Taliriktug was back, a day later than expected. The men had caught four caribou and the sleds were heavy, and they had also lost a dog. All were exhausted. No sooner were the animals down in the ice cellar than Tali was drinking in his chair by the fire, his meal almost untouched. Half an hour after that he was calling Buniq to come with him to the bedchamber.
Tali had washed, but it would take more than a minute or two under warm water to get the smell of the ice trail from him. Buniq’s nose was assaulted by his stink as soon as she stepped within the bedchamber and lay down next to him on the skins. He smelled of blood and shit, sweat and rancid oil, and she thanked God he was not a fisherman so that she did not to have to add that smell of briny decay to the list. She held back the urge to gag, and came to him gladly, removing her coat and shirt and pressing her tired and lonely body against him.
He barely said a word as he rolled her onto her back and pushed himself inside her, beginning as hard as bone, falling away to a fleshly slug after the work of penetrating her was over. He rocked back and forward gently for a minute and then she felt his seed splash through her. Then he rolled off and was soon asleep and snoring quietly.
How aroused she was now. They’d hunted well, and not strayed to Tuktoyaktuk for liquor, and younger women. Tali was fifty-five now, two years her junior, and he was wiry and weathered and hard on the eye, but money could buy things a man his age could not normally acquire. Her man had never succumbed to the urge, though. He would come back from each hunt dog-tired and wanting her. And tomorrow, he might spend some time with his grandchild. She could dote on him the whole time he was back.
She turned over to face his back, her eyes drifting across the bands of muscle which still held the skin taut, although in other places it was wrinkled with age. She longed to reach out and stroke it but thought she might disturb his sleep, so instead she contented herself with watching as his skin, bearing the reflection of the lantern’s glow, slowly rose and fell with each steady breath. Then, when the image of his back was firmly in her mind, and the rythm of his breathing was her own, she rolled over onto her back and began to touch herself.
Her right middle finger found its way to her hood without touching another part of her. As her vagina contracted for the first time she felt her man’s seed spill out onto her labia and she groaned softly. After a few minutes, she was on the very edge of orgasm; a place where she would stay for over an hour.
Buniq had never heard of tantra, but she had been pleasuring herself expertly for many years, on all the long nights while Tali was away, and she knew that with patience it was a simple matter to make the whole of her body glow. If she came now, there would be hours of silent darkness before her. So why not fill them up with bliss?
Other than the occasional flick of her hood with her finger, she barely needed to move. Each inward breath drew new power from the cold air of the sleeping chamber, and each outward breath was accompanied by a contraction of her wrinkled belly, forcing the orgasm to spill out of her vagina and flow downward like ice water along her hamstrings to her knees and toes, and lick upwards like fire to her navel, and then her breasts, and then finally to her throat.
After nearly an hour, only her head still remained calm and clear, floating detached from her body, which was a riot of orgasmic pleasure that slowly increased with very breath.
“Should I shoot?” she thought calmly, as she gently stroked the lips of her vagina and sent another cascade of cool-warm energy through her body. “It might wake him if I laugh or scream…”
She pondered the dilemma for a few more minutes. She had already ruled out having a full orgasm, which would shake the bed and certainly wake him, and in any case she would rather wait until he could share it with her. But there was also the option of forcing the sensation past her throat and letting it shoot up and escape from the top of her head. This was tempting, especially as she could do it repeatedly, but there was no telling what gabbled expressions of joy and laughter might escape from her lips if she did it; once her head was in the orgasm, she could no longer think and another part of her took over.
When she was alone, there was also a third option.
“if Tali wasn’t here, I could use the walrus tusk,” she thought, slightly wistfully.
She imagined the smooth irregularities of the ancient carved horn sitting inside her like a patient, masculine animal, while she gripped it with each outward breath, her right hand no longer needed on the hood of her clitoris. It could have taken another hour. She could have shaken the bed and laughed and screamed all she pleased, for there was not another soul within a mile.
The tusk was still under the bed from last night, many years of secret joy locked within it. Tomorrow, she would have to hide it properly.
The tusk had been a gift from her father (as he had no son to bestow it on), and his father had owned it before that time. It was something she should have passed on to her son when he’d come of age. But so much of her smell had soaked in to it over the years that there was no longer any disguising what it had been used for.
Years ago, she’d invented a story to explain its disappearance, claiming it had fallen into the sea while she was out in a boat. Now, it was hers alone, and almost a part of her. She could see it in her mind’s eye and her body sang for it, but she quieted herself.
“He goes away again next week,” she told herself. “I can have it all I want. And in the meantime, I can have Tali. He can make me feel like a woman tomorrow night maybe, or the night after.”
Her husband was a fine lover when he had been home a few days.
So in the end, the woman did nothing. She took her hand away and rolled over on her side, allowing the intense feelings to slowly subside. She decided to wait.
The next few days were good ones.