Sunday, 28 December 2014

Post #37: Reflecting on First Loves

The first cut is the deepest. If you've been there, then you know this cliched saying is so true.

Usually it's easy to forget, but Christmas at home always bring back memories because he was not only my first love, but also the only boy (or rather man) I ever brought home to meet the parents - to spend Christmas with us.

I'd gone all the way to England for school and uni only to meet a boy from down the road. His parents and my parents move in sort of the same circles, though they're not close. They may both be from old money, but his family live a simple rural idyll while mine tend to be extravagant and live it up (yes, apples and trees, I know already!) Clearly there was still enough solidarity between the families for eyebrows to be raised when I brought him home, though.

Let's just say that by the age of 23 Sébastien had already racked up enough of a reputation to warrant his parents uninviting him from Christmas dinner. He drove a motorcycle, drank too much, partied too hard, had his first tattoo. I still have a thing for tattoos and motorcycles.

But that wasn't why his parents all but disinherited him. What upset them most was that Bastien dropped out of university, stopped his music studies, and decided to live instead off the trust fund he'd just come into.

My parents, needless to say, were not particularly happy either.

He was the boyfriend who shared my twenty first birthday and we spent one magical summer together in Paris, living in a tiny apartment, screwing like rabbits and generally believing that the world began and ended with us. But the relationship didn't survive the following spring, and so we went our separate ways. He stayed in Paris. I returned to England. Devastated.

I'd had boyfriends before and I've had boyfriends since, but Sébastien was the only man I've ever lived with. The only man I've ever truly, madly, deeply fallen in love with.

It was inevitable we'd burn out, I guess, and probably for the best, but it's days like these, snowed in with my family with too much time to think and not enough to do, that I remember.

I heard through the neighbourhood grapevine that he's not so much of a party animal these days. He's reconciled with his family, and apparently he's even married with a kid on the way. I'm not jealous of her. Really, I'm not.

Courtesy of

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Post #36: Season's Greetings

It’s one of my favourite times of year, a chance to drink mulled wine, visit Christmas markets, decorate the house, and spend a small fortune on our loved ones. (Though I’ll admit to being a big traditionalist, so a string of coloured lights across the front living room window is about as far as I’ll go. Don’t expect gaudy lighting displays and reindeers on the front lawn in this part of St Johns Wood. I’m all about real trees and candles.)

The only thing I loathe about Christmas is that I can’t have all my loved ones together. Amelia, Olivia and Sophie all head home to their respective families, and I to mine, so we don’t get the chance to share this special time. Still, I get to see Fleur, and my ‘baby’ brother (who’s just hit his mid 20s, but will always be my little brother) Drew, Grandmaman, and our housekeeper Angelique who’ll make the world’s most divine English-style Turkey with all the trimmings followed by traditional Bûche de Noël (chocolate yule log) for le Réveillon. Angelique has been with our family since before my parents’ married so she’s almost as close to me as my own Grandmaman (and certainly far closer than my English grandparents whose geographical closeness bears no relation to our emotional distance).

My favourite Christmas tradition is attending Midnight Mass. Crazy, I know, considering we’re not the most religious family around, and we tend to be raucous rather than comtemplative even at the best of times, but there is something so magical about sitting in a church that is hundreds of years old, while the heavenly voices of the choir rise up to fill the rafters. The quiet inside yourself, being surrounded by people who know you better than even you know yourself, with whom there is no pretence, nothing but simply being. The peace that fills one up in a moment like that is more than magic. It is divine.

Then afterwards we crunch across the meadow, knee-deep in snow, heading home to sit beside a roaring log fire and exchange our gifts. We don’t go home to the main meal, le Réveillon, as many families do, but to a bottle of red wine from our own vineyard, a de Savoie family tradition, and we get merrily drunk together. And for that one moment in the year all our petty differences are set aside, and we are a family.

Bûche de Noël courtesy of Huffington Post

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Post #35: My First Time

June, and I'm home for the holidays. Not the house in Neuilly, where at least I’d have the shops and cinemas and buzz of the city to keep me entertained, but the house in the country. It’s too quiet and deadly boring. My friends are all across the channel, or away on way more exciting holidays, and I’m cooped up alone at home. My big brother, dull as always, has a summer job in Paris kissing someone’s ass, my little brother’s away with a school friend, my father’s working, as always, so it’s just me and my mother hanging around in this enormous house.

