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The Human Touch

(Warning: This story contains an explicit sexual encounter.)


Rodford Edmiston

        Even though it was a Saturday, there were several people lounging around the lobby area of the Center for Gifted Research. The weather outside was simply too cold for comfort, so the usual Saturday crowd had decided to stay in and watch the projection TV. Marian Holst was on phone duty again, and seemed to be hating it.

        "Marian!" called Sturdy, hurrying into the lobby. "I need a favor!"

        "What is it?" she asked, in an atypically surly tone.

        "I need to take some stuff to the Lexington Contingent for San Savant," Sturdy explained.

        "Can't you just use the Garden Express?" Marian snapped.

        "Well, no," Sturdy replied. "It's down for maintenance."

        "All right." Marian gave a big sigh. "Just let me get my keys and find someone to take over the phones."

        After she had left, Sturdy turned to the others in the lobby, a puzzled expression on his face. "What's with her?"

        "She's horny," said Adamant, absently, as he read a magazine.

        "Ed!" Flow seemed scandalized.

        "Well, it's true," Adamant countered, looking up with a shrug. "It's hard to play with yourself when you can't reach the naughty bits, and she hasn't found a man to do it for her."

        "Adamant!" yelped Flow.

        "If you don't learn how to talk decently," threatened Pinky, "I'll call Marian back in here and we'll give you the same treatment we did last week!"

        "Would you?" said Adamant, leering at her.

        Marian returned shortly, to find Flow, in the form of a Bengal tiger, holding Adamant down while Pinky tickled him. She hardly gave them a glance.

        "Let's go," she told Sturdy, with little enthusiasm.

        The drive to Lexington was long and silent. Sturdy tried a few times to make conversation, but without success; so when Marian suddenly let out an exclamation of dismay, it caught his attention immediately.

        "What's wrong?" asked Sturdy, leaning forward from his seat in the back, as Marian quickly slowed her van to a stop.

        "There's some sort of accident ahead," said Marian. "I can't see exactly what happened, but it looks like a semi turned over."

        "I'll be back in a minute," grunted Sturdy, rising and opening the door. "I'm going to go see if I can help."

        Sturdy hurried along the pavement toward the accident scene, then came back quickly. "I'm going to need your help," he told Marian. "A car carrier turned over on top of some cars, and there are people trapped. I can't lift it high enough by myself."

        Marian took off her jacket and left the van as quickly as she could. She followed Sturdy nervously back to the wreck. There were new cars spilled everywhere, and the framework of the carrier, plus the cars still on the lower level, was laying on top of five occupied vehicles. Marian could hear people crying out from under the mess.

        Sturdy positioned himself in the middle of the carrier, motioning for Marian to stand beside him. "When I get this as high as I can, you hold it up until I can move under it to lift it higher."

        "I don't know if I can lift something that heavy," said Marian, doubtfully.

        "You'll have to," growled Sturdy, starting to lift.

        Raising that much weight wasn't easy for him, but it was well within his capacity. He pushed upward until his arms were fully extended. As he had expected, this wasn't high enough to push the trailer back over.

        "Get it!"

        Marian put her hands under the beam and braced herself. Sturdy eased off slowly, giving her time to adjust. It was heavy; very heavy. Marian felt that she was just barely holding it.

        "Hurry!" she gasped, her breath a billow of fog in the cold air. "I can't hold it long."

        Sturdy complied, moving under the carrier until he could grab a beam at chest level. He began lifting again, taking some of the load off Marian. Slowly, the trailer moved toward the vertical, until it suddenly tipped past the balance point. It fell over onto its wheels, rocking a few times before settling.

        "Whew," said Sturdy, grinning, "glad that's over! Now, let's get these folks out of their cars."

        Both Sturdy and Marian knew enough to leave the seriously injured people in place for paramedics to treat, and settled for simply peeling enough metal out of the way to provide access. Fortunately, there were few of these, most of the victims having only minor cuts, bruises and contusions. The two Gifted worked for some time, often together on tough cases, to free the less severely hurt from their vehicles. As they finished, Marian heard sirens in the distance.

