Oh, I know where they’re going. The whole town knows where the red-light district is.”
“Well, it’s not that I don’t like girls, mam’n,” — he was nervous now — “but not that sort, I guess. My mother always told me to stay away from their kind, and I guess I see her point.”
“You’re a good boy, Harold, I’m sure your mother would be proud of you.” In an attempt to save face, Harold ordered another beer, and the conversation returned to other, safer subjects. Half an hour later, when the beer was down to the final swallow, Alice looked at her watch and cried, “Oh, my goodness, look at the time. I really must be getting along. Harold, you’re a dear, would you mind walking me home? I suppose it’s very safe, but I’d just feel better if you’d escort me.” Of course he was pleased to assist her, and after passing the blackout curtain, they made their way through the darkened town, proud brick storefronts built near the harbor over the last hundred years, until they came to a store advertising cleaning and laundry.
“Is this where you work?” Harold asked, a little nervously.
“Um-hmm. I collect the clothes, and a truck comes and gets it from the main plant further in town. I live up here,” she said, placing a key in the door next to the shop, revealing a staircase leading to the second floor. “Would you like to come up for a cup of coffee?”
“Well, I really don’t know . . .”
“Please?” she interrupted him, “It’ll only take a minute to make, and it’s the least I can do to thank you for walking me home.”
He acquiesced, and after shutting the door to ward off the escape of light into the night, she flipped the light switch. At the top of the steps he found a clean apartment of two rooms, the first a combination living room and tiny kitchen, just large enough for house keeping. Through the interior door, he spied the bed, almost completely filling the tiny bedroom. If the rugs and paint were perhaps a bit dingy, it was made up for by the fastidious arrangement of furniture and knick-knacks. As she turned the radio on and the room filled with the music of big band swing, she called “Make yourself comfortable while I put the water on to boil.”
As he waited for her, his eye landed on two photographs, almost a shrine. In one, a handsome sailor beamed brightly, his dark hair slicked and his hat tilted rakishly. The other was a wedding picture, the bride Alice, and the groom seemed to be the sailor in the picture. In front of the picture a votive candle and a small china bowl festooned with an image of a rose was on display. Inside the bowl were two copper stars, the type you might find in the sewing section of a five-and-dime to use for decorating a garment.
“Are you married?” he asked.
“I was,” she admitted in a mirthless voice. “Johnny joined the navy right after Pearl Harbor. We’d only been married two and a half years. He went through boot camp, then got stationed on a troop ship taking people over to England. It was based here, and he found out he’d be docked about six or seven days a month, so I moved up here, found my job at the cleaning store, and I waited for whenever he docked here. Then one day, a little over a year ago, they said his ship was torpedoed by a U-boat, and although he’s still listed as missing in action, I know in my heart he’s not coming back.”
Of course he tried to comfort her. “It must be very hard on you.” By this time, the coffee was brewed, and she set the steaming cups on the small table in front of the sofa, and encouraged him to sit beside her.
“It’s difficult, some of the time, but I’m past the tough grieving now. I still cry some, but I’m trying to get over it — there’s too many widows right now like me.” As she sat and told of her woe, she tucked her legs underneath her, her hem lifted high on her thigh. When defloration porno she caught Harold admiring her limbs, she smiled as if to say, ‘don’t be concerned, I don’t mind.’
They continued to talk intimately, she was showing off curios, a souvenir of New York City, a picture of her grandparents, and Harold asked about the glass bowl with the stars in them. “Oh, they’re just mementos of some good times I’ve had,” she retorted, a bit mysteriously.
When the rich tones of Moonlight Serenade began blaring from the radio, her shoulders sagged, her eyes moistened, and she leaned into Harold’s arms for support. Gingerly he nestled her with one arm, and then heard her whisper, “Please. Hold me tight.” And he did, surrounding her with both arms, letting her perch within his nest. She rocked gently through the song, and when the final strains died into the air to be replaced by the happier sounds of Brazil, she confessed, “I’m sorry. That was one of Johnnie’s favorite songs.”