There’s not much to do but lie beside the pool and read. I’m working my way through Emma Holly’s books and the summer sunshine has nothing on the heat that’s burning me up from the inside out. God, I want to know how sex feels for myself. According to my best friend Olivia sex is nothing like it is in books or movies. She says it’s hugely over-rated. But it only has to be half as good as the scenes between the pages of Emma Holly’s books to make me happy. It would definitely be better than this boredom.

I’ve been home nearly a week when I see him for the first time. How could I have missed the new gardener? He is unmissable. All tanned, lean muscle, narrow hips and dark hair. Not just the lush mop on his head, but arrowing down beneath his waistband too…

I’m pretty sure Papi would have a heart attack if he knew the gardener worked shirtless. I’m pretty sure Mom insisted on it. And I’m pretty sure if I play my cards right, I can get him to notice me. He’s not that much older than me, after all – perhaps twenty two or twenty three to my sweet sixteen.

I always wanted to lose my virginity to someone older, someone who knows what he’s doing. It’s why I never let the boys back in England do more than have a kiss and a grope. I like kissing. I like the groping too. But of all the boys I’ve been out with, only Jonathan came close to being a good kisser, and even he fumbled the moment he had to use his hands rather than his lips. I don’t want my first time to be full of fumbling and sloppy kisses.

I watch the gardener as he prunes the hedge across the pool, the muscles in his shoulders and back flexing and contracting as he moves. He’s breathtaking to watch. My sunglasses slide down my nose and I’m barely aware I’m staring until he turns and catches me. He winks.
At least, I’m sure it’s a wink. It’s hard to tell from this distance.

I need to get closer, but I don’t want to seem too obvious or too desperate. Nothing screams ‘schoolgirl’ like desperate.

So I roll over onto my stomach and pretend to concentrate on my book. I lose all sense of time. Perhaps it’s only ten minutes, perhaps half an hour, before a shadow falls over me. I look up into a pair of eyes blacker than midnight.
“Be careful you don’t burn,” he says in French. “Your skin is very fair.”

I shrug. “I don’t burn.” Except perhaps for you.

“What are you reading?”

I hold up the paperback. The cover features a couple in a clinch. The content is unmistakable. “A sexy love scene,” I say, trying to look as if sex is an everyday thing for me, as if the mere thought of the word doesn’t turn me to mush.

He grins, brushing a curling lock of hair back from his forehead. “Aren’t you a little young for that?”

I work hard not to bristle. “I’m sixteen. And legal.”

His gaze slides down my body, and I move onto my side to give him a better view. I wish my breasts were fuller, my body more mature, but he seems to like what he sees. The front of his jeans is definitely fuller. I want so badly to reach out and touch that bulge. I know how boys like to be touched there, know how to rub them until they moan and push my hand away.

But this gardener isn’t a boy. He’s a man.

“I’m Lena,” I say.

“I know.” His eyes burn almost black in his tanned face. “I’m Paul.”

I nibble my lower lip, wondering what more I should say to keep him here. Not that he seems in any hurry to get back to his work.

“Turn over, and I’ll rub the sun cream on your back,” he says at last.

I oblige, and he picks up the bottle from the ground beside my lounger. I close my eyes as his hands begin to slide over the bare skin of my back. His hands are big and rough, and a little cold at first, growing warmer. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. No fumbling here.

When he’s done, he gives my bottom a playful smack. I roll up onto my elbow to see that he’s holding the bottle back out at me.

“Aren’t you going to do my front?” I ask, hoping I sound more coy than desperate.

He grins again and shakes his head. “You can reach there yourself.”

And he turns and walks away. He actually walks away. I clench my fists and grit my teeth to hold back the frustration. I turn back to my book, but I can’t see the words through my humiliated tears.

It’s another two days before I see Paul again. This time he’s weeding the rose beds edging the south lawn. I ask one of the servants to carry a sun lounger out to the shady patch beneath one of the massive, spreading oak trees. Close enough that Paul won’t be able to miss me. Not so close that it will be obvious I’m stalking him.

I’m wearing another bikini. This one’s black and lacy and tiny. I bring another book. I want him to see me as more mature, to take me more seriously, so this time it’s not a bodice ripper but Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus. But I’m not reading. I’m watching him work.

He’s shirtless again. Even his broad back is muscled. His arms are so strong and beautiful, and he’s tanned to a delicious golden brown. He makes the English boys I know look like scraggly weeds.

He looks around and catches me watching, grins and waves his hand, but he doesn’t approach me. I’m prepared for this. And I’ve given a lot of thought to how I’ll behave now that I have his attention.

