As the Archangel Michael expels Adam and Even from Eden, he consoles Adam with the thought that he no longer needs to live in the secure cocoon of a paradise created by God:
Add Virtue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
By name to come called Charity, the soul
Of all the rest: then wilt though not be loth
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A paradise within thee, happier far.
It is up to Adam to choose how to live his life, and it is within his power to be happy.
This week’s chapter contains explicit content.
14. A Paradise Within Thee
“I don’t want some bigshot from Harvard to take this over. I want you.”
Jennet had been waiting for this. She took a deep breath, and said, “I want you too, Jonathan.” They locked eyes, staring at each other, and then he slowly stood up, reaching for her hand. He drew her to him and kissed her as he had in the library, but this time, he didn’t pull away. A thrill of pleasure shot through the core of her. She returned the kiss, moving her hands upward to feel his back through the linen shirt, and then down to caress the firm, rounded muscles of his ass. She groaned a little, feeling his erection against her belly, and then broke the kiss, retreating a step so she could look him in the eye as she ran her fingers over the long, hard ridge in the front of his jeans.
“Jonathan, do you want me now?” In answer, he pushed her against the dining room wall, caging her with his body. He was breathing hard, and she could actually see his heartbeat pulsing under his shirt, where the slightly damp linen clung to his chest. He kissed her again, harder this time, and then laid his head against hers and looked down into her neckline as he fondled her breasts through the fabric of her blouse. She closed her eyes, lost in the sensation. Yes. Nobody had ever made her feel like this. Not even Kyle’s father, when she was a hormone-crazed fifteen-year-old. The wetness and heat between her legs was growing. Now he lifted her skirt higher and higher around her hips. His questing hand slipped into her panties and downward to cup her. He felt how wet she was, and a sound finally escaped him, deep and guttural. At last, she thought, and seized the opportunity to urge him on.
“Fuck me, Jonathan. Please.” She was already pulling off her panties, bending slightly at the knees. She left them on the floor and moved her hands to his belt buckle, but he brushed them away and undid the buckle and zipper himself, staring down at her. His eyes were like blue topaz, she thought. The light, sky-blue kind. Clear and dazzling. Then he took her hand and brought it to him, closing her fingers around his penis. She groaned with desire, feeling the length and hardness of him. He put his right index finger to her lips, gently tracing them, and she moved her head forward slightly to take his finger into her mouth, sucking the tip gently as she looked up into his eyes and gripped him below. Now. Oh please, now.
He dropped both hands to her waist and lifted her smoothly up against his chest. As she wrapped arms and legs around him, he pressed her against the wall and entered her, impaling her with one forceful thrust after another. She’d never had sex this way before, and worried at first that it must be strenuous for him to hold her pinioned against the wall, but he showed no signs of flagging. Then sensation overtook her, and she stopped thinking. Nothing mattered but having him inside her, and the exquisitely sensitive places within her that he was stroking so rhythmically. Just as she was wondering if she might actually have a climax this way, he shuddered and changed his pace— two fast, furious strokes, followed by a few slower, more languorous ones. Then he let her down so that she was riding on his thigh, still leaning against the wall as he supported her. He was panting from arousal and physical exertion. They both stayed there, dazed. She didn’t know how long.
Finally he cleared his throat. “I don’t think I offered you a drink. Would you like a glass of wine?”
Sebelius thought he must be dreaming. Instead of accusing him of sexual harassment, the Woman had told him that his papyrus was a major discovery of Pauline literature. He was a Milton scholar, and a veteran of many a Lutheran Sunday school class. He knew his Bible, and he knew his Paul. He had been rather sympathetic toward Paul’s obvious impatience with sex. To Paul, there were more important things on the agenda than lust. Sexual desire was only for those who couldn’t control themselves, and if they couldn’t, then they ought to marry. In Paul’s mind, such people were falling short of the mark, unable to give themselves fully and without reservation to Christ.
But then she said, I want you, Jonathan. And, Do you want me now, Jonathan? And, Fuck me, Jonathan. Please. And he was utterly, completely lost. He would do anything for her. He would run a hundred miles, fight a hundred men to get to her. And all so he could embed himself in her warm, soft sheath, over and over. Christ, he already wanted to do it again. Paul would be totally disgusted with me, he thought, amused, as he zipped himself up and went to pour them some Zinfandel.
The smile forming on his face abruptly disappeared as the inner voice of Swetnam spoke contemptuously: Fool. Thinkst thou to taste the honey without feeling the sting in her tail? The Woman has you in her power now, naked and vulnerable. You will be crushed. Again. He poured the wine and set it at her place on the table. She had put her panties back on and was sitting there, regarding him silently. He couldn’t tell what she was thinking. Jennet Thorne. The words of Paul came to his mind: I was given a Thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me…
He sat and they both drank without clinking their glasses. He cleared his throat as a chilling new thought occurred to him. “We didn’t use anything. Are you…?” His voice trailed off.
“It’s okay, Jonathan. I have an IUD,” she said softly, her eyes searching his. Immediately, a surge of hot anger enveloped him. He looked down so she wouldn’t see it.
“Are you sleeping with someone else?” He felt his fingers gripping the stem of the wine glass far too tightly. He forced his hand to relax.
“No, I’m not. Not that it’s any business of yours if I am.” Her voice was low but firm. Not my business, Woman? You had damned well better think again. He wanted to push her against the wall again, to possess her, to shackle her to his bed.
“Then why do you have it?” he ground out.
She laughed. “Jonathan, I made the appointment as soon as I realized I was attracted to you. You may not know this, but birth control is a big issue for me. I believe in being prepared.” Her words eased him a little. He desperately wanted to know exactly when she was first attracted to him, but he would not reveal his weakness by asking her.
They sat there in silence, drinking the wine. He waited for her to begin the inevitable, detailed analysis of their “relationship” that women so reveled in. Instead, she simply looked at him over the rim of her wineglass and slowly sipped the wine. Her face was still pink with the flush of sexual arousal. Eventually, when her glass was empty, she said, “It’s too dark out now for me to get anything done on the papyrus this evening. Thanks for the wine, Jonathan. And the sex. I haven’t enjoyed anything that much in a long time. Have a good weekend.” With that, she picked up her handbag and left.
He stared at the door for a while, unable to name his reaction to her departure. Then he went to his bedroom and removed his clothes, thinking he would take a shower. The left leg of his jeans was still damp. He lay back on the bed, inhaling the scent of her on the denim and picturing Jennet Thorne, her skirt hoisted up around her waist, riding his thigh.
Copyright 2015 by Linnet Moss
Notes: I made Jennet’s character a little more frank and forthright than I am myself about the vocabulary of eros. Personally I prefer circumlocution, euphemisms, hints. But Jennet says, “Fuck me now.” It’s not only because she enjoys saying it, but also because Jonathan needs permission, encouragement, something potent enough to make him take that leap. He’s not lacking in desire, but he’s very fearful and anxious. He hasn’t had sex in a very, very long time.
This chapter involved a certain amount of (hem) practical research. It is indeed strenuous even for a fit man to hold a lover against a wall during sex, though much depends on the relative size of the two lovers. Luckily Jonathan is extremely fit, and Jennet is willowy and petite.