If you wish upon a star
And it falls
Catch it in your hand
And joy in the light
That is now yours
When the phone rang at midnight, Sara knew it was him.
She answered it quickly, her pulse kicking up a notch.
“Kenneth?” That was what he told her to call him. She didn’t know his real name.
“Are you naked, Sara?” Always the same question.
“No.” She said it quietly, as if someone might hear.
“Take off your clothes.” So calm, so firm. It made her so hot to obey.
She stepped out of her skirt and panties, put the receiver down for a moment so she could pull her T-shirt off. Feeling the air cool on her skin, she held the phone to her ear again. “I’m naked now.”
“Touch your breasts.”
Sara began to touch herself to the cadence of his commands. She didn’t know why the voice of a man she’d never seen turned her on so much. He’d called her out of the blue a month ago at three in the morning. Since then he’d called about every other night, sometimes surprising her two nights in a row, then falling silent for two or three, making her fear that he was gone forever.
She hadn’t told her husband about Kenneth. It might have excited him, but then Allen could get jealous over the weirdest things. And this was pretty weird.
“I wish you could fuck me,” she breathed as she stroked herself, feeling the wetness build.
“Do you?” He sounded bored.
“Yes.” She gasped as her fingers wrung out her orgasm. “Yes!”
“Slut.” He said it flatly.
“Mmm!” Sara felt so naughty. “I’ll be your slut!” It was so erotic to submit to him, to whore for this stranger with her words. It was like cheating without the guilt…almost.
“Did you come, slut?”
“Good.” And he hung up.
On Saturday she and Allen went to the fabric store for some new curtains. When they came home there was a small package wrapped in brown paper on the front step.
“What’s that?” Allen asked, looking at it curiously.
“I don’t know,” Sara answered, bending to pick it up. It was about the size of a tie box and very light.
Inside, she shucked her bag on the couch and examined the box. It was addressed to her in a neat, backslanted handwriting. There was no return address nor any other identifying marks.
Allen peered over her shoulder as she tore off the paper and opened the box within. Not until Sara had completely unfolded the lacy red thing within did she realize it was lingerie.
“Well, well,” Allen mused. “Who do you suppose sent you that?” He turned the discarded paper over in his hands, looking for a name and finding only hers.
Sara felt like she was falling she knew who’d sent it all right. “I don’t know, hon.” She somehow managed an arch smile. “Are you saying it wasn’t you?”
Allen spread his hands. “I’m innocent, I swear. You must have a secret admirer.”
The phone rang.
Sara snatched it up. “Hello?”
“Do you like my present, Sara?”
She kept her face blank. “I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number.” And she hung up.
Allen was examining the red teddy. “So some secret admirer is mailing you lingerie, huh?” He grinned. “That kind of turns me on.”
She kissed him, feeling the hardness in his pants with one hand. With the other she took the teddy from him and held it up. “Would you like to see me try this on?”
“Uh-huh.” His hands closed around her ass-cheeks. “Good thing I’m not the jealous monster type, huh?”
“I guess so.”
Later, in the dark with Allen breathing beside her, Sara heard the phone. She slipped out of bed and into the living room to answer it.
“It was rude of you to hang up on me, Sara.”
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t talk. My husband was here.”
“So? You don’t need him. You need me.”
“Kenneth, I “
“Are you wearing it?”
Sara sank onto the couch. “Yes.”
“Do you like it?”
She sighed, feeling her sex moisten. “Yes.”
“Come for me.”
Sara unsnapped the crotch and caressed the moist folds of her inner flesh. She was very wet, and her skin felt hot and tingly.
“Would you like to fuck me, Sara?”
“Yes, I want to fuck you.”
“I will,” Kenneth said. “Are you coming for me?”
“Yes!” She groaned. “Yes, I’m so fucking hot!”
“What are you?”
“I’m your slut.”
“Good,” Kenneth said, and he hung up without another word.
On Monday night Allen didn’t come home. Sara sat up all night waiting for him. She called the police and Allen’s office. No one could find him.
For the next three nights Sara sat by the phone until dawn painted the sky. No one called. She had never felt so alone. Allen was missing, but in a strange way she missed Kenneth even more. She needed to hear his voice commanding her pleasure, needed to surrender to his words.
On the fourth day they found Allen beside the highway. He was dead. Sara began to be afraid.
That night the phone rang.
“Kenneth, what did you do to Allen?”
“You didn’t need him. You need me.”
“Oh, God “
“Put it on.”
“What? I “
“Put it on. Now.”
“Kenneth! I don’t “
“I want to see you in it.”
Sara froze and turned to face the only window in the room, which was depthlessly black.
“Are are you watching me?” She whispered it, as though someone might hear.
“Oh. My. God.” Her legs were suddenly wobbly and weak.
“Does that turn you on?”
Sara took a deep, shuddering breath. “Yes.”
“Strip for me.”
She undid her jeans and slid them off, then her panties. She unbuttoned her shirt with hands that shook. She could feel his gaze coiling around her.
“Let me see your cunt.”
Sara sat down on the couch and spread her long legs. Her fingers unfolded the lips of her cunt, dipped into its wetness. She licked her lips, arching her back.
“You look good enough to eat, Sara.”
“Mmm! I’d like you to eat me.”
“It turns you on to think about me licking your cunt.”
“It does! It does!”
“Are you going to come for me, bitch?”
“Yes!” She was, too. Any moment now.
“Do you belong to me?”
She was coming. “Yes! Yes!”
When she could hear again, there was only the hum of an empty line in her ear.
Allen’s funeral took place three days later. Kenneth hadn’t called. She should hate him, she should tell the police about him. But she didn’t.
She missed him furiously. Every night she’d masturbate, remembering his hard voice. She’d imagine his cock in her mouth or rubbing on her breasts. In her mind he fucked her all the ways she’d never tried.
When she got home there was a note on the door. It read:
“Hello my sweet. I’m in the closet.”
She stared at it for a long, frozen time. Then she went in. The house seemed very quiet. Her pulse pounded in her ears and in her groin. She crept down the hall to the bedroom. The closet door was ajar.
Sara tiptoed back to the kitchen and got the big carving knife. Then she snuck into the bedroom and inched the closet door open, knife held high.
There was no one in the closet.
She sagged with relief it was just another little game. Sara put the knife away and fixed herself some dinner. The phone didn’t ring.
That night she lay in bed, thinking of him, wishing he’d call. She looked over the side of the bed for the phone and looked straight into Kenneth’s hooded black eyes.
“I lied.” He said in his stern voice. “I’ve been under the bed.”
Sara gave a short scream and recoiled from the edge. She saw his hands grip it as he hauled himself the rest of the way out from under the bed. He moved toward her with the quiet grace of a snake.
When he touched her she gave a little squeak that became a moan as his hand went to her pussy. He brought his cool lips to her nipples and she felt herself melt around him.
Her arms went around his neck and he kissed her, his tongue tasting her. He kissed his way down her body and buried his head between her open thighs. Sara’s back arched and she came.
He grasped her head and thrust his cock in her face. “Are you my slut?”
“Then show me.”
Sara opened her mouth and took him in, tasting his hard length. Her head moved as she pleasured him.
When he pulled out and guided her down, she spread her legs in trembling want. The first touch of his cock sent her into spasms and when he rammed it into her she thought she might pass out. She threw her legs around him and screamed in terror and lust, each feeding the other.
“Come for me.”
“Do you belong to me?”
He bore down on top of her, his cock possessing her. Sara contorted joyfully in a darkness from which she would never escape, imprisoned forever by his coils.
Things were looking pretty bad. The phones were ringing off the hook, and nobody wanted to answer them. Walk-ins were standing five deep around the receptionist’s desk, their cacophony of complaints like a crow feast over some long-dead road kill. The floor managers were prowling the aisles with deep scowls creasing their faces, hunting for innocent techies to grab by the throat and bark useless orders at. The place was in total chaos.
Our little nook on the information super-highway, all seven thousand users, networked via Ethernet, Token Ring, 3Com, you name it using PC’s, Power Mac’s, Sun Boxes, NeXt notebooks, mainframe work stations was down. And people were deeply pissed.
Chaos theory was having a field day. No one could find the source of the bottleneck. Its cause was as elusive as a pay raise. The Office of Data Tech Support, where I was interned, was pandemonium. Earlier, people had been shouting furiously across the aisles like brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with the Dow dropping. But now there was only a muted murmur, reminiscent of the day when the upper brass on the Tower of Babel project passed out the pink slips.
My job was in Systems Analysis. When I wasn’t working on a task due yesterday, it was troubleshooting. In this case the problem was obvious Everything was severely fucked up!
The next day the crisis would be over and forgotten and my project development notes on integrating X-Windows terminals into a client-server environment in the payroll department would still be due. But at that moment the massive breakdown was all anyone had on his mind, and I had no more idea what was causing the glut of dead interconnectivity than I had of what color Suzi’s panties were.
Suzi was a new contractor hired to help out on aspects of the project that I was working on. I didn’t work closely with her. Though I wouldn’t have minded. Sitting across from me in a cubicle with six foot high dividers she was the only human visible to me when I wasn’t standing, but ahhh, what a sight to see.
Beautiful, bright blue eyes, blonde hair to die for, a body sculpted in curves and crevasses begging to be explored. And she wore the right kind of clothes tight business suits, skirts cut high above the knees, dark stockings with a thin seam running up the back of the legs to where only good things dwell.
She wore thin blouses with a smart wool jacket that matched her skirt. She looked very professional but with just enough excitement in the selection of her wardrobe to make us conservative white-collar types wonder what wonders lurked beneath.
Wondering was as far as we were going to get. Unfortunately, permanently tethered to Suzi was a Neanderthal reject of a thug she called her boyfriend, a big guy very big huge! My buddy Steve over in Operations had stopped at the bar across the street one night, sighted her alone and set his heat-seeking guidance system to lock in on her right where it was warmest. She had warned him, though benignly, that she was waiting for her ride. Steve insisted on buying her a drink anyway.
Now, Steve has trouble getting around, with that back brace on his spine. I guess he really shouldn’t have put his arm around her, especially not just as her Rottweiller in a black leather jacket walked in.
So we of the unattached set had gotten a strong signal to stay away far away, if we valued functioning body parts. But I love danger, and figured it was innocent enough to peruse her from a distance. She was cute. Sometimes I caught a smile. Yeah, she smiled at me, I smiled back. But it was like sniffing lighter fluid while holding a welding torch: hot, a strange rush and potentially explosive.
My desk faced hers, while her desk faced the opposite wall. I could observe her at length without too much peril. But I knew anything more courted disaster, as her gorilla often popped in to take her to lunch and I valued my life.
Even in the copier room, or passing in the aisles, we didn’t speak much. The office was a high-pressure, get-it-done-now environment with oppressive management detailing your every move. Small talk was…well, banned. But I could look.
When she swiveled in her chair to turn and get up there was that brief micro-second as her long, lean legs tensed to stand up, firm muscles tightening as my eyes dropped in order not to meet hers. There was that momentary transition when I thought I could see between her thighs, and…hey, was that black? Were those black, frilly lace panties with just a thong up the back?
Suddenly a looming obstruction with a forty-four inch waist blocked my view. I looked up to see our grouchy operations manager Jack Slaught ruining my golden moment.
I sighed, looking up at his double-chinned face.
“Yes, Mr. Slaught?”
But his gaze was intently following Suzi’s shimmy down the aisle. I knew that wasn’t a pickle in his pocket. He looked back at me and instantly flushed the smile from his face, chewing on the cigar he wasn’t allowed to light. The guy was a bastard, asshole, and scum bucket all rolled into one and those were his redeeming qualities.
“So watcha’ doin’? The friggin’ net is down, and you’re sittin’ here ogling that cute bitch’s underpanties?”
I was startled. It must have showed in my face because he looked contented. “No sir,” I faltered. “I’ve been reviewing these SAR reports and network loads trying to find what’s causing the slowdown.”
“Slowdown!” he roared, “it’s friggin’ dead in the water, that piece of shit y’call the Net.” I thought he had swallowed the stogie rolling between his teeth.
“Well it’s not really dead,” I said, raising my shoulders from their involuntary cringe. “There actually are network packets running. It’s just that as I review the load…”
Well, I could’ve told him the truth, that there was nothing unusual, nothing there that explained the sluggishness, no exploding processes or runaway massive load. It just didn’t make sense. But no, rather than letting him berate me as another useless computer nerd I decided to play the few cards I had.
I looked down at my workstation screen, “Well, remember those color charts that Mrs. Wollogong presented the Executive Staff meeting last Friday?”
He tensed. I had struck an exposed nerve so I dug in deeper.
“The ones that showed our poor performance in cash flow and inventory management, that she claimed was because our people didn’t know how to use the automated information systems because we trained them poorly?”
He wanted to bark a fierce knee-jerk denial of her statement. He absolutely hated that old broad! “Well, apparently she got this fiscal quarter’s figures, and wanted to include them in her charts for her presentation at the Board of Directors meeting tomorrow.” Slaught’s face turned lobster red.
“And so she’s printing those charts again, on that new network color printer we have down in the basement. It’s taking up quite a load. Maybe not enough to explain this huge slowdown but it’s a sizable piece of change.”
I paused. He just stood there and pondered. After a while, I couldn’t resist looking up to see if there was wood burning.
“You don’t say,” he mused, his hand rubbing his gristly chin.
Suzi returned, and both he and I involuntarily watched her park that luscious bod into her chair. We both released a sigh as her ass settled onto the cushions of the chair.
“If you ask me she don’t wear no underpanties. No lines under the skirt.” he whispered to me with professional certainty. Then he said, in a booming voice everyone could hear, “Mike, I want you to go down to the basement operations room and look into this network color printer. Maybe it’s got something to do with this net sluggishness. You!” and he pointed at a startled Suzi. “I want you to go with him, you can be his gofer and report back to me if he finds anything.”
Suzi nodded acceptance. Turning his back to her, Slaught gave me a wink and a nod and walked away. “I gotta go see what Roberts wants to bitch about,” he trailed off. Roberts was chief group officer, the kind of person who can end your career with a nod of his head so even Jack was nervous. When top brass can’t read their e-mail they get very frazzled. This network slowdown was causing all the computers to operate in molasses motion. Once you’re used to the high-tech universe anything less than instantaneous is unacceptable.
