“Excuse me, can I get past?”

I looked up to see a woman trying to manoeuvre a baby’s push-chair between tables and chairs that were too close together. My legs were stretched out, adding to the inconvenience. I stood up and moved one of the chairs closer to my table.

“I’m sorry. I’m in the way, that’s not very helpful. Can you get through?”

“I can now, thanks.”

Her voice sounded vaguely familiar, and I rabbited through my head, trying to place her. She turned and looked at me, and broke into a sun embracing smile.

“David, is that you?”

With a sudden rush, who she was came hurtling back to me.


She grinned, just as vibrant and alive as she’d been back then, when I knew her, watched her blossom. She was a woman now, older, but the girl she once was, still there. Bec. Rebecca.

“It is you. God, how long’s it been? Must be ten years, surely?” She stepped towards me and hugged her body close to mine, pressing herself against me, just as she had every week of the year I knew her. I held her in a tight embrace, her pressing curves immediately familiar, the force of her, undiminished. She was softer, a little heavier, but the same Bec, pressing herself against me. Her hair tickled my cheek, just like it always did.

“It’s so good to see you.” She let me go, with a squeeze of my arm.

“Yes, it’s me. And to see you.” I pulled out the impeding chair for her. “Please, join me, have a seat. Are you here for coffee? I’ll get it. You should look after your little one.”

Her child, wrapped up tightly in a little coat and a woollen beanie, looked up at me with that serious, studying gaze that babies have. I was observed, and this little thing, maybe six, seven months old, seemed very certain who he saw. “Who’s this?” I asked.

“He’s my best little man. Daniel. Dan. Danny. Depends on my mood, who he is.” She laughed, a mother’s love for her son, so obvious.

“Hey, Dan. Good to meet cha.” I chose the middle ground between formality and affection. After all, we’d only just met. He stared at me, unblinking. I’d forgotten how small they were, little babies; my own son grown and a man, a few years younger than Bec.

That’s how I knew her. Sons and daughters, families and schools. Bec was the daughter of my daughter’s netball coach when my girl was in junior high school, and every Friday night for a year, I got to know her, sitting together while the younger girls played. She was a lovely promise of a young woman then, and here she was, that promise fulfilled, and with a baby.

I was getting too old, time passing too quickly. It was more than ten years ago, more like twelve or thirteen. But age dropped away like a cascade, and her body hugging mine felt like yesterday. Her smile had always been for today, never tomorrow. Bec, being younger then, had no sense of time streaming in any direction, whereas I always did, growing older, being responsible, being married, having children, being fettered.

“A hot choc would be lovely, thanks.” Bec reminded me where we were.

I went into the café and ordered another latte for me and a hot chocolate for Bec. When I came out, she’d parked the pusher in between two tables, up against the wall out of the way, and had Danny on her hip the way confident mothers do, bouncing him on one arm while she tucked a blanket around him. She smiled up at me as I returned to the table, and again I saw the younger woman in her face, the girl who’d captivated me.

“Being a mum suits you,” I said. “You don’t seem to be frazzled by it all.”

She laughed. “Thanks. I seem to get most things right.”

I remembered my own little children; how Maureen took to motherhood easily, the shared joy of Paul our first, but also the subtle push away from me with Felicity, our second. I wasn’t needed as much with her, the daughter for her mother; but I never said anything then, and say nothing now.

Bec stroked her boy’s hair, and I remembered the softness of a baby’s skin. “May I?” I asked, wanting permission before taking what wasn’t mine to take.

She nodded, and with the back of my fingers I touched the child’s cheek, to feel such softness again. I gave Danny my little finger and he gripped it, looking at me intently with his serious gaze. I widened my eyes, oh in surprise, and Danny looked from me to his mother, then laughed in the way only a delighted child laughs, full of joy, that continuous chuckle, that catching of breath to keep up. I opened my eyes wide again and Danny repeated his gurgle. This time Bec laughed too, in a sharing of joy with her child.

“He likes you,” she said.

“You always were a good dad.” She placed her hand on mine.

“You knew with me, that was part of it? My dad not there, and all that.” Her comment came out of the blue. It was half a question, half a statement, confirming what I’d often felt about Bec, that she’d wanted a father figure, but at the same time testing and trusting at a special time in her life.

“I reckon I did, yes.” How could I not?

