Time to hide behind the sofa again. Contains descriptions of a sexual nature.
Afarin devoured Heyfa’s body with her eyes. She marvelled at just how lovely the female body was. Not hers of course. She was an ugly, little Afghan bint. Aisha’s skin was pale cream as she lay next to her in the bed. Faint veins tracked in the subcutaneous flesh of her breasts with the soft, brown and coral nipples, that could become so hard under her lips. Her neck was flawless, a little vein pulsing, the thyroid vein. Her face was soft and wonderful in sleep and her hair smelled of sandalwood. But she wasn’t a man and Afarin craved the feel of a man’s body.
It had been an incredibly sensual experience, being washed by another woman. Her skin still tingled when she thought about it and the intimacy was tinged with sadness. She and Heyfa would probably never do this again. They would go their separate ways. Afarin hoped that one day her friend would meet a Lebanese boy with dark eyes and grow her oranges on the slopes of Mount Lebanon. But there was another dark eyed boy from closer to home, who was real and besotted by her.
Heyfa opened her eyes and smiled sleepily at her, “Good morning, neshama sheli.”
Afarin kissed her and lay back on the pillow, “I’ll never forget you, Heyfa.”
“Why? Where are you going?”
“Oh. Stay with me.”
“It would be nice, but there are boys out there for you, boys like Gad.”
“Do you like him?” Heyfa asked.
“Yes, I do. We shared a room, thrown together by circumstances. He is soft and gentle but also a brave warrior and he saved my life.”
They hadn’t told each other their mission or where they had been, as per instructions, but Heyfa knew they were late and were in trouble and Batya was frantic with worry. Heyfa had no idea she loved Dan so much.
“When you say, thrown together, did you…?”
“No. You are right. He is a lovely, kind, gentle virgin.”
“Would you consider it as your duty to the team?”
“No. I would consider it because he is good looking, apart from that mop of hair and because I like him a lot.”
“After we get awarded our scrolls and berets, we have a meal with the directing staff and then it’s party time, when all the grown-ups have gone.”
Afarin was in a lazy, languid mood, safe and warm in her bed. She put her arms round Heyfa, “What are you going to do today?”
“I suppose I’d better get my uniform ready for tomorrow.”
“I’ve never seen you in your best uniform. I need to get mine up to scratch, washed dried and ironed.”
That afternoon after lunch in the mess hall, Afarin hung her MTP British camouflaged combat clothes out to dry. She washed and re-shaped her beret, allowing it to dry while she wore it, then attended to her boots, deciding to use black laces instead of green paracord. By the time she had finished, the Altberg Defender boots had a deep lustre. She had an early night, staring into the darkness, running and re-running the checkpoint incident over in her mind. Thank God that Gad had been there to save her. It was a stupid mistake and so unlike her. She fell into a guilty sleep.
The next morning after breakfast she starched and ironed her combat clothes, including the pleats at the front and back. She had left the polish on her boots overnight and with a soft brush and a duster, they came up in a satisfying brown lustre. The beret was nicely shaped, and she felt an intense pride as she looked at the SRR badge on the beret. It was metal for other ranks and cloth for officers.
There was a spring in her step as she walked to the training buildings, wearing her Glock, and carrying her Tavor. She had taken off the Glock’s silencer and that was in her body armour ammo pouch along with the empty magazines. Afrin concluded that “best uniform” in the IDF fell short of the British Army’s definition of “best.” Staff Sergeant Hoffman was there with coffee for them all and sweet biscuits. He looked at Batya when she came in, her breast festooned with medal ribbons. She was as smart in her best uniform as she could be and stood next to Dan, who wore the maroon beret with his uniform. He looked very smart, and Afarin could see why Bata was drawn to him. Efrayim wore the brown beret of the Golani Brigade. Zelig and Aisha cut a dash in their blue, air force uniforms and Gad wore the dark green beret of the intelligence corps.
The only ones who wore shaped berets were Dan and Efrayim. To the rest they were plonked on their heads like Frank Spencer with the ultimate faux pas of having the tassel ties down their backs. The Israelis would never cut it with the Brigade of Guards, but it was a different story on the battlefield.
It was Heyfa who made her do a double take. She was wearing the uniform of the border guards with a dark green beret similar to Gad’s. Her hair was tied up and her rank shoulder boards showed her to be a senior sergeant. She was the only one of the women wearing a skirt and looked fabulous. She smiled at the gawping Afarin.