I couldn’t believe I was going with Suzi downstairs. It was both a thrill and a brush with death, should her boyfriend see us together. I looked at her and she smiled. Hmmm, this was going to be interesting.
I led the way down the corridor to the elevators and every one of the guys was eyeing me enviously. Even Wes Boden, the nerd in charge of new systems development, who was always getting under my skin, had dropped his lower jaw surprised at my good fortune. Suzi was right behind walking smoothly in those four-inch spiked heels that I would just love to slip off her feet. I’d slide the spike up her leg to explore the folds of her vagina while she writhed in ecstasy…but later. I punched the elevator button.
Suzi sidled up next to me surprisingly close. “Mike, have you been working here long?” What a sultry voice. I could just fuck her for hours. “Mike?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I guess about three years. It’s been so…”
“What’s wrong?” Had I said something wrong?
“Mike, the elevator’s here.”
“Oh, so it is.” As I boarded, with her following behind, I felt like a fool. I pressed the basement button and inserted my security card. The doors closed and we took off. I was standing against the left wall and she was still standing close to me, conspicuously left of center. I looked toward her and my eyes couldn’t help but zero in on her inviting cleavage. Oh, my God, how nice. Normally I couldn’t see anything but neck, but at this close angle I had a nice view of soft, white, supple curves plunging down into a black, lacy bra. So, black was her color! Ummm…
Suddenly I realized she was looking up at me with a knowing smile. I almost looked away, embarrassed, but suddenly she shifted around, contorting in a way only a woman can, and suddenly the view increased tenfold. I could see all the way down and truly admire the black lace. Even the outline of her nipples was visible through the sheer fabric. I just wanted to grab those two knockers, plunge my face into the space between them, lick down, around, up the sides, then take the nipples and suck…
“You never talk to me much,” she purred.
I was entranced.
“Well, what’s to say?” God, what a stupid comeback! But could it be helped? I was doing all I could to keep from ripping her clothes off, plunging my hard cock deep into The elevator door opened.
Damn these interruptions.
I walked out into the climate-controlled systems room where all of the heavy-duty hardware was situated. There were some old mainframes, quite a few mini’s and micro’s, network servers, high speed laser and dot-matrix printers, concentrators and routers the life system of our house architecture.
The color printer was further down near the new Cray supercomputer we’d just gotten in for evaluation. Unfortunately that monster baby was in the charge of that nerd Wes. He wasn’t allowing anyone to touch it.
Suzi was right behind me, and I was still thinking about my idiotic rejoinder. Oh hell, women shouldn’t be allowed to wield so much power over a guy’s hormones.
We stepped up to the printer and watched the pages slowly coming out into the collar. That Wollogong bitch was sure making a lot of copies. First-run printouts always look better than the ones color copiers make. Obviously the old hag was going for the kill. I looked at one of the graphs and couldn’t help noticing how the bars were progressively decreasing. Man, Slaught would shit a cow if he saw this!
But otherwise there was nothing unusual. Network printing is notoriously slow and color network printing even more so. Despite that even this massive multi-copy job didn’t explain why the entire network was so slow. Our net could handle billions of packets. This job was only creating millions. Odd thing though was that the slowdown wasn’t affecting the print job anyway.
More importantly. Suzi was standing right next to me looking at one of the printouts, practically touching me. I hazarded a look down her cleft. She had unbuttoned her top blouse button! That was no accident.
“Pretty colors,” she said, looking at the chart.
“I’ll say,” I exclaimed, looking at her breasts. Not only was the button undone but somehow she had shifted her boobs up, the bra back, and exposed part of the pink flesh of her nipple. How do they do that?
Suzi put down the chart, pressed up against me and looked up with those deep blue eyes. “Do you know what I like to do sometimes?” My mouth was dry. I could only imagine. “Sometimes, when you’re not looking, I like to watch you working at your computer. You have a nice-looking body, nice shoulders.” Her hands were up on my shoulders, kneading them. I wanted to say, yeah, I lift weights, play basketball but she was pressing against my whole body. Even my cock was getting a body-massage and I felt that an explosion was imminent.
Before I could plunge between those luscious lips, some deep instinct of self-preservation uttered the words, “But what about your boyfriend?”
“Oh, that bastard!” She angrily jerked away from me and walked over to the Cray supercomputer, arms folded in sheer rage. “That stupid son-of-a-bitch thinks he owns me. I swear, every guy who so much as looks at me he just pounds into the ground.” I swallowed hard.
I felt instant deflation, like Mount Saint Helens saying, nah, maybe next week.
Suzi continued, “I work to stay in shape, to keep my body looking firm and sexy.” She looked at me. “Mike do you think I look sexy?”
“Oh, yes!” I walked over to her, standing next to the console for the Cray. “I think you’re…very sexy.”
She smiled. “It’s nice to be appreciated. That stupid oaf just embarrasses me to death the way he smothers me. And then he hardly says anything. He just takes me for granted. Ooh, I could just kick him in the nuts!”
I was trying to think of some line to change her mood, renew the energy of a minute ago when something flickered on the Cray console screen that caught my eye: “NFS ALLOC ERROR-INVALID SYSTEM ADDRESS”
“What the hell?” I walked past Suzi and stared at the screen.
“What is it?” she asked. The console to the Cray was off the main aisle, near the wall, in a remote corner of the room. It was only because Suzi had wandered over there that it had come into my view. Again the message flashed and again. There wasn’t much room back there but Suzi squeezed in next to me, our warm bodies touching.
“This thing isn’t supposed to be on the net,” I muttered, leaning over the side, squeezing across Suzi’s body. Sure enough a multitude of 10base-T cables were jutting out of the auxiliary slots and snaking into floor trenches below. Suzi held me tightly by my waist to keep me from falling or some such reason.
“That bastard. Wes has this thing connected to the backbone! He’s not supposed to have done that, this machine’s only for evaluation. It doesn’t even have a proper address. I should know, I’m the guy who assigns them!”
“Are you talking about that little nerd with the horn-rimmed glasses?” Suzi asked. She was still holding me.
“Yeah, a real jerk.” I replied. “He’s always whining to Slaught that I put constraints on his creative development work.”
“I can’t stand him either. He’s weird.” she said, a frown creasing that otherwise perfect face. “Once, in the copier room, he was staring straight at my ass and asked me if I liked anal sex.”
“Really?” I didn’t think he’d be that crazy.
“And he’s always going past the women’s room and staring at me as I walk in. I guess the sleaze expects me to hike my skirt for a free show before I get in the stall.” She held me a little tighter, for security I suppose.
I was going to suggest that she introduce Wes to her boyfriend, when she reached out and hit the <
“Too bad,” I shook my head. “wish I could log in as root and see what’s going on here.” The root super-user account allows you to do anything on the system, but of course Wes was the only one who knew the password.
But Suzi calmly typed in “root” at the log-in prompt. The password prompt followed. The chances of guessing the password were one in a billion, but she was willing to try.
“So what do you think a nerd like Wes would use for a password?” I asked her with a smile.
She looked at me with a sly twinkle, and typed: asshole.
“Good try,” I interrupted, “but it won’t work. It’s got to have at least one non-alphabetic character.”
She backspaced and retyped: ass.hole, then pressed <
I was waiting for the “login incorrect” message, when up popped “WELCOME TO CRAY SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE, OPERATING UNIX SVR4.3…”
She had done it! I couldn’t believe it! Suzi shrieked and jumped up and down, her breasts rubbing provocatively on my chest so that my hard-on sprang back up. “Wasn’t it obvious?” she laughed. Then she smiled, wrapped her hands around my neck, and I just took the plunge, my lips onto hers. It was a long kiss, our tongues earnestly exploring. My knee slipped between her legs, and was working its way up her thighs, moving the skirt up with it. My arms were gently resting on the sides of her breasts, my hands drawing her toward me.
A moan escaped from way inside her, and my tongue plunged deeper, in anticipation of other deep plunges I was sure to take. But then I pulled momentarily away because I knew there was something else I had to take care of first.
“Just let me real quick see what he’s up to.”
Suzi’s arms didn’t let go, but she leaned back, and watched me try to finish my job. I had to type fast, make no mistakes, find out what was going on and get back to the mother lode I had just struck. I did a network status, but got nothing, just an odd “ARGUMENT LIST TOO LONG” error. I checked the /etc/hosts file, but it was empty. So I checked the nameservice, but couldn’t find it. Wes must have buried it deep somewhere. So I did a simple process status command, and couldn’t believe my eyes! There on the fluorescent green screen scrolled an initiation start-up sequence for every network address in the building!
“That son-of-a-bitch! That’s it! It’s simple as hell. I don’t know how he did it, but hell, I guess this monster is capable of doing anything!” I looked at Suzi and she looked back admiringly. “He’s somehow created network addresses for every computer, printer or shared resource in the building. And when he turns this sucker on, it pretends it’s…everybody. It sucks up packets intended for other machines, and sends nothing back. Oh some get through elsewhere but the majority disappear here and he probably dumps them.
“He’s created a virtual network black hole! And my guess is he’s excluded Wollogong’s computer, her router, and this color printer so they operate hassle free while the rest of the network is held by the balls down here!”
“Yeah!” Suzi agreed, grasping the idea. “So her print job runs smooth and clean and fast with no interference from anywhere else.”
“That fucking bastard!” I fumed, “he’s kissing up to Wollogong so we’ll all get fired but he stays!” Suzi looked impressed. Even I was amazed by my conclusion.
Okay, enough work. Now the reward. Our lips met again and our horny bodies rubbed even closer if possible. My hands dropped down to her ass. God it was firm and tight! I peeled her skirt up, over her hips. It got stuck there for a second but Suzi did a little sideways shimmy that freed her. I reached back down her ass and gently but firmly kneaded those buns. “Hmmm,” I hummed, noticing no backside to the panties.
“Umm,” she replied.
I groped for the thong but found only the top of her stockings. I felt around front and all I encountered was a thin tuft of curly hair. How about that! That son-of-a-bitch Slaught was right. No underwear!
I explored past the hair with my right hand, reaching into the crack, and found a warm, moist vagina. The lips hanging down from the vulva were huge! I knew she had ample breasts, but how can you ever judge what size a woman’s vagina would be? This I had to see, feel, taste.
I slid down slowly, leaving small kisses on the way down her exposed stomach, and dropped to a crouch, my face nuzzling her pubic hairs in that tight space between the printer and the console stand. Ah yes, a true blonde, hair kept neatly trimmed, none at all around the prize. And yes, those labia were huge, dangling things! I had to taste them. Putting all those weight-lifting workouts to use, I put my hands beneath her buns, and gently lifted her up and sat her down on the keyboard. The screen blinked random characters in protest.
She stripped off her jacket and quickly undid the buttons of her blouse. Meanwhile I began to explore in earnest. Her legs rested on my shoulders, her knees pulling me toward her. Suzi’s vagina was everything I had hoped for and more, a pretty brown curl of skin against a creamy white background. There was a lot of moisture. I parted her lips with my tongue to explore inside. I dug in deep, lapped up the sweet juice, swallowed, dug for more. She arched her back to give me a better angle and I used my fingers to part the lips wider.
My tongue now had a better approach and plunged in deeper. I heard her moan, felt her body shudder. More wetness practically squirted onto my tongue. I pressed two fingers inside her, my tongue exploring the sides, top, bottom of her opening. She had removed her blouse, and I felt her bra slide down the back of my neck and drop to the floor. Suzi was rubbing her breasts earnestly and tasting her own nipples.
I took a deep breath, gently spread her even more widely open. My tongue flicked past her clit and deep into her chasm. A deep, long moan echoed into the rafters and I felt her tight thighs shuddering around my head. Even more juice flowed into my mouth, an unquenchable rush. I lapped it up, craving it, then pulled back and sucked on her long, dangling lips, cleaning them dry. She dropped her hands into my hair and started to pull me up.
Now for her breasts. I worked them with my mouth and hands, first the left, then the right, then I ran my tongue up and down between them, licked beneath each one, then took a small, gentle nibble of one of her stone-hard nipples. Suzi moaned and arched her back.
She reached down and undid my belt, pants and zipper in one smooth action, dropping my trousers to my knees, clawing my briefs down with one leg. Amazing how desire can make your limbs operate so smoothly. She had her palms on my hard cock, rubbing it back and forth. I don’t understand why I didn’t explode then and there.
Her breasts were amazingly firm, and I could have enjoyed hours of sucking on those nipples but with incredible deftness she aimed my cock up and slid down off the keyboard ledge right onto the stiff shaft. Her legs didn’t even touch the floor!
God, anything but a perfect shot would have been painful as hell for both of us, but this woman was incredible. Arms entangled, I leaned her back against the screen and started to thrust. Deep, deeper I went, my pelvis swinging back and forth, my tongue again deep in her mouth. She was tasting her own pussy juice and liked it.
She held on tightly, arms around my neck, legs around my hips and back. Our lips let go and cock and pussy crashed back and forth harder and harder, shaft going all the way to the hilt. Somehow she was able to grasp my balls with one hand beneath her ass, and her soft touch only made me hotter.
Although huge, her cunt was gloriously tight, and as I thrust I couldn’t help shuddering at the pressure on my schlong, only relieved by our juices lubricating it with lovely slickness.
Her gasps and moans were rising in a rapid crescendo. I have no idea how I kept my balance. As I kept fucking her harder and harder I gave up thinking where I was, buried my face in her sweet blonde hair and finally came with such an explosion that I thought my ear drums would burst.
My cock just kept on shooting, pulsing, my head spinning. Suzi was gasping too, and I realized the cause of my temporary deafness. She had come loudly, right in my ear, and I was so dazed by my own orgasm I hadn’t even heard it.
We leaned against each other gasping for breath. Suzy’s vagina kept throbbing tightly around my cock, aftershocks of the big one that felt so nice I didn’t want to withdraw. Finally I sat her back up on the keyboard and we laughed at the silliness of the location, but my God, it had been good. I gave her a long, tender kiss.
