A Cold Night In New Barcelona

by Maya Deerbone
It was raining outside, pouring down in cold sheets, the kind of rain that keeps even children indoors. It was raining inside, too. Just a soft drizzle from the few dozen leaks that peppered the soda-can-shingle roof, and a soft spray as the wind blew in through the holes in the walls.
     James stood in front of his favorite of those holes in the wall. Floor to twelve-foot ceiling, it was a jagged scar of exposed brick and torn wiring. It looked out over the rest of the city splayed out below. Candles were lit in windows nearby, like starlight. Electric lights glared in the skyscrapers downtown, high-powered beams shot out from the police airships tethered to the tallest buildings. An abandoned warzone lay between the two.
     A figure on a bicycle crossed through the no-mans-land, slowing to dodge potholes.
     James broke his vigil when the rider made it through the barricades and was safely back in New Barcelona. She’d be fine, he told himself. He walked down the seven flights of steps to unbar the door, then back up six to put a kettle for tea on the woodburning stove (book-burning stove, he would admit sometimes. But then, when one lived in lawbook depository in a society without law?). He went into the bedroom to check to see that the bed was made, then put on incense. He changed his mind about the incense and doused it, lit the oil lamp. He checked on the tea water and pulled out jars of chamomile and lavender. A short moment later, he returned them and pulled out two of his last teabags of rooibos, an import.
     He paced between the makeshift kitchen and the bedroom, separated by bookshelves of fiction, books he would not be burning. He sat for a long time waiting to hear the bells on the door that he’d wired to ring throughout the house. Finally, he went to the washroom to brush his teeth. It was then, of course, that Nepenthe arrived. He spit into the bucket, rinsed, and finally let a nervous smile creep across his face.
     He went to the control panel set into the wall in the stairwell and pulled a lever, releasing the bars on the doors below. Then he stood, waiting for her. He changed his mind and sat. Then, as he changed his mind again and stood back up, she walked in the room, grinning and drenched.
     James wasn’t a large man. He was five-foot-seven and thin, with the wiry muscles of the underfed and overworked. No one had enough to eat, not really, not since Downtown outlawed and then burned their gardens, not since the war began. He wasn’t a large man, weighed a few pounds less than Nepenthe, but it still caught him off guard when she picked him up and spun him in a quick circle before putting him back down.
     Most nights he would have lost himself in her embrace, but she was freezing and wet and her touch startled him. Pleasantly, though. Her sleeveless black shirt was soaked, clinging to her body.
     “Do you want some red tea?” he asked her.
     She nodded and he poured them each a cup, then sat down on a metal folding chair.
     “You look good,” Nepenthe said, standing over him.
     “You’re still alive,” he replied.
     “Thanks,” she said, and sat down on his lap, her legs straddling him, soaking his cotton dress.
     He reached a hand up and felt her neck, running his long nails slowly under her chin, causing her to smile. He sat up straight and kissed her, softly, his lips against hers, their mouths barely open.
     “It’s getting worse out there. More people are staring at me, more people are second-guessing me. Tonight someone tried to kick my bike out from underneath me.” Nepenthe massaged the back of her neck.
     “I’m sorry,” James said. He put his hand on her hand on her shoulder and then withdrew it. “Is there anything I could do?”
     Nepenthe laughed. “Probably.”
     “Well, do you want to get out of those clothes? You must be freezing.”
     Nepenthe stood up, smiling, and stripped. Her shirt went over her head, revealing her small breasts—nipples erect—, her slight belly, and beneath that, muscle. She glistened from the rain, and James longed to touch her, to caress her, to fuck her before she dried.
     She kicked off her shoes where she stood and, one hand braced against the table, she pulled off her pants and underwear. Her legs were thick, strong, and somehow soft. Her pubic thatch was inviting and at eye level.
     “Are you nervous?” Nepenthe asked, reading James’ demeanor, his awkwardness.
     “Yeah,” he admitted.
     Nepenthe stepped closer to him, reaching out to place her fingertips behind his ear. “Do you want to talk about it?”
     James thought for a moment before he responded. “No. I want to kiss your belly.”
     “Then do it.”
     James did so.