Bec smiled again, her eyes softening with her own memories. “I was pretty naughty, wasn’t I? Sitting on your lap all those times. Just as well we didn’t do anything, eh!” She grinned. “I bet you wanted to.”

I was taken aback by her confidence then, and her straightforward confidence now.

“I did, yes,” honesty being my only answer, my only defence. She’d been far too knowing as a teenager.

“I knew it,” she said. “I always knew it.”

And as quickly as she’d said it, Bec turned to her child and fussed with him. I felt that something had been placed on the table for both of us to take away, best left unspoken. Back then, neither of us had said a word. But she looked at me now, and her gaze was as intense as her son’s.

The refreshments arrived, and the moment, for that’s surely what it was, passed. Rebecca gave me the five minute potted summary of her life since school, which included the fact that she was repeating her mother’s experience, bringing up a fatherless child.

“He tried, I suppose, the hopeless bugger, but he couldn’t look after himself, let alone me and a baby.” Bec didn’t seem angry or resentful. She’d always been practical. “I just got on and did what was needed. Mum’s been great, really helpful, so I manage.”

“You seem to be doing okay.”

“Yeah, I am. I always knew I could do it. Be a good mum.” She didn’t doubt herself.

Danny became fractious. “Hold on, honey,” she said. “Wait for Mummy to look after herself.”

She had a last drink from her mug and placed it on the table, pushing it towards the centre so it wouldn’t accidentally get bumped and drop.

Bec looked across at me, followed by a quick look around the café. “They’re good here. Nobody minds a baby on the tit.”

And with practised efficiency, and I could never work out how women did it, Bec lifted her jumper, shifted Danny closer in her arms, and placed him on her nipple. She looked down at her son, in that moment the most important bond in the world, then looked across at me. The pure bliss of the milk letting down showed on her face.

Suddenly, I felt even closer to Bec, but the moment was too intimate, and I looked away.

“Don’t,” she said softly. “I always liked the way you looked at me. It’s nice, you with me now.”

So I watched Bec as she suckled her baby, and thought she was very beautiful. Which she wasn’t, not really. There was nothing astonishingly special about Bec. She was a girl from the suburbs, down to earth, destined to make of life what she could. She’d never been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and was probably a much better person for it.

She shifted Danny to her other breast, but he wasn’t there for long. She looked at me and smiled. “He’s a bugger. He used to take off both breasts, but now he barely touches the second. He always leaves me with a boob full of milk.”

“That’s exactly what Paul used to do.”

“Oh really? What did Maureen do?”

* * * *

“Love, can you burp him? He’s left me a full tit again.”

Maureen nudged me to sit up and take Paul. He was warm and content, nearly asleep already with the last night-time feed full in his belly. I placed a bib on my shoulder and his warm little body against my chest, and began to pat his back.

“Harder,” said Maureen. “He’s swaddled so he doesn’t scratch. You need to get through the layers.”

I applied more pressure, and sure enough, after a moment there was a burp and the sweet smell of a little sick on the bib.

“Can you take him through?” Maureen asked. “This bloody pump is hopeless.”

She was trying to express the surplus milk, and for several nights had struggled. Paul always took both breasts during the day, but at night when he woke for his last feed, he’d decided he was full on one tit, and left Maureen to deal with the other. She’d said she wanted to breast feed him until he was at least one, so this night time change in behaviour was a hassle she wanted to get on top of. Or wean him six months earlier, which she didn’t want to do.

I slid out of bed with our baby on my shoulder, floppy and asleep already. I took him through to the other bedroom where the cot and change table were set up. Maureen had a day bed made up in the room too, and many times I’d get home from work and find them both together, fast asleep with the light of the dropping sun streaming through the window. I envied them that bond, that closeness. So I didn’t mind at all the pad through to the next room to put my boy down in his cradle.

I settled Paul down in the cot and gazed in wonder at his little face. I gently touched his cheek with my lips, constantly amazed at the softness of his skin. My tiny boy. I couldn’t imagine him growing bigger. He wiffled and sighed like a gust of wind at the window. Good. I knew he’d sleep now, till morning. I pulled the door to, leaving the glow of the night light casting a small dim triangle on the floor. “Night night, little fella,” I whispered, blowing him a last kiss.

I went through to the loo and had a last pee. I didn’t flush, because Maureen would have her last pee too, and flush then. It was our small contribution to drought relief, to save water.

