A two parter romance set during and shortly after WW2. An American Commando falls in love with a fierce French Resistance operative...who has some interesting appetites. The consequences of those appetites aren't apparent during the constraints of the greatest war in history, but when peace breaks out...
Looking back on my life, I have to say that the summer of '46 was the happiest one I ever had and it was all because of Fleur.
The previous five years had been a nightmare. Just like Sherman had said eighty years earlier, war was all hell. Lives being wasted by the million from New Guinea to Norway, all the awful industry of modern civilization turned to destroying all because some mustachioed freak was pissy he only had one nut.
Before the war I'd been two years into a double French and German Major at Harvard, the type of useless degree that you can pursue when you've got New England blueblood money that the depression didn't even dent. Once the Pacific Fleet went from floating on top of to being beneath Pearl Harbor's waters, I signed up for the Army. A lot of men of my class went for cushy out of combat positions, but the Dahlgreens have always been fighters and Vincent Dahlgreen wasn't going to be the exception.
I chose airborne and excelled at it. I was always built lean and strong, so basic officer training wasn't hard...but being multi-fluent meant I got picked for a special unit just as soon as I earned the right to blouse my pants over my boots.
Being a part of a bushwhacking guerilla army dropped behind enemy lines into occupied France to teach the non-humanity having Nazis a lesson in fearing our knives and guns was not as fun as it sounded. Okay, there were times when it was fun. You really haven't lived until you've blown up a train full of Tiger tanks.
But years behind enemy lines weren't a vacation. It was always either freezing cold or burning hot, we were never clean enough, never had enough food. That was before getting shot at frequently, by an enemy who always had superior numbers and superior firepower. We were always afraid of betrayal, not all the French were with the resistance, but the ones that were...
I met Fleur within two days of parachuting into France. Few Americans hated Nazis more than her: her army physician father and brothers had died in the French Army during the invasion, her librarian mother killed seemingly at random right after and she'd been conscripted out into serving as a bar maid in a Luftwaffe rest area. We'd just started recon on the place when the Germans started foaming at the mouth and grabbing their throats from the poison she'd put in their steins. I won't say it was love at first sight, all the dead men were rather off putting...
But Fleur was magnificent.
Fleur's skin was pale and freckled easily in the sun, fitting for a girl with red hair and these green eyes that could be either viper poisonous or clover soft by turns. She had these puffy lips that always pouted when she got angry and this gorgeous aquiline nose that she could always look down on you with. That was easy because she was very very tall for a woman, edging over six feet, taller than everyone in the squad but me.
Tall wasn't as popular then you see. Women were supposed to be short and petite, dainty and soft little things that stayed at home cooking and cleaning. Fleur was rangy and tough, even before the war she'd been a champion runner in school and had preferred doing farm work and hunting on the family farm. Wartime shortages had melted what little excess weight had been on her off by the time we met and apart from the delicateness of her facial features could pass for a thin man with her hair short.
We were inseparable for the next two years. Not just a physical attraction to her long firm legs and the tight waist either. She was fierce and argumentative, we'd argue about everything from the best way to infiltrate a German panzer depot to how the war would reshape colonial politics and I'm not ashamed to say that I'd lose most of the time.
Some of the squad questioned having a civilian with us but she was risking more than any of them and was the only one who could pass as French. Even after we joined up with a resistance unit she stayed, by that point she'd killed enough German's no one would question her being there. She was a better shot than any of us and had a real aggression, a fire in her eyes that was as frightening as it was alluring.
To me the war was a horrible, frightening thing to get through, a just task to wipe the stain of Nazism off the earth but awful. While to Fleur, World War Two was everything she'd always wanted. She got to lead (sometimes she led the squad more than me), got to blow up trains of V1 parts and stab SS Captains, got to kill the men who'd taken everything from her, got to be in control of her fate for once.
As D-Day neared we grew closer together and well...rubber was in short supply in occupied France.
By the time the Navy started bombarding Omaha beach, Fleur was getting morning sickness and despite the food shortages, she had to let her gunbelt out a notch by the time 3rd Army broke out of the hedgerows in Operation Cobra. We both knew she was pregnant by then but she wouldn't acknowledge it, that meant admitting she was going back to being a woman, expected to stay at home and wipe snotty noses and cook. Getting shot changed that a little, just a Luger bullet through the bicep, a clean flesh wound that the liberating medics treated easy enough but...
"I don't want to lose our bebe," she confessed to me, bandage around her arm, "and without me driving you on, you won't get to Berlin before you die of old age."
"And I don't want to lose you," I told her, taking the uninjured hand, "being with you is the only part of the last two years I don't want to stop."
She had her shirt off which was...Fleur wasn't really showing yet. Her waist was still hard and muscular, just a little fuller. But her flat chest was swelling, mosquito bites having suddenly sprouted around her pink nipples. Next to her was an C-ration box, contents emptied in the half hour I'd spent briefing the relieving 4th Armored Officer.