        Several ambulances, fire trucks and police cars were soon on the scene, followed in minutes by three TV news crews. The latter quickly set up, and began transmitting live to their home studios. Marian noticed that the TV cameras seemed to be concentrating equally on the wreckage and herself and Sturdy. "Let's get out of here," murmured Marian, feeling uncomfortable.

        "We can't move the van until they get the road cleared," countered Sturdy, smiling and waving at the cameras. "Besides, we deserve a little limelight."

        Indeed, Marian noticed people cheering her and Sturdy, and calling out congratulations. Marian found the experience not unpleasant. Still, when the reporters present began clamoring for interviews, she quickly ducked out, leaving Sturdy to handle the PR.

        She stood waiting at one of the ambulances until the paramedics there were finished tending the last of the accident victims, then approached.

        "Hello," said one of the men, a handsome looking fellow. "Can I help you?"

        "I think I hurt myself, lifting that trailer." Marian put her hand at the small of her back, at the junction of her human and equine portions.

        "Let me take a look," the man said. His name tag read "Blandon."

        Marian lifted the tail of her blouse, showing him the injured area. While the other paramedic began putting their gear away, Blandon gently probed Marian's back.

        "Right here?" he asked, as Marian winced.


        "Does it only hurt when you move, or all the time, and more when you move?" he asked, continuing to probe the muscles of Marian's back.

        "The second," said Marian, wincing again.

        "Burning pain or just an ache?"

        "The left side burns when I move," Marian decided, "both ache all the rest of the time."

        "Well, I can't be sure," said the paramedic, turning to his medical kit, "but I'd guess that you pulled the muscles on the right side, and slightly tore the muscles on the left. This should help for now, but go see your regular doctor as soon as you can." He began rubbing a white analgesic cream on Marian's skin, a process she found oddly disturbing. He noticed her reaction, but mistook it's nature.

        "Sorry that my hands are so cold," he remarked, startling Marian.

        "Oh, I don't mind," she replied. "I'm so hot natured now that I would hardly notice if you rubbed me with an ice cube."

        "You about finished, Clint?" the other paramedic asked, reappearing from around in front of the ambulance.

        "Just about. I'll finish with Ms. Holst, here, then pack everything up."

        "'Clint'?" asked Marian, smiling.

        "My father was a fan of the old TV show, 'Rawhide'," he told her, grinning. "He wanted to name me 'Rowdy' but my mother threatened mayhem."

        Marian laughed, surprising herself.

        She watched the ambulance drive away, feeling a strange sense of loss.

        "You ready to go?" asked Sturdy.

        "Yeah," sighed Marian, "I guess so."

        It was two days later when Pinky paged Marian to tell her that she had a visitor. Wondering who it might be, Marian hurried down to the lobby. Clint was standing there, in his civies.

        "Well, hello." Marian was too startled to think of anything else to say. "What are you doing here?"

        "I came to check on my patient." Clint told her. "Say, this is some place."

        "Oh, yes." Marian was barely able to avoid gushing. "We really have put a lot of effort into making this a livable substitute home for Gifted who have problems."

        "Is your back all right?" Clint asked.

        "It's fine, now," Marian told him. "Dr. Swenson, our staff physician, checked me out and confirmed your diagnosis."

        They talked for a while, about the Center, Clint's work and how Marian was feeling. Then Clint, apparently steeling himself, got to the point.

        "How would you like to go over to Red Lobster for supper this evening?" he asked, with forced casualness.

        "Are you sure you want to date a woman who weighs six times as much as you?" said Marian, with a wry grin.

        "Hey, that's okay," Clint replied. "I like big women."

        "Okay, but I'm giving you fair warning," Marian told him. "I eat like a horse."

        They made the arrangements for when he would come to get her, then parted. Marian stood looking out the door for several minutes after the paramedic's large, black van had left, then turned to find what seemed like half the Center watching her.

        "Okay, okay," she snapped, "this isn't a circus."