Suddenly, I heard the elevator door open. Oh shit! Suzi quickly slid off my cock and with incredible deftness grabbed my still-hard shaft, pulled up my briefs over its protesting rigidity, pulled up my pants and ripped up the zipper. She dropped to her knees, grabbed her blouse and jacket, and crawled behind the Cray.
I looked up and saw Wes walking down the aisle toward us. He saw me, and I realized my belt was still undone, my shirt half hanging out. I edged behind the console to hide the compromising details and block his view of Suzi until she could dress.
“What’s going on here?” Wes shrilly screamed. God. what a dork!
“I’m just checking on the network problem,” I answered lamely. He came up to the console and looked at it. I looked too, and saw a puzzling screenful of mixed and jumbled letters. Suzi’s ass had written an interesting message while in the throes of orgasm.
“What the heck are you trying to do to my Cray? You have no authorization to be near it. I could get you fired for this!”
I grimaced. Boy he had a shrill voice.
“I was checking on the…the…” I could see Suzi trying to reach for something near my legs. Just then I heard the elevator door open again. We both looked over and out stepped Roberts, the chief group officer, Mrs. Wollogong, Jack Slaught, a few other managers, and even Suzi’s boyfriend. Oh shit, oh holy shit. Jack in his fervor had brought everybody!
“Just what do you think you’ve been up to with this Cray?” I accused, badly imitating a stern schoolteacher. “We found network processes…” I suddenly felt something pull under my shoe, and I stumbled a bit. I looked down and realized I had been standing on Suzi’s bra as she tried to retrieve it. Wes followed my gaze and saw her bra too. He looked behind me and beheld my topless companion.
“What the fuck?” he eloquently asked.
I hit <
“How the hell did you log on?” he asked incredulously as the fake addresses once more rolled by on the screen.
“Ass-dot-hole,” I sneered in his face, and he instantly drained of any color. Turning to the approaching group, I shouted, “Mr. Slaught, you were right. I found the cause of the network breakdown. Wes here has rigged his supercomputer to deactivate all network computing so Mrs. Wollogong could print her color charts unimpeded.”
“That’s a lie!” Wes shouted back. “And what is she…”
Suddenly Wes saw me type in “init O,” the command to shut the system down. “I’ll shut her down and you’ll see the net come right back up,” I shouted. The others were closer now.
Wes’s face froze in horror when he saw what I had typed. But I hadn’t pressed <
Suddenly there was a strange silence. And then, like a fireworks display, lights all over the room began to flash. We stopped wrestling and looked down. Suzi had pulled the plug on the fucking Cray! The network was free, and the lights were just the normal activity suddenly freed up. Wes scrambled for the plug but I tripped him and he landed on top of Suzi, who was still holding her bra in one hand the plug in the other. Frantically I whispered to her while pushing down on him, his face against her tits, “What’s your boyfriend’s name?”
Brutus? Oh well, that figured. “Brutus, he’s attacking Suzi, trying to stop her from turning off this machine!” I shouted toward the crowd now struggling to see what was happening. There was a roar, and I was bodily lifted and heaved to one side.
I don’t think it’s necessary to give any more details. Suffice it to conclude that Wes’s jaw is wired shut until he comes out of his coma, if ever. Mrs. Wollogong skipped town on early retirement. I’m deputy operations manager with my own office and my own assistant Suzi! Jack got a bonus. Brutus was locked up for overzealous defense of Suzi’s honor she sent him a letter telling him it’s off anyway. And every afternoon, she and I go down to check on the Cray and do some intimate networking of our own.
The late fall sun had broken through the clouds some time shortly after noon. The puddles in the cobblestone streets presented a challenging obstacle course through the narrow winding avenues of the old capital. By the time Satianna had reached Rue St. Jean, just beyond the old fort gate, the rainwater had seeped through the thin leather of her shoes. As she walked along, her toes stinging from the cold, she quietly cursed herself for having ventured out without wearing the proper footwear.
She had lived in Qu bec City for nine years. Four years ago she had moved to Vienna. Her time in Qu bec had been, by her own accounts, some of the most productive she’d ever known. Suddenly, as she approached La Grenoulile Bleue, a torrent of memories flooded her thoughts just as the downpour had caught the city by surprise a few hours earlier.
The bar had been her second home during the time she’d spent in Qu bec City. She’d been sitting near the hearth, warming herself with a snifter of cognac, the first time Romuald stumbled into her life.
As she opened the door and stepped inside, the strong scent of the place struck her, triggering even more memories.
“Satianna! Enfin, te voil !” Romuald shouted across the nearly deserted room.
She waved a quick reply and climbed up to the mezzanine where Romuald sat.
“Such a fetching, olive-skinned madonna you make, even in this harsh light,” Romuald commented as she approached his table.
“Hello, Rom. Nice to see you haven’t lost your way with words,” Satianna replied coldly, slipping an arm out of her fitch coat as she sat down across from him. “I see they’re still other people’s words, though.”
Romuald smiled and chuckled.
“Un cognac pour Mademoiselle de Fleuret! Vite!” he called down to the bartender.
“Oui, Monsieur Claveau.”
Satianna wanted to tell him that she’d stopped drinking soon after moving to Europe, but the words dissipated in her throat as quickly as the thought occurred to her. She contemplated Romuald’s thin features, wondering how it was possible that his eyes seemed even darker and smaller than the black pebbles she remembered.
“You know,” he started, “I have to admit that getting that letter from you last month really threw me for a loop. I actually thought that when you left, you were gone for good. That the spell was permanently broken, as it were.”
“It is, Rom. I know it’s a favorite sport of yours, but try not to flatter yourself so.”
He took a sip of brandy.
“Nice to see the years haven’t softened you up, Sati. But enough vitriol for now! Tell me,” he paused, leaning forward, “what’ve you been doing with yourself for the last…how long’s it been?”
“How many gory details were you hoping for?” she asked.
“Come now, I’m not asking you to regale me with tales of self-gratification. Mind you, if you have any, I’m certain you’ll find me to be a captive audience. I was merely inquiring about your writing.”
“You know damn well it’s not going at all,” she said, “I haven’t written a single word since Espoir d’Amour was published.”
“Jesus…that’s nearly four years. Well, thank the pen god for royalties then,” Romuald quipped, raising his glass to his lips.
“The publisher says sales are tapering off. Seems the paperback is rotting on the shelves.”
Romuald shifted uneasily in his seat. He found economics the height of boring topics. He looked away to the street below, where a young boy was running past the pub’s gigantic bay window.
Satianna sensed Rom’s discomfort.
“But there’s no point in dwelling on the sorry state of my finances. Whatever happens will happen. How’s the Circle been since I left?”
“The Circle? You mean you don’t know about the exodus that your departure sparked?”
“Yes. The club sort of scattered to the wind, I’m afraid. Danielle was the first to go. She came in one day and announced that she was sick and tired of Frenchmen and their narcissistic ways. She couldn’t stand to be in bed with men who’d really rather be fucking themselves than her.”
“Such a temper, that girl…too damn much the redhead,” Satianna said, lighting a cigarette.
“Yeah, but Christ, what an amazing nose! I go hard just thinking about her silhouette.”
“So what’s she doing with herself now?”
“Last I heard she was on the West Coast writing advertising copy,” Romuald said.
“And Andre?” Sati inquired.
“Ah, cher Andr . Well, of course you knew of his long-standing quest to figure out which side of the coin he preferred to rub. Turns out he finally decided he’d rather sleep with his own kind. But the down shot and there always is one with Andr was that once he started sleeping exclusively with men he became rather dissatisfied with the quality of the tail in this city.
“He had a couple of really disastrous liaisons and decided to move on to find greener pastures…said pastures in this instance being the Cote d’Azur.”
“Perhaps someone should have told him that always having that cat of his in bed during sex was a bit too eerie,” Satianna suggested. “The thing would go into a howling fit every time someone had an orgasm.”
“True enough, I suppose. Lord knows for the resolutely homosexual types it was bound to cause some measure of consternation. Pussy in the bedroom and all that…” Rom added with a chuckle before taking a drag from Satianna’s cigarette.
“Mind you,” he continued, “a month after he’d found his first steady supply of cock he turned out a one-act play that blew everyone’s mind. A fantastic comedy. It damn near made me want to go out and get buggered.” Rom scratched his chin through his thick, graying beard. “Oh, the high cost of inspiration.”
“I don’t remember you being held back by lack of inspiration, Rom. In fact, if memory serves, you had no qualms about…’borrowing’ whatever inspiration you needed,” Satianna said, a slight tremor in her voice betraying her anger.
“Oh, Christ almighty, Satianna….not the goddamned plagiarism accusation again! Why can’t you just let it be?”
“You’ll never understand because you’ve never written anything of your own that was worth a rat’s ass,” Satianna said, running her fingers through her long, black hair. She looked down at the glass of cognac in front of her, reached for it and quickly lifted it to her lips. She hesitated for a moment, then gulped it down. Her throat burned at the unfamiliarity of the drink.
“Look, Sati,” Romuald began, “you know what the atmosphere was like around here. Ideas getting tossed about. Everyone talking at the same time. The creativity hung in the air like the smoke from this cigarette. And don’t tell me you didn’t draw on all of our ideas for Espoir d’Amour. Danielle was too damn timid to call you on it, but you know as well as I do that the sapphic love scene on the Plains of Abraham in Les Enchant es was as much a product of our little group gatherings as it was anything you created.”
“You bastard. How dare…” Satianna hissed.
“How dare I? Odd that your main character had a chameleon-shaped birthmark on her labia just like the one you spent countless hours running your salivating tongue over whenever Danielle deemed fit to welcome you between the warmth of her legs so you could feast on her sweet nectar. No, don’t come in here and…”
“Look, I’m not here to rehash all of this,” Satianna broke in. “Quite frankly, I don’t care.”
As she shifted around looking for her purse to get another cigarette, a slight breeze wafted up her skirt from the floor and chilled a familiar moistness between her legs. The insides of her thighs turned to gooseflesh. Satianna’s left eyebrow flinched almost imperceptibly. Rom’s words had hit home somewhere in her subconscious.
When she bent down to pick up the handbag from under the table, she noticed a copy of Homer’s Odyssey on the chair next to Rom’s.
“Reading the classics?” she asked, lighting up.
Rom leaned back in his chair, disengaging his attack posture.
“Re-reading the Greeks. I’m thinking of possibly rewriting this in a more contemporary setting. It’s a hell of a good story.”
“Yes, I’d imagine there’s quite a market for a story featuring a one-eyed giant. Could make you rich on the literary porn circuit. The next Henry Miller,” Sati said mockingly.
Romuald laughed. He’d had so many manuscripts rejected in the decade since his novel had climbed to number three on the New York Times list that he’d given up the rags-to-riches dream ages ago the same time he’d been forced to sell an article to the local Catholic Women’s League newsletter to help pay the rent on his small flat on the Rue Jonqui re.
The two sat for the better part of the afternoon talking, drinking and smoking. Satianna felt a warm nostalgia sifting once again at the table that had been home to the Circle for so many years. It was there that she’d drawn the profile of Natasha Dufeau, the character that had won her the Goncourt prize for Les Enchant es. It was there that she’d met Danielle, the first woman she had ever slept with. The first woman she had ever felt the desire to sleep with.
As the sunlight faded in the street, some of the regular patrons began filing into the pub. Satianna glanced at the large grandfather clock at the top of the stairs. She quickly emptied her glass.
“Shall we go?” she asked as she stood, putting on her coat.
“Bien sur,” Romuald said, grabbing his parka and quickly following Satianna down the stairs and out the door.
Their trek took them past a lookout tower near the Chateau Frontenac, an old fortress converted into a high-priced tourist hole. Atop the city’s promontory, Satianna stopped briefly to look at the waters of the gulf below.
When they arrived at 3212 Jonqui re, a few blocks away, Rom took the steps of the old brownstone leading to the third-floor flat two at a time.
Satianna followed at a more civilized pace, amazed that the tired pink paisley wallpaper still hadn’t been replaced.
By the time she reached Rom’s apartment, he had a bottle of wine poised over an empty glass.
“Bit of the grape?”
“Yeah, sure…” Satianna muttered.
“Yeah, sure,” Romuald repeated in the same monotone. “Is this what Europe has done to you? The woman who wrote, ‘Let their insults rain down, they’ll only evaporate in the desert of my indifference…’? Careful, Sati, there’s no excuse for mediocrity.”
“I know, Rom, but I’ll forgive you anyway,” she shot back, settling down on the sofa.
“All is forgiven then. Let us eat, drink and be…”
Sati had already tuned out Romuald’s chatter. She was looking at a plaster figurine on the mantle, a family heirloom, given to Rom when his mother died. It was of a little girl and her dog in a wheat field. One of the dog’s hind legs had been broken. Satianna’s mind began racing back to the last time she and Romuald had made love.
Scenes flashed through her head. The crushing heat of the afternoon sun beating down on their skin. The intense cold of the ice cube he’d flicked across her clitoris, triggering her first orgasm. The slight sting of the brandy on the ice cube dripping down her slit. Rom’s hard member parting her eager cunt lips. The playful wrestling bout that had ensued when she had tried to return the ice cube favor. And how it had ended all too abruptly when they’d bumped into the coffee table, sending the small figurine crashing to the floor. And finally Rom releasing his longing deep inside her.
“Is that enough?”
Satianna closed her eyes briefly, breaking the reverie. “Yes, thank you,” she said, taking the glass that was being offered and resting it down on the table at their feet.
Rom sat next to her.
“I really thought Vienna was going to be the answer, Rom,” Sati began. “I mean, Christ, it seems like everyone else who goes to Europe manages to get inspired. But not Satianna de Fleuret, no way. When she wants another best-seller she has to come crawling back to Canada, to a half-assed plagiarist. It’s like I’m selling myself to the devil.”
“Selling yourself…” Rom felt his anger surge. “That’s what you think you’re doing? I don’t see it that way, Sati. From where I’m looking it seems as if you’re getting a hell of a lot more out of this little arrangement than you’re giving.”
He emptied his glass and poured himself another.