“I like your little propellor badge, but where’s the rest of your plane?”
“Heyfa, why does Batya have so many medals?”
“There was an armed incursion from Gaza, targeting off duty soldiers and passengers on a bus. Batya performed emergency life support in the middle of the firefight. She was hit in the leg by a fragment of a round but carried on. Plus, she is a very experienced, compassionate medic, and not afraid to mix it. She is fearless in combat.”
“Batya, gosh. She comes across as a bit of an airhead. Stupid me for thinking that.”
Hoffman told them to leave their weapons on the tables and got them to line up, where he inspected them. “You’ve all scrubbed up very nicely. Well done ladies and gentlemen.”
“I’m feeling rather underdressed,” Afarin said guiltily.
Hoffman patted her shoulder, “You are wearing the badge of the British Special Forces, which are nearly as good as ours. You should be proud, Tipsha, all of you should.”
She almost fired up, but realised he was taking the mickey. She still didn’t know if he liked or disliked her.
“OK, your scroll and beret presentation. No drums, no band, just you in one single line. I will call you to attention, if you can remember how to do it, Gad. I will call you forward one at a time to receive your beret and scroll from the course director. It will be done in seniority, Israelis first, you two Untermensch last. Nothing personal. You will march forward, do you remember how to march, Air Force, and come to attention in front of the course director? Salute, get your beret and scroll and march back to the line, facing forward. Questions?”
“Yes, Staff Sergeant Hoffman,” Afarin asked mischievously, “Do we march out and approach the reviewing officer in a straight line, performing a right angle turn to come at him head on?”
There were snickers of mirth from the others.
“Oh, good grief. Just move from the line to the reviewing officer and back again. Are you taking the piss Ms Khan?”
“Good heavens no, Staff Sergeant.”
And so, it came to pass the eight of them lined up on the road in front of the training building. The course director and his adjutant walked brusquely up the road and Hoffman called the course to attention and saluted the officers.
The course director told them how proud he was of them, gave them a brief history of the Mista’arvim and their pivotal role in the defence of Israel. His adjutant passed him a beret and scroll for each of the course members as Hoffman called out their names. It was Zelig first:
“Seren, Tal,” (Captain) Zelig approached the adjutant, saluted, and received the scroll and beret.
“Rav nagad, Bensaïd.”(Master Sergeant). Then Gad.
“Rav samal, Eliyahu,” (Senior Sergeant) was Aisha.
“Rav samal, Lavi,” (Senior Sergeant) was Dan.
“Samal Dohan,” (Sergeant) was Efrayim.
“Rav turai Edri,” (Corporal) was Batya.
“Rav samal rishon Khoury,” (Chief Sergeant First Class) was Heyfa.
“And last but not least, Senior Aircrafts Woman Khan.”
Afarin marched out and came to attention in front of the course director, saluted and received the scroll and beret.
“You are improperly dressed,” the officer said to her, “These came through yesterday. Congratulations Corporal Khan
“We have provided you with a translation for the scroll and I realise you can’t wear the beret, but it is special to us. We are extremely pleased to have you on our course and hopefully, one day, we will send one of our people to complete your special reconnaissance training at Hereford. I hope they will take in as much informarion as you have. It has been a pleasure to meet you and I wish you safety and luck in the future.”
“Thank you, sir,” she said, saluted and marched back to the ranks.
Hoffman dismissed them and they went back for their weapons, prior to attending a buffet in the mess hall. They played hosts to the officers and Hoffman then chatted until well into the afternoon. The officers excused themselves and left and Hoffman said to them: “The rest of the day is yours. I believe that it’s traditional to have an end of course party and the refectory in the training building is for your use. Lock your weapons in your wardrobes. Alcohol and weapons make bad bedfellows. I believe that Zelig, Dan, and Efrayim have already “borrowed” the minibus to fetch wines and beer and hopefully some soft drinks as well. You are all grown-ups, so be good. Now get out of my sight.”
They went back to their accommodation to rest and get changed into civvies. Afarin lay on the bed and looked back over the previous six months. Because her mind was like that, she concentrated on the bad bits, her fight with Dan, being tortured, really tortured. It was nothing like the resistance aspect of the SERE course. They had made her stand in stress positions, and waterboarded her long enough to cause panic, not drowning. Humiliation, men laughing at her body, but nothing like that cell in the West Bank building. And worst was the extra-judicial killing of the Hamas terrorist and his family. So cruel. How could a so-called civilised country do that? Being stuck in Egypt and all the time paralysed with fear at being captured again. And then she realised why she had used the pistol at the checkpoint, it wasn’t to kill the soldiers, it was to kill herself.