While he watches, I remove my bikini top, then I turn around and lie face down on the lounger and pretend to ignore him. It worked last time. Please god it works again this time.

Over the hum of the bees and the swish of movement in the leaves above my head, I can hear him working, hear the sound of his movements carry over the lawn on this incredibly still, hot summer’s afternoon.

In spite of the layer of sun cream I lathered in earlier, my skin burns, and I’m burning up inside too. I can feel myself growing moist between my legs and I have to resist the urge to rub my thighs together to ease the ache growing there. I want so badly to dip my fingers between my legs, but that’s not what today is about. I’ve had enough of rubbing myself as I imagine what sex will be like. I want the real thing.

When I can’t take the heat any longer, and the sweat begins to trickle between my breasts, I stand. Leaving my bikini top and my book where they are, I head towards the gate in the hedge which leads to the swimming pool. I have to pass close by where Paul is working.

“You look hot,” I say as I pass. “You should come for a swim.”

I leave the gate unlatched and ajar behind me as I enter the secluded pool area, hidden behind its high hedges. I dive into the cold, crystal clear water and begin to swim. The cold is a welcome relief against my heated skin, and the water feels so good on my bare breasts.

I’ve skinny-dipped before, but only at night, in the safety of shadows. This feels glorious, the sun and water and air on my skin. I want to be completely naked, to feel the water on my pussy, so I strip off my bikini bottoms and toss them to the side of the pool.

I do a lazy lap, and I’m on the return leg when I notice that Paul is standing at the pool’s edge. Not far from my discarded bikini, so he has to know I’m naked.
I pause mid-stroke.

“Come in,” I call as I tread water.

He hesitates a moment, uncertain, brushing his hand through his thick, dark hair. Then he strips off his jeans and dives in. It’s a perfect dive, cutting the water cleanly, and he resurfaces not far from me.

I swim towards him, until the water is shallow enough for me to stand with my breasts above the water.

“That’s not fair,” I say, putting on a pout as I finger the underpants he’s still wearing. “If I’m not wearing anything, you shouldn’t be either.”

He grins, and it lights up his dark eyes. “You are a wicked little temptress,” he says. But he makes it sound like a compliment, not like the way Jonathan says it, on a desperate sigh.

I shrug and wade closer. “Does that mean you’re tempted?”

“Of course.” His gaze strays to my bare chest, and I push it out a little further. My nipples are pulled tight from the cold water and the adrenalin pumping through me.

“Does your mother know you’re here?” he asks.

“My mother’s out for the day. It’s just me… and you.” I reach out and touch him, as I’ve wanted to since the moment I saw him. His cock is not yet completely hard, but it’s bigger than I’m used to, filling my hand. I rub along his length, and he grins, like a feral tiger.

Then he brushes my hand away and bends down to remove his underpants, tossing them out the pool to land close to mine.

I look and look. Even through the shimmer of the water, he’s gorgeous to look at. Big, growing bigger, the skin of his cock darkening as it becomes engorged.

I wrap my hand around it, and rub slowly up and down. I’ve never done this before, jerked off a guy in broad daylight, where anyone can see. Where I can see. I’ve only ever done this in the dark, in the back seat of Jonathan’s father’s Jag.

Paul moans, moving his hips with me as I massage his full length. After a while he gently removes my hand from his cock, and brings it to his mouth. He kisses my open palm. “No more. I don’t want to come before I’ve given you pleasure too.”

I shiver. “Are you cold?” he asks, concerned.

I shake my head, but let him lead me out of the pool, to one of the sun loungers. The sun prickles my wet skin. He lays me down on my back on the lounger, kneels between my legs and begins to caress my breasts. It’s a sensational feeling, and so much better than the gropings I’ve experienced before. I was right about Paul – he is the right man to take my virginity.

His hands are all over me, on my stomach, my hips, my thighs, even running down my calves. He skims my ankles, then heads back up, parting my thighs with his hands, pushing me open so he can see me.

I feel completely exposed, vulnerable, and yet so needy. I want this so badly, but I’m also scared. What if it hurts? He looks so big. Surely he can’t fit that erection inside me?

He dips his head, and touches his tongue to my pussy lips, and I freeze. I’ve never done oral sex before either. Not with anyone.

Oh god, it feels so good. His tongue licks up and down over my clit, where only my own fingers have ever been, and then he sucks, hard, on the little button that gives such pleasure, and my limbs start to melt with that boneless feeling I know means I’m coming. I’m so far gone I don’t realize his finger is at my slit until he pushes into me. My muscles clench around his finger, protesting the intrusion. His finger seems to fill me, but it feels so nice, and when he starts to move it in and out I want to cry from the pleasure.