        "Marian's got a sweetheart, Marian's got a sweetheart, Marian's mmpphh..." Adamant's chant was abruptly cut off by Sturdy's hand over his mouth.

        "Pay no mind to him," the big man announced. "We're all just glad to see that you've made a new friend."

        Clint returned at precisely the promised time. "Hi!" he called, as he came through the doors into the lobby. "My, you look nice!"

        "Thank you," said Marian, blushing. She felt like a schoolgirl on her first date. Then she noticed that he was staring at her legs.

        "What are those things on your feet?"

        "Rubber pullovers," she explained, lifting a hoof to show him. "That way, my steel shoes won't ruin someone's floors."

        Clint had told Marian that he was driving, and she had resigned herself to the uncomfortable prospect of riding in something not built for her. As she looked through the side door of the van while Clint held it open for her, however, she was pleasantly surprised. The van was mostly empty inside, with only the driver's seat in place, a layer of clean blankets on the floor beside it.

        "Not exactly a chariot, but it should do," Clint told Marian. "I borrowed this from a friend of mine; he uses it to move furniture."

        Marian climbed cautiously inside, the van lurching noticeably, and made her way to the blankets. Clint closed the sliding door, then hurried around to the other side. By the time he was seated, Marian had settled herself with reasonable comfort.

        They made casual conversation during the drive, Marian discovering that she was growing to like this charming young man more and more.

        "So, when I discovered that I didn't want to be a doctor, I decided to become a paramedic," he remarked. "That way, I still work in medicine, but don't have to put up with a boring office or hospital job."

        "I'm still amazed that you accept me so..." Marian waved her hands, trying to find the right word, "... casually. Most people, even other Gifted, act very uneasy around me. I can understand that, but it doesn't make it pleasant."

        "Promise you won't get mad?" asked Clint. "My dad was a farm vet. I grew up around cattle and horses, and learned to ride at an early age. So, I'm used to large animals.

        "Also, with you I can combine my two greatest loves," he continued, quickly. "Women and horses."

        Marian laughed, which seemed to relieve Clint greatly.

        Their entrance caused quite a stir, and the woman taking reservations was the most startled of all.

        "Blandon, party of two," Clint told her, calmly.

        Marian had a tight fit squeezing through the restaurant without knocking something over, but fortunately an area had been cleared on one side of their table, so she had plenty of room to lie down. Menus were handed out, and Marian and Clint were told that their server would be with them shortly.

        "What did you tell them when you made the reservations?" Marian asked Clint, once they were alone.

        "Just that I wanted a table for two, and that my date had a handicap which caused mobility problems." He grinned. "I got the idea from the license plate on your van."

        Dinner went smoothly. The food was good, the company amiable and the restaurant, while crowded with staring people, was peaceful. Still, Marian felt uncomfortable with the attention they were getting, and when they finished the main course she declined dessert.

        "Where would you like to go next?" Clint asked, as they walked to the van under cloudy, darkening skies.

        "Some place away from people," Marian told him.

        "I know just the spot; an isolated park near the zoo. The guy who loaned me the van told me about it."

        The drive was a bit long, but they were in no hurry. Their conversation became more intimate, as Clint showed a clinical interest about how Marian lived. Naturally, the subject of sex arose.

        "I can't believe that you haven't had sex since you changed," said Clint, outraged for her.

        "Besides shyness on my part, there's the problem of finding a man willing to try." Marian found it easy to talk to him about this problem, perhaps because she knew he had medical training.

        "What about some of the other Gifted?" asked Clint. "Sturdy, or that Adamant guy."

        "Sturdy is happily married, and about as sexy as a fire plug," said Marian. "Adamant is a kid in a man's body. His parents were killed in a car wreck when he was just entering college, and he pulled inside himself in reaction. He has practically no social skills.

        "There is the option of using magic, on myself or a partner," she continued, "but spells don't last long for such large changes, and may wear off unpredictably. Of the five known shapeshifters, only two can change into something my size, and one of those is a woman. Paul Lee, the one guy, is dedicated to his fiancée."