“When all is said and done, it’s you who’ll get the book tour. The publicity. Meanwhile I’ll still be here in this sewer pit, life on hold, waiting for the next time the great author needs to use me.”
“I’ve always given you your fair share,” Sati objected.
“Ah, fuck your allowance, your goddamned stipend,” he said, spitting out his words. “Hey, it’s just come! Sit for a while and I’ll brew up another batch for the writer bitch. She doesn’t need my love, she just needs to suck me dry.”
Satianna swung her arm back to hit him, but Rom gripped her wrist before she could land the blow. He crushed his lips against hers, opening her mouth with his tongue.
She started to protest, but stopped when she felt the warmth of his hand under her thighs.
He picked her up and carried her to the bed.
They quickly undressed, impatiently drinking in the sight of each other’s body.
As Romuald was getting on top of her, his hand brushed one of her dark-brown nipples. It hardened under the cursory touch. Satianna arched her back in anticipation.
He lowered his mouth to her breasts, alternately teasing her nipples, rolling them between his teeth with his warm tongue for what seemed to her like an eternity. By the time his hand moved down between Sati’s legs, her nerves were standing on end.
“Still going hairless, I see,” Rom said, caressing her delicate labia with his fingertips.
Sati replied by taking Rom’s clean-shaven scrotum in her hand and squeezing it firmly. “Birds of a feather…” she whispered.
He parted her lips with his hand and deftly penetrated her slit with two fingers. She gasped, closing her eyes, her hips bucking almost instinctively against his hand as he rhythmically drove in and out of her.
She could feel her desire welling up. Rom ceased his ministrations on her pussy only long enough to apply his tongue where his fingers had just been.
He began lapping her juices like a thirsty puppy at its dish, tickling her clitoris with the tip of his nose. She let out a loud moan, pushing her crotch into his face.
Rom’s glazed fingers found her mouth. Satianna eagerly sucked her own ambrosia from them.
The taste of herself drove Sati over the edge. She lifted her back from the bed, clenching her legs tightly around Romuald’s head. Her entire body tensed as she came, his tongue buried deep inside her cunt.
As her orgasm subsided, Satianna became aware of the sweat that had broken out on her soles. The air above the bed smelled of sex. She loved everything about the feeling.
“You’re still the only man who can make my feet sweat,” she said, smiling. “Now let’s see if I can return the courtesy.”
Rom lay back as Sati knelt beside him. She slowly bent down until the tip of her tongue touched his glans. He shuddered.
“Oh Christ, Sati…I’ve missed you,” Rom said softly.
She parted her lips and wrapped them around his cock, letting her tongue play with the member in her mouth. After a few minutes, sensing Rem was about to come, Satianna quickly took his tool out of her mouth and climbed on top of him. She spread her pussy lips, poised just over Rom’s rigid, waiting cock.
“Do it now,” Rom urged her, closing his eyes in anticipation.
Sati slowly lowered herself until his turgid cockhead pushed at her opening. Then, taking a quick breath, she impaled herself on his member in one quick thrust.
Rom’s back arched instantly. Sati tightened her grip on his tool as hard as she could, pushing him into the abyss. His orgasm came in intense, violent waves.
As his come shot against the roof of her cunt, Sati trembled at the force of his eruption.
When the contractions stopped, he slumped back against the bed. Weak. Spent.
In the still of the early evening darkness they lay there silently, their bodies interlaced.
Then, slowly, an idea drifted into Sati’s mind. A sentence. A story. About a group of budding writers. Two of them locked in an eternal dance. A man’s unrequited obsession. A woman so blinded by her work as to be oblivious to the love being offered. Their flesh never sated. Their souls never complete. A destructive existence. A creative force. A title.
Carl Fuller walked into the antique shop in search of something very special for Laura. Carl and Laura’s wedding anniversary was tomorrow, and the love that he had for her now was even stronger than the love he had for her, forty-nine years, 364 days ago.
Looking around the antique shop, he noticed old mirrors, clocks, desks, lamps, radios and other items that would have been brand new around the time that he and Laura were married back in 1942. The shop itself was antique and had the musty smell of age. He imagined that young people looked at him and Laura the same way he looked at the antiques. All of the items showed their age, just as he was showing his age the difference being that the items in this antique shop did not get wrinkles.
He noticed from time to time that even though the youngsters of today were nice enough, they were mostly aloof and kept their polite distance. It was as though they thought they would catch a disease if they got too close. He couldn’t blame them, though. He had probably been the same way growing up. He thought to himself, If people smell with age, then I must stink. Then, with a grin, he returned to the business at hand.
As he was looking at some of the items on a shelf near the back wall, a neatly dressed gentleman of about sixty came up to him, smiling, and asked if he needed any help. Carl returned the smile, noticing how distinguished this fellow looked. Obviously the man was the owner of the shop and kept himself in good shape. He had silver hair, a matching mustache and hard, chiseled features. The owner introduced himself as Ed Sykes and shook hands with Carl. Carl did likewise.
Feeling comfortable enough to speak freely with this man, Carl talked of his fiftieth wedding anniversary and how he was looking for something very, very special for his wife. The owner raised a finger, as though an idea had just come to mind, then smiled broadly and said, “Sir, I can tell that you appreciate the finer things in life. It is so seldom that I get a customer in here who understands the care and handling older things need. I have a special area in the back that I rarely let anyone see, but I think you’ll like what I have to offer.”
With a look of puzzlement, but recognizing true honesty in the face of Ed Sykes, Carl replied, “Sure. It would be a fine day indeed if I could find my lady something she deserves. After all, she has put up with me for fifty years! She really deserves a medal.” The owner, chuckling, motioned with his hand and led the way.
Carl followed him, cautiously but nonetheless pleased that the owner would take the time to show him the area that was reserved for special customers. But as they entered a short hallway in the back that led to a locked door, he started feeling a bit uneasy. He was almost ready to tell Ed Sykes to forget it when Ed opened the door and turned on the light in the room.
With the light on, Carl lost any apprehensions he might have had. This room was special indeed. There were gold candelabras, fine crystal, porcelain statues, expensive-looking vases and some very pretty paintings on the side walls. The room was covered, wall to wall, in fineries. Carl believed that if he found something in this room, it would end up costing him more than he afford to pay back during the few years he had left. But Ed Sykes spoke right up as though he had read Carl’s mind.
“Please, take your time and look around. Nothing here is too expensive. These are treasures, but they are treasures of the heart.”
Carl liked the words Ed had used, and thought about how Laura was a treasure of his heart. He relaxed and started looking around the room intently. After spending fifteen minutes carefully checking out every beautiful item, his eyes caught a glimmer of something shiny to his right. Peering through his bifocals to study the object more closely, Carl was almost stunned to see a medium-size porcelain statue of a dog with the identical color and markings of the real dog Laura had owned when they’d started dating. The dog was brown, black and white. The poor animal had been run over by a car soon after their honeymoon. Laura had cried for three days over the loss of little Peanut. She had named him that because he had peanut-shaped brown marks over each eye. He was a very friendly, loving dog, and even Carl got misty-eyed when he heard the news.
Now Carl let out an audible sigh of remembered heartache, Ed Sykes heard this and said, “That’s a one-of-a-kind piece, that dog. Does it strike your fancy?” Carl said it did and told Ed all about little Peanut. Ed listened with sincere regard, then said, “Well, it would be a beautiful anniversary present. And since it’s your golden anniversary, I’ll let you have it for two hundred dollars. It’s worth a thousand, being one of a kind and all, but I know you and your wife would take very special care of it.”
Touched by Ed’s generosity, Carl replied, “Mr. Sykes, that’s a very nice gesture on your part. If there is ever anything I can ever do to repay the favor, just let me know.”
Ed shook Carl’s hand, smiled and said, “Carl, you’ve already done me a favor by coming into my shop today.”
When Carl pulled into his driveway a little while later, he put the gift-wrapped dog in the trunk until the next day. Then he walked into the house and greeted his wife with a kiss.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Laura asked.
“Yes,” he said with pride. “Yes, I did.”
Laura was the type of woman who got better looking with age. At least Carl thought so. That night, as she was getting undressed, Carl pretended to be reading and watched her out of the corner of his eye. It was early, but nowadays they went to bed with the night and got up with the sunrise. That seemed to happen to everyone their age. Laura removed her long dress, folded it neatly, then lowered the straps of her slip over her shoulders and let it fall to the floor. She still had the figure of her youth, even though her age did show. Carl was still impressed at the perkiness of her breasts and nipples, even though they were beginning to sag. When she took off her panties, he stared at her gray bush, It was beautiful, and the change from dark hair to gray was very becoming on her. She was just a natural beauty, no doubt about it.
Even at seventy-five, his dick still got hard just looking at her. Maybe not as hard as it used to get and it was difficult to make love as they once did but they still pleasured themselves in other ways. Laura was still the shy, down-to-earth, common-sense creature she had been when they married, but she had become a fine lover in their fifty years together.
Climbing into bed, Laura snuggled up next to Carl and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Noticing the sheet sticking up, she asked jokingly, “Honey, how can you still get hard at your age for an old woman like me?”
Carl laughed lightheartedly and said, “Well, old woman, inside you still feel like you did the night we married.”
When she heard that she kissed him on the mouth, reached under the sheets, took his dick in her hand and massaged it gently. She still got turned on by its size, but not like she used to. It was harder to make love without some discomfort, but she still wanted to pleasure her husband. She pulled back the sheet, revealing his large dick, got on her knees and started sucking ever so gently. After a few minutes of her tongue on him, he rubbed her breasts and pussy. Soon enough he erupted into her waiting mouth. She learned late in life that she really liked the taste of him and swallowed vigorously and lovingly. When she had licked him clean, they kissed, caressed and cuddled one another, reminisced about the past and fell asleep in each other s arms.
Upon awakening the next morning, Carl got out of bed slowly, so as not to awaken his wife, put on his robe and went to get her present out of the car. He put the box on the dresser with a card, and climbed back into bed. Laura slept the whole time.
He moved closer and put his arm around her, gently massaging a breast. She woke up, turned over and looked deeply into his eyes, showing him nothing but the love she had given him for fifty years today. “Happy anniversary sweetheart,” she said softly. They kissed and felt their hearts beating together.
When Laura got out of bed a few minutes later, still naked, she noticed the package on the dresser. Like a young teenager, she got excited and hurried over to it without even throwing on a robe. She picked it up and exclaimed, “Oh, Carl, I can’t wait to see what you got me. Your present is downstairs in the back of the closet.”
“You open yours first, Laura,” he said. “I can wait.”
She ripped off the gift wrap and opened the box. “Oh honey, how nice you bought me tissue paper.”
“Very funny,” Carl replied. As he laughed, Laura suddenly stopped moving and stared into the box. Slowly she pulled out the porcelain dog and turned around, not taking her eyes off it. Tears welled up in her eyes as she said very softly, “Peanut.” To see her this way made Carl feel like he could love her forever, and he wished he could.
Laura walked to the bed, not even caring about the slight chill on her nude body, and sat down. Tears of happiness flowed freely down her cheeks and fell, glistening on her breasts. One tear was suspended off of her left nipple and made her look more beautiful than Carl had ever seen her. There were no two people on earth who felt the love that they did for each other on this, their golden anniversary.
As Laura sat on the bed with Carl’s eyes and heart fixed on her loveliness, the room seemed to get hazy. Carl took his bifocals off to rub his eyes. Laura looked at Carl and started to ask where he had found such a precious gift but she also felt a haze come over the room. It was a warmth that seemed to permeate her and Carl’s being. Then, as suddenly as the haze had come, it lifted. Carl looked at Laura and Laura had become at least fifty years younger. Her hair was dark again, and she looked like the twenty-year-old he had married so long ago. He thought he was daydreaming. Barely able to speak, Laura turned to say something to Carl… and let out a scream. Here in her bed was a man she hadn’t seen in fifty years. Here was the young man named Carl whom she had married. Her scream made Carl shake himself and look at her again. “Laura…you’re young. My God, you’re young again!”
She looked at Carl, then stood up quickly and looked in the mirror. She was a practically a girl again. Her body was young and beautiful. She was awestruck and totally in shock looking at herself. Carl jumped up and stood beside her, looking into the mirror. He was young too. He had taut muscles and a full head of hair.
“What’s happening, Carl?” Laura asked, shaking.
“I don’t know,” Carl replied. “If we’re not dreaming, then we must be dead.”
Laura did not have one wrinkle, and looked so beautiful that Carl thought he was going to cry. Her dark hair was full on her head, cascading down over her shoulders, just touching the tops of both magnificent breasts. Her pubic hair was as dark as he remembered it so many years ago.
Laura stared at her husband’s broad shoulders and dark-haired chest. She glanced at his dick which was hard as a rock and pointing straight up.
Carl didn’t even realize he was hard until Laura grabbed his cock, climbed off the bed and got on her knees in front of him. All of his youthful energy had returned he hadn’t felt this horny in thirty years. “Are we dreaming?” he asked Laura as she began to suck him.
Pausing momentarily to speak, she replied, “Sweetheart, this is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to us. Let’s not ask questions.” Putting his dick back in her mouth, she sucked until he was ready to explode. Sensing this, she stood up, pushed him back and climbed on top of him with the wettest pussy she’d had in years. Her big nipples were hard as stones, and she was coming just from touching him.
When she guided his dick into her wet pussy, they both almost passed out from the sheer passion of it all. Both of their hearts were racing at three hundred miles an hour, but no one was going to have a heart attack. Not now.
After fucking each other in every possible position, and almost too exhausted to move, they lay back on the bed. The smell of sex was everywhere and they were both soaked with sexual juices. They were still young: it had not been a dream.
As they lay in each other’s loving arms, they wondered aloud what had happened to them, but were both at a total loss to explain it. All at once, the dog on the dresser started glowing with an eerie light. Carl and Laura sat up and stared in terror. Then a voice emanated from the dog. Carl recognized it as the voice of Ed Sykes, owner of the antique shop where he’d bought the statue.
