Aubade by Toni Artuso

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

She awoke gently, easing up unfamiliar eyelids with heavy, curling lashes. She flailed momentarily, unsure of her surroundings, then she shuddered into consciousness and rolled over on her left side with a luxurious sigh. Giving in to compulsion, she gingerly ran her fingers over the young, ample, supple breasts just to remind herself they belonged there. 

Then she turned to him on her left. She admired the body tangled in the bedclothes. The chest—massive, tanned, a patch of black hairs curled between the broad, solid breasts—rose and fell peacefully. The skin of the arms bulged with muscle. The face, tanned and framed with black locks, lay reposed in sleep. 

She stretched and enfolded him with a hug. She ran a pink-nailed hand over the chest, thrilling to the feel of the substantial muscles beneath her palms. She entwined her fingers in the hair of his head, laid her ear against his chest, reassured by the musky odor. “God, you’re beautiful,” she whispered and pressed her lips to his cheek with a moist sucking sound, her lips tingling. “God, I love you.”


His eyes sprung open, surprising him. For a moment, he stiffened, prepared to leap out of bed to the screech of an insistent alarm. His tension melted as he felt the throbbing of a massive heart thump-thumping in his ears. He shifted his shoulders, smiling gently as powerful muscles responded naturally to his commands. 

He sighed contentedly and rolled over onto his right side and saw her, in a fetal ball. Tiny, petite, delicate, her body curved—not a straight, hard line to her; every hair on her head curled and looped. Her firm, yet yielding, breasts stood out from her chest, and the thick black forest between her shapely thighs invited fingers to comb through it. 

He enfolded her close to him with massive arms. His hands sang at the touch of her skin, smooth and soft. Her breasts brushed against his chest, rising and falling, imperceptibly tickling him. Wild energy rose between his legs, and he pulled her closer, whiffing the gentle, tempting scent. Her soft hair brushed his cheek. “God, you’re beautiful,”‘ he mumbled, pressing his lips to the warm cheek that gave gently beneath his tingling lips. “God, I love you,” he buried his nose in her curls. 


The buzz ripped their eyes open. 

“Oh, God,” they groaned. But the buzzer didn’t listen. 

It screeched on, oblivious to their complaints. 

He sighed, and she shook her head. “It was good while it lasted,” she smiled, her white teeth almost glowing. “Yeah,” he grinned. They simultaneously reached for the other . . . 

The buzzer screeched more insistently and obnoxiously. 

“Damn it,” he groaned and climbed out of bed. She rolled out on the other side. They stared longingly at the other’s body. 

“God, you got a beautiful one,” she panted. 

“Yeah,” he grinned back at her—”you, too.”

They started for one another when the buzzer shrieked more loudly a third time. Sighing, they moved toward their respective closets, but before the doors, they paused and smiled at each other before stepping in.


They stepped out. Him—bald, paunchy. Her—sagging, tired, mousy hair. He sighed; she did, too. 

“It was good while it lasted,” she said. 

“Yeah,” he groaned, sighed. “Let’s go.” 

“We’ll have to spend our next honeymoon this way,” she said, pulling on her clothes.

He nodded, not even looking at her. “We’ll have to rent bodies some other time.”

They dressed in silence and left the room together, not touching.

Toni Artuso is a transfemale writer based in Massachusetts. Recently retired, she’s now transitioning. Her stories have been featured in Mollyhouse, Once Upon a Crocodile, Sledgehammer Lit, All Worlds Wayfarer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, quip literary review, Fiction on the Web, 96th of October, and The Broadkill Review.

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