The Anarchist and the Aristocrat
The Petersburg Express
From the moment the younger man entered her compartment, Ivana sensed a quiet electricity in the air. She hardly looked up, but suddenly the torrid French novel she'd been immersed in seemed much less captivating. A close observer might have noticed the flush in her cheeks, an almost imperceptible heave in her bosom. Her heart gave a quick, tingling hiccup.
She sought to quiet herself with a familiar lecture. You are a married woman, the spouse of one of Petersburg's most prominent citizens -- Boris Smirnov, whose one-man campaign against the revolutionary terrorists has earned him the applause of all high society. And Boris is a dutiful husband, Ivana reminded herself. Courteous, correct; in all ways above reproach.
Even in the privacy of the chamber, Boris's efforts were not inconsiderable. He was a gruff lover, sometimes a crude one, but not lacking a certain earthy charm. Often she managed to ignore his rather clumsy technique and take her pleasure by grinding against his hard, hairy body. Ivana had no complaints. She knew many women -- high ladies of Petersburg society -- for whom the pleasures of the night were no more than a trial and a trauma.
But still, still ... She had married young, with no chance to explore even the limited range of experiences open to a discreet but attractive society girl. Ever since, her mind had wandered. Sometimes more frequently, sometimes less -- but with a regularity that shocked her at first.
The truth? On one or two occasions, it was more than her mind that had led her astray.
There was her sweet young maid, Duchenka, whose assistance in her daily toilet had once gone too far, much too far. ... Ivana shivered at the memory of Duchenka's hesitant hands adjusting her mistress's bodice, then (even more hesitantly) straying over the strawberry-hued flesh of Ivana's bosom.
Worst of all was Dimitri -- that young constable in Boris's force who'd arrived early for an appointment with her husband. How the conversation had turned to private matters, Ivana could hardly remember. What burned in her memory still was the sight of him sitting in the plush chair across from her, with a truly exceptional erection stiffening in his trousers. She remembered the way the cream had begun to ooze from her humid purse as she goaded the man -- a boy, really -- to recount his limited sexual experiences. How she had fuelled his lust, with questions that could only make him twitch and throb!
"And did she suck on it nicely for you, Dimitri? I certainly hope she didn't pull away when you began to spend."
"And how did she look when she was underneath you, drawing you into her? Were her eyes open or closed? Did she touch her breasts to excite you further?"
Finally -- out of pity, surely -- she had freed Dimitri's straining young prick from its confines and stroked him off with a cool, tender hand, delighting in his organ's helpless spurts as the spasms overtook him.
Poor Dimitri had spattered seed all over his best clothes, not to mention covering her hand with a thick stream of gruel. And so he had made a shamefaced exit by the servant's door, catching a carriage back to his residence. It would hardly do to hold an audience with Ivana's husband while his trousers and shirt flecked with spunk! As a result, he had missed his appointment, which led to a severe dressing-down from Boris at police headquarters the following day. Fortunately, Ivana had managed to soothe the affair with a few well-chosen words to her husband about "that efficient and gracious young constable" who had so impressed the ladies of her social circle. Now word had it Dimitri was in line for a promotion.
I suppose I am shameless, Ivana said to herself. Once, she'd thought the urges would disappear with age. Quite the opposite had occurred. She was now well past forty in years. But her hand seemed to seek out the warmth between her thighs with more consuming vigour than ever. And at society balls, when the maidens danced for the first time with the eligible young men of the Petersburg set, she couldn't help wondering why those handsome noblemen would waste their time with a bunch of blushing, timorous young virgins. Sipping a glass of white wine in the corner of the ballroom, she would let the obscene fantasies rage through her mind. I would like to take them all into a back room and undress for them, down to my stockings and bodice. I would show them what a mature and inventive woman could do ...
And now this.
The man who had entered her compartment was tallish; handsome in a craggy, dangerous way. At once, she sensed he was someone who not only ignored the bounds of convention, but took a positive delight in trampling them at every opportunity. This flash of intuition disturbed Ivana, though she was sure of its accuracy. Perhaps she and he were kindred spirits. But he -- whoever he was -- had exploited the freedom granted his sex; he had transformed his wildest imaginings into spectacular reality. She, on the other hand, was stuck with her colourful but sterile fantasies.
For some reason the thought infuriated her. She actually felt a burst of hatred in her breast. Resolutely, she returned to her French novel. But now she seemed to have lost track of the characters, and the plot which had before seemed only frivolous now struck her as silly beyond belief.
The young man sat kitty-corner to her. Luxuriantly he stretched out his legs across the space that separated them. He was exceedingly well-dressed: his formal attire fit him so perfectly that his smallest gesture somehow seemed casual and relaxed.
