The wild man of the forest was what they called him. Very few had seen him, and those who had, said that his face was hideous. There were several stories in circulation about him; one that he had been disfigured in a fire, in which his family had died, and that he had retreated into the dense forest to escape the cruelty of children’s taunts; another that he had been a soldier and that he was badly wounded in some distant war. Neither story was the truth, but it mattered little to him. They could make up whatever stories they wished, so long as they left him alone.
As it happened, the reason why he lived an isolated life in the forest was rather more prosaic than either of the two most popular legends people had constructed. He lived alone and isolated because that is how he wished to live, away from the bulk of humanity. With the injuries to his face, caused when he fell into an unguarded machine in the engineering factory, where he worked as a young man, the looks of horror, and even worse, those of pity, from the outside world, were more than he could bear. There had been some compensation money, of course, and his employer faced a heavy fine for his carelessness, but the scars on his face would be a reminder of that day for the rest of his life.
He had become used to his face after twenty years. Not that he saw it very often, without a mirror in the shack he had built for himself in the forest. And he cared little for what other people thought, on the rare occasions that he ventured forth into the outside world for essential supplies. He rarely spoke to anyone, other than the storekeeper, and, much to his relief, no one spoke to him.
It was on the latest of his shopping trips, the first in several months, that he first saw the woman. Well, it wasn’t so much a case of seeing her as her cannoning into him, sending them both staggering back and knocking over a pile of canned food on a shelf. He pulled himself up on to his feet, ready to give the clumsy woman a piece of his mind.
It was only as he looked at her that he spotted the white stick, and he closed his mouth just in time, before a stream of bad-tempered curse words were able to escape. He held out his hand to pull her up, before remembering that she couldn’t see him. She sat, looking a little dazed and, it seemed to him, on the verge of tears. His normally hard heart softened a little. The world was full of bastards, but she probably was not one of them. He spoke in a softer tone than he usually used – not that he did much speaking to compare.
“Hold your arms out. I’ll pull you up.”
After a brief hesitation, she complied and he hauled her to her feet. She was very light, and quite tiny. He hoped she hadn’t hurt herself.
“Are you alright? Nothing broken?”
“No, I’m fine. I landed mainly on you, so you’ll probably be more bruised than me.”
“A little thing like you landing on me won’t make a dent, I can assure you.”
She held her face in his direction, but her unseeing eyes were oblivious to him. He continued talking.
“It was my fault. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
It was a strange feeling for him, having someone’s face so close to his own, and yet not showing any sign of the repugnance or curiosity that his scars normally caused in others. She had absolutely no idea to whom she was speaking, clearly.
“Well no harm done, at least not to us. Is the display we knocked over damaged?”
The approaching storekeeper answered that question.
“Don’t worry, Miss. There’s nothing broken. I’ll soon have it back up. Can I get you anything while I am here?”
She was about to answer when the bell over the door rang and several people entered the store. The man with the scarred face interrupted.
“Don’t worry. You serve your customers. I’ll assist the lady here with her shopping.”
The storekeeper returned to his usual place behind the counter, and the man turned to the woman.
“You rest your arm on mine, and tell me what you need to buy, and I will guide you around.”
“Oh, but I don’t want…”
“It’s no problem, if that’s what you are concerned about. I’m in no hurry.”
She accepted his help and he guided her around the store, holding a wire basket in the other hand. She told him what she required, and he found the requisite items. He even began a conversation with her, something he never normally did, unless he had no choice.
“So, are you a regular in here? Do you make a habit of crashing into fellow customers?”
Her voice was soft and quiet. He had to strain his ears to hear her.
“I come here about twice a week. Been coming since we moved here, ‘bout two months ago. But I don’t think that I remember crashing into you before.”
Ah, the girl has a sense of humour. Pretty thing too.
“No, well I only come into town every few months, just for essentials. I live out in the forest, about three miles from here. The name’s Brodie.”
Fuck, why did I go and tell her that? Before I know it she will be bringing me charity parcels, and telling me to get a haircut, and do all the stuff that women do to civilize a man.
“Nice to meet you Brodie. My name’s Catherine. Thanks for the help.”
“No problem, Catherine. I’d best be going. Be sure to crash into me next time I call in.”
He didn’t wait for a reply, but turned and left the store, carrying the box of groceries in his arms, which he put on the passenger seat of the beat up old pickup parked on the road outside. His shaggy-coated dog, Ben, was waiting patiently for him, knowing he wasn’t allowed into the store, and wagged his tail lazily to acknowledge his master’s voice. He was old, and Brodie knew that one day, in the not too distant future, he would have to say goodbye to his only friend. He wasn’t looking forward to that day at all.
