The soft summer rays slanted down warmly, filtered through the heavily laden branches of the eighty year old apple tree. A tree which rumor had it was a slip from that very self-same arboreal which was so famous for giving the distinguished Newton a hand with his theorizing.
The warmth of the distant star high in the afternoon sky warmed Gloria, making her feel languid and desirous. Its warmth kissed her angular cheeks, slanting down beneath the shade cast by her wide brimmed straw hat, called a boater, with its pretty blue ribbon trailing down across her neck. She had kicked off her sandals, leaving her barefoot, and her long white dress was bunched around her knees, leaving her legs bare to the heat of the sun.
A book lay open upon her knee, although she did not feel at all like reading on this fine Saturday. She sat half curled on the warm luxurious grass of her garden, leaning back elegantly against her apple tree. A picnic basket sat beside her, one side open so the neatly wrapped roast beef sandwiches could be seen. Wine breathed softly in a little saucer of ice, two magnums beside it. A plate of cheese sporting a stack of crackers in the center had exactly two linen napkins folded neatly atop it; pale blue, a color which was appropriate to linens used for cheese, according to her mother.
Gloria's bare toes scrunched into the earth, her silver toe ring winking in the light. Above her the sounds of grunting and scrabbling came from the hard red-brick of her wall, as it was surmounted. The branches of the apple tree swayed and shook as Gloria, smiling, bent her head to the book, the lines meaning nothing to her as she listened.
High above her he appeared, cresting the bulwark to perch in the branches which overhung her wall into the public lane. He looked down at her grinning and Gloria looked up from her book, affecting surprise at his appearance.
She granted him a warm smile and laid her book softly down beside her, its pages resting on the pale cream of her dress. “Hi Gloria, nice day isn't it?” he inquired roguishly.
“You are scaling my apple tree,” she replied, in likewise fashion. Soft tone leaving implications.
“And cresting the battlements, preparatory to storming the castle,” he answered.
Gloria let one perfect eyebrow arch, slightly. “Storming the castle?”
Jake nodded and easily began shimmying down the tree, after handing himself along the branch to reach the main trunk, which climbed high above her before it spread into its profusion of brilliantly carmine apples. “That's right,” he said.
As he climbed down towards her Gloria brightly took up one of the many, many ruddy apples which lay scattered upon the lawn, having fallen from the branches high above when they became rich with nutrients, ripe, and thick, and juicy; and heavy. She hurled it up at his head, but it bounced off his shoulder instead, a thud against the soft cambric of his pale blue shirt.
Despite the relatively harmless contact of the ripened fruit Jake let out a theatrical scream, pratfalling the last few feet to the ground, landing with an athletic tumble on the grass beside her. His wide, open face brimmed with the confidence of youth and vigour and health, his strong teeth flashing in the sun. Gloria couldn’t help smiling back at him, a heaviness in her breast which was the depth of her love for him, her belly churning with want and desire and need. The first flush of youth may have left them, in their mid-twenties, but they were still in the burgeoning stages of their elongated courtship, and neither could stand to be long without the other. Thus it was perhaps fortunate that they lived on the same street.
“Do you know the real story of how Isaac Newton discovered gravity?” Gloria asked him as he arranged himself comfortably before her, like a big puppy dog exhausted after play.
She picked up another fallen apple and idly examined it, hiding her mischievous smile from him by keeping her eyes studiously away from him, which would have sent her into grinning fits.
“Um, an apple hit him on the head?” Jake asked cautiously, well knowing her puckish nature. Rather like a mid-lands wood sprite, he claimed his granny had warned him one gray afternoon.
“Yes, but it didn't fall from a tree above him.” Gloria claimed. “You see, he was passionately making out with his mistress under an apple tree. He had her half naked, his hand high, high up her skirt, when she asked him if he was going to make an honest woman of her. Well, stupid he, Isaac said no, not thinking in the heat of his passion.”
“Stupid of him,” Jake interrupted amiably.
“Yes.” Gloria agreed, smile on her face, her eyes on the apple as if it, issued descendant of the original tree, was the thing responsible for revealing onto her these secrets of the great thinker's love tryst. “So she stormed off in a huff and he went to a book. But you see, she climbed up the apple tree and began pelting him. It was as he was begging her to calm down and desist in her iniquitous assault that he had his eureka.”
“Oh. That was lucky for mankind then.” There was a grin in his words.
“Yes, Jake, it was.”
“Was that true?” he asked.
“No Jake, it wasn't.” She looked at him and she grinned, wickedly. “Oh at least, not to my own personal knowledge, but you can imagine the profligate young men of those days. They all had mistresses, and their mistresses were fiery, according to reputation. So it is as perfectly plausible as the simple apple fell and boinked him on the head story. The other kind of boinking is more fun, at least.”
“Yes, I can't fault you for that reasoning. Good logic chain,” Jake complimented.
“Thank you.” She was studying the apple intently, but now she held it out to him, head fallen to one side, impish gleam in her eye, moue tugging her mouth. “Would you like a bite of my apple?”
“On what?” Gloria demanded. She glanced at him sidelong.
He was grinning at her, and she finally had to meet his gaze, grinning back.
“On whether or not that's a euphemism.”
“A euphemism for what?” she demanded pertly, an arch glance filling her face with angelic grace. She hurled the apple at his chest. He laughed as he caught it easily, his teeth biting into the ripe flesh, tearing into it, ravaging it to little shreds before he swallowed, and eventually, answered her.
“For your... you know, apple.”
“Yes.” She answered simply.
They melted towards each other, flowing into a passionate embrace. The pages of her novel crumpled, but she did not care. Her hair and dress immediately mussed, no thanks to the hour she had spent brushing herself, and arranging her clothes. He did not care. He tossed the bitten apple over his shoulder and his mouth met hers, crushing it as he kissed her roughly.
They slid down to lie stretched out on the grass under the apple tree, side by side, lying in each others' arms as his hand found the hem of her dress, and traveled upward while his mouth found her soft throat. She arched beneath him, and gasped, “But.”
He stopped. “But?”
“Wait, am I the serpent, or am I Eve in this little game?”
“I thought you were Newton, sitting under the tree.”
“That makes you the mistress.”
“Okay. You're the apple.”
“I'm fine with that.”
“Spread your ripeness for me then, so that I might taste of your sweet, plump, juicy flesh.”
Aaron Majewski is a writer living in...
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