Their eyes still had not met. Ivana blinked across at him. She caught him staring out the window with an expression of calm insolence on his face, enjoying the rocking of the train on its rails. The austere autumn vista of North Russian countryside flowed past the window.
"May I smoke?"
Ivana looked up at him. His voice was rich, a little husky. To his credit, he had wiped the insolence from his features, and was looking at her frankly -- almost with humility. But she could see the corner of his mouth twitching, anxious to return to its usual smirk.
"I am not fond of the odour of tobacco," she responded carefully. "But if you will open the door to the corridor and attempt to direct your exhalations outside, you are welcome."
"Thank you," said the man. He took out an expensively crafted cigarette case. She noticed the initials engraved on its silver lid as he opened it: A.K. There was a ripple in the air as he stood to slide back the door before returning to his seat.
He lit a cigarette. "May I ask you your name, madam, and where you began your journey?"
"You may. I am Ivana Smirnova, of Petersburg. My husband is Boris Smirnov of the Tsarist constabulary. I am returning from Archangel where I have been visiting my sister."
The man's eyebrows lifted slightly. "The Honourable Boris Smirnov. I know him."
"Under what auspices?"
He smiled, and she saw -- now with a strange pleasure -- that his insolent grin was back.
"Unfavourable ones, I'm afraid. My earlier life was touched by a breath of scandal which brought me to his attention. Fortunately, your husband is gifted in smoothing over unsavoury matters when noble reputations are at stake."
So she had gauged him correctly: a rake, born and bred. "Your reputation, perhaps?"
He gave a short, soft laugh. "No, Madam Smirnova. I have no reputation left, at least none that could be sullied further. Mais, malhereusement, those with whom I associate often cannot say the same.
"I seem to bring out the worst in them," he added cheerfully, "and I dare say there is often some tidying-up left for others after the damage is done. That is where your husband came in. A man of extreme discretion, Boris Smirnov."
Ivana inclined her head haughtily, giving him a superior frown. "I am as fond of a whiff of scandal as I am of the odour of tobacco," she said. "Reputations are carefully nurtured. They are indispensable for functioning in the proper circles. You should be more disciplined. I trust that violence was not involved in any of these ... affaires?"
The man drew deeply on his cigarette and stubbed it out in the tray. "I am not by nature a violent man, madam," he said. "Violence is for those who have run out of imagination." He shifted in his seat. "But I must introduce myself more formally. Gregor Shliapnikov, of Minsk."
Ivana recalled the initials on the cigarette box. "I see. And is that your real name?"
He gave a hearty laugh. "It will serve for present purposes."
"And what are the present purposes? What takes you to Petersburg?"
"What takes me anywhere. When one is in my position one must keep on the move, so as not to amass too disgraceful a record in any one locale."
"What is the nature of your transgressions?" Ivana asked bluntly, a little stunned by her candour. She felt her heartbeat quicken. Surely the electricity in the air had increased by a few volts.
Shliapnikov sighed resignedly. "Ah, Madam Smirnova. The truth is, I have a weakness for the female sex. I always have had, ever since I was old enough to feel excitement in the presence of a chambermaid."
Ivana fought the blush that again rose to her cheeks. "And how old was that, pray?"
"You are very curious," said Shliapnikov, appraising her. "I was nine, I think. The circumstances were ordinary. I caught her bathing one day. It was only a glimpse."
"And so you stroll the land, merrily laying waste to women's propriety and reputations?"
"That, madam, is one way of putting it. I have never forced myself on anyone. And if I may say so, no woman has ever left my chamber unsatisfied -- at least until they reflected on the experience later, in the light of those ridiculous conventions which bind and inhibit them."
Ivana stiffened herself against the heresy. "So you find our conventions ridiculous."
"Yes," said Shliapnikov. "And so do you."
"I beg your pardon?"
Shliapnikov sighed and leaned forward. "Forgive me, Madam Smirnova. I have been doing some interesting reading lately. The subject is perception and intuition -- quite a controversy among certain German schools of thought these days.
"It seems there are certain unusually perceptive people who are able to discern extraordinarily personal details about people they have met for the first time. The material has a special interest for me, because I have often wondered if I am one of them. For example -- "
He rummaged in his case for another cigarette. "Although you are outwardly a woman of the highest culture and most unimpeachable demeanour, I think perhaps you are also ... brazen. Convention does not attract you -- whether in the material you read, the friendships you cultivate, or the thoughts you sometimes find springing to mind. Am I correct? Are you, indeed, unconventional?"
For the first time Ivana smiled, though she was unwilling to give him much encouragement. "Perhaps. That is for conventional people to judge."
"May I continue with my analysis?"
Ivana set her jaw into aristocratic repose. "For the time being."
Shliapnikov drew on his cigarette and exhaled, half-concealing his face in a shroud of smoke.