“You’re so tight,” he says, and his voice is rough. Then his eyes suddenly widen. “Oh my God, you’re a virgin!”

“Not for much longer.”

He sits back, pulling his finger out of me, and I grab onto him. “Please don’t go. I want this. I want you to be my first.”

He sits back, gazing hard at me with those dark, deep, inscrutable eyes. I feel so naked, so lost. What if he walks away now? How will I ever be able to live with the humiliation of throwing myself at him and being rejected?

“You don’t know what you’re asking,” he says at last.

I shake my head. “I do. Please.” I’m not above begging.

Slowly he leans forward, until his mouth is so close to mine I can feel his breath warm against my lips.

“Then we need to do this right,” he says. “We don’t want to rush this, and I don’t want you to get sun burned.”

What does that mean? Is he brushing me off? Will he make me wait? Because I don’t think I can wait. I want him NOW.

He kisses my lips then, tender and soft at first, but when I kiss him back and he realizes I’m not a stranger to this, his kiss grows rougher, more insistent. He forces open my mouth with his tongue, and I let him in. He kisses better than anyone I’ve kissed before, and tastes somehow darker and more sinful.

We kiss and kiss until I’m squirming against him, pushing my body against his, but he pushes me back with a firm hand and breaks the kiss.

“Wait here,” he says, rising from the lounger.

Where the hell does he think I’m going to go, naked as I am?

He pulls on his jeans, not bothering with his underwear. He’s nearly at the gate before he turns back. “Touch yourself while I’m gone.” He winks, and then he’s gone from sight.

I do. I slip my fingers between my legs, rub in that way I know will bring the most pleasure, and I come almost immediately. But it’s not enough. I rub more, dipping one finger then another inside me, and that’s how I am when he returns. He stands over me, eyes burning bright. I can’t imagine the mess I must look, with my face red from the sun and the stimulation, but he looks at me as if he’s never seen anything more beautiful.

He holds out his hand and I take it, letting him pull me up off the lounger. He leads me to the small, shady patch of lawn on the far side of the pool, half-hidden behind the shed which contains the pool pump and other equipment, and he spreads out the blanket he’s brought with.

I lay on my back on the blanket and watch as he strips off his jeans again. He’s not as hard as he was when he left, but it’s still a magnificent sight. Now I can see his cock properly, I notice how the veins stand out, how the head is darker than the shaft.

He lies down beside me on the blanket, and I take him in my hands, stroking very slowly, admiring. A bead of white fluid gathers at the tip of his cock.

“Pre-come,” he says, wiping it away with his thumb. Then he lifts his thumb to my mouth and I lick it off. The taste is saltier than I imagined. Not so bad, though.

“The greatest thing you can do for any man is to swallow that when you’re giving him a blow job.” Then he grins. “The next greatest thing, after offering him your virginity.”

“Would you like me to give you a blow job?” I ask shyly. I’ve only ever tried once, and I’m not sure I’m any good. But I plan to be, if Paul will teach me.

He takes my face between his hands. “Not today. Today this is all about you.”

He kisses me again, and it sets a low fire burning inside me. Again, his hands seem to be everywhere on my skin, both rough and gentle at the same time.

I stroke his back, his arms, his chest, his buttocks, exploring the feel of his hard, naked muscles. I run my hand through the fine dark hairs on his stomach, which arrow down to the pale skin where his tan doesn’t reach.

His hand dips between my legs and I widen them for him. He takes his time, exploring me, pleasuring me, until I’m moaning against him.

“Quiet,” he warns, but I don’t care who hears me.

His thumb circles my clit, and then his finger is inside me again. Gently he strokes in and out, the glide sending delicious waves spiraling out from my lower back. Then he slips another finger into me, and another, stretching me. It’s a strange feeling, so good, so alien. He’s preparing me for his cock, I realize, and flinch against the thought of that enormous erection inside me.

“Relax,” he whispers. “This will be a lot less painful if you’re relaxed.”

I’m so far from relaxed, it’s unbelievable. Every bit of my skin prickles, and my pussy is so wet I’m almost embarrassed.

He rolls on top of me, holding his weight off me with one arm. His muscles stretch and flex like poetry. He kisses my breasts, my stomach, my clit. And then, just as I’m wondering if he’s ever doing to do anything more than kiss me, he presses the head of his cock between my legs.

Instantly, my body tenses.

