Chapter 1: Mothering Jack
Howard was too young to join up when he did. Lied and told the Army man he was 18 when he was actually two years shy of it. Ma and Pa Bondurant took pride in their brave son, but Forrest had told you, more than once, that he thought Howard was a fool. A well-intentioned fool, but a fool nonetheless. You wondered sometimes if that was his jealousy talking. See, they wouldn’t let Forrest join up on account of a silly heart murmur he had as a child. He swore up and down that he’d grown out of it, but the US military had no need for invalids. Looking back, that sentiment determined more about Forrest’s life than anything else.
Word came in that Howard’s battalion had been destroyed and he was the lone survivor. Thinking he was invincible, he wanted to keep fighting, and that pissed Forrest off too. While he was still gone, the Spanish flu came to Virginia and hit everyone in the family, save for little Jack. When folks heard, they assumed he’d end up all alone in the world. But Forrest fought through it. And he came out the other end a different man. Older in spirit, and wiser, maybe.
You’d always been a friend of the family, but after Ma and Pa Bondurant died, you started visiting more often, helping both the boys get by, since no one else in town seemed to care. It wore on Forrest, being Jack’s sole guardian. But the worst happened the night of Jack’s birthday. He’d got it in his head that Howard would come back to surprise him, and when he didn’t show, it just about broke the boy’s heart. So you went over to make a celebration out of it and distract as best you could. You let him help you bake a cake and you made the boys a fine dinner and sat around telling stories to soothe Jack’s anxieties.
When Jack fell asleep that night, you and Forrest sat out on the porch and he poured his heart out to you. With Howard still gone and Ma and Pa dead, he felt adrift. And he was pissed at Howard, absolutely enraged that hadn’t come back yet because he was supposed to be their brother, goddamn it. His eyes welled up more than once, but he was so stubborn, even at that age, that not a tear fell. You asked if he was scared, told him it was alright to be scared, but he wouldn’t hear it.
“Ain’t no use for fear,” he’d say, over and over again, sniffing back tears. Later, after he started bootlegging, he came to learn that inflicting fear was effective. But feeling it was pointless, and you thought maybe he decided so there on that porch, right next to you. You sat for a long time, shoulder to shoulder, with nothing to say but with warmth to share. He didn’t want you walking home in the dark, so you slept on their sofa. Course a big part of you would rather have crawled into Forrest’s lonely bed and hugged him through the night because he needed comfort, needed someone to take care of him. But it weren’t the right time. So you settled for a stolen kiss after he tucked you in, light and sweet against his soft, sad mouth.
Chapter 2: Stockings (NSFW)
“It’s all the rage in Paris.”
If that were the case, what was it doing in Rocky Mount? “I don’t know, it seems awfully extravagant.”
The saleswoman tutted at you and shook her head. “That’s half the fun, darlin. Let’s him know you’re worth it.”
You tried forcing a polite laugh, but your doubt was obvious. “My husband’s not much for luxury.”
“Well then, my dear, he chose the wrong girl. You’ve got the makings of a Hollywood starlet.”
It was a sales pitch. You knew it was a sales pitch. And you didn’t care about being a starlet. But the cups of the bra were sheer, and the underwear was of such fine silk that it slipped right between your fingertips. Plus, you’d been saving up money in a rainy-day fund for months now, and you could afford a bit of a treat. You’d never be so bold as to assume that Forrest would love it. You expected little more than a grunt of confusion. But it would be worth his shock, if nothing else. So you bought it, with a thrill, and started making plans for that evening.
You put everything on as was intended, but with one alteration: stockings. The thin pantyhose that came with the lingerie set were probably more fashionable, but you’d grown suspicious that the unyielding Forrest Bondurant had a thing for tights. So you swapped in a pair of pale pink thigh-highs that matched the rest of the ensemble.