        As promised, the park was small, isolated and beautiful, even in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, the already low temperature was rapidly falling.

        "Whoof!" exclaimed Clint, as he helped Marian out of the van. "Who ordered a cold front?"

        "Want to leave?"

        "You kidding?" said Clint. "We just got here! I just hope it doesn't snow."

        They walked along a winding, dimly lit path, Clint with his arm around Marian's waist. It was a comfortable feeling; so much so that Marian didn't realize the extent of Clint's suffering until she heard his teeth chattering.

        "I think we'd better head back," said Marian, stopping to look at him.

        "That's a good idea," gasped Clint. "You weren't kidding about being hot natured. I'm freezing, and you aren't even shivering!"

        "You'd better ride," said Marian, deciding that a quick trip was in order. She held out a hand to lift Clint onto her back.

        He accepted readily, climbing easily aboard. At first he positioned himself conventionally, with his legs around her equine chest and his hands resting on her shoulders. As Marian came out from among the trees, however, she began walking into the wind. Clint snuggled close against her back, putting his legs around her waist and his arms across her stomach. Marian could feel him shivering through his jacket, and decided not to object. She began moving faster, and they were back at the van in minutes.

        Clint slid off before Marian had completely stopped, hurrying to unlock the side door with shaking hands. He threw it open, then ran around to the other.

        "Are you all right?" Marian asked, after she had closed the door and moved up front.

        "Now that I'm out of that wind," he said, his shivering slowly coming under control.

        Marian lay down on the blankets. Clint put his arm around her shoulders, and began nuzzling her neck. Even his lips were cold, but Marian didn't mind much.

        "That's another nice thing about big women," Clint murmured, "they're warm."

        "Don't start something you can't finish," Marian said, although she did nothing to stop him.

        Clint pulled back a bit, and looked at Marian thoughtfully.

        "I'm not sure how we would manage sex," he said, "but we're both adults and, if you're willing, I'm sure we could think of something."

        "You're moving too fast," said Marian, nervously. "I mean, I just met you!"

        "Look, I'm not a long-term sort of person." Clint sighed, and began stroking her neck with his fingers. "I can't make any promises about next month, or even tomorrow. I can tell you that I want you, now, and will do my best to please you."

        "Let's go back to the Center," Marian told him. "I'll let you know by the time we get there."

        "And this is my room," said Marian, hiding her nervousness by directing Clint's attention with a broad sweep of her hand. There was a huge water bed on a high pedestal, a chest of drawers, a dresser, a portable closet, and a coat rack, plus a couple of chairs for visitors and some scenic photos on the walls.

        "Nice," said Clint. "Isn't it a little, well, empty?"

        "I don't really need much furniture," Marian replied wryly.

        She gave him the tour, including her custom bathroom.

        "You seem rather proud of that shower," observed Clint, after they had finished.

        "You don't know what I had to go through to get clean before I got it!" Marian described how she had previously been forced to wash on the back porch of the Center, while wearing only a bikini top.

        "I bet you look great in a bikini," said Clint, his grin containing more than a small amount of leer.

        "I looked ridiculous," said Marian, disgusted. "Like some adolescent fantasy come to life."

        "Oh, come on!" exclaimed Clint. "You may built big, but you're also well-shaped. I think you look great."

        "Really?" asked Marian, coyly. "You sure you're not just trying to flatter me so you can get into my pants?"

        "You don't wear pants," Clint pointed out.

        He moved over to her, gently pulled her head down to his level, and kissed her on the lips. Marian made no move to pull away; after a moment of hesitation she cooperated willingly, to Clint's relief.

        They parted for a moment, then kissed again, this time Clint putting his arms around Marian's waist. She could tell that he was both excited and aroused, but he was being a gentleman, not acting until he had received a cue from Marian that he could proceed. She hoped she could show the same kind of discipline. She couldn't remember being this aroused before.