That night, as he lay under the blanket on his bed, he thought of the young woman, Catherine, and for the first time in a while he felt the familiar stirrings in his cock. He’d lived without a woman all these years and had grown used to using his right hand, when the urge came over him. He visited the brothel on the outskirts of town from time to time, when the itch was too powerful to scratch alone. He always picked the quiet women. He just wanted a fuck, not a damned conversation, and they, needing his money, kept their mouths shut about his face.
He ran his hand up and down his cock and remembered the pretty young thing with the soft voice. He wondered whether she had been born blind, or whether she had lost her sight through an accident, rather like his own, that had so badly scarred his face. He began to imagine her without her clothes until his cock became hard, and in just a few minutes he groaned as he came, spraying his seed over his belly and chest. He doubted he would see the woman again, but she had been a pleasant diversion.
Two days later there was still a lingering ache in his groin that wouldn’t be satisfied. It was about time he visited Madame Jo’s again, if he was to rid himself of the need. Perhaps it was fate that led him to the road on the outskirts of town, just a few hundred yards from the brothel, when he spotted the blind woman from the store. She was wearing the same, rather worn, pale blue dress, and was tapping the pavement with her white stick. The response from his cock was immediate, as his mind instantly flashed back to the fantasy of the previous night, when he had again jerked off, while thinking of the woman who had caught his imagination – and other parts too – so vividly. His foot hit the brake and the beat up old pickup screeched to a halt, just yards away from her.
He called out as she came level with him.
“Catherine, it’s Brodie. Fancy meeting you again.”
She paused, a few feet away from his open window, and turned towards him, her unseeing eyes appearing to look straight at his.
“Brodie? Oh yes, the man I tried to mow down at the store. What are you doing here? I thought you lived in the forest.”
He didn’t want to admit to his intended destination, although its close proximity might have led to her guessing where he was headed.
“Just thought I would get me a beer. Would you like to join me?”
She tilted her head slightly to the side as she thought for a brief moment, before smiling.
“Why, Brodie, that is the first invitation I’ve had since I got here. I rather think I might enjoy a drink with you.”
“Wait there while I park up. There’s a bar at the end of the road, as good a place as any.”
He parked a few yards further on and walked back to where she was standing, still with a smile on her face. He couldn’t believe that a pretty girl like her had not had anyone want her company in the months since her arrival in town.
“Do you want to take my arm? Or would you prefer to use your stick?”
How would she take him mentioning her lack of sight for the first time? Would she be as touchy about it as he was about his face? But her smile didn’t waver.
“I’ll use both, if you don’t mind. Let me link my arm with yours, and I can carry my stick in the other hand.”
Brodie’s cheerful manner surprised even himself. There was something about this girl that had penetrated the gruff exterior he had cultivated over many years, and he wasn’t sure what it was. Perhaps it was her pretty face and easy manner? Or perhaps it was the fact that, for the first time since the accident, he had not had to endure someone staring at his face? He knew they couldn’t help themselves. Hell he probably would do the same if the situation had been reversed. But after they had looked, and then looked again, they would usually stammer “Sorry,” and then turn away, unable or unwilling to start a conversation. Worse than their lack of words was the look of pity in their eyes. He could endure anything rather than pity. Hell, the response of small children was often preferable. One little boy, after staring at his face for a moment, came out with “How did you hurt your face, Mister?” To which he had replied, “I didn’t do as I was told, so be sure to mind your Ma, son.” The little boy had nodded solemnly and scampered away, having accepted the explanation.
There were about a dozen people, mainly men, drinking in the bar, and all talking ceased as the couple entered, before the babble of voices began again. But Brodie noticed that several pairs of eyes were still glancing in their direction. He resisted the urge to tell them to fuck off to Hell, which he might have done had he been alone. His normally short fuse was a little longer tonight, in the presence of Catherine.
“Would you like a beer, or…”
“A beer would be great. I’ll have what you’re having.”
They sat at a table in the corner of the bar, and soon the curious eyes drifted away from them.
“So how come you’ve not been asked out on any dates, a pretty young woman like you?” It was a lame start to the conversation, but he had to start somewhere. He was so unused to all this. She smiled.
“That’s very kind of you, but, well, look at me. I probably don’t look very enticing. To be honest I have no idea what I look like. I’ve never seen myself.”
“Well let me describe you then. You are very pretty, with your long brown hair and cute face. You have a nice figure and a lovely smile. You have luscious-looking lips that would tempt many men to kiss them. What is not enticing about you?”
“Well, my eyes…I can’t…”
“You can’t see? But that doesn’t impact on your looks in any shape or form. What does it matter that you can’t see?”