Returning to the bedroom, I found Maureen still struggling with the attachment for the expressing device, and getting cross and tired with it. “Bloody silly thing. Probably invented by a man.” She dropped it to the floor. “Get me a towel, would you, love? I’ll just leak all night and be sodden in the morning.”

“Why don’t I take it off?” I asked, the thought arriving from nowhere.

“What?” Maureen asked. “You mean suck on my boob, take off the milk?”

“Yes. I’ve got a mouth, a tongue. Has to be better than that thing,” I said, waving vaguely at the floor where she’d dropped the cold rubber cup. It was dark, so I couldn’t see her reaction. There was silence between us for a few seconds, then she spoke.

“I guess it’s worth a try. But wouldn’t it be a bit weird, you having his milk?”

“It can’t be any worse than all these other body fluids we’re seeing, that come with a baby. It has to be better than your gadget. I promise I won’t bite.”

There was another long moment of silence. I don’t suppose the idea had ever entered Maureen’s head before. She put her fingers to her nipple, where milk was still beading. “You won’t mind the taste?”

“I don’t know the taste. Sweet, I guess, judging by his sicks.”

It was sweet. And warm. And I didn’t know what letting down was like, but when Maureen’s milk let down and started to flow, I knew what contentment felt like.

So did Maureen. “Oh my god, that’s so… sensual.”

I shifted my body to get more comfortable, to find an angle that didn’t drag on her breast.

On the second night we arranged pillows differently, and my cock was hard against her leg. After I’d finished the milk from her breast, Maureen stroked come from my cock without saying a word.

* * * *

“Let me process that,” said Rebecca. “I’d never have imagined Maureen doing that, not in a million years.”

She looked down at her breasts, where her own milk was spreading in two wide patches on her blouse. “My god, look at me. That’s from you telling me that.”

I’d not mentioned the stroking.

Bec tugged her coat around to cover herself. “It’s not often that happens. Sometimes I don’t even notice, until another woman, usually much older, gives me a nod to my chest.”

She looked at me. “That was sweet.” She touched my hand again. “It must have been special, sharing milk with your son. How long did you say?”

“Six months,” I replied. “Until she weaned Paul. And me, I guess.”

There must have been a look on my face, for Bec asked, “Did you do it again, with Felicity?”

“I wanted to, but it didn’t happen. Flick always took both breasts, then one day bit Maureen on the nipple and that was it. Instant weaning. It took a month for the milk to stop, and there was no way Maureen was letting me near her breasts.”

Bec looked at me for a very long time. “It wasn’t just practical, was it? It was sexual. Intensely private. But sexual, with Maureen. And then it wasn’t.”

I nodded, and swallowed.

“You’d do it again, wouldn’t you? If you could.”

I nodded again, expecting nothing.

Bec pursed her lips, thoughtful.

The moment passed, and we chatted for a while longer, before Bec said, “I have to go. What’s your number?”

* * * *

A week later Bec rang me. “David, about that arrangement we made…”

“What arrangement?”

There was a pause, and the line crackled. “Oh. That must have been me, thought it. We talked about it.”

“Bec, what are you on about?”

“Breast milk. Your craving for it. If you wanted to do it. With me. My milk, I mean…”

This time I was silent. This time I was processing what Bec was saying.

“David, are you there? God, it’s a stupid idea. I thought…”

“Bec. I don’t know what to say. I mean…” I was at a loss for words. “You??”

There was a much longer silence, then I heard Bec draw a deep breath. “I’m going to start again, just say it the once. And to confess, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I -”



“Yes,” I said. “I’m saying yes.”

I think we were both waiting for common sense to walk back in the door. But it didn’t. Bec finally spoke.

“I wanted stuff to happen when I was seventeen, but you were too sensible, an adult, so it didn’t. But I’m thirty now, and… now I’m an adult too, a mature woman. And you’re a man who…”

“Wanted you, Bec.”

I interrupted her flow of justification, to make myself responsible. But I didn’t know what I was doing either. This was intense sex we were contemplating, intimacy beyond any usual measure of the word, combined with memories of illicit feelings we’d obviously kept locked away, not from each other but from the world. This was a powder keg for both of us.

“I planned on you saying yes,” she said, “because Danny is with his Gran for the afternoon. And I’m out with Grace.”

“Does Grace know?” I asked.

