The Bug proudly presents its final extract from the new novel by former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Enjoy!
For Scarlett O’Campion, the arduous 20-hour journey by steam train to the far outback mining town of Broken Hill only compounded the dilemma she faced: a love, hopeless to resist, that she knew was growing steadily in her breast for her boss, NSW Agriculture Minister Rhett Bull.
A lust, nevertheless, engaged in a battle for total control over a devout Catholic upbringing that clearly told her any liaison between the two of them would be so terribly, terribly wrong on so many levels.
Yet in the close confines of the A-class sleeping carriage that hauled them slowly westward, Bull’s decent and gentlemanly behaviour only strengthened the flames of desire she felt towards this ruggedly handsome man of the people.
“We’ll be sleeping in adjoining bunks tonight with just a flimsy curtain dividing us,” Bull had teased her as the train made its way through Sydney’s rapidly expanding western suburbs. “I just hope my snoring doesn’t bother you too much.”
And late that night as the train passed Bathurst on its relentless march west, Scarlett whispered to herself: “Could he really be the one?” It became a mantra she silently mouthed in synchronicity with the hypnotic clicketty clack, clicketty clack of the steel wheels on the standard-gauge steel rails. She surprisingly felt no shame, for the first time in her life, as her fingers loitered in sacred crevices until she finally fell asleep and dreamt dreams that the nuns of the Hymen Intactica order at her old convent school would have had enormous trouble thinking up suitable punishments for.
She sat opposite him spellbound during the whole of the next day as he explained his love for rural Australia. Indeed, apart from local meetings with mining chiefs to make sure those uppity miners were being kept in their place, and leading graziers too, of course, Bull explained a major reason of his visit was to check the health of the Menindee lakes, as he put it: “that amazing reservoir so vital to the health of the Darling and Murray river systems”.
“We must protect this amazing waterway for generations to come,” Bull told her. “It must be preserved and managed so that farmers and graziers not just locally but indeed right down along the Darling-Murray system to its very mouth in South Australia can always rely on its waters to make a decent living. For centuries to come.”
“What is there not to love about this man?” Scarlett thought to herself as Bull used his massive hands and beefy fingers to accentuate his plans for waterways conservation.
She wondered if it was true what they said about the size of a man’s hands and his … and she blushed deeply at the mere though of it. What she did not know then was that question would soon be answered, in the most emphatic of ways.
It was after early-evening meetings had been concluded at various clubs in the silver city that Scarlett and Bull found themselves enjoying a few dozen Bundaberg rum and cokes late that first night in a corner bar of the Palace Hotel where they were booked in for the next five days in adjoining rooms.
“If there’s an adjoining door, I hope it can be locked,” Bull had joked.
The hotel manager had placed a couple of bottles of rum, a dozen bottles of coke and a large ice-bucket on the bar top and told Bull with a knowing wink: “I’ll let you lock up, Rhett.” Bull had been there many times before.
“Can I be frank, my dear?” Bull said softly a while later as he poured more rum from the half-empty second bottle into their glasses and placed his hands on Scarlett’s bare knees, sending electric shocks through her entire body.
“I suspect you might have a soft spot for me somewhere? You’d only be human if you did?
“But can I please explain something to you. My wife understands me. She knows I’m a randy old goat and she puts up with my dalliances. But I stick with barmaids, jillaroos, randy CWA widows and country show trash I encounter on my travels. It’s sex; it’s meaningless and it does no harm to me or to my marital relationship.
“Put rather vulgarly, I don’t shit in my own nest. It’s why nothing can ever happen between the two of us even if I find you so utterly irris…”
Scarlett instinctively placed both her hands over his calloused hands and squeezed gently as her lovely knees moved just a tantalising few inches further apart.
“You vixen. You temptress. You darling, darling, girl,” Rhett Bull said hoarsely as he pulled her towards him and kissed her roughly.
The innocent Catholic girl inside Scarlett fought back, her delicate hands beating a defiant tattoo against his manly chest.
But her protestations died away, their mouths opened and their tongues entwined like two scrub pythons rooting on a bush track.
Bull pulled her closer in and she gasped as she realised the extent of his physical desire for her.
“I know. I know,” Bull whispered, his facer even ruddier than normal. “It’s a beauty, isn’t it?”
He ran a rough and calloused hand deep inside Scarlett’s panties and they both moaned softly as a stubby finger flicked teasingly against her engorged and glistening womanhood.
Scarlett felt all of her old Catholic-infused inhibitions and guilts shedding away all at once, along with all of her clothing. “I’m so, so sorry, Mother Superior,” she whispered.
And then he took her.