“Sure, I understand,” he assured her through his confusion, and loosened his embrace.
“No, don’t let me go. I like the way you hug me.” For a few moments they silently sat, and then she commenced to stroke the soldiers arm, feeling little but muscle under the uniform’s sleeve. When he made no effort to dissuade her, she shifted and lifted her face to his. Almost in slow motion their lips brushed, nimbly at first, then as she gained confidence in his reaction, savagely. Soon her hands were exploring his chest, his neck, the dark brown hair. It was obvious no woman had ever been as forward with him as this one, and although he wished to reciprocate, he had neither the courage nor seasoning to comfortably stroke her body as she was fondling him. She broke the embrace, and looking down, not meeting his eyes, she asked, “I want you to make love to me.”
Without waiting for his affirmative, she rose from the sofa, took his hand and led him into the bedroom, gloomy but for the light from the small bulb in the living room, and urged him to sit on the bedspread.
“Would you like me to undress for you?” In response to his nod, she slowly loosed her belt and unbuttoned the front of her dress, dropping it from her shoulders. As she allowed the slip to glide to the floor, Harold gazed at her ivory bra of heavy construction, almost too large for her breasts, a pair of yellow, lace trimmed panties, and a yellow garter, unneeded because of the wartime shortage of stockings, obviously worn for sentimental reasons.
“Would you like to take this off my leg?” she offered, placing her foot on the bed, her thigh close to Harold’s face. He reached up and slowly, feeling the nudity of her limb, removed the garter. While he completed the pleasant chore, Alice loosened his tie and the top button of his shirt.
She laid on the bed, beckoning Harold to join her, and the foreplay began. The remaining clothes were discarded until bodies were exposed to gazes, tender yet muscular flesh was vulnerable to caresses. Too soon, when it was obvious Harold was anxious for culmination, she asked, “You don’t mind wearing a condom, do you? I don’t want to get pregnant.” And after she had placed the rubber over his rod, she pushed him back onto the bed, slipped a leg across his belly until she was kneeling over him, and lowered her mound until they were joined.
For hours, seemingly, the lovers wrestled, intent upon their passionate exercise. If Harold proved perhaps a bit timid or inexperienced, Alice ensured their intimacy remained intense and delightful. She was expert at discovering his desires and then fulfilling them, and should she crave a particular part of her anatomy to be stroked or kissed, she was aggressive in directing Harold for the purpose of her ecstasy. She proved particularly adept at reviving his depleted wand back by tricks of her fingers and mouth.
When, finally, further penetration seemed hopeless and the paramours were yawning with weariness and the lateness of the hour, Alice suggested Harold spend the night, unless he was required on the base. “No, I don’t have to muster until oh-eight-hundred.” Giving him one last kiss for the night, she turned her back to him and cuddled against him, enraptured by the way he cupped a breast in his hand.
Sometime before dawn they roused and tussled yet again, briefly but intensely. When the wind-up clock alarmed them at 5:45, Harold seemed shy after the lovemaking, but Alice jumped from the bed, unconcerned with her nudity. “Good morning, I think I’ve got some cornflakes, would you like some?”
“No, I’ll get breakfast on the base. Why are you up so early?”
“I’ve got to open up the shop at 6:30. There’s always someone waiting for me on their way to work. But you don’t have to get up, you can laze in bed.”
“I’m used to getting up early. Besides, if I go back to sleep, I might not make morning muster.” He looked for his boxers, his uniform and began garbing. “Ummm, are you busy tonight? I’d like to see you again, maybe take you to dinner or something.”
“We could do that, if you like, but wouldn’t we be doktor ofisi porno more comfortable here? I could make something.” Seeing his joy at her acceptance and a continuance of the brief relationship, she suggested, “I can’t close the shop until 6:00, but you can come by anytime you can get off the base.”
By now, she was bathed, clothed and fed, at least as well as you could be in wartime, and she gave him a kiss before they descended the stairs. “Until tonight then,” she promised, “I’m looking forward to it.”
