The climb upward was no less than twenty vertical miles. Jo felt pink-cheeked and giddy as Friedrich strode beside her, luggage in hand. She felt so incredibly alive that she was shout-singing as they marched along, exuding clouds of frosty breath as they went.
The company helped. Friedrich was whistling an old barroom tune to the sound of her song as he walked beside her, and his eyes were snappy and bright. Jo realized that the out of doors did him as much good as it did her – while they walked frequently at home and hiked with the boys, his enjoyment of the pure natural world in of itself was utterly infectious. He had a voice that could outstorm a thunderbolt when he joined in with her over the last mile of walking up the dirt pathway to their rented house. By jove; no wonder why she adored him so.
He found the large skeleton key waiting for them over the hearth. Friedrich grabbed it and unlocked the door; before the cold could freeze them to the doorstep, he ushered her inside.
No one had prepared the cabin for them, but it seemed relatively clean within. There was a serviceable looking bed with a clean quilt, an unstoked stove and fireplace with piles of wood nearby, a table and three chairs, and a chamber pot.
“Come help me get the fire going or we’ll become regular snowmen!” Jo noted with a smirk.
“Ach! It would take an act of God. You have blood warmer than a devil’s!” he pointed out, but as she hoisted the heavy logs into his arms he didn’t complain. They loaded the stove, then the fireplace, and lit both off of the same match. Soon it was very warm inside indeed, and they removed the layers of coats and hoods and scarves they’d donned for the carriage ride from Massachusetts.
Jo grinned and sat upon one of the chairs. “Well, now that we’re Vermonters, what do you want to do with the week?”
Friedrich pretended to think, “We might catch up on our reading. Dickens just came out with another chapter of the Old Curiosity Shop in the paper.”
“That sounds splendid. So does making a snowman.”
He smiled. “Well, we can’t spend every second writing…”
The making of their lopsided snowman was as good an excuse as any for a snowball fight. Even in thigh-high thick drifts of snow, Jo was still a championship pitcher; in fact Friedrich was soaked by the time they got back to the cabin, though his snowballs had been both bigger and devastatingly accurate. Jo shook the powder from her hair as if she were a dog, and then helped him change out of his wet clothes.
Getting her out of her own clothes was a much more complicated concept. Friedrich helped, and he was infinitely more patient with her laces. He fell to his knees to help her with her boots and small clothing. “So much to fuss with, isn’t it? I do believe that I’ll be borrowing your clothing for the rest of this trip,” she declared.
Friedrich was on his knees in front of her, tugging under underclothes down her legs. “My trousers would dwarf you,” he pointed out.
“Not with a bit of hemming,” she said with spirit. She noticed the largeness of his hands on her thighs and felt a thrill. A familiar thrill, blessedly.
“There would be some…appeal to that,” he said. Even kneeling, the top of his dark-curled head reached the top of her ribcage. His hands slid reverently up to the curves of her breasts and cupped them through the chemise. He seemed to be contemplating their differences.
Jo reached for the hem of her pantaloons and pulled them down her thighs and quickly off. He kissed her belly in gratefulness of her cleverness.
The hands cupping her breasts – dwarfing them – became more serious in their play. Fredrich was firm and loving, never rough – not even when Jo asked for rougher (and sometimes she had). She sighed under his grip.
“Were you cold?” he wondered. “You seem to be rather pink.” She was blushing, even though they’d been married for years now. Friedrich stared boldly at her sex in the same way with which he studied the latest paper of a contract for Plumfield. All of his intense concentration was on her, and she found that incredibly arousing.
“I’m getting warmer,” she said. He was direct, but she loved his directness; the hot puff of his breath against her labia before his lips parted and his tongue darted along the dividing point of her sex. He played there, touching all but the acme and center of her pleasure, and her hands fisted up in those curls. He teased at her entrance with the tip of his tongue, sliding delicately through her folds, tasting her as if she were a goblet of fine wine.
Jo curled her toes to keep her balance as his lips finally found her clitoris. But even then he teased her mercilessly.
She rocked her hips in demand, and he chuckled. His kisses remained firm. Her knees quivered against the sides of his head and he used his tongue on her, now teasing the firm point of flesh until she keened and leaned up into those strong, warm hands of his.
The fire built inside of her, roaring along her skin. His hand kneaded one breast, and she freed her left hand to join in the pleasure. She had a death grip on his hair but Friedrich made no complaint. Her nipples were hard points between his fingers, and his tongue worked earnestly upon her until he knees buckled.
He held her up as her pleasure crested and her thighs clamped around his ears. Her body tightened and throbbed with it, every part of her tingling.
When it was over, he brought her to rest upon the mattress, and Jo was too knock-kneed with satisfaction to complain. He was still wearing his trousers when, fully recovered, she unbuttoned them and his underclothes and brought his hard cock to her mouth.
As she pulled him inside, she heard him curse faintly in German.
Lazily curled before the fire later, Jo could still taste the sour of him in the depth of her throat and felt almost smug about it as he read the latest chapter of Nell’s adventure.
He stroked her hair and spread it out to help her dry it. “There’s a tangle I’ll help you brush out later,” he noted.
“Oh dear. My one true beauty,” she remarked self-mockingly.
“Gott in Himmel. What makes you think that?”
“Amy used to say it all the time.”
He smiled. “Amy has never seen you the way I have,” he said.
She smiled. Love filled her bones, strengthened her heart.
Then, “why are you laughing?” Friedrich asked.
Jo snuggled into the curve of his neck and said, “this is the most fun I’ve ever had drying my hair.”