You turned to the mirror to assess things before he came home, and the result was…scandalous. The bottom of your ass peeked out below the panty-line, and your nipples were clearly visible through the lacy mesh of the bra. You’d been stark naked in front of your husband before, too many times to count, but you’d never felt this vulnerable.
The front door opened and you heard him mumble out that he was home–a habit, as he hung his hat. You snatched your robe–a plain cotton thing–and wrapped yourself up, frantically trying to think of how to present yourself. It all seemed so silly now, you wished you hadn’t gone to all the trouble and wasted the money. You had half a mind to shut the door and change back into your day clothes, but before you could make up your mind, he walked into the room.
You didn’t realize how far into the room he’d come, so when you spun around, you landed right in his arms.
He looked down at you with your robe clutched tightly against you, and he frowned. “You feelin’ alright?”
The sound of his low, soothing voice cleared you of most of your nerves and you pulled back, chewing at your lips. “I have a surprise for you.”
“Mm. Now you know I don’t like surprises.”
“You might like this one.”
He pressed his mouth into a hard line and shoved his hands in his pockets, and that challenging look in his eyes was exhilarating enough that you shrugged the robe off in one swift motion and managed not to cross your arms over yourself.
His mouth went soft immediately, nearly hung open, and his nostrils flared wide and wild.
“Good surprise?” you ventured, almost sure you knew the answer. He nodded and stepped right up to you, looming in that protective way he had about him. But he stopped shy of touching you. The sudden electricity between you was dizzying.
“Don’t you wanna feel it? It’s very fine.” You took one of his hands and placed it on your hip. It was quiet enough, save for your heavy breathing, that you could hear the calluses on his fingertips rasp against the silk, just the same as you felt the tiny catches prickle across your skin.
His shyness faded as both rough hands skimmed up the bare sides of your waist. His thumbs stopped just beneath your breasts and it was torture, the way he kept you hanging in suspense. He was always quiet and slow this way, and the effect was like static building inside of you.
But you caught him staring at what the bra made no attempt to hide—hardened, rosy nipples, the same color as his lips. He thumbed lazy circles around them, through the fabric, and all that static gathered and crackled right down to your clit. You rose onto your toes and leaned in toward him, just to make him catch you in his large, lovely hands. They cupped your breasts briefly, then curled around behind you so he could hold you still for the next part, where his nose–that gorgeous, strong, straight nose of his–lowered to your chest, nuzzling, breathing warm and heavy until your nipples ached so bad you whined out loud.
You felt the bastard smile against your skin, and that’s when you knew you’d made the right call. He wasn’t one to waste a smile, or give many people the satisfaction of knowing he was pleased. But he’d flash it at you, on occasion. And in really glorious moments, he’d press it right into the flesh of you. Very secret. Very sacred. Just for you.
But it had been a smile in anticipation, because half a moment later, that same mouth opened, soft and hot around one nipple, and he lapped through the gauzy material. He didn’t bite, not quite, but he bared his teeth against your tender skin before sucking as much of you into his mouth as he could. And when his full lips pressed firm and tight to you, you couldn’t stop yourself from latching onto him. It was easy to goad Forrest, but once he started playing along, he played to destroy you.
One of his hands slid from your back down to your ass, where he tucked his hand beneath your silken underwear. He tugged the fabric down, switched his mouth to the neglected breast, and mumbled. “The rest stays on.”
You nodded, maybe hummed in agreement, and started peeling the layers off him. As if the whole world didn’t know he was a private sort of man, Forrest wore layer after layer to prove the point. He only removed his hands at your bidding, so you could push the sleeves from his arms. And normally, you’d stop at the last, thinnest undershirt. He had scars aplenty, and seemed to like keeping them hidden. But tonight, when you tugged the hem from his pants, he pulled his face from your chest and gave a curt nod.
He was still an overwhelming sight, far too handsome to be hidden away in bumfuck nowhere country. With his hair tousled, his lips wet and red, and his broad, powerful chest, Forrest Bondurant was the stuff of filthy romance novels. And not a soul save for you knew it.
