chapter four

It was late morning and Edie was at the wash-lines. She had hung all the sheets on the front lines, making a wall between herself and the house. She proceeded to fill the back lines with the towels, making her privacy more complete.

She had filled all the lines from the centre in and was busy with the central line which she always kept for the delicate undies. It was more sheltered from the wind and the old lady tore strips if the underwear was visible from the house. She was about to peg one of Beth's petticoats when she sensed she was being watched. She looked up and saw Salem standing between the lines. His eyes were fixed on the garment in her hands. She held it up against herself and grinned at him. He smiled with delight and beckoned to her. She shook her head and turned from him, walking further down the row. She looked back at him and he started to follow her.

His progress was slow as he was intrigued by all the small, frilly, silky things hanging on the line. He had reached her basket and she was still a few metres away. He was just about to start exploring the contents of the basket. She "X!"ed at him. Looking up he saw she had undressed and donned the damp petticoat.

She took two steps towards him and he was enchanted. To see his Edie in the bright sun dressed only in the flimsiest, silkiest bit of stuff. She was like an illusion. Naked yet obscured. Before he reached her he had gotten rid of most of his clothes. Yet his hands hardly touched her. They brushed against the fabric and he lowered his cheek to her breast luxuriating in the feel of it. He buried his face in her hair and gave himself up to the softness that she was.

Edie was amazed at his reaction. She could feel through the thin fabric that he had a hard-on, yet there was no urgency in him. He was just so engrossed in the silken petticoat. Eventually he did rip his shorts down. He pulled her into a bear hug and buried his penis into the silk between her thighs. Edie started worrying about how she was going to make the petticoat disappear without Beth missing it.

When she finally managed to finish hanging up all the underwear, with Salem as her enthusiastic assistant, it was time for he lunch break. Salem urged her to follow him. "Come and see," was all he would say.

Behind the wash-lines was a shed that backed up against the hillside. He led her into the gap between the shed and the mountain. Half-way down the alley their path was blocked by a piece of old roof-sheeting. Edie noticed that beyond this 'door', the alley had been roofed over with whatever scraps Salem had found lying around the yard. He led Edie inside and lit a candle.

"But, but . . . it's so big inside!?"

He grinned. "I took all the rocks out. There's more." He took her to the back of the room and lit another candle. Moving aside a cow-hide hanging against the rock wall, he exposed rough steps cut into the mountain. Edie could make out a dim light coming from above.

"Go and see."

She ran up the steps. They turned a corner and she slipped out between two boulders onto a patch of grass halfway up the hill. She looked over the edge. The roof of the shed was a couple of metres below her but almost out of sight around the hillside. Salem, unbelievably, wriggled out through the same gap.

"It's quiet here," he said.

"You could sleep out here."

"Only when it's very warm and not raining." He lay down and she stretched out next to him. The sun was so delicious she just wanted to sleep but Salem was already undressing her. She knew that most of the people at the house, staff included, looked down on Salem as if he was barely human, just because he was not talkative. Yet she found him to be delicate and gentle. And passionate. And when he got passionate, somehow the environment got re-arranged. So maybe it was safer to be out on the side of a mountain with him.

Edie discovered that the heat of the sun combined with being in the open air and the passion generated by Salem, created a heaven like never before. She knew that no-one could see them there but thrilled at the thought of their sounds echoing through the valley. But Salem's passion carried her way beyond those thoughts and it was only much later that she found out that it was not just a fantasy.

* * * * * * *

It was Palesa that brought it up.

"Was there some poor creature lost in the mountains this afternoon?" she looked at Edie and Danny. "Did you hear it?" Edie was puzzled. Danny looked out the window. "At lunch time. Didn't you hear it? Sounded like it was on the mountain behind the house. Was making some noise." Danny stood up poker-faced, picking up his dinner plate.

"I was sleepin lunch time. Did'n hear anything. You Edie? Where were you lunch time?" He ducked into the kitchen to wash his plate.

Although Palesa's eyesight was poor, Edie could see that it was taking Danny much effort to keep a straight face.

"I didn't hear it. I was with Anna lunch time. You know how loud she plays her radio. Here Ma, let me take your plate." Edie dashed into the kitchen but Danny was already letting himself out the back door.

"Come here you!" She leapt at him. Danny collapsed in the doorway, laughing till he wept. "Shut up. Just . . . just tell me okay."

"Okay, okay. Wait." He stood up getting his breath back. "Here come outside." He shut the door behind her. "Lucky for you everyone thought it was some animal. At first anyway. I knew it was you, but I wasn' sayin nuthin. But god Edie, by the time you came they couldn' deny anymore what was that noise. But by then they wasn' talkin bout it anymore." He collapsed in further hysterics.

Edie looked at him levelly. "Hmmm . . . maybe we should only use that spot at night. We can scare them that can't sleep and entertain those that want to creep around spying."

Dan struggled to his feet. "Eish, sista - you too much, man. I'm gonna bed. Alone. G'night." He kissed her on the lips.


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