“Do not be afraid,” they heard. “As I told you yesterday, Carl, you understand the care and handling that older things need. Do not question what has happened. Just understand this: I also understand the care and handling that older things need. Your love for each other has made much that is good in a world full of sorrow. When love is shared as you two have share yours, it needs to be replenished and nurtured for the good of all mankind.
“This is the greatest gift I can bestow upon anyone. Cherish your love for one another, replenish it, and maybe, just maybe, it will shine for others to see again, just as it has in the past. Move to a new place and start a new life, but always remember the past. May you remain as happy for another fifty years.”
After the voice had gone silent, the room got dark again. Carl told Laura about Ed Sykes and the antique store as they held each other tightly. They would start a new life, just as Ed had said. But tonight they would cherish each other and make love the love of their golden anniversary. With tears in her eyes, Laura kissed Carl deeply. As they locked together again in love’s embrace, Carl thought, Peanut. What a good old dog.
C’mon man, just a little bit longer, Harlan Stewart begged himself. You can do it, just hold on. Concentrate. Go blank. Think about something. Think about nothing. Think about baseball, about Barry Bonds creaming that pitch. Not yet. Not yet man. Every muscle in Harlan’s body ached at the strain and effort to continue. His well-defined back taut and tense, his knuckles whitening under the pressure until he could stand it no longer. Perfect. Pump now… yeah. He put all he had into his last thrust… yes! Exhausted and spent, Harlan collapsed back against the hard metal of the weight-stand as he replaced the extremely heavy bar back on its mooring. It was as hard a work-out as he had ever put himself through and now, admiring his physique in the health club mirror, he was quite pleased with the results.
Harlan moved with an economy of motion. Like a panther, he walked with a sexy prowl. He stood flexing at the mirror with smug satisfaction. He always enjoyed admiring his fine machine, and this was his favorite time right after he’d just finished his most strenuous reps, the blood still coursing and pumping its way through his bulging biceps, the sinewy muscles standing out like thick cords on his well-developed limbs. Underneath his tight, jet-black gym shorts, his cock ached with desire to match his pectorals, which stood rigidly at attention. Harlan slowly lifted his left hand to his mouth and tongued off some of the salty sweat. With his shoulder-length black hair, his coal-gray eyes and his perfect body, Harlan knew he made an attractive package. He was not ashamed to admit it either. It was like they said on the playground: It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.
When Harlan began his routine the following morning, he was troubled by a sight that was becoming all too familiar. Ever since the cold December night that Jenny had walked out on him, it had started to creep into his mind. When he would least expect it, there would suddenly appear a terrifying apparition. No matter how hard he tried, he could not rid himself of it that is, of them. The most frightening part was their appearance: hideous, winged, reptilian femmes fatales, floating in the air, taunting and mocking him ceaselessly. What sort of incredibly sick nightmare was he living through? Harlan knew that if he could not make the demons disappear, he at least had to banish them temporarily. And there was only one way that had proved successful so far.
Harlan was cheered by the timely arrival of his best friend Rick, a mountainous black man with a clean-shaven head and a large, golden hoop earring. “Okay man,” he announced, “I got another one for you, and she smokes.”
“Hmmm,” Harlan smiled. What Rick promised he usually could be counted on to deliver. “History of priors?” Harlan inquired.
“Man, what’s with you?” snapped Rick.
“Sorry. Once a cop, always a cop.”
Rick wagged his large, dark head slowly back and forth and said, “I mean, I ain’t never thought of you as the romantic type. Obviously.” Rick stretched out the last word for effect.
“Why Ricky, I’m shocked and hurt!” Harlan replied with mock surprise.
Rick just shook his head with disgust and began to describe his latest find to Harlan. Five-foot-seven, curvaceous build and curly brown hair. Just as Harlan had requested.
“And is her hair bobbed?”
“What?” said Rick a little distracted.
“Does she look like…” Harlan began impatiently.
“Oh yeah… yeah,” replied Rick, cutting his friend off, “She looks like Myrna Loy, whoever that is. I know she does, ’cause she fit your description, and when I asked her about it, she told me that her uncle said she was the spittin’ image. Oh, and as far as her priors go, you’ll like this one: she’s been with a mess of guys, including that big dude who teaches that aerobics shit, and the word is she ain’t found a one she wanted a curtain call with.”
Harlan grinned broadly. “Well done,” he said, clapping a sweaty paw across Rick’s shirtless, ebony torso.
Rick looked down at the floor for a moment, attempting to summon up some courage and collect his thoughts for the argument he was about to undertake. “You know, man…you been going out with an awful lot of women lately. Real pretty ones at that. And they been most of ‘em nice women too well, except for that redhead from Chicago. But she don’t count none. Hey, you never did tell me what the deal was with her anyhow. You just said she was mighty strange.”
“That ain’t the half of it,” Harlan replied, grimacing at the memory of that most peculiar encounter. “First of all, she must have been some kinda game show freak or something because she always how do they put it on Jeopardy? phrased everything n the form of a question. So while unzipping my pants, she’s, like, ‘And what’s behind door number one?’ And at one point after some nice deep kissing, I was trying to get it up which was kinda hard on account of her being so strange and all she looks at my half-erect cock, turns to the bed and says, “Judges, can we get a ruling?”
“Get the fuck out of here!” Rick yelled.
Harlan raised his right hand. “Swear to God.” And then, dropping his voice to a confessional whisper, he continued. “So I just couldn’t…do it, you know? Hot as she was. She was hot, am I right?”
Rick gave an acknowledging thumbs up.
“I was too freaked. So here’s the topper. She, realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to satisfy her, looks at my johnson hanging there, turns to the side of the bed and says, “What do we have for our runners-up, Johnny?”
Rick burst out laughing. ‘Wow. That is some pretty crazy shit. Why do you do it, man? Why keep this up? I mean. I know you’re still upset about Jenny and all…” Rick’s deep baritone trailed off. He looked up slowly, expecting an angry outburst from his friend. None was forthcoming. Instead, Harlan looked forlorn as he attempted to explain something he did not want to have to explain to anybody. Rick was the only person Harlan would have even bothered with. He deserved that much.
“I’m still upset about Jenny dumping me the way she did. I’m doing my best to forget her, or at least get over her. For some reason, I don’t know why, making love to these women makes me feel better. It relaxes my mind. I guess most guys, if they cared that much about a woman, their fantasy would be a woman who looked exactly the same. For some reason, the idea of making love to Jenny’s favorite actress and all does it for me. When I see that famous face screaming with pleasure, I can finally rest. I know it’s totally fucked up. Maybe some intense psychotherapy could explain it, but the truth is, I don’t really care why. As long as it works.” Rick looked perplexed. “I don’t expect you to understand, pal,” Harlan said. “Just to accept it.” Rick stuck out his hand in reply.
As Harlan walked up the vacant stairwell to the third-floor apartment of Rick’s latest friend, he reflected on their earlier discussion. Was he being unfair? Was he treating these women poorly? He certainly hadn’t received any complaints during his continuing nocturnal exploits. Quite the contrary: He had drawn rave reviews. If he’d thought to videotape the proceedings, he probably would be right up there with Dominique Wilkins, “the human highlight film”. Or, at the very least, Rob Lowe.
The reason that Harlan was driving himself so hard in the gym during the day, was to be in peak shape at night. It was necessary to give these women the fuck of their lives. If he didn’t, the fantasy was not complete. And he had to be true to his dreams as well as safe from his nightmares. Harlan found it ironic that, with his body at its strongest, it was his mind that was betraying him. Was it cruel to use these women for one-night stands just to ease his mental state? After all, it wasn’t their fault that Jenny’s departure had wreaked havoc on his delicate psyche. Harlan had thought long and hard on this point, and decided that, although they were not to blame, if their orgasms obliterated his demons, he could not afford to worry about hurt feelings especially when that was the last they’d see of him anyway. That was one of the reasons that he insisted on sexually experienced and demanding women. He wanted a challenge, and he wanted a woman who knew what they were both doing. No cheap targets for Harlan.
Harlan knocked on the front door, clutching the flowers in his right hand and patting the cock ring in his left pocket. When the door opened, Harlan had to stop to catch his breath. This did not go unnoticed by his date as she admired Harlan while accepting the beautiful bouquet. “Well, well, so chivalry isn’t dead after all. Come on in and make yourself comfortable, slick.” Harlan smiled as he stepped through the doorway. He could tell he was in for a pleasant evening.
Harlan did not usually care for what he referred to as the pre-game meal, but tonight he found the moo shi chicken and idle chat strangely soothing. He was amused by her witty repartee. He thought again about his earlier discussion with Rick and wondered if it might be time to settle down after all. He quickly discarded the notion when he remembered that he had felt that way on previous occasions. As soon as he came however, the warm contented glow vanished. By the time they got to the fortune cookies, Harlan’s date had already slipped into a crimson silk kimono that clung to her shapely body like gossamer. Harlan felt his temperature rising like a helium balloon as he sensed post time approaching. Harlan had never been with as close to a match as this one. He looked into her emerald green eyes and found smoldering embers on the verge of ignition. Neither one of them was quite ready to make the first move. They circled each other warily, like jungle cats. Harlan glided forward and swept his lookalike Loy into his powerful arms, lightly caressing her tender cheek as he did so. His eyes took in the fullness of her magnificent firm breasts as her robe fell carelessly open while she dangled helplessly in his viselike grip. Her sensual lips nuzzled slowly up his neck before coming to rest on his mouth. As they passionately kissed, their embrace grew stronger, until their tongues attacked one another with savage fury, probing for any hidden weakness. She swung a loose arm down to flip on the stereo, and the pair tangoed and tussled their way into the bedroom to the sound of Bryan Ferry’s “Slave to Love”.
Harlan tossed her unceremoniously onto the plush maroon comforter that covered her elegant four-poster bed. He quickly discarded his gray fisherman sweater, then slowly peeled off his tight blue T-shirt. Harlan slowly climbed up onto the bed and on top of his conquest. “Isn’t your dark-skinned friend going to join us?” she asked playfully, while allowing her long thin fingers to trip casually down the ripples of Harlan’s washboard stomach. Harlan took her ribbing in stride while he gracefully untied and removed her attire. She writhed there, sensually clad in only a pair of lace panties, her perfect ivory-white breasts swaying softly to the music. He quickly kicked off his blue jeans and snakeskin boots and she grasped his firm buttocks with a surprisingly powerful grip. Moments later their underwear had joined the rest of their clothing in a littered heap on the floor. Harlan rose up above her, as if doing a two-finger push-up, and let her gaze on his magnificent cock, springing magically to life. She removed her hands from his buttocks so they could toy playfully with her own breasts, letting the sharp nails dig in just enough. She then firmly grasped his cock with both hands and ran her tongue deliciously along its underside before suddenly devouring it. Harlan felt the vacuum pressure of her sensuous and skillful lips tugging at him, and it was all he could do not to explode on the spot. She saw struggle in his eyes, and slowly let his cock slide back down out of her mouth. His ice-gray eyes locked powerfully onto hers so that he could watch her rapt expression as he very slowly but firmly parted her creamy white thighs and slipped inside. She gasped and quickly swung her hands around and let them dig deeply into his muscular back. Harlan smiled at the familiar feeling and, removing himself from her for a moment, slipped on the cock ring to prolong the ecstasy and help his member to dance inside her. She rocked back and forth, squirming with delight. The thrill they were both experiencing would have been quite obvious to any voyeur lucky enough to be watching. They continued to pleasure each other this way for a while longer, slowly building up to a feverish pitch. Their bodies sizzled with frenzied abandon. Harlan then, in one quick motion, flipped her over. She sat up astride him and began to viciously hurl herself up and down like a carousel horse gone amok, vigorously impaling herself upon his fully erect penis. The tight brown curls of her hair banged wildly against her forehead and she seemed on the verge of tears. She was no longer the cool, calm and collected hostess who had first greeted him. Until now, even while deftly exchanging verbal and physical thrusts, she had remained in character. She could contain herself no longer the veneer of civilization had been stripped clean. She’d gone native.
When Harlan arrived at the health club the next day to recount the evening’s activities with Rick, he was a full two hours later than usual. For a man who kept to a strict schedule this spoke volumes. Rick was giving the heavy bag a memorable beating as Harlan slowly walked up to join him.
Rick noticed the unusual lag in Harlan’s gait and smiled broadly. “Long night, man?”
“Brother, you don’t know the half of it.” Harlan responded wearily. He quickly filled his friend in on the previous night’s happenings.
“Did you really give some thought to what I said about settling down?” Rick asked, surprised.
“More than you know Ricky,” Harlan answered, grabbing the bag as his giant companion slammed powerful body shots into it. “But it was just like before, as soon as I came I was looking for the bullet train out of there. And it had nothing to do with her, she was awful sweet.”
“Well I guess a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. But I got to tell you, I am getting tired of playing Tonto to your Lone Ranger stud express. I mean, I know I owe you and all, but…”
“Hey,” Harlan put up a hand to wave him off as he answered, “I understand, no problemo. I think I’m starting to feel better anyway. I think I’m finally starting to conquer those demons. It’s just that the last ones left are the strongest.” As Harlan explained, he sensed the warning signals of an oncoming attack. “Do me a favor. Just stick it out a little longer until they’re all gone. That way I’ll never have to worry again.”
Rick looked at Harlan as if hearing him for the first time. “Sure, man. Sure.”
Harlan and Rick’s life went on as before for the next two months. Harlan’s nightllfe continued, though he did scale his escapades back to no more that a weekly venture. He still had not achieved the Jenny-less oblivion he craved, and although he had slowed his pace his need for the fantasy was stronger than ever. He could barely look at a woman, no matter how attractive, unless she was made up like a movie star. Harlan was in a poor frame of mind, reflecting on his sorry state, when Rick approached him for a favor.
“Hey, man, everything okay? You look pretty down.” Rick asked.
“Yeah. You know, the usual. Let’s do some dips and pulls.” The pair grabbed the high metal bars and began their competition. A river of sweat was soon pouring down both men’s backs and their bodies glistened.
“Listen, I gotta ask you a favor.” Rick said, using grunts for punctuation.
“Sure, what’s up?” Harlan inquired with a responding grunt.