You tried telling him. He warmed up to the compliments slowly, in his awkward, endearing way, but tonight you didn’t even try holding back. You ran your fingers up his chest, across his shoulders, down his arms, tracing over scars and the odd tattoo. You licked and bit and whimpered your way up his thick neck and around his ear until his patience broke and he hoisted you into his arms. But he didn’t move anywhere at first. Just stood there like he had all the time in the world, kissing you hard and hungry while you ran your nails back and forth through the bristly sides of his head.
Then all at once, he was tossing you on the bed and crawling on top of you. But he changed his mind and jostled the two of you around until he was on his back and you were sprawled face down atop him.
“What’s this all about?”
One of his eyebrows arched up and he ran his nose along your cheek. “You got me this present, all showy and whatnot. So showme.”
Your heart fluttered into your throat, hearing him try his hand at being playful. So you sat up and scooted back, and he put his hands behind his head all casual-like, watching with that piercing gaze. He was hard as stone already, and you were soaking wet, so you didn’t bother delaying. He was a delicious fit, every time. Average length, in your experience, but thicker than most, and the effect was staggering. Made you clench down around him reflexively, which in turn made him jerk and groan and swear. You sat there a moment, not moving, your body humming with desire and full of him. His eyes were already getting heavy and the odd muscle in his arms twitched in anticipation. He dragged his fingers along your still-stockinged legs, just looking for something to do with his hands, but when he grabbed the exposed sides of your thighs, you knew it was time to move.
You lifted up a bit and slid back down as slow as you could, delighting in the friction and he hummed real low, so you felt it in your stomach. You rocked back and forth, and he’d thrust up real slow to meet you, and his fingers dug divots into the soft flesh of your ass, and this went on in a steady, building rhythm til you were breathing heavy and having trouble staying quiet. You glanced down and saw him staring, all hungry-eyed and tight-lipped. So you lowered one hand to your clit and stroked it fondly, then used the other to squeeze your breast.
“I used to touch myself just like this, thinking about you.” You had said it to get him riled up, but it was true, and the memory of it drove you closer to the edge. Nights spent dreaming about his mouth after you saw him in town, heard all the frightened talk about the invincible Forrest Bondurant.
“But God, the real thing is so much better.” You were just thinking out loud now, grinding hard and fast, one hand rubbing frantically at the slick spot where the two of you were joined, the other hand planted firmly on his unyielding chest. You wanted him to come, you really did, but in that moment, you were so distracted by your own chase that you never expected him to push you back and climb on top of you.
Without hesitation, he pulled your right leg up so far that he could squeeze it under his arm, up between his ribs and his bicep, and he drove into you, once, twice, and your climax hit hard and fast and built on itself because he didn’t stop. All that quiet strength that he kept in tight control, he exerted it on you–not rough or unkind, but heavy and just this edge of desperate.
He came harshly, whispering your name deep in his throat like always. The moments just after were the only time you ever saw him shake, and early on, you’d thought it was a kind of shame. But it was him being vulnerable, showing his trust, letting himself need affection. And just like always, after he caught his breath, he curled you up in his warm arms, making sure he could feel and see you, and kissed your forehead, your nose, your eyelashes where they splayed against your cheek, the corner of your mouth. And you were safe and loved and each others’ secret.
Chapter 3: Morning (NSFW)
It doesn’t happen often with Forrest–he wakes up before the sun most days.
But sometimes, on a chilly fall morning, you stir before him to seek out his heat. He’s like a hot coal, doesn’t even wear a shirt to bed, even though it’s late enough in the season that frost clings to the windows overnight. So when your fingers and toes are icy stiff, and even the woolen blankets can’t settle the goosebumps on your shoulders, you’re drawn to him like a beacon. He sleeps flat on his back, snoring softly, and your own hands are so cold that his chest seems scalding when you touch him. He must feel the shock, too, because his forehead instantly wrinkles: deep lines that betray how often life weighs on him. But in the morning like this, they just mean he’s not ready to wake up.