“Because I want to see you. I want to see the man who helped me in the store, and who asked me to go for a drink when no one else did.”
He gave a cynical laugh.
“You probably wouldn’t. I’m not much to look at.”
“I can only see with my fingers. Will you let me see your face?”
She raised her hands, as if to touch his face, but he jerked his head away from her.
“No.” It came out harsher than he intended, and she dropped her hands to her lap, her face showing her dismay. He tried to soften his response.
“I’m sorry if I seemed harsh. I just don’t like being touched. Have you not heard about me - the wild man of the forest?”
She shook her head.
“I didn’t mean to upset you.”
He reached over and took her hand in his – a romantic gesture he would have thought himself incapable of before now.
“Feel my hands, how rough they are. I am no thing of beauty, that’s for sure.”
She placed her other hand on top of his, so it was sandwiched between her own.
“They’re a little rough, but they feel like strong, capable hands to me. They’re the hands of a practical man who can make things. They might not be the gentlest of hands, but they are hands I could trust to hold me tight if the need arose.”
He felt his heart beating a little faster from the touch of her hands and the soft tone of her voice. He wanted to fuck this woman so badly, and to feel her hands run over his chest and over his ass, and down his thighs and…and everywhere, except his face. How could he let her feel his face? He couldn’t bear to see her revulsion, when she discovered his savage scars.
“Can I touch your arms?” she whispered. “I promise I won’t touch your face.”
He took her hand and placed it on his upper arm, and shivered slightly when she ran the palm of her hand over his muscular biceps. Having her touch him like this felt very erotic, and he was glad that she was unable to see the bulge in his trousers as his cock responded to her touch.
“You have strong arms.”
It was a statement, not a question, but he answered her.
“Yes, I built my own cabin and I split logs for my fire. It keeps me fit.”
He wanted her hand to continue to explore his body, but was afraid of driving her away. She must have read his mind, however, for her hand slowly moved across his chest, and over his firm pectoral muscles, covered only by his coarse red flannel shirt. He heard the faint sound of her sucking in air, which seemed to him a sign of her arousal, and he knew he should seize his chance before fear stopped him.
“Do you want to go someplace else? Somewhere quieter?”
From the look on her face he knew she had heard and understood the unspoken question.
“Yes”, she whispered.
He took her hand and led her out of the bar, to the accompaniment of curious stares once again. His cock was hard now, but he didn’t care who knew it.
They didn’t make it very far. Outside the bar was a dark alley that ran round to the back. He led her into the shadows and pushed her against the building, pressing his body against hers so she could be unaware of his need.
“You want this?”
She nodded, and whispered yes. He took both her wrists in his hands, stopping her from reaching up to touch his face, and bent his head to kiss her hard on her lips, to which she responded with equal force; their lips crashing together and tongues seeking entrance to each other’s mouth. He pressed his leg between hers and brought up his knee into her groin, rubbing it against the flimsy dress, which provided no protection against the invading knee.
“If I let go of your hands, will you promise you won’t touch my face?”
She nodded, seemingly losing the power of speech, and breathing heavily. His own hands were now free to explore her body as he pulled up the front of her dress and pushed one hand over her hot pussy, covered only by a pair of thin, cotton panties, which he easily pushed aside, seeking entrance to her. His other hand forced its way between her ass and the wall, allowing him to grab a handful of soft buttock and squeezing the soft, pliable flesh with his strong, rough-skinned, left hand. Meanwhile, two of his fingers from his right hand slid under the elastic and penetrated her warm, wet interior, and she groaned with need. She was soaked, and more than ready for him.
“Open the front of my trousers. Get out my cock.” He growled his instructions. No time for niceties. Catherine quickly released him, and his engorged cock sprang out, ready for her. Thank God he had come ready prepared for the brothel, he thought, as he slipped a rubber over his solid erection.
No time to remove her panties, he decided, as he hitched each leg in turn over his arms and pressed her hard against the wall, before slipping his cock under the loose elastic and entering her in one movement. Catherine caught her breath and he groaned as his cock went to work, slamming into her. Her pussy was hot and tight and utter heaven, and he wanted to stay there forever.
She began to moan, as each thrust pushed her closer to the edge, her hands clutching on to his arms, and pressing hard into his muscle, as though she planned to leave an imprint of her fingers on him. He knew he should have waited to make sure that she had reached her peak, before he let go, but the moment rushed over him so violently and it was impossible for him to stop. He couldn’t remember ever having such a primitive, visceral need for a woman before, a need to fuck as though this was to be his last chance on earth.
Brodie released her legs to the ground and leaned against her body, his heart still pounding and his cock still hard, and he knew that he could easily go again before long. He leaned down and kissed Catherine on the lips.