“There’s this woman see…” Harlan smiled. Rick quickly cut him off. “No, no. It’s not like that. She’s a friend of mine. Or a friend of my sister’s anyway. She’s real shy, I don’t know if she’s ever been with a man before.”
“Oh, Christ. I am not in the habit of doing charity fucks.”
“No, man, you don’t have to make love to her. Just take her out a couple of times. I’d do it myself but I think you’re more her type.”
“Make love? She really is a friend. What’s she look like?”
“Well she couldn’t run with the breed you’re used to, if that what’s you’re asking. She’s kinda plain. Mousy I guess you might even say. Kinda tangled brown hair, glasses.”
“All right. Have her put her hair up in a bun and tell her to wear the glasses. It’ll give her that classic look of the librarian spinster who is really a sexual dynamo. Any fantasy in a pinch. And don’t worry. That’s just to get through the dates, I’m not going to try to make her.”
When Harlan got a good look at Allison the following evening, he realized that Rick had not exaggerated. She was not particularly attractive, although the look that Harlan had suggested helped. Harlan reminded himself to be kind this was a favor to his best friend, after all. Harlan was on his best behavior, and they had an enjoyable evening together: Italian food, followed by the new Scorsese movie. The next few nights were similar to the first, and a funny thing started happening to Harlan. He was stunned, but there was no denying what he was beginning to feel for Allison. He had barely even registered dinner during his many dates over the past months. After spending all his time with stand-ins for Kathleen Turner, Jessica Lange and Myrna Loy, he had totally forgotten what a normal evening with a woman was like. It had taken a woman that Harlan had no interest in conquering to make him remember what love was all about. He felt like a giant weight had been removed from his shoulders. Harlan began to spend every moment with Allison. He stopped exercising so fanatically and started to enjoy life once again. And when Harlan and Allison finally did make love, he had her take off her glasses and let her hair down first. As her pretty brown hair tumbled to her shoulders, and her pretty sundress tumbled to the floor, Harlan Stewart saw the last of his demons disappear.
Even today, with the modern world seeping in from all sides, there are corners of Ireland where they tell the old stories in the old way. The odd old fellow survives here and there who learned them aloud from another such talker when he was himself a boy, and who remembers them even if he remembers little else. He has told them a thousand times, watching the faces of his listeners day in and year out for the eyes of another talker, of one who will remember stories and tell them when he is gone. They have been around, some of these stories, since before St. Patrick crossed the Irish Sea, although coming across so many tongues has twisted some of them so that the man who made them would never recognize his own offspring
I had the good luck to hear a few of the old tales not too long ago, after a good, long tramp down a winding dirt road about halfway out the peninsula to Dingle, and one in particular I want to tell. I was trying to forget a young woman, a beauty of Kildare with skin…well, with skin I won’t even try to describe. She sent me away, and I went, and so I was walking, and so I heard this story. You may wonder that I should bother to write it down. Padraic Colum and Maire MacNeill, and in the seventy years since them a dozen others, have wandered all around the island and collected the folk and fairy tales and reduced them to print. Joseph Campbell has boiled all the character out of them and mounted their bones. Yeats romanticized them, Jung analyzed them, they are as familiar as nursery rhymes. Why was I so startled by this particular story, then, so very like the hundreds of others I have read, that we all have read, over the years?
The writers who gave us the stories were all very well, each in his own way but a “civilized” tendency to leave certain things out what we call, for some unknown reason, a “natural” modesty , caused them one and all to leave out certain parts of the stories they heard. They censored the most beautiful and meaningful tales of our literature. They betrayed the trusting old men who thrust the stories into their hands and went to their graves satisfied that the words of their ancestors were safe.
The day was cold and rainy, which is no great surprise at any time of the year in that part of the world. I admit I am not overly fond of the smell of a peat fire myself, but it certainly does smell good when you’ve walked seven or eight miles in wet boots, and I turned in at the smell and knocked. I entered the home of a Mr. Connor Healey and found about a dozen people gathered there, which surprised me, as we were a good, long walk from the last small town. They were all gathered in the big room of the house, either near or not near the fire according to age and other marks of rank. Only Mr. Healey and his wife were seated, although there were other chairs. He didn’t rise, but greeted me warmly.
“Good evening, my friend.”
“Good evening, Citizen.” There was a loud laugh at this, and a whisper “He thinks he’s in a public house. Imagine Copoor Healey charging for a drink” and someone put a pint of stout in my hand. Mr. Healey nodded, finished with me and turned to the group. All leaned forward. It was clear to me that I had been lucky in my timing, that the old fellow was just about to begin a story, and I vowed to concentrate and remember it, no matter how boring it was, or how like the thousand others I had heard. I needn’t have worried.
“What is the story of Mack O’Ree?” he began. “It is soon told. Now it must be said before I begin that I have told this story before, and some of you have heard it, and one or two of you have said it is a fine story. And it is a story that concerns the Good People, and you may as well know that it has gained some favor among them. And when one of them heard me say to the missus I might be telling it, there was something of a rushing and a scrambling among them to be here, and we are blessed with quite a rash of them scattered about the room.
“I say this for fear that someone might laugh or say a slighting thing without thinking, for as you know the sidhe he pronounced it “she” , although the finest folk you could meet in a long day, are quick to anger. It would be a shame to spoil a fine evening over a small thing. I know that most of you don’t see our fey guests. It is a hard thing to do, and some never get the trick of it at all, but they are here about us, sure as steel. You needn’t be shy about sitting down, though. They think it is the greatest joke of the world to sit in the same chair with you and you not know it.” He clapped his hands.
“Mack O’Ree, as I say, went out one night, and a fine night it was, with the stars shining as bright as brass and the moon as big as an unmilked cow, and he had been at the whiskey. For hadn’t his friend Barney Rune up and died of nothing at all, and he only a lad of forty, and Mack two years older. So wasn’t our Mack brooding and bitter and sorry to be alive, and who would blame him if he ignored the full moon and decided to walk home through the fairy wood instead of the long way round? Sure he didn’t mean to disturb anyone, he only wanted the darkest way home, for it suited his thoughts.
“He was, then, as far from both towns as he could be, and in the heart of the wood, when he was surprised to hear a high and lonely pipe skirling away at a mournful tune. He stood where he was and listened. It seemed to him that whoever the piper was had just caught his own mood, for the music floated by with such a self-satisfied, melancholy air that it drew up the tears that had all that day been drowning his heart, until they ran out his eyes by the bucketful. He may have stood as much as an hour, weeping and shaking there in the dark, but at last he gave a great sigh and shook himself all over and went to find the unknown piper.
“He went first this way and then that, but every time he thought he was almost on the place where the music came from, it moved again. The tune had changed as he approached, becoming fast and gay, and it no longer suited his bitter mood. And so he decided to give it up and make his way home while he could still get a decent hour of rest before he had to go out in the fields. But he was a long way from the road, and turned about so much that he couldn’t find it out at all, and the more he tried to convince himself that he was going away from the unknown piper and toward his own house, the more he failed to believe himself. And if that was not enough for a tired and grieving man, it began to seem as if the piper were following him! The more he tried to get away from the cheerful music, the closer it came.
“He began to look about for a clearing, where he could get his direction from the moon so that he wouldn’t be stumbling around in circles until day. He could see a lighted spot ahead, and he began to make toward it, and it was then that he heard a drum along with the pipe. And then a flute called out with the other two, and Mack O’Ree began to curse, for it finally broke on him like the sun after four days rain that those who were playing were the sidhe the Good People of the forest.
“And I say the Good People, you know, where an ignorant man would say the “little people,” for the shape and size of a fairy when he steps in front of a mortal person are his to choose. They may be big or little, and they may be beautiful or not, just as they like, as we shall soon see. But Mack O’Ree began to curse, as I told you, because he knew that he would never find his way out of the wood now without the help of these same magical musicians, and he knew them to have a reputation for leading a man about, here and there, for most or all of a night, just for the devil in it.
“He cursed with an energy, and soon began to sweat, and whatever whiskey hadn’t been wept out at his eyes he now sweated out of his pores, so that in a short time he stood soggy and sober in his funeral suit in the middle of the dark wood, and he began to think, What have I done? The sidhe don’t like to be cursed any more than the rest of us do, and he began to fear that he had been rash. He was, as well, a kindly man, and had meant no harm. He was only afraid that his farm would suffer if he wasn’t home soon to care for it. And so, as hard as he had cursed, he began to apologize to the unseen musicians and beg their pardon. He explained his case, and hoped they would understand and forgive and let him be about his way.
“All the time that he pleaded with the trees, the ranks of musicians had been swelling, and now there were fifteen or twenty all playing away, and playing very well indeed. The music would swell and roll like a spring stream, and then die away to a sigh. It would soar with majesty, and then tear your heart from your chest with a scratchy, homely air. The fiddles joined in at last, and Mack knew he was a gone man, for the fiddle had always undone him. He began again to walk toward the sound, and this time it didn’t retreat before him but let him approach, until he could see the bloody glow of a great bonfire reflected down from the branches of the trees ahead. This cheered him, for he thought that, at the worst, he could dry his funeral suit at their fire, and perhaps they would forgive him his trespass and take him to the edge of the wood.
“He had heard a great deal about the Good People, as we all have, but of course none of us knows what to believe until we see for ourselves, and so he had a kind of thirst for the sight by the time he approached the clearing where the immortal musicians played. None of the stories he had heard had made him ready for what he saw. There were the musicians, dressed in red and green and brown and gold, and aside from the curious cut of their clothes, they looked like the old fellows you might see sawing away at a mortal feast. He was surprised that they seemed as tall as himself, but it was not on them that his eyes rested.
“There was a circle of dancers, as many as a hundred of them, crossing each other, now holding hands and now not, passing in and out of the circle, their feet in double-time to the music even though the music was racing by at a furious clip, and all of them completely naked.
“Mack O’Ree watched as a tall young man, with hair to the middle of his back, dove over the joined hands of two other dancers instead of rushing between them, flipped once in the air and landed on his feet fifteen feet away, in the arms of a beautiful girl. The two spun round and round so fast you couldn’t see their feet move, so fast that they finally rose right off the ground and became a whirl that disappeared in the treetops.
“Another strapping fellow with dark hair hanging from his chest and his crotch, his long, white pecker nesting on his thigh like a king at rest, appeared before the fire.”
I have to admit I was a little surprised at the turn the story had taken, and I gazed around the room to see if anyone else was startled. All eyes were on the storyteller, and his listeners leaned forward in their chairs, but none looked surprised or embarrassed. The good man’s wife sat back in her rocker with a placid expression, her hand resting on his on the arm of his chair. He continued.
“As Mack watched, this great, broad fellow seized his pecker in his hand, gave it a pair of whacks, and it stood up as straight as you please and as long as you like. Then he leapt straight in the air about ten feet, came down with a whoop and ran straight at the fire. At the last moment he made a mad dive and flew straight through the flames. Mack couldn’t see him land on the other side, and so didn’t know if he had come down unharmed. But he heard a great shouting from that side and, in a moment or two, the fellow came running around the fire, all his raven hair unsinged, but the end of his prick, still hard as Latin grammar, all afire! He screamed and shouted and begged for help, and at last one beautiful lass bent forward and he drove himself to the roots inside her. There was a hissing and steaming then, and all the other dancers left off just long enough to laugh, and then they took it up again with more fury than ever.
“Mack was standing with his mouth agape, watching this, when he felt a tug at his waist. He looked down to see a delicate hand reaching around him from behind and pulling at his belt, and he heard a whisper. ‘Whatever happens, you must not turn around, Mack O’Ree. It was I asked the musicians to bring you here tonight. It’s no harm I mean you, and a great deal of good, and I ask you only not to look at me.’ A great many thoughts were in the mind of Mack O’Ree at that moment, and they whirled as fast as the dancers before him. The men were in the middle of the circle now, dancing with their feet in the fire itself to impress the women, and the women had joined their hands to dance with their backs to the men, pretending to ignore their moves of antic desperation.
“The women were tall and short, they had red hair and blonde and black, and yet Mack O’Ree thought he had never seen such beautiful women before in all his life. If he’d had to say what it was about any one of them, he couldn’t. When he tried to look at any one woman, she moved too fast for him to fix in his mind her face or her hip or the bend of her arm, and yet she was unbearably lovely, more lovely than any he had ever seen. And then, where she went he could never quite see, but she would seem to vanish when she was closest to him and he would see her hair tossing in a far corner, and he was sure it was she, though he didn’t know how. At the same time, there was a new beauty before him, one with eyes that…a round little stomach that somehow…He could see a glimpse of the line from the top of her legs to the small of her back, and it was curved in a way that just but no, she was gone…yet look at the woman before him now!
“The circle of the women was expanding, as they found it harder to make the men believe they were being ignored. This brought them closer to Mack O’Ree, and he saw them more and more nearly but no more clearly.
Their feet didn’t seem to move the leaves that they moved on, and their naked skin stayed pale in the moon, instead of running with the sweat that Mack would have expected to see. Looking for it he noticed, though, that every one of the comely dancers was wet to the knees with the spunk that ran freely from the large and little cunnies at the cleft of their dancing legs. Even as he noticed this, he felt the hand at his waist succeed in tugging open his trousers, and he felt them fall to the ground. His linen was right behind, and the little hand seized his pecker just as he felt a long, long tongue begin to travel from his waist to his arse, and back.
“The men were more and more extravagant in their efforts to make the women look. They leapt over each other and waved their pricks, all now standing and yearning toward the women. One fellow stood with his feet apart, and bent himself almost in two to put his own mouth on the knob of his joint and tease it to even greater proportions. This had the women glancing coyly over their shoulders to watch, and one in particular, with red hair in waves that seemed longer than she was and yet never seemed to brush the ground for she danced so hard, broke ranks with her sisters and ran toward him. Before she arrived, though, another of the swains, jealous of the attention the first fellow was receiving, and taking advantage of his sensitive position, kicked him full in the ass with his naked foot. He was so startled that he jumped right over the redheaded girl, and she ended up in the embrace of the second man. She showed neither surprise nor sorrow at the change of events, instead climbing up to his neck and then sliding down his chest until he lodged in her womb, and the two of them danced on, and Mack was certain at last that her feet didn’t touch the ground.