Now the C-Ration was despised by American soldiers as being totally unpalatable. But to someone who'd been starving in occupied France, it was case of heaven on earth. It had vegetables and meat (canned but still), it had sugar and coffee, it had jam and crackers, it had three cookies and a little rock hard block of chocolate.
"But it has to, you're going on to the rest of the war while I'm...going back to being unimportant," Fleur sighed, frustrated and hurt, "restrained by whatever ass of a husband a pregnant girl can find..."
I and my surviving squad mates already had orders to return to the 82nd Airborne while the Resistance troops we'd fought with were being drafted into the Free French army...except for her. deGalle didn't want female soldiers in his army, much less officers. She was expected to go back and rebuild the family farm and pop out b**s. War had brought us together by chance and was already sweeping us apart.
"I...," was all I could manage, throat choking up, "I think I saw a padre in the headquarters..."
Our wedding lasted fifteen minutes and was mostly filling out immigration paper work, Fleur's wedding dress being bothering to button up the Eisenhower jacket she'd grabbed. Our honey moon was a long night spent together in the hayloft of a barn, trying to pack an entire marriage's worth of sex into one night in case the worst happened to either of us.
"I hope I don't hate America...," she panted after the third or fourth time, "will people try and tell me what to do?"
"Its like everywhere. People will always try, you just have to not let them," I told her, more exhausted by her suddenly rapacious appetites than the war, "my mother for instance is a real Boston Brahmin, she'll try and turn you into a proper society matron."
"Fuck her," Fleur laughed, rolling off of me and sighing, "I want to smoke but it'll be bad for the baby."
"Smoking, bad for a baby?" I laughed.
"Have you never read how many poisons are in cigarettes?" she challenged me, "My father was a doctor, he was sure those things cause cancer!"
I laughed again, until I cried from where her thighs had been gripping my ribs.
She'd been on top of me. She'd been under me. Wrapped up with me.
My ribs hurt. My dick hurt. My back hurt.
I'd sucked things on her that 1940s science wasn't even sure existed yet and been afraid her screams were going to call a barrage down on us.
She laughed with me and tried not to cry. We'd fought and lived rough and killed people, but we were still little more than kids. Both of us were twenty three at the most, making us old for the war.
"How about some food instead," she asked, sitting up and giving me the kind of look your mother would warn you about, "the little bastard you put in me is hungry."
"You had a whole C-ration, that's supposed to be enough food for a whole day of combat," I joked at her, gently touching her stomach, "I probably won't recognize you when the war is over."
"I was shot this morning," she said, punching my arm, "and I'm pregnant. Besides, all I want are the sweets. Its not as if I had a wedding cake."
Finding my clothes was difficult in the dark, but I managed to find her a C-ration and a can opener. When I got back, she'd turned on a little flash light to illuminate our hay filled honeymoon suite, sitting with her legs crossed in the shadows like some some sort of pagan goddess expecting a sacrifice.
"Feed me," she ordered, in the same voice she'd say "Take out that bunker."
In the dark I slathered some jam over a cracker and held it slowly to her lips. She opened her mouth with a grin but I pulled it away before she could bite down, then put it to her lips again before she could do anything but glare. The cracker disappeared in a bite and she licked the jam from her lips.
"More," she insisted, breath coming faster and harder.
The crackers went quickly and she licked the jam tin clean. I made the cookies last as long as I could, breaking them into halves and running them over her body, making her moan and giggle before they went into her mouth.
"More," Fleur ordered me, sweating hard and panting, hand between her legs.
The candy bar was a Hershey's. I broke the little squares off one by one and fed them to her with my mouth. She kissed me and bit my lips each time, on the last square she drew blood.
"Ow," I said, sucking my own lip.
"A reminder to keep your head down," she told me, grabbing the back of my head and putting it between her thighs.
The next morning I awoke with a very sore neck to find Fleur eating the last of the C-ration.
Fleur went to America and the family manor in Massachusetts, plucked from combat into the only world power untouched by war where the most dangerous thing was my high class mother's realization that her son's French bride wasn't . I went back into the regular army, going through Market Garden, The Bulge and then into Germany itself as an OSS attache/Battalion Inteligence Officer.
My wife wrote me a letter every single day, demanding to know about the war's progress. Over my mother's protests, Fleur quickly got a job at the Springfield Armory test firing rifles until she got too big in the middle and was sent home...which really seemed to happen quicker than I would have expected unless I lost count of the months. She started studying so she could apply to Yale, just to piss off my parents I think, and a lot of her letters were of complaints. My family's unthinking wealth and privilege, how annoying she found the English language and how much the kid inside her kicked.
Fleur never exactly said that she was getting "Fat" in so many words. But the letters were full of phrases like "my swollen breasts hurt", "my shoes don't fit", "I tore another dress seam today". From future experience I would be able to guess just how much she'd grown at the time, but in the Winter of 44/45 I'd only ever experienced lean, hardy Fleur, a woman of nerves and sinew at war.
The other Fleur, the one not in constant danger, the one who wasn't exerting herself all day...that Fleur I wouldn't meet until the Summer of '46.