Late in the afternoon, Harold marched to the main gate then wound his way through the streets of the city to the laundry. Through the glass he observed Alice busily folding clothes. Poking his head in, he greeted her, “Hi, there.”
A warm smile leapt to her face, “Oh, am I glad to see you. Wait until you see what I got at the market! I’ve got about forty-five minutes before I can close, but you go up to the apartment. The door’s unlocked, there’s beer in the ice-box if you’d like. Make yourself at home.”
When the clock released her from her daytime duties, she sprung up the stairs to find Harold sitting on the sofa, a cold beverage in his hand, his tie and collar button undone. “Did you see in the ice box? I managed to get a roast! A real one, prime beef.” Such a treasure was almost impossible to find in these days. “I got potatoes, too, that I can bake. I’ve only got margarine, though, the butter was just too dear. I hope that’ll be okay.” His smile indicated that life, at least for today, was fine. “You just sit there while I put the roast in the oven.”
While she puttered, he followed her with his eyes as she flitted about the small kitchen. Today, less made up, the dress, well, a uniform actually, was not as appealing as the frock she’d worn last night. Her hair was a bit mussed from the day’s work. But Harold appreciated her more for the change, she seemed less the hussy, more the dedicated housewife. He fantasized what it would be like to come back from the war to a woman like that, maybe even this woman, waiting for him.
After the roast was tucked into the oven with the potatoes, she sat beside him, very closely, took the beer from his hand and had a long swallow. “It should be ready in about an hour. What should we do until then? Oh, I do wonder!”
Harold had no doubts what they should do, and they instigated their cooing and mutual stimulation. Again, clothes were discarded haphazardly, sensitive areas were touched, kissed and suckled. Moans, groans and even tiny screams filled the room as the lovers satisfied each other. While they were in a particularly erotic maneuver, the bell on the oven chimed; for five minutes the pair ignored the warning, much too involved to be bothered with mere food.
But the time came when the gasps became simple breaths, the heartbeat began to return to normal. It was then that Alice broke the embrace and hurried to the kitchen area. Without donning a stitch, she opened the oven door and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s beautiful. Let’s eat!” In just a few minutes she had the table set and food on the plates. “I got a bottle of wine, would you like it?”
The roast was wonderful, on the cusp between medium and rare. As they filled their mouths with bites, sometimes allowing a foot to play with a naked leg, Harold had the audacity to observe, “You really like doing it, don’t you?”
A winsome smile came to Alice’s face. “I believe I have a calling. The week before I was married, my mother took me into the garden and sat me on the swing. She told me sex was a duty I owed to Johnny, no matter how unpleasant it might be, and that the only proper way was in the bed in the dark with my husband on top of me. I was to open my legs for him, let him push it inside me, and never complain.
“I believed I knew better about such things than my mother did, and I was right. Even on my wedding night, when Johnny had to force his way in and it hurt a little bit, I liked what he was doing to me, and what I was able to do for him. I couldn’t wait for him to get home at night and we could make love, and lots of suppers were ruined because we got too busy.
“Once, Johnny had to go up to Philadelphia for a couple of days, and when he came back he gave me a present; it was a book he’d found somewhere that had pictures of different ways to do it. I thought some of them would be too difficult, because it looked like you almost had to be an acrobat. But we managed to try every single position, and we even made up some of our own, and I wrote them down in the book. Would you like to see it?”
She strode to a small bookshelf and from the very end, hidden behind a porcelain statuette, she retrieved a small, darkly bound volume. The print was imperfect, the pages ragged. But there, one per page, were graphic ink drawings illustrating the various postures in which a couple might couple. On many of the pages handwritten notes, which Alice confessed were hers, gave further advice about the posture. By the time the book had been perused, it was more than obvious Harold was anxious to sport again — perhaps the fact that Alice sat on his lap also had a bit to do with the situation’s stiffening. “Is there one you’d like to try?” she brazenly asked. Harold picked one out, the woman kneeling and the man was behind her, one knee on the floor, one over her rump, and the libertines moved into the bedroom, abandoning the dirty dishes on the table.
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