“The cries of the redheaded beauty seemed to blend with the music and, as impossible as it seemed, it reached a new pitch of insistent wildness, the pipes and fiddles careening about a wicker-work cage of synchronized drums as if looking for a way out, the flutes dashing here and there insisting they all keep peace. And somewhere was another sound that Mack O’Ree was never able to place, then or forever after, but he felt it must be what the angels sound like, though it was ever so soft and far away that night.
“Near at hand, the thing had gone to pieces. Once the redheaded girl had broken ranks, the sisterhood was shattered and the women ran to embrace the men. Mack himself was sorely distracted, for the hand at his waist had drawn his own pecker out till it stood in the moonlight as tense as a hungry dog. And all the while, that long, long tongue was still slipping up and down the cheeks in back.
“Now it may be that it only seemed so, but Mack O’Ree will swear to you that his pecker grew another inch. The tongue spun around and around on his flesh, and his knees grew weak and knocked together, and Mack sighed so loudly he thought the whole shebang would come to a stop and see him there. But the music rolled on and the dancers were all engaged.
“The tongue thrust at him again, and this time he was sure of it: his pecker swelled out to a size it had never been, and the hand that ran up and down its length as if it was polishing a lamp could barely cover the head. Mack watched in amazement the couplings that writhed and changed on the ground before him, as if the dance had never stopped. Thighs slid against thighs at every angle you could imagine. Thighs on top squeezed thighs below, thighs below beat against the air like eagle’s wings, thighs twined together in ways that seemed impossible, for sure there were more than two thighs on that trunk and only one on this, but he couldn’t tell for certain as his eyes ran round so fast.
“And here was this great, stout fellow with a tongue on his arse, and yet it wasn’t, it was a girl, and yet maybe the girl was on top, but then what was she doing to be on him from behind so? And here was a young woman dancing, but where her breasts ought to be, a pair of floppy peckers danced on her chest, and what was one to think of that? It was the firelight and the fierce music made it so hard to tell what was truly happening. The figures were all as red as clay. They might have been part of the fire themselves.
“One maiden lay on the ground with her thighs apart as if pressed by a heavy young man, and she bucked and heaved like a mare, and panted and gasped at the sport. Her arms were held before her as if she clutched his barrel chest, but there was no one to be seen above her. Her cunny was facing toward Mack O’Ree, and it stood wide open as though filled by a great, thick prick. As he watched, the lips slid shut with a smack, and he felt a cool breeze on himself, and it seemed that his pecker was wet somehow. It tickled the back of his throat. His prick stood out a yard long, as it seemed, and when he looked at it, it shone like butter in the firelight. The little hand no longer clutched it. It must have grown too big, he thought somewhere in the untouched remnant of his brain. And then his eyes fell into the green pool of the eyes of the woman on the ground before him, and he felt his huge prick begin to disappear in her deep, wet cunny.
“He was very weak in the knees, and they bent. He never took a step toward her, but he saw her lips and her hips swell as though taking the mighty size of him and swallowing it whole, and he felt himself sinking inside her. In and in, as though there was no end to what he could give her or what she could take from him. And then out and out, but as he came out of her he felt her press against him, and as much as he drew out of her, so much she thrust against him. And so they passed back and forth, for how long he never knew. The tongue of the fairy at his back snaked round him, curling long and thin and slippery onto every inch of him till he thought he must go mad, and then he would roll back into the girl before him, and the tongue would touch near his hole, and then he would lurch forward again. Through it all, his pecker continued to grow like a great balloon until it stood before his eyes. He lost sight for a moment of the green depths of his distant lover, and he finally pushed his swollen phallus aside to see her.
“The moment he touched it his prick exploded in a foaming white fountain that arched above his head, above the head of his beloved, above the dancers, and mingled in a single, moving circle on the ground and fell in a torrent on the bonfire. As it fell, the musicians stopped short with a sound like a shriek, the lovers on the ground became still, the forest held its breath, the fire froze in the air. Mack O’Ree was the only thing that moved, that groaned, that screamed in frenzy, that shrank from the size of a giant to his normal self, that whimpered, that sighed, that wept, that finally stood still.
“When Mack at last was still, the fairy dancers and musicians, one by one and without a sound, turned toward the fire, which had again begun to burn. One by one they walked into the center of it. As each one joined the fire, he or she, if those are the words, rose up in a tongue of flame that disappeared above the branches. And as each spark rose up the fire was diminished, so that when the green-eyed, red-haired beauty, last of all, turned away from Mack O’Ree, her hair just brushing the ground and hiding the curve of her cheeks from everything but his memory, when she last of all stepped up to the glow, it was but a single coal in the middle of the moonlit clearing. She trod upon it as light as noon, and rose up over the trees without looking back.
“It was then that Mack O’Ree felt a very strange thing. That endless tongue was wrapped around him, but he felt it now unwinding, and slipping down and down and off of where it had been. And there he stood in the middle of the wood, alone and cold with his trousers around his feet. As he picked them up and fastened his belt, he heard a twig break behind him and he knew that one of the dancers hadn’t left: the owner of the prodigiously long, thin tongue. He was seized with a fit to know what the fairy looked like, and he spun suddenly round.
“Before him stood a short, dried-up old crone leaning on a stout stick. She looked into his eyes for a moment, then looked away again. ‘I asked but the one thing of you, Mack O’Ree, that you not look at me, and what did you do? And now, what do you see?’ ‘A bent old woman,’ he replied. ‘What do you see, Mack O’Ree?’ ‘A witch, a horror,’ he answered. ‘You make me ashamed.’ ‘Look again, Mack O’Ree, and look well. What do you see?’ He gazed with all his strength into the eyes of the ancient face, and he saw that they were green. They were green, and they were deep, and they penetrated his soul. She reached up behind her and pulled the pin that held her thin white hair on the top of her head, and it fell to the ground behind her, longer, it seemed, than her body, but barely brushing the leaves.
“She walked him to the edge of the wood, and the sun rose before them, and he knew the way to his farm, and he walked that way. And he slept that day and did no work. He rose again the next morning, and he worked as hard as ever a man may, and so he went on for many days, but he never again set foot in the wood between Lachen and Inishdare.”
His eyes had been glowing, and he had been looking straight in front of him as if in a trance, but now he paused at last and looked around at his listeners, one and all.
“And if I tell a word of a lie, may I never touch bread again. You see those of you who can see the Good People themselves are pleased that I have told the story true, for don’t they bless the house and the Missus before they leave? Bless you, too, true hearts all, and remember me in your dancing when the full moon comes.
He watched the door intently, until the last of his invisible guests had departed. The rest of us left one by one to our own houses and our own lives. I myself went back to Kildare, and I am glad that I did. And I think that if Mack O’Ree had gone back to the wood, he might not have met a withered old woman, for the obvious moral is not always the right one.
About thirty seconds after the young brunette in the pale yellow T-shirt jumped off the crowded bus, Frank knew she had picked his pocket. The bus was packed as tightly as any bus in Rio de Janeiro could be on a mild summer afternoon. He squeezed through the forest of limbs and pounded the buzzer over the back door, but the bus had already sped two more blocks through the crowded streets of Ipanema. By the time it lurched to a stop, he knew he would never see his wallet or the pickpocket again.
It wasn’t until he tapped into his memory for a description of the thief that he realized just how cleanly he’d been taken. He remembered vividly the tight T-shirt that clung to her rounded breasts, the hard nipples straining to escape through the thin fabric, the tan and sandy legs beneath blue cutoffs. But her face was a blank. She’d known that in that outfit, no man on the bus would’ve been studying her face. She was slick, bold and sexy, like everything else in Rio.
And what would he tell the police if he decided to report the theft? That he never saw her face, but he did feel her full, round breasts slide across his back as she passed behind him? He remembered her hands, strong and slim, briefly caressing his waist, and her bare stomach rubbing against his backside as she headed for the rear of the bus. Yes, he had a vivid picture of her tan thighs and ass-cheeks as she hopped out the back door. But no face.
His favorite bar, a dark watering hole on a nearby side street, was nearly empty when he entered.
“You can’t be too careful in Rio,” the bartender said after hearing his story. “Have a drink on the house.” He put a frosted mug of dark beer on the bar.
“You’re not going to make a police report?” a soft voice behind him asked.
He turned to see long, brown hair pouring like water over sculpted shoulders. Clear, intelligent eyes peered up at his. For a second he was too startled by the sheer loveliness of this woman to speak.
“Why bother?” he asked, regaining his voice. “All I lost was fifty dollars and my driver’s license. My passport and traveler’s checks are in the hotel safe.”
He gestured to a booth against a wall, and she headed toward it. She moved like a dancer, he thought, with a carefree, wild beauty. A thin dress of dark green silk clung to her slender hips.
“You didn’t feel anything?” she asked, sliding into the seat opposite him.
“She must have been pretty good.”
“She didn’t have to be,” he told her. “Not like the pocket artists on the street. The bus is always packed like a banana boat. You get a group massage with every trip. She just took advantage of the sensory overload.”
“Sounds like fun,” the young woman replied.
“It can be. Depends on who you rub elbows with.”
“Just elbows?” She grinned, her eyes bright with merriment. Frank felt a tinge of embarrassment and returned her smile. There was a definite gleam of interest in her eyes, a faintly eager look he’d seen before.
“Are you a native?” Frank asked. She nodded.
“Your English is perfect.”
“St. Loyola High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was an exchange student.”
“What are you drinking?” Frank asked.
“I thought you didn’t have any money,” she said.
“I run a tab here, It makes it easier for them to overcharge me.”
“I like Margaritas.”
Her name was Andrea. They spent two more hours talking and drinking. During the conversation, Frank touched her arm gently, more than once, and she finally responded by stroking his arm sensuously in return. When they touched hands, he marveled at the smoothness of her skin and the hard muscles beneath her fingers.
“It’s late,” Frank said. “Do you live near here?”
She withdrew her hand quickly. “Maybe,” she said.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”
“I didn’t come here for that.” She spoke in a broken whisper, a sort of shocked innocence that Frank thought sounded fake.
“I never thought you did. Look, can I walk you home?”
She looked into his eyes with the same expression of innocence. If it was contrived, Frank thought, she was doing a damned good job.
“I like you,” she said. “And for some reason I trust you. I guess it’s your smile. We can take a cab. It’s not far.” She stood up.
Her sudden change of attitude didn’t surprise him. He guessed that beneath all the softness lurked a woman who knew how to deal with Rio.
“I don’t have cab fare,” he said.
“I do,” Andrea said, thrusting a folded bill into his hand. “You can pay me back next time.”
Frank smiled. She seemed quite sure of herself.
In the cab, she squeezed her body against his and laced her fingers through his thick hair. The soft contours of her body molded to his hard curves, and he could feel her breath against his cheek.
“So how do you like Rio?” she asked.
“It’s a city of contradictions. I mean, strangers are open and friendly. They’ll do anything for you. But when you get to know someone well, they become distant.”
“Sounds like you’ve lived here a long time, not just a month. And me?” she continued. “Am I an enigma?”
“Especially you. Your body is saying ‘Make love to me,’ but your conversation is holding me at arm’s length.”
“Maybe I’m not what you think.”
She leaned her head against his, and her long hair brushed his lips. It was soft and smelled faintly of some exotic fruit.
The green silk dress, cut low in front, had pulled away from her body, revealing the fullness of her breasts and the dark swelling of two erect nipples. Frank’s heart raced, and any trace of uncertainty vanished. At that moment, he knew he had to have her.
“The cab driver cheated you,” she said, hiking up her dress and racing up the steps in front of him. She pulled the green silk higher with each step. Looking up, Frank felt his stomach flip. She wore no underwear.
“I expected it. Everyone down here cheats.”
She fished a key from her purse. “You’re a guest in my country. That’s not a nice thing to say.”
“But it’s true. You know, I’m beginning to think that pickpocket on the bus was the most honest person in Rio.”
She stopped abruptly and stared into his face, her eyes wide. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, everyone in Rio has their hand in my pocket. But the thief on the bus was the only one who was totally up-front about it.”
He expected either laughter or a sarcastic retort. What he got instead was a look of sheer disbelief. Then Andrea’s eyes brimmed over with tenderness and she kissed him. As the door opened, she stepped backward into her apartment.
“Please say you’ll see me again.”
The door closed softly.
The next day, Frank met his account manager, Jack Graves, at the bar.
“I spoke to Chicago this morning,” Jack said, loosening his tie. He placed an empty beer mug on the table in front of him. “They want to know if you’d be interested in staying on another month, and taking a shot at Brazil-Tech. Go for it, Frank. Hell, you speak Spanish like a native.”
“Whatever. Frank, if you brought in that account from Brazil-Tech, you could write your own ticket.”
Frank wasn’t thinking about Brazil-Tech. He was thinking about Andrea.
“That’s a pretty big if. We’ve been after Brazil-Tech for years.”
“You don’t have to decide this minute. Sleep on it. If you really want to go back to Chicago, meet me at the airport tomorrow morning. Flight leaves at seven o’clock.”
“I’ll start packing.”
“I can’t believe you’d turn down another month in Rio, Frank. I’ve never seen so many beautiful, willing women in my life.”
“And I’ve never seen so much poverty. I think I’m doing really well with a woman, and when the talk gets around to sex, she asks for money. If they’re not prostitutes, they’re gold diggers.”
“What difference does it make? On any given day you can have all the women you can handle.”
“Just once, I want a woman to screw me for me, not my money.”
“Forget it, Frank. Just enjoy yourself. But remember the golden rule: Don’t trust anyone.”
Frank finished his beer. Jack had wrapped one arm around the leg of a young woman who came up quietly behind him.
“Hello, Maria,” he said.
“Veronica,” she replied.
“Whatever.” He openly fondled her thigh through the slit in her skirt. A moment later they were leaving the bar together. Frank sighed. Then he spotted Andrea coming through the door and was doubly glad Jack was gone.
Andrea slid into the booth on Frank’s side. He could smell her hair and the clean fragrance of her skin as she pressed against him. She was more animated than ever. As she talked, Frank found an eager affection radiating from her. Then he told her he was going to leave Rio the next day.