     “I want to touch you,” he said, running his nails lightly up the outside of Nepenthe’s thigh.
     “I’d rather you licked me,” she replied, and James, holding onto her hips, knelt down on the floor.
     Nepenthe stepped forward and took a wider stance so that James could find her cunt with his mouth. First he licked the outside, then brought his tongue up between her labia, up the length of her until her found her clit.
     She took hold of his hair with both hands and pulled him up against her roughly. He moaned. It had taken months to work up to where he was comfortable with her grabbing him like that, but it was, very strongly, what they both wanted.
     James tasted her for a moment, then stood back up—which she let him do. He took her hand and led her into the bedroom, where the oil lamp, set against mirror shards, cast a soft but wildly flickering light.
     “Push me on the bed,” Nepenthe suggested.
     James pulled her past him and down onto the large mattress that lay upon shipping pallets stacked four high. He hiked his dress up above his knees and straddled her waist, running his nails across her chest, flicking her nipples, massaging her collar and neck.
     He kissed her, then, on the lips, and she responded by pulling his head into hers. He pulled away, smiling, then moved down her body with his mouth. After her neck, he said, “You’re usually so salty.”
     “It’s the rain.”
     “You tell the rain that I get to lick your salt off.”
     Nepenthe laughed, more from ticklishness—his lips and his soft beard had just found the side of her waist—than from the bad joke. “What, are we monogamous now?”
     “Well, I suppose it’s alright,” he conceded. He put the pad of one fingertip against the base of her wet cunt and pushed it in just past the lips, causing Nepenthe to breathe in sharply.
     “Will you just fuck me?” It was as much a plea as it was a demand.
     “Alright,” James said, and let his forefinger slide into her. He pulled it out and added the middle finger, turning his hand so his palm faced up.
     “Thanks,” Nepenthe said, and gasped as James curled his fingers and brought them up inside of her.
     James lay down on
his stomach between her legs and started to lick her clit, his middle and ring fingers fucking her.
     There wasn’t a trace of nervousness left in him, he realized. With his free hand, he massaged her breast. She moaned happily. His cock pressed against the bed, and all his body knew was desire.
     For minutes, at least, he licked her, lapped her, fucked her with his mouth and hand. Her excitement grew, and he could taste her getting wetter.
     He knelt for a second, switching hands, and met her gaze while putting a cunt-soaked finger into his mouth. Nepenthe whimpered, and he lay back down and licked her cunt in response, his tongue moving circles around her clit, then simply up from his fingers to the top of her hood. She brought her knee up, found his cock beneath his dress with her foot, pressed against it with her toes.
     “James,” she said, “fuck me.”
     He let his fingers push farther into her.
     “More,” she said, and he added his index finger.
     She started to talk, but words fell noiselessly from her mouth and she gripped his head between her thighs. He licked her harder, let his fingers stay inside her for longer before pulling them almost completely out each stroke.
     And then she shook, starting somewhere from her shoulders, each shiver running down into her hips, shaking his head, making him fuck her harder.
     “I’m going to come,” Nepenthe said.
     James kept his fingers inside her, pressed up nearly against the inside of her belly, and she gasped faster as orgasm went through her. She screamed in staccato bursts and clutched his head tightly in her legs.
     Slowly, it passed. First her panting subsided, then her shivering, and she pulled James up by the hair to kiss him, tasting herself on his lips and in his beard.
     He watched her face, the stress melted away, her eyes a bit glazed. It was rare that she smiled these days, had been ever since the war. The war was supposed to be over. But war never really is, of course.
     “Mmmmm,” Nepenthe said, after staring at the ceiling for perhaps a minute. “Found any condoms recently?”
     “No,” James said. Somewhere in the city, there were still people making condoms, but the embargo usually kept them out of New Barcelona.
     “We’ll just have to be creative then, yeah?” Nepenthe reached in between the pallets beneath the mattress and pulled out an antique cigar box. She opened it and pulled out two dildos.
     “Glass or wood?” she asked. Each was handmade by New Barcelonian crafters.
     “Wood for me, glass for you?” James reached out and stroked the head of the wooden cock, roughly sized to his own. It was sanded smooth and kept well oiled.