What would she do if Jean-Claude didn’t want to see her again? Why did Alan Bartlett sanction such ill treatment of her? Life was harsh, so she had to concentrate on the good things. It was just so bloody difficult to find them because she wasn’t really looking.
She got up and went for a shower, didn’t bother with make-up. In truth, she didn’t need it or have any, just moisturiser and lip gloss. She wondered what to wear and decided to go for the simple, elegant look, the long silk dress and her hijab worn loosely over her hair and resting on her shoulders. She walked to the training building and heard music, laughter, and revelry. Afarin got cold feet and was in the process of beating a retreat when Zelig came out of the lavatory, spotted her lurking, and dragged her into the refectory.
“Afarin, you look absolutely beautiful this evening. Look who I found lurking outside.”
The women seemed so pleased to see her, that it would have been churlish to beat a retreat and hide in her apartment. They had found several Now That’s What I Call Music, CDs from the eighties and nineties and Batya, Aisha and Dan were dancing away, spilling their drinks, of which there was plenty. Heyfa was extremely popular with the boys in her sleeveless, open sided, blouse that showed a degree of her breast sides.
Efrayim pressed a soft drink into her hand, “You’re looking so elegant, Afarin. I think your friend has gone for the less is more look.”
She laughed and waited for another song to approach Heyfa, “You should be ashamed of yourself. A Chief Sergeant First Class with her shads practically hanging out.”
“Yours are nicer,” she said and kissed Afarin, “I’m so glad you could come to keep me company, although tonight is Gad’s lucky night.”
Heyfa grinned ay her.
“Oh, no way. My duties don’t extend that far.”
“We’ll see,” and Haddaway’s What is Love came on the CD player and Heyfa was off, dancing and jiggling to Baby don’t hurt me… She was an exceptionally good dancer, just like the girls in the video.
Afarin chatted with Zelig, and they watched the others enjoying themselves, drinking and dancing. Zelig went to get some drinks and Heyfa shimmied over to her.
“Did you know Zelig and Aisha are an item?”
“I did wonder.”
“His wife,” Heyfa said conspiratorially, “Is a bitch and has left him for another pilot, since he was taken off flying. Why would someone do that? He’s really nice.”
Afarin shrugged, “Because some people aren’t… Nice.”
“I hope they’re happy. Not exactly the right line of business for stable relationships, is it?” Heyfa asked rhetorically.
As the evening wore on, she had spoken to everyone accept Gad. He was sitting at the same table as Dan and Batya and she went and sat next to him.
“Hello, Gad. We haven’t really spoken since our trip.”
“No. I’m sorry Afarin, there were so many things I wanted to say to you, but the back of a Hercules didn’t seem right somehow.”
“We are friends forged in battle and hardship. Some things don’t need saying. I want to get to know you better.”
“Afarin, my life is uninteresting and mundane. You don’t want to hear about my boring existence.”
“I do. Your childhood, your early life, your time in the army. You don’t share so much adversity with someone and not want to know what makes them tick.”
And so, he told her about his mother and two older sisters, how he was smothered by well-meaning motherly love. Time spent in university and while his contemporaries were getting their rocks off, Gad was studying, because girls and carnal lusts were immoral. An overly religious father who had tried to pull strings when his son’s time for national service came, citing that his religion made him exempt. And for once, Gad dug his heels in and insisted on completing his national service. Parents distraught, sisters mocking but he had walked out of his tiny flat built on Palestinian land in the West Bank and never returned.
The feeling of sudden freedom, the aptitude tests where he had scored too highly for armoured or infantry duties. He had two choices because of colour blindness: the submarine service or the intelligence corps. He chose the intelligence corps because he didn’t want to stare at the bulkheads of a submarine. Instead, he could stare at the walls of a bunker on Mount Hermon the Mitzpe Shlagim (“Snow Lookout”), which is at an elevation of about 2,224m and extremely cold.
The more she listened, the more that Afarin noticed about him, now she was looking. He had a gentle voice and the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen on a man, long lashes a woman would die for. His hair was clean, but naturally unkempt, his skin like a girl’s and his teeth were white and even.