“If you come over, she will. I’ll tell her something, if I have to. I’m going to text you my address. One o’clock. If you can make it.”



“I’ll be there.”

“Thank god for that.” And she ended the call.

At one o’clock I parked in the street a few houses up from the apartment block Bec lived in.

– Down the drive to the back of the block, on the ground floor to the left. Apartment 9 –

I followed the instructions in the text Bec sent me, and found myself facing a fly-screen and a front door, under a little porch. Across the drive from the building there was a high Stratco fence, and three coloured wheelie bins lined up in a row. I hoped for Bec’s sake there was a little garden out the other side, with some grass and a few plants at least.

I pressed the door bell and waited.

“Just a sec.” I heard Bec’s voice call out, then some footsteps. A turn of the lock, and the door opened inwards. “David. You came. I wasn’t sure if you would.”

“I’m here, Bec. Of course I came.” I should have come sooner. But we’d enrolled the kids into another school and moved away, and Bec, I thought, became a fond memory of a girl on Friday nights at the Rec Centre.

But this was a new Bec, Rebecca all grown up.

She stood before me wearing a comfortable pair of track pants and a fleecy top. I’d come to her, after all, and there was no wooing here, no seduction. Well, none of the usual kind, with high heels and lipstick and candle lit dinners. Both of us knew this was a foregone conclusion, our time limited, dictated by a distant child.

There was a more practical reason for Bec’s clothing, her top at least. There were two spreading patches at her breasts, dark against the grey cloth. “It’s ridiculous,” she said. “This is the second top I’ve soaked since this morning. As soon as I started thinking what I’m going to do to you, what you’re going to do to me, both tits started leaking.”

She looked up at me with a cheerful grin. “No secrets, no… what’s that word? Dec something.”


“That’s the one. I never did know how to be polite. I always…”

… stepped forward into my arms, throwing her arms around me in a tight hug. She was fleshier now than back then, her breasts softer and bigger with their milk, but her body just as forceful, pressing against mine, hungry for affection.

On the first Friday night we’d been introduced we all said, “Hi,” and learned each other’s names. The next Friday, Bec had a hug for Maureen and Felicity – the older netball girl greeting the little rookie and the mum. The Friday after that, I was hugged too, the solitary dad welcomed into this world of women. And when the younger team were getting their pre-game briefing, Bec and I would sit out of the way, by a window overlooking the courts.

“You can grab my bum now,” she said with a giggle. “I always wanted you to do that.”

Her mouth came up to mine in a wet lipped kiss, hungry for me.

Hungry for her, I tilted Bec’s head up, pulling her mouth onto mine. We pushed back against the door frame, and I spread my legs for balance.

“And that,” she whispered, before kissing me harder, her tongue probing.

“Fuck, seriously?” She pulled away and looked down at her chest. Big dark nipples showed through the wet clinging cloth. “I’m wetting myself here. You’d better get this off,” she said, and started to undo the buttons of my shirt. “Or you’ll get soaked too.”

I’d not particularly thought through what might happen, but Bec’s body was taking over, mine responding. As she pulled the shirt up out of my pants and off my shoulders, she brushed the bulge of my hardening cock. She looked at me, broke into a huge smile, and said, “Come with me.”

She took me by the hand and led me through to the kitchen. “Sit here,” she said. “Back in a mo.”

I sat at the kitchen table, wondering what she was up to. I heard the bang of a wardrobe door and the slide of a drawer, then a short silence.

“Ta da!”

I stared at Bec with what must have been a stunned look on my face. She turned around quickly, and the swirl of a dark green, pleated netball skirt lifted up to show sports shorts underneath. She slunk towards me in a pastiche of the Dance of the Seven Veils, her big breasts swinging, braless under the wet soaking top. She placed her hand on my shoulder, pushed me back onto the chair, then turned towards the table. She leaned forward, placed both hands on it, and her big breasts swayed. The gorgeous fullness of her ass was right in front of me, clad in the short tight skirt.

“They still fit,” she said proudly. “After all these years. Just!” She slapped her ass. Her legs were bare, her thighs a little dimpled with cellulite, her muscles still tight. She’d always been a fit, healthy girl; not fat, but not skinny either.

And with no subtlety, no declaration, Bec sat on my lap and ground herself back onto my crotch. She flicked the hem of the skirt up as she sat, so it circled around her thighs and hid everything from prying eyes.