     Nepenthe smiled and set the glass one down on the bed for a moment. James lay on his back, and she straddled his waist. She brought the wooden cock up to her mouth and ran her tongue up its shaft slowly, holding eye contact with her lover. She then stroked his cheek with it, brushed it against his lips.
     He opened his mouth, and she slipped her cock in, slowly. It tasted cold in his mouth for a moment, until his spit soaked first the tip and then the shaft. It filled him, but not uncomfortably, and he ran his tongue along the carved head. Having Nepenthe’s cock in his mouth brought his own cock to full erection, where it leaned against the top of her ass.
     Her cunt was warm and wet against his waist.
     Nepenthe left the cock in his mouth for a moment, half of its length inside, and then picked up the slightly smaller glass dildo. Some days, she liked nothing more than James’ cock inside of her, but most days she liked something more reasonable. She ran the glass dildo up his thigh, rubbing his taint, then placed its flared base on his pelvis, covering his pubic thatch.
     She met his eyes, took hold of the glass cock, and slid down onto it. Once it was held down by her weight, she spit on her hand, reached behind herself, and grabbed his cock in a firm grip. With her other hand, she took hold of the wooden cock in his mouth. Then she slowly worked her way up and down the glass cock inside of her.
     “Now,” she said, everything in place, “fuck me. Fuck the hell out of me.”
     James bucked—gently at first—against her with his hips, her wet hand sliding down his shaft, her cock filling his mouth and moving in and out ever so slightly. All but the base of the glass cock disappeared into her waiting cunt and stayed there as she matched his motions, riding him.
     Already turned on from watching her come previously, his mind quickly blanked. His only thoughts were of the fire that ran through his cock, of the wood in his mouth, of the tilt of Nepenthe’s head as she threw it back to moan.
     She began to move her hand up and down his cock faster than he rocked up against her, letting her fingers tighten around its head, letting her thumb press up against his urethra when his hips reached full height with each thrust.
     He reached up and took the cock out of his mouth. “Can I come on you?” he asked, overwhelmed with desire.
     “I want you to come on me, but not yet. If you can help it.” She dropped the wooden cock on the bed to slow him down.
     So he kept fucking her, paying more attention to her moans than to fire that coursed through him. He alternated from hard thrusts to vibrating his hips so that the cock inside her shook, and she dug the fingertips of her free hand into his neck, his collar, then his mouth, pulling against his teeth.
     Then she thrust three fingers into his mouth, towards the back of his throat, and he dutifully sucked them. She pulled them out and put her hand on the outside of her cunt, rubbing her clit.
     He breathed faster, and she followed suit.
     “Fuck me. Come on me,” she said, moving from full, deep thrusts to letting the tip of the glass cock almost emerge from her cunt.
     She re-wet her hand and renewed her efforts on his cock, sliding up and down its length furiously. Then she pressed it against the top of her ass with her wet palm, letting him rub up against her back, and soon he was bucking uncontrollably.
     He thrust as high as he could, pushing against the base of the cock inside of her, then came, his cum shooting into her hand and up against her back. Spasms went through his body, he shook side to side, breathing hard and sporadically. He looked up into her face to watch her smile and then pull her face away in that near-pain of pleasure.
     He finished coming, letting his whole body shake, and when he collapsed onto the bed, she collapsed onto him as well. She let go of his cock, but kept the glass one inside of her.
     They lay for moments, then Nepenthe wiped her hand clean on James’ chest, grinning. Eventually, she pulled the cock out of her and set it next to the wooden one on the mattress.
     “How did it go?” James asked her.
     “What?” Nepenthe looked confused. “It was fucking wonderful. How do you think it went?”
     “No, no. The mission. How did the
mission go? Did you find out anything interesting?”
     “Oh!” Nepenthe sat up in bed, recovering. “No one was home. And I didn’t feel like waiting around in, in the open, in that fucking rain. I just wanted to be here. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow, if it looks safe.”
     “Ah,” he said.
     The rain beat down on the makeshift roof and dripped loudly into pans on the floor of the story above them. Outside, the world was going to hell, if it wasn’t already there. Inside, it smelled like sex, and the two lovers lay holding one another, grinning like idiots. Tomorrow would certainly come, of course, but that never really matters.