        Clint pulled away from Marian, and they looked at each other for a moment. Then, still silent, they began to undress. Marian, wearing less, finished first. Clint glanced up from pulling off his pants, then stared, causing Marian to blush.

        "Wow," was all Clint could say.

        "Aren't they ridiculous?" she remarked, hefting her breasts. "You wouldn't imagine the trouble I have finding bras to fit."

        "I don't know," said Clint, as he finished removing his shorts. "They have one advantage over every other set of tits I've ever seen. They're just the right height."

        He stepped forward and gently kissed Marian's left breast.

        "Ooooh." Marian leaned her head back and half closed her eyes. "I'd forgotten how good that felt."

        Clint, his hands on her bare waist, began slowly licking her nipple, while Marian ran her hands through his hair.

        "That feels wonderful," sighed Marian, swaying slightly from side to side.

        They continued this way for several minutes, Clint skillfully using his hands, lips and tongue to caress Marian's body.

        "I think we're both ready," Clint announced finally, and a little breathlessly.

        "So how are we going to work this?"

        In answer, Clint climbed onto the foot of Marian's water bed. Seeing what he intended, Marian backed toward him. Clint ran his hands over her rump, enjoying the feel of her thick coat. He held her tail aside with his left hand, then guided himself into her with his right.

        He started slowly, trying to gauge his movements to Marian's reactions. Unfortunately, the situation got the better of him, and he began thrusting faster and harder, until he lost control, climaxing much sooner than he had intended. He half-lay along Marian's back for a few moments, breathing hard and feeling embarrassed.

        "You didn't come, did you?"

        "I'm afraid not," said Marian, reluctantly. "No offense, but you're just not built right."

        Clint stepped down from the bed, draping his arm over Marian's back while he thought. Idly, he reached under Marian and began fondling her teats, causing her to shift restlessly.

        "That feels strange."

        "Do you want me to stop?"

        "No," Marian replied, "it's just that no one has touched me down there except for a couple of doctors and one vet, and none of them like that. It feels good."

        Clint continued fondling her for a while, then suddenly stopped and stood straight. "I have an idea that might work," he told her, conviction in his voice. "May I try it?"

        She nodded, and Clint stepped to her rear. Again holding her tail aside, he placed the tips of his fingers to the lips of her vagina, then gently pushed his hand inside her. Marian gasped, and Clint felt her muscles tighten; he stopped. When she relaxed without protesting, Clint resumed, inserting his hand and most of his forearm. He pulled partway out, then pushed back in. Marian moaned, and started fondling her breasts. Encouraged, Clint repeated the movement, getting into a natural rhythm with Marian's body. She began to emit little cries of pleasure, her head thrown back. Fascinated, almost in spite of himself, Clint moved faster and deeper, until Marian gave a loud cry, her body squeezing tightly against his arm. Then she relaxed, swaying so much that Clint was afraid she would fall.

        "Are you all right?" he asked, suddenly worried.

        "That was wonderful." Marian sighed, then gave an embarrassed giggle. "I just wish I hadn't yelled like that. I sounded like a starlet from a cheap porn movie."

        She turned around and gave him a long and passionate kiss, then pulled away and wrinkled her nose as she inspected him.

        "You're a mess. I guess I am too."

        "Does that mean I get to try that fancy shower of yours?"

        "I guess it does," decided Marian, smiling. She suddenly laughed.

        "What is it?" asked Clint.

        "I just realized," Marian told him. "I didn't take my shoes off!"

        Marian looked over at Clint, as he lay, asleep beside her, on her water bed. Despite their best efforts at being covert, she had no doubts that everyone in the Center knew what they had done. That was partly Marian's fault; she hadn't been quiet. Actually, that didn't bother her much; these people were all her friends, and were probably rooting for her. She didn't know whether there was any future for her and Clint, but for now she was satisfied. She was adult enough to accept a purely physical relationship, and desperate enough to want one.

The End

    This work is Copyright 1998 by Rodford Edmiston Smith, who can be reached at: stickmaker@usa.net. Please contact the author for permission before reposting or reprinting. Thank you.