You turn onto your side towards him, tucking one arm under his back and wrapping the other around his wide chest. His legs are warm too, covered in soft thermal fabric, and you can’t help but hook your ankles around his.
He stirs with a deep grunt, and even that heats you up. “Whatchu doin’, woman?”
You press against him, all but purr in his ear. “Warmin’ up.” You reach under the covers that gather at his waist and hum a half-laugh when you find him already well on his way to aroused. You want him, but you still feel lazy so early. So you palm him through his pants, teasing more than anything else. He rubs his eyes, then reaches over and moves the messy hair from your face.
“Better watch yourself,” he mumbles against your temple.
You hold still, cock your eyebrow up at him. “Or what?”
Then he’s all the way awake, rolling on top of you, mouthing everywhere he can reach. Pushing your arms up the headboard and running rough hands slow and firm down the sides of you. He takes his time fingering you while he kisses your neck. Thick, knobby fingers petting at you, thrusting into you lazy and steady, until he’s whispering smoke in your ear, “warm enough yet?”
You want him hot and heavy, on top and inside you, protecting you from the chill and the drizzling rain and the emptiness of life before him. He’s good at that, making you feel safe and cared for. He’s never once left you wanting or denied you. You don’t even care when the blanket slips off the two of you while he strokes deep and slow into you. But that knight-in-scruffy-cardigans holds himself up on one arm to reach down and cover you once more, loathe to let a moment of chill air disturb you.
One climax blends carelessly into the next, until you’re facing each other on your sides, kissing soft and sweet, lazy like a summer afternoon. You feel sweat prick at your hairline and blush–he always did know how to warm you up. He gets up to make coffee, and you really should get the day started too. But it’s raining harder than before outside–sharp and icy droplets, you’re sure of it. So you grab his cardigan and slip it on to fend off the encroaching chill. You wonder idly, just a little bit mischievously, if Forrest has ever seen you wearing nothing but one of his sweaters.
Chapter 4: Warming
A blizzard hits Franklin County and forces them through their stash of firewood, so Forrest has to bundle up to trek out to the shed and restock. He tells her to stay put, but she doesn’t listen because extra arms mean extra wood. So while he’s properly dressed for the blinding snow and biting wind, she follows him without much forethought and ends up trudging knee-deep through the damp drift with no real protection.
He waits until they’re back inside to ask her what the hell she’d been thinking. Her stockings are soaked through, her skirt so icy that there’s frost on the hem. He gets the fire roaring, and after she’s slipped out of the coldest of her layers, he grabs what’s close at hand: his thickest wool cardigan that’s been waiting for a wash, and a heavy quilt that’s been warming by the previously dwindling fire.
It stops her shivering, but she’s still chilled to the bone. He knows the only thing for it and wraps a second, thinner blanket around her shoulders before he excuses himself for a few minutes.
It’s not late enough for bed, though the sky is getting darker, but he beckons her into the room anyway. It’s got a fireplace as well, and it’ll be easier to keep warm, since it’s so small. He’s layered the bed with as many blankets and quilts as he could gather through the house, and starts undressing the minute she shuts the door.
“You’re gonna catch cold if we don’t get you warm. Skin to skin,” he says, leaving only his long johns on. If she were less miserable, she might’ve poked fun at him, asked him if that was a line he uses with all his girls. But the prospect of nestling herself into all of his sturdy heat is too good to delay. So she strips herself naked, burrows under the covers, and sighs when her muscles relax at the feel of his chest pressing against her back, his shoulders curving around hers.
And if her bones finally thaw, and he stops jerking whenever her frozen feet touch his, maybe she’ll squirm against him–convince him that they should start a fire of their own. The friction of skin against skin.