Lizbeth watched Benedict as he showed her the bones and skulls he had found in the woods at the foot of the Downs. They were in a large fish tank emptied of water. She had put on her short black skirt, white blouse, clean underwear, socks and old shoes (in case of mud or if she stepped in a cow pat). He took out a small skull and showed her. Rabbit's, I think, he said. She moved nearer, smelt soap, saw the back of his neck, the collar worn. He turned the skull around in his hands, showed her it from different angles. What do you think? He asked. She raised her eyebrows. Odd looking, she said, without its fur and eyes. He put the skull back in the tank and settled it in the place between other bones. He took out an egg and showed her it in the palm of his hand. Blackbird's egg, he said. She looked, then studied his fingers, the nails, the back of his hand as he put back the egg. Behind her was his double bed. Made and neat. His mother probably. Not him. She knew his mother was downstairs sorting washing for the wash. She noticed his hazel eyes as he turned back to her, he was talking about wanting to find a wren's egg. She wished he would sit on the bed. She could sit there too, then. He moved to the window and told her about the day they moved in and saw the plum trees and gooseberry bushes and how thrilled he was. She sat on the lower bed board, viewing the plum trees opposite, the hard wood beneath her buttocks. She looked at the ceiling. A Spitfire model plane hung down. A picture of a racing car was pinned to a wall. She knew it was risky to try and get him on the bed while his mother was just downstairs, but she wanted him badly. He talked of butterflies, which a girl named Jane had talked to him about. Lizbeth knew her. Virgin queen type. Nature girl, parson's daughter. Preserve my virginity to I’m married type. Not me. I want him. There on his double bed. She eyed it, the pillows, blankets, sheets. Headboard. Brown wood. Wonder if the springs make noise? He told her of the small plot of land his father had set aside for him to grow stuff for himself. She stood up(the lower bed board had made her buttocks ache). She peered over his shoulder. Her cheek near to his, she could if she wished nibble his right ear. It would be a start. How he talked of things. Nature, birds, eggs, nests. She wanted to lay on the bed and be fucked and he talked of such things as birds and bees and trees. She put her hand on the small of his back, just above the belt of his jeans, he said nothing of that, made no notice. The book she had of sexuality(borrowed from the girl at school who knew of such things), showed a picture(black and white) of a man on a woman. He had his face away from the camera, his buttocks, like two mounds, raised. The woman(looked foreign) was laying there with her legs spread wide, a dull look on he face. Missionary position it was labelled. There were others. Strange she had thought. Would you like some lunch? He said. Mother said you could stay if you wish. She gazed at him, looked at his lips, the mouth. Yes, that'd be lovely, she said. More time to lure him, she mused. Here, he said, look at this book of birds while I tell  Mother. And he had gone downstairs. She opened a few pages. Words and photos of birds. She sat on the edge of the bed. Firm, no sounds of springs going. She lay back on the bed, her head on a pillow, the book in her hands. It was a double bed, room to move to get in various positions. The room was silent. Downstairs she heard murmur of voices. She closed her eyes. Imagined him on her. His body on hers. What's it like? She had asked the girl in class who seemed to know all about sex. What's what like? The girl had said in the girl's toilets where they had met. Sex, you know, having it off. The girl looked bored. Made a yawning gesture with her hand over her mouth. Depends. Depends on what? Lizbeth had asked. What the boys like, how good he is at it; how big his tool is. Tool? Lizbeth said. The girl laughed. His dick. Lizbeth had blushed. The girl gave her the full run-down from beginning to end, right down to the leaking sperm. The voices were soft, not harsh or nervous screeches like her mother made in her black moods. She had almost seen her parents having it off one Sunday when she was younger. Accidental, not at all intentional. As if. She'd been watching TV. Her parents had left the room . She sat there in her father's favourite chair, gawking at the screen. She got bored and wanted her tea. She crept up the stairs of the house one at a time thinking of what to have for tea. The door to her parents' bedroom was ajar. She crept up to it and peered through the thin wedge of space. It was dim. A dressing table mirror faced her. She peered hard. Her father seemed to be pretending to be a dog and doing things like she'd seen dogs do in the park now and then. He made pig like noises, her mother(what she could see of her) was on all fours, head on the pillow. Not wanting to disturb their game, she walked back down stairs quietly and sat in front of the TV, still bored. Benedict was still downstairs talking to his mother. Lizbeth opened her eyes. Light poured through the window, sunlight warm and sticky. She wanted to pretend. She yanked up her skirt to above her waist. The clean white underwear visible. She pushed her knees together. She breathed heavily.  She heard him coming up the stairs, his feet pounding heavily. She pulled her skirt down to its full length, and move to the side of the bed, and sat there. He entered and said Mother said what would you like? A good fuck. She thought, said cheese would be nice. o.k, he said and was off again. What would his mother say if she found us at it? Missionary or otherwise. Light from the sun on his nude bum. She smiled. Then frowned. After sandwiches and tea. Downstairs sitting there. Talk of birds and bees and flowers. His mother talking of cooking; how she coped with the wood stove, how Benedict sawed the logs for her. She waited for his return. Sat there on the edge of the bed. Her nerves tingled. Her body seemed on fire. The whole room heaved with her sexual desire.

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