“You okay? Sorry, I couldn’t hold it back. Did you come?”
“Not quite, but it doesn’t matter. I enjoyed it.”
“How would you feel about coming back to my place, making a night of it? Is there somebody that might object?”
“No, I live with my brother and his wife. But I would need to tell them where I’m going. I don’t want to worry them by staying out overnight, and them not knowing.”
“I understand. We can drive round to your place, and I’ll wait outside in the pickup until you are ready.”
Catherine was only ten minutes inside the rickety, old house she shared with her brother, but Brodie could tell when she came out that she knew about him. Something had changed on her face. Her brother must have told her about him. She climbed into the pickup and sat quietly at his side, but did not turn to face him.
“They told you about me, didn’t they?”
“My brother asked who you were, and when I said that some people called you the wild man of the forest, he said he knew you.”
Brodie’s voice turned harsh. It was going to be the same old story. She would either feel revulsion for him, or she would feel pity – and he wanted neither of these options.
“It’s okay, Catherine, you can stay. You’ve no need to come with me. Let’s just call it a day, shall we?”
Her voice was barely more than a whisper. “It’s just…I mean…”
“Get out of the fucking pickup. I should have known you would be like all the rest. Go home, Catherine.”
Her face looked pale, and she seemed about to cry. But he didn’t feel any pity for her, so wrapped up in his own rage against life, the world, people, everything. He leaned over her and opened the vehicle door. He wasn’t going to physically push her from the pickup, but she didn’t know that. Slowly, reluctantly, she climbed out on to the pavement. Barely had the door shut behind her, than he drove off with a squeal of tyres.
As he reached home, Ben lifted his head and wagged his tail, looking at him with his rheumy eyes.
“Yes, just you and me again, Ben. Fuck the world.”
He dropped his clothes on the floor and climbed into bed, suddenly very weary. He had really thought this time…he should have known better. His eyes had barely closed when he heard a noise. It sounded like a car, but who would come round here so late at night? His cabin was half a mile from the highway, down a dirt track. No one came here accidentally. There was a knock on the door, and he climbed out of bed and hastily put on his jeans. He didn’t have a gun, but he kept a stout stick at the side of the door. Fortunately he had never needed to use it - yet.
He opened the door, one hand on the stick, and was dazzled by a car’s headlights for just a moment, before the car reversed and drove off down the track. And there, standing in front of him, was Catherine, dressed only in the blue cotton dress, even though there was a chill wind. He was still not in a forgiving mood, and his voice was gruff.
“What are you doing here?”
“Can I come in? It’s quite cold out here.”
He stood back from the doorway, releasing his hold on the stick, and took her hand to guide her into the cabin.
“What fucking fool would bring a blind woman, on a cold night, dressed only in a thin dress, and leave her in the dark in the middle of a forest, with a man he has never met?”
“My brother, that’s who. And I demanded that he bring me. He tried to persuade me not to come. And as for the dark, you are forgetting that my whole life has been lived in the dark.”
She was angry; the first time he had seen her like that. What right had she to be angry? He was the one who should be pissed off. But then, to be honest he'd been angry his whole life.
He sagged, the anger that had been inside him for so long seemed to seep from his veins in an instant. It was as though the truth really hit him for the first time. He had spent his entire life being angry. Angry at the parents who didn’t take care of him when he was a child, angry with the factory owner who had skimped on safety features for his machine, causing the terrible injuries to his face when he was just sixteen, and anger with the rest of mankind for simply reminding him of what he had lost that day. He so longed not to be angry. Perhaps it was time he stopped. And certainly it was time he stopped being angry at this pretty young thing, who had come all the way out here, not knowing what sort of a reception she would receive. That was true bravery.
“Come, you must be cold. Let me put a blanket around your shoulders.”
He led her towards the bed and sat her on the edge, placing the blanket that was still warm from his body, around hers.
“I’m sorry I was angry. Not just now, but back there. It’s been in my belly for so many years, I don’t really know how not to be angry.”
She didn’t reply, but searched for his hand, and slipped hers in to his.
“So, I guess you’ll be staying the night then?”
“Well it’s a long walk back to town if not. But if you don’t want me to stay…”
“Of course I do. I’d like the chance to finish what we started outside the bar. That’s if you still want me.”
“What do you think?” He drew her hand down to his groin, where a noticeable bulge had appeared under his jeans. But, before she had a chance to lower his zipper, he brought her hand up to his face.
“But before you check out my cock, I think it is about time you saw my face.”
He placed the palm of her hand on his cheek and left it there. It was agony for him to let someone get close to his scars after such a long time, but he gritted his teeth and bore it. It was time.
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