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By Your Rough Hand

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George has always loved getting her hand inside Martha. It’s not something they do every day (their age, nothing much they do every day), but sometimes she just can’t keep her hand to herself anymore, and she lays Martha down, works her up. Uses more grease these days -- lot of fat on a fall caribou -- tissues get drier as they get older. But this, hah, this never gets old.

She whispers at Martha, “Keep quiet, woman!” Took a while to remember Ben’s room is just on the other side of the wall, though didn’t take long at all to realize what bat ears the boy has.

Martha complains about the roughness of George’s hands. Always does. George never could understand the way some girls-- not her Martha, and damn but George loves her for it -- go on like hens about their bodies. George’s hands are practical hands, can crack a log or turn the smallest spindle.

Or slide inside her best girl, just… like… mmm... that.

“You love this hand,” she mutters. Flexes, and Martha doesn’t moan, doesn’t cover her mouth. She’s a librarian, quiet by force of will -- but her eyes are squeezed shut so tight, tight as she’s squeezed around George’s hand. Martha’s nostrils flare, and George knows everyone else mistakes that look, takes it for stern, closed off.

Maybe on the outside, maybe -- but inside she’s laughing at the library patrons, inside she’s so full of joy at Ben, inside, now, she’s wrapped tight around George’s hand. Tight, tight, tighter, and -- there, yes, the spasms that go on and on and on and George has had this for twenty five years, dealt with the looks, the whispers, the scorn for at least that long, but she’ll take it all, every minute, to feel the bones in her hand grind together like this. To have the skin of her hand, calluses and all, soak up everything Martha offers. To know they’ll smell like Martha well into tomorrow.

Slowly, slowly she works out. Martha finally lets loose a small gasp, no louder than her shock when a long-overdue book returns and just as powerful. George shoves that hand, aching and soaking and uncoordinated, down against her own sex, rubbing and coming and coming.

George slowly becomes aware of a hand (paper-dry) running through her short hairs.

Head cradled on Martha’s soft, sagging stomach.

Breath like bellows waving the curls below.

A voice, dry, wry. “It’s yourself you might want to be watching, George Fraser, if you’re so worried about the lad. Dear lord, one would think the moose were coming through out of season, the way you carry on. Tch!

George laughs, presses a kiss to that dear belly. “Right you are, my dear. Right you are.”