“That’s about it as far as my boring life goes,” he looked around at the others in the room, “I really like them all, but I feel uncomfortable in social settings. I’m so fucking shy. I wish I were more like Dan, but I’m not and never will be.”
“I must admit, social settings are not mine much, either. Let’s go.”
“Where to, Afarin.”
She looked at him with a gentle smile, head tilted to one side, “My place.”
She thought he would panic and run, the way his suddenly frightened eyes looked at her. She put her hands on his arm and held him tightly, “Think about how brave you had to be, to tell your father that you would complete your national service.”
He screwed his eyes shut and then opened them, “I’ve never done it before, and I couldn’t bare you laughing at me!”
“I would never do that, Gad or tell anyone. I swear.”
Heyfa changed the CD and turned round to see Afarin and Gad leaving through the door. She smiled as the track came on. It was Supergrass We are young… She started to dance.
Dan was talking to Efrayim, “What is it with Afarin? I thought she liked girls.”
Efrayim smiled and gave Dan another drink, “She feels lonely and craves intimacy and let’s face it, you weren’t exactly nice and welcoming to her.”
Dan looked down shamefully, “I Know. I was stupid, my mind was fucked up and I really am so sorry.”
“She likes boys as well,” Batya said, “But you’re with me, Efrayim is married, Aisha would gouge her eyes out if she went anyway near Zelig.”
Gad rolled onto his back on her bed, “Oh Afarin, I’m so sorry. I’m useless, fucking useless at everything.”
He was hitting himself on the head in shame and frustration. She sat up and grabbed his arm.
“Gad, stop it!”
“I can’t even do a good job of making love to someone as beautiful as you. I’ll put on my clothes and go.”
“No, you bloody wont! Listen to me. Gad, listen to me!” He was close to tears and looked miserably at her, “There is no shame in being a virgin. I was a virgin until two years ago. Going off early is natural. We wait, we try again, if not tonight, tomorrow or the next day. So, we’ll lie in bed and relax, chat and when you’re ready, try again.”
They snuggled together and chatted. She told him all about England. Afghanistan and Iraq. She put his hand on her breast, “Gently. Nice and gently to start with, but when I’m ready to come, nice and firm, you can pinch them.”
She felt a tumescence under the covers and reached down, “You’re absolutely ready and so am I. See, told you. Breasts are very sensitive to sexual stimulation, think about the whole package. But beware, some womens’ breasts are hypersensitive during arousal and they don’t appreciate being mauled. Get to know them and the little nuances that turn them on. Girls find the inner wrists, behind the knees and inner thighs very sensitive. It’s the neck that does it for me. Now we’ll do things differently this time. I’m going on top to control the speed and pace of the action and you have two activity centres to play with.
“I want you to think about the most boring thing we’ve done over the months.”
“Easy, Tavor rifle naming of parts.”
“Good. I want you to think about those parts from the muzzle to the butt and think about how they look and their relationship with other parts.”
“To distract you.”
She got astride him, and he closed his eyes.
“Don’t be scared. This is meant to be fun,” she started slowly, and he picked up the Tavor in his mind.
Muzzle, flash eliminator, cocking handle which can be on the left or right side.
She moaned gently and leaned forward to increase the pressure on her most sensitive part.
Front backup sight, front sling swivel, Meprolight M-21, rear backup sight, optical accessories adaptor, ejector port cover, deflector, butt locking pin, butt assembly… Oh, God, not yet.
She was sliding his length, when he suddenly remembered she had breasts. Oh, God, a man a hard muscular fit man.
Rear sling swivel, bolt carrier stopper lever… Her breasts felt wonderful, and he squeezed more firmly…
She was getting close, her heart hammering, small involuntary gasps of breath.
Bolt carrier stopper lever locking pins, magazine release catch… Barrel locking pin… Safety lever…
Beads of sweat ran down from her hair. It was building, she was running up that hill, “Harder Gad, go harder now!”
Piston… Bolt carrier assembly… Return spring…. Bolt.? “Afarin, I’m going to… I can’t stop myself!”
She felt him shudder under her and her body reared up with a deep, primal cry of passion in the night. She fell forward, gasping for breath, looked up at him and burst into tears.
“Oh, Afarin, what have I done? Have I hurt you, what have I done wrong?”