"You are a mature woman, but remarkably handsome. I expect your body has not only the fullness of maturity, but much of the firmness of youth. You are proud of this. Perhaps you enjoy, at times, admiring yourself in the mirror. You welcome the envious glances your maidservants give you as they are helping you dress. You bask in the warm words from men at society functions -- men young enough to be your son."
Ivana took in her breath. Shliapnikov grinned: his words had struck home. There was a long pause as he watched her reaction.
"Perhaps there is a grain of truth to what you say," Ivana conceded.
"I must again ask your permission to explore further," Shliapnikov said slowly. "I warn you that, having already exceeded the bounds of what is proper, I may be tempted to test the limits of your patience."
"You may proceed," Ivana replied, straining to keep a tone of authority in her voice. "I will grant you one trespass without penalty. Then you must stop."
"Agreed." He paused briefly, then soldiered on.
"I think you are a woman who is capable of being aroused by words alone, Madam Smirnova. Perhaps even at this moment you feel humidity in a secret place of yours."
Lord, the only inaccuracy was in understatement. Ivana felt her juices virtually spilling out of her. Could he smell her excitement from where he was sitting?
"It is possible" -- Shliapnikov faltered, as if wondering whether he dared to continue -- "it is possible that you, who are so comfortable exhibiting yourself for your own eyes, would contemplate baring yourself to a complete stranger, knowing how greatly this would excite him."
Ivana clutched her hands together in her lap; the gesture seemed all that was holding her together. But then, with the sweetest surprise, she felt pride and confidence surging through her. Who was this young man -- twenty years her junior, at least! -- to unsettle her so?
"Mr. Shliapnikov, sir," she said coolly. "I believe you had better lock the door to the compartment, so that others do not overhear your lewd words."
Shliapnikov shrugged. "The only reason to lock the door is if you wish my words to become even lewder."
"Do as I say," commanded Ivana.
Shliapnikov leaned over. He slid the compartment door closed and locked it. As he tugged the velvet curtains over the windows, Ivana noticed for the first time the healthy bulge in his trousers -- and, more gratifyingly, the trembling of his hand. So she was not the only nervous one!
When Shliapnikov had sat back, Ivana spoke again, proud of the firmness of her voice.
"Let me see if I understand you correctly, sir," she said. "You are asking me to rearrange my attire to give you a glimpse of things only my husband and my maidservants have ever seen. Is that so?"
"Yes," Shliapnikov breathed.
"But I sense that will not be enough for you, sir," Ivana continued. "You will want me to tug the lips of my sex apart for your eyes, and then to run my fingers along its channel until I glisten with juice. I wish to be entirely clear on this, Mr. Shliapnikov."
"I think we understand each other, Madam."
"You are an extremely crude and uncultivated man," said Ivana. "But I will do as you ask."
Slowly, as if in a dream, Ivana pushed her bottom forward on the soft seat. Under her long skirt she parted her legs slightly. And then she drew up her skirt, over her stockinged calves, her knees ... to her waist.
All that now separated his eyes from the object of their desire was a pair of dainty silk bloomers. By this time it hardly mattered. Shliapnikov seemed overcome by her posture: her loins thrust forward on the seat; a patch of damp on the silk between her spread legs.
"I do not wish to take these off," said Ivana, her heart pounding wildly. She ran a hand over her bloomers, sliding a finger down the cleft of her sex so that the damp fabric clung to the plump lips of her pussy. "If you want to see more, you will have to tear them apart."
Shliapnikov needed no further invitation. With a quick gesture he loosened his collar: beads of perspiration stood in sharp relief on his forehead. Shakily, he knelt down on the compartment floor and took hold of Ivana's soft calves, parting her legs a little more.
He ran his hands up the inside of her thighs, making her shiver. Then, with one swift pull on each side of her bloomers, he tore the garment asunder. Through the silken tatters, Ivana's sex now stood out, swollen and gleaming. Her most intimate flesh was scarcely two feet from his face. She gloried in the feel of the cool compartment air on her sweet purse.
Almost unconsciously, she reached a hand between her legs -- as she had done so many times at night, in the privacy of her chamber, with Boris away on one of his interminable late-night meetings. The streaming wetness of her sex shocked and delighted her. With her other hand, she teased the lips apart for his eyes. Had any woman among the many he had despoiled dared to expose herself so extravagantly?
She rubbed and cajoled the stiff nub of her clitoris as his palms burned on her thighs. "You may lick me, sir," she breathed.
And then he was tasting her, with no preamble and not much delicacy; his lust was too strong for that.
Eagerly he ran his tongue from the cream-drenched channel at the bottom of her sex, through the tangle of black bush and blushing, purple-tinged lips. The bristles on his upper lip grazed her clitoris. Ivana gave the smallest of cries and pushed her loins forward into his hungry face, smearing his features with a bright sheen.