“Relax,” he says again. He strokes the head of his cock up and down over my engorged pussy lips. It feels so wonderful and my body reacts of its own accord, pushing up against him. And then I gasp as he thrusts inside me. Not far, just the tip, and he waits, waits for me to adjust to him.

By slow increments, he pushes inside me. I stretch to take him in, and it’s painful, and he feels so big and there’s so much of him. At last his balls are pressed up against me and I have all of him inside me. I didn’t even feel my maidenhead break, but I suppose it must have.

I’m so tense. I ache with the unaccustomed pressure.

“God, you’re so tight,” he says. “So fucking tight. It feels so good.” I can see the strain in his face. It’s costing him to hold back, to take this gently, and I really owe him for that.

I owe him a good experience of this too, so I shift beneath him, moving my hips, like they do in movies, and he groans.

“I’m okay,” I say to encourage him. “Don’t stop.”

He moves in and out, slowly at first, then thrusting harder and wilder as he loses control. His balls slap against me as he rocks into me. His soft moans of pleasure become grunts. His face pinches with the strain. I bite my lip against the pain, wondering why the hell everyone thinks this is so great and so pleasurable. Then he comes, withdrawing out of me so suddenly that his ejaculate spurts onto my stomach, thick and sticky.

“I’m so sorry,” he says. “I didn’t think to fetch a condom.”

And neither had I. Geez, how much more stupid and naïve could I be, setting out to seduce him and not even remembering the one thing that’s been drummed into us since we started high school?

He rolls off me. He’s breathing hard, and his eyes are still wild, a little glazed. He turns to me, looking abashed as he returns to himself. “I’m so sorry,” he says again.

“Don’t be.” Then, as an after-thought, “thank you”.

He helps me to my feet and into the swimming pool, where we wash ourselves clean. I feel raw between my legs, sore. When we get out, he dries me with the blanket. He dresses, and then he fetches my things from under the old oak tree. He watches as I put my bikini on. I feel awkward and don’t know what to say.

When I’m done, he takes me in his arms, holding my head against his chest. His skin is still sun-warmed, and he smells of sweat and sex. It’s a scent I could easily get addicted to. He kisses me, gently this time, a mere brush of our lips. Then he holds my face in his hands, and tips his forehead down to mine.

“Next time will be better,” he promises.

And it was. That was a glorious week, before my little brother came home from visiting his school friend and the whole family travelled down to the villa on the south coast for the summer holidays. I didn’t want to leave.

In that one week Paul taught me so much. He taught me how to give him pleasure, and how to take my own. He taught me that sex wasn’t all pain, and that it could bring immense pleasure. He gave me my first real orgasm, not hidden in a corner of the garden behind a hedge, but in my big bed in the frilly pink bedroom I’d had since I was a little girl, with servants moving around the house and my mother entertaining visitors for afternoon tea downstairs in the salon.

We returned home at the end of July. I ached to see Paul again, to feel him inside me again, but he was gone.
“To Paris,” the housekeeper said, when I finally screwed up the courage to ask for him. “Something about needing to do a summer course before the new semester starts.”

I didn’t even know he was a student. We’d never talked about our lives, or our interests, or about anything other than our mutual pleasure.

That was the last I heard of Paul. I was too proud to go looking for him, and he certainly never came looking for me. Do you know how hard it is to find someone on Facebook when all you have is a first name?

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Post #34: Christmas Market

What Christmas gifts do you buy for your family that they might want, when they already have everything?

The truth is, you don't give them what they want. You give them what you think they need.

Throughout the year I'm always picking up little things I think will make excellent Christmas gifts for my family. Mostly I remember to give them, but sometimes I find them stashed in the back of a cupboard sometime around March.

For my little brother Drew, the only one in the family with a sense of humour, novelty boxer shorts and geeky t-shirts. For my mother, vintage porcelain (which she seriously doesn't need, but she collects). For my sister-in-law, The Lollipop, sexy lingerie that I sincerely hope for my brother's sake she actually takes out of the tissue paper once in a while.

The easiest person to buy for is my niece, Fleur. And not because I can buy out half of Hamley's for her, but because we're so much alike. At the tender age of six, Fleur already has an appreciation for clothes, which makes shopping for her such a pleasure.

So there is absolutely no need for me to go Christmas shopping at the markets in Innsbruck. No reason at all, except for glühwein, marzipan and a fun weekend trip away with my BFFs. Every year we visit a different European Christmas market. It's our gift to ourselves.

See you next weekend!