She got off him and lay next to him, her head on his chest listening to his heart beating, slowing, “Gad, you have done nothing wrong, quite the reverse. It was lovely, thank you.”
“Why did you cry?”
“Release. It’s like everything has been kept locked in a box and you opened it and let everything out.”
“Does it hurt?”
“No, although the French call it La petite mort, the little death.”
“What happens now? Should I get my clothes and go?”
She went up on her arm and elbow to look at him, “Do you want to?”
“No, I want to feel you next to me.”
“That’s what we’ll do then.”
They lay together in the darkness, and she felt her eyes closing. She was soon asleep, but Gad remained awake, mapping out her body in his head. It had been wonderful in Alexandria, but here, he had felt her, been at one with her…
Gad ran his hand gently over her body and she gave a gentle sigh. I have just made love to an English Moslem, and she is lovely. My father would go off his fucking head.
Eventually, although he didn’t want to, Gad fell asleep as well, although he woke up as he heard the others returning from the party, giggly and full of alcohol.
“I think Gad’s been giving her one, the lucky bastard.” It had been Dan’s voice and he had to agree with him.
“Sssssh.” That had been Batya and he heard them disappear into the night.
Gad woke early, but there was some light behind the blinds. Afarin lay on her back breathing heavily, her arm across Gad and he watched her, desperately needing the toilet, but he didn’t want to wake her. He slid from under her arm and went into the wet room, closing the door and had a long, satisfying piss. He purloined some of her toothpaste and cleaned his mouth with his finger, following up with her mouthwash. Back in her bed, he lay right at the edge rather than wake her. He should have been tired, exhausted by lovemaking, but he wasn’t.
Afarin sat on the bed to get her bearings and went for her early morning wee. It was as though she had forgotten he was there and when she had finished her morning ablutions, she went back and stood at the side of the bed.
“Why the hell are you lying, perched on the edge? Get in properly. My God, what’s that?”
He looked down under the cover and grinned. She got in next to him.
“So, you’re ready for some more sexual gymnastics?”
“I’m not sure. That really depends on if you want to and like me enough in the cold light of dawn or whether despite your being nice to me, I was crap at it.”
And that’s why Afarin liked him so much. He was kind, unsure and unassuming. “See, Gad. I told you we were very alike. I would never say that anyone’s crap and I don’t fake an orgasm. Now lie facing me because I want to look at your lovely face. Remember, sensual massage, all over at first, then move in on those breasts, just like last night. OK, lie across my right leg, chest level with shoulders.
Ready? Off we go. It’s like the missionary position, but this goes to provide pressure on those sensitive little places of mine. That’s lovely. Has anyone ever told you that you’re a handsome man, despite that mop of hair of yours?”
“No, now what do I do?”
“Don’t thrust, this is gentle, and I’ll do the moves. Just do circular moves, you go up, I go down. Remember, the whole issue, neck, look at my face, stomach. Already it’s building.”
She smiled at him and ran her hand across his face. She started to breath heavily, and he noticed her eyes dilating. They were lost in each other, and she stared at him, into his eyes, almost vacantly.
“Go for it, Gad. Hard, squeeze, that’s it”
She arched her back like a bow and then she felt him coming and she was a couple of seconds behind him. Then she was weeping again and hugged him close.
“You’re going home, aren’t you, Afarin?”
He buried his face in her hair and neck. He didn’t want her to see he was crying as well, but she knew.
“I will never forget you, Afarin, you beautiful Persian girl. I will always remember us together in Alexandria and here. When you lay on the bed next to me, I almost… Well, you know.”
“There are endless amounts of women out there, Gad. You’ve just never looked for them before.”
“They won’t be like you,” he said sadly, “We will never do this again, will we?
“You will never forget the first time, but look forward to the future,” she ran her hand down his body and kissed him.
“When you go and the others give you a send-off, I won’t be there. I just couldn’t stand it. I would probably cry and disgrace myself,” he said
“I understand, Gad. I would probably have a good, old weep myself. I will never forget you. You saved my life.
“I had better go to the training building,” Gad said.
“Why? Nothing’s happening and the others will be sleeping-off a skinful. Let’s stay in bed and sleep, close to each other, a brother and sister in arms. Cuddle me and savour the moment.”
They lay together and Gad felt his eyes getting heavy.
But she was asleep.
© Blown Periphery 2022