All the tension that had built up over the previous hour leapt from her in a starburst orgasm that rocketed through her extremities and dripped from his chin. She bucked and heaved against his mouth, fastened to the jewel of her sex. Then he was licking her even more insistently, maddeningly, making small inchoate noises as he swallowed her flowing cream.
Ivana clutched the tangle of Shliapnikov's hair and pulled him against her, adding to the lather of her fluid that drenched his rakish features. Two, three, four spasms crackled through her like lightning. He stayed with her for every one -- infuriating and delighting her with his nuzzling lips, his nipping teeth, his endlessly active tongue.
Finally she was still. Her face and cleavage shone with perspiration. Her loins were sodden and slippery with her fluids and his saliva.
Shliapnikov himself was breathing heavily. He looked up from his kneeling posture between her thighs with a surprisingly boyish expression, as though seeking her approval. Ivana took his face in her hands and drew him up to her. They shared a long kiss; she ran her tongue around his lips and chin, tasting the salty tang of her own juices. His black eyes sparkled with still unsated desire.
"I, too, am hungry for the taste of you," she whispered. "Bring me your tool, Mr. Shliapnikov, and I will relieve you of your lust."
Shliapnikov stood up and, with trembling hands, unfastened the buttons of his trousers. They fell to the floor along with whatever he wore underneath them. His penis sprang into view mere inches from her face.
Ivana remembered how she had tortured young Dimitri -- the words would serve her here. "Do your girlfriends suck on this for you, sir?" she asked coyly. "I know you would like them to, but young women are so strange. Sometimes they think they play a sufficiently active role merely by opening their thighs."
"That is so," Shliapnikov said. He gasped as her cool, elegant hand rose to take hold of his hard prick. Ivana's ruby lips finally kissed the tip, then parted to admit him into her mouth. He shuddered and nearly exploded. Only by clenching tightly was he able to hold back.
What Ivana hadn't mentioned was this was the first time she had taken a man into her mouth. But she had played the part of the knowledgeable older women so well that she had convinced even herself. Besides, somehow the technique seemed entirely straightforward and logical. Stroke the thick shaft with her hand, as she had stroked Dimitri to his climax; lick the underside of his prick where she knew it was most sensitive. Otherwise, keep the warm moistness of her mouth as a kind of broad context for the act.
She stroked and sucked, swallowing the sticky drops of fluid that leaked from his erection. He pushed against her, but she was able to hold him away with the tight grasp of her hand. She knew he must be close to his limit. What could she do for him that would etch her in his memory for the rest of his life?
Gently she removed her mouth from his prick. "Mr. Shliapnikov, your desire seems rooted in your sense of sight above all. Why do you not look down and etch forever in your mind what I am doing for you?"
Shliapnikov gazed downwards, wide-eyed, at the sight of his prick pushing against Ivana's lips, her tongue snaking around the purple head. He revelled in the stroking motion of her hand.
"Oh, Holy Saint Urban," he gasped. "Ahhhhh -- "
The first thick spurt of his orgasm filled her mouth. Somehow, as the spasms shook him, his eyes remained transfixed on her, and Ivana, swallowing the sticky mouthful, played it for all she was worth. She took her mouth off the spouting prick and laid it against her cheek so that his sperm pumped onto her face. Then she returned him to the portal of her lips and let the last spasms gush over her chin and tongue.
The slightly salty gruel delighted her. She took him back in her mouth until the last tremor had evaporated. Then, as he watched, she reached up to wipe the lashings of seed from her face, and slid her fingers down into the milky crevice between her breasts.
"I will keep a little of it there, Mr. Shliapnikov, so I can feel it drying on my skin. Perhaps the aroma will rise to my nostrils to please me."
Shliapnikov was speechless. For the first time in his life, he felt outmatched. He sank back in his seat heavily, tucking his limp prick back into his trousers.
Ivana took out a handkerchief and wiped the remaining traces of jism from her cheek and chin. She did it tenderly, knowing Shliapnikov was watching. Then she smiled at him.
"I do not wish to be rude, sir. But you have already advised me of your reputation -- or rather your lack of it. It goes without saying that word of our encounter must never leave this compartment. I assure you my husband would not take kindly to such libels being spread; he has many resources to devote to finding you, should he choose to do so. You would not find yourself treated so gently at his hands next time."
Shliapnikov tried to muster his old sardonic grin, but it died before it reached his face. "You need fear nothing, Madam Smirnova. I thank you for your attentions."
"Much of the pleasure was mine. I hope you are ready to leave the carriage in a manner which betrays nothing of what has occurred here?"
As if to lend urgency to her words, the conductor tapped on the glass of the compartment window. "Petersburg, five minutes!"
End of Chapter One
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