Her expression changed. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
He wondered if she would stay with him now that there was no chance of financial gain. As far as he was concerned, if she excused herself and left now, he had lost nothing.
Her gaze was riveted on his face. “Let’s go back to your hotel,” she said.
“We can’t. I’m staying in one of those little family-owned hotels. I like them a lot, but they’re very religious, and I don’t want to ruin my relationship with them by sneaking you into my room.”
“But you’re leaving Rio anyway.”
“I want to stay with them again next year. What’s the matter with your place?”
“My ex-boyfriend is there. He won’t leave. I figure if I stay away for a few days, he’ll get tired of waiting.”
Her eyes brightened. “Listen, Frank. Tell them I’m your wife and I’ve just come from Europe or somewhere to fly back to Chicago with you. You said my English was perfect.”
An alarm went off somewhere deep inside Frank’s mind. He heard Jack saying, ‘Don’t trust anyone.’
He decided to ignore it.
They raced across the lobby of Frank’s small hotel, hurrying toward the stairs. A short, dark man with jet-black eyes stood behind the desk, his expression posing the obvious question. Frank stopped and introduced Andrea as his wife, as planned.
“Please wait,” the man said. “I’ll call Gloria.”
“Not now, Miguel,” Frank pleaded. “We’re sort of in a hurry.”
“I understand, se or,” Miguel said, flashing a smile that suggested he really did.
“Do you want to get your passport and cash from the safe?” Andrea asked.
“No,” Frank said. “I won’t need them until tomorrow morning.”
Frank’s room had been neatly cleaned, and the bed was covered with a multi-colored quilt. Andrea sat on the bed, gazing at Frank with a mixed expression of admiration and desire. Frank sat next to her. She pulled him closer and kissed him urgently
“Wait,” Frank said. “I want to know what changed your mind. You weren’t going to sleep with me. Is it because I’m leaving so soon?”
“No,” she said. “It’s because of what you said about the woman who picked your pocket on the bus, about her being the most honest person in Rio.”
By now Frank was used to her strange comments. He laughed softly, his hand unbuttoning her blouse. His fingers gently circled her nipples and she pressed her chest forward at the intimacy of his touch. When he took one nipple between his lips, it hardened quickly and a moan escaped her lips.
“How did you know the pickpocket was a woman?” he asked suddenly, pushing her skirt downward. She lifted her hips off the bed so he could slide it off.
“I heard you telling the bartender about it.”
“But I never told him it was a woman. I was kind of embarrassed about that part. Getting robbed by a woman, I mean.”
“I’m sure you mentioned it,” she said, removing his shirt. “How else would I know?”
“I guess I did.” He slid out of his pants.
Her lips teased his neck while she pushed his underpants off with one foot. His hands quickly caressed every curve of her naked body, and she matched the urgency of his touches with gentle caresses of her own. Her hand found his erect penis and massaged the length of it, producing a drop of fluid. When she rubbed it into the sensitive glans, he responded with a groan.
“You are very, very good with your hands,” he said.
“So are you.”
He rolled on top of her, pressing her soft flesh beneath his hard body. When he kissed her neck, she squirmed beneath him. He realized then that he was more excited by this woman than by any other he’d ever met. It wasn’t just her good looks or fabulous body. He was excited by who she was, and by everything in Rio she represented.
Suddenly he felt the tip of his penis slide over the wetness between her legs. At the same moment, Andrea moaned loudly. Before he realized she had even moved, her hand slipped expertly between his legs, grasping his swollen shaft. She slid the slippery knob back and forth over her clitoris, sending shivers of delight through his hardness, shivers that spread across the growing tightness in his groin and electrified his body.
She squeezed his pulsing organ tighter with each stroke and rotated her pelvis back and forth. Surrendering completely to her lust, she wrapped her long legs around his waist, making her wetness more accessible to his probing penis.
When his aching manhood finally found the entrance to her vagina, she moaned louder than ever. The glow of raw lust was in her eyes, and he knew that she had abandoned herself to the waves of passion that flowed between them. In one fierce burst of desire, he yielded to the burning sweetness of her slippery hole and plunged the full length of his stiff shaft deep inside her.
Her body squirmed against his, skin against skin, and her tormented groans pushed him to even greater heights of passion. For one brief moment he envisioned the warm bodies packed seductively close on the bus, the young woman squirming past him, caressing him with her fingers, stealing both his wallet and some small, secret part of his life.
Suddenly he felt himself grow bigger and harder, felt the heat of his body enter his penis, course down its length and spread into her vagina.
Her arms tightened around his neck, and her fingers pressed into his skin. She screamed and froze, her muscles locked in an orgasmic spasm. Her vagina tightened around his pulsing shaft, gripping it like a vise. Bursts of pleasure, like electric shocks, swept upward from his hardness and filled her with uncontrollable joy.
When it was over, Andrea looked into Frank’s eyes, and he knew that no woman had ever satisfied him as she did. He felt an immediate sadness that it had to end so soon.
“Can I see you again tonight, before I leave for the airport?” Frank asked as Andrea dressed.
“I would prefer not to. I hate long good-byes.”
She slipped out the door without looking back.
Frank stared at the ceiling for a moment, trying to understand the feeling of sorrow with which she had left him. His penis still tingled with the energy of their coupling.
Then it hit him.
“Oh, shit!” He raced out the door naked, pulling on his pants as he hobbled down the stairs. Juan was standing behind the desk, a look of amazement on his face.
“Se or Frank?”
“Juan, did that woman did my…wife ask for my stuff in the safe?”
His heart plummeted down into his stomach.
“Oh, God. Did you give it to her?”
“Of course. Your passport and traveler’s checks.” Juan studied Frank’s distraught look and added, “But you said she was your wife.”
Frank buried his face in his hands. What could he say? He couldn’t very well blame Juan.
“Are you checking out?” Juan asked. “Do you want your things from the safe?”
“But I thought she took them.”
“Yes, but she put them back.”
Juan opened the safe and handed Frank his passport and traveler’s checks. Frank opened the passport. Inside was a note: “Dearest Frank If you can’t trust the most honest person in Rio, whom can you trust?”
“There was also this,” Juan said, handing Frank his wallet. He examined the contents: fifty dollars and his driver’s license.
“Juan, Have you reserved my room for anyone else yet?”
“No, se or.”
“Good. I’ve decided to stay another month. Maybe longer.”
He could smell her perfume from way across the hall. Through the beer, the cigarette smoke, through the imitation Old Spice that fat Long Island guy had splattered all over himself in the men’s room even through the perfumes of fifty or so other women who gyrated and flirted and laughed and conversed for their evening’s pay. For him there was only Amber. Honey-blonde hair cascaded down her back. Her eyes knew everything. Her smile promised everything. Her voice, deep as the earth, soft as a down comforter, rang late-night melodies in his ears. It didn’t matter that she was only a little younger than he, nor that she made twice in a night what he made in a week. By the end, she would have it all anyway. He sat quietly, a Camel Wide at his fingertips, a longneck Coors at his side. His eyes moved from the stage to Amber, to the stage and back again. Others approached him and offered, but he always politely refused. In time she would see him and make her way over.
Amber sat across from a graying fellow in a suit. She smiled at him and laughed with him and hugged him sometimes, but she didn’t kiss him. A song came on. With a nod of his silver head, she rose. Amber’s hands, so delicate, reached behind and very slowly unzipped the back of her azure-sequined gown. The graying man smiled as she removed it and handed it to him.
He waved his assent when the waitress asked him if he’d like another beer. He could only imagine what the graying man felt right at this minute. He needed Amber, would do anything, kill anyone, even himself, just to have her with him right now. He needed her to do what she was doing for this old fuck probably married, certainly far richer than he, needing her to propel him skyward with just a raise of one eyebrow, just one ever-so-soft hum in his ear, just one slow, agonizing roll of her hips. He wanted the song to end in a hurry.
Amber did not sit down until six songs had played. His eyes focused in on her like a hawk’s as she pulled the slinky dress up her torso, the material stretching and clinging around every full curve. Even from this distance, he could see the shine on her nose and forehead, could practically feel the moisture on her back lean, smooth, muscles rippling. His heart quickened as she stuffed a wad of cash from her full garter into her little purse, kissed the graying man on the cheek and left him.
He tried to wave her over. She smiled and nodded, but seven songs later, four Wall Street types still had her entertaining them.
This is bullshit, he thought. I should go home. Seven bucks for a lousy beer, seven beers hell, fifty bucks and she still isn’t here! He shifted in his seat as she smiled at a pair of Japanese men halfway across the hall. Her purse bulged. She didn’t need him. She probably didn’t even like him. Who knows? I should save my cash. Pay Dad back for the car repairs. Save up for a VCR or something. Come on, leave. She doesn’t give a shit. I have to be at work in the morning anyway. Leave.
But one look at Amber leaning over, rocking back and forth, steaming up two pairs of Japanese eyeglasses and he knew he would not leave, not until he got what he wanted. For a moment she looked up at him and smiled. Just a few more minutes, her eyes said. I’ll be there if you just wait for me. He ordered another beer.
This time a huge man with a tattoo on his forearm interrupted Amber’s walk over to him. This one, who had probably just made parole, shared a bottle of champagne with her. One callused paw stroked her upper arms. The other wandered down and under not too far, but enough to make her smile and close her thighs around it.
The vision began.
The parolee held her down with one hand and thrust himself inside her. Amber urged him on and on, stroked his shoulder with her tanned calf. He filled her, and she told him so. Her eyelids pressed together tightly. She bit her lower lip as he rocked faster. “Harder!” she called out. The felon grunted. Sweat from his wrinkled forehead dripped onto her nose and between her thin lips. Her legs, torso, arms and head all came together around him as he let out a final, primal gorilla cry and thrust himself deeply into her.
A hissing sound brought him out of it. Smoke began filling the stage again as a busty brunette went into a full split, rolled over and arched her back. Her upside-down smile widened as a bearded guy approached the stage with a fifty in his hand. He looked around, but saw no Amber. The felon had his head back over the chair, breathing deeply as his pal filled his glass.
“Well, one-thirty and I haven’t seen her or even said hi to her yet,” he said to himself. He shifted around in his seat, trying to adjust his situation without moving his hand down there. “I shouldn’t have come back. This is fucked. Meet a girl once, she drives you crazy. Look for her two days later and she drives you crazier. I can’t afford this. I should go.”
All at once, a boundless scent enveloped him. China-doll hands stroked his shoulders. Soft lips pressed against his cheek. A warm, strawberry breath caressed his ear.
“Hi, honey,” he heard. That soft, deep voice. “I didn’t think I’d see you. How are you, sweetie?” Amber came around from behind him. He rose to greet her. A full head taller than she, he took her in his arms and had to bend way down to bury his head in her neck and bask in her fragrant, wavy locks.
“I just couldn’t wait to see you again,” he replied. “Will you dance for me, Amber?”
“I’d love to,” she answered, “but I promised the manager that I would dance for a friend of his. Will you wait just a little longer?”
“Only for you, dear,” he said to her. He kissed her hand as she moved away from him, and stared as she moved into the adjoining room. Amber didn’t look back.
He waited and waited and waited. All kinds of women approached him, offering exactly what Amber did, but he always politely refused. He didn’t want to be busy when she finally came to him. The last time Amber kept him waiting, he had reluctantly accepted the company of an extremely attractive Asian girl named Joy. Amber showed up, looked at him, shrugged her shoulders and danced for a group of distinguished old men for over an hour. It took her even longer than that to get back to him. All he could do while the Asian girl danced her heart out for him was stare at Amber and her four old geezers. She flirted with one of them in particular, a vice president of some conglomerate, no doubt.
He saw them in the old man’s hotel room. Amber’s tiny hands ran up and down his barrel chest. She smiled up at him as he slipped the straps of her gown off, touched her parted lips to his as his hands followed the dress down her body, stopping to cup the lower half of her hourglass shape. Amber’s slender fingers unbuttoned his shirt, then moved lower to unbuckle his belt. The white-haired guy threw his head back as she grasped him, pulling and squeezing his cock until she could no longer encircle it without using both hands. Amber let out a soft sigh as he rolled her taut nipples between his fingers. His tongue invaded her mouth. His little monster embedded itself between her tanned thighs as he pressed fully against her.
His arms went around her, up and down her, finally pressing at her shoulders, gently pushing her downward. Her chocolate-brown eyes widened as she faced it, gently swaying, pointing right at her, It pulsed as she squeezed it. She touched the tip of her tongue to the crown, catching a large drop of clear fluid as it emerged. The old man, no longer old, let out a bear growl when she took him into her mouth. He grasped Amber’s soft, wonderful hair, closed his hands around the back of her head and surged forward. Amber’s lips stretched. Her throat opened. Her own moans and grunts came only when he pulled back far enough to let her breathe.
Amber’s fingers grabbed his nipples. He rocked back and forth, faster and faster and then, suddenly, stopped, letting out a yelp like a little boy. Amber could barely keep up. She swallowed and swallowed, but it kept running like a faucet, and the old man still held her fast, pressing himself farther and farther down her throat. Finally, sweat pouring off his back, he released her. Amber’s lips, glossed by a thick white coat, parted in a smile as she stared up at him. The old man breathed deeply, then sat down next to her. He licked his semen from her lips, then turned her around and lowered her torso to the floor. Amber’s hips rolled upward as he took her. Amazed at the old man’s endurance, Amber urged him on and on…
The waitress put another beer by his side, took his money, changed his full ashtray and asked if he was having a good time. He could only nod now, his palms flowing, his thighs quaking, his lungs expanding and contracting, his eyes widening as Amber made her way over to him.
She didn’t even say hello. She just stared deeply into his eyes and began. Her hands glided around her shoulders in a tight hug. They ran down her tan, defined arms, moving the shoulder straps of her gown downward, ever so slowly.
Amber smiled at his reaction. He had this puppy-dog look, an infantile grin, wide-eyed, mesmerized, hypnotized. He lost all sense of self when she danced for him. There was nothing else. Only Amber. Her eyes, her nose, her lips, her neck, her breasts, her thighs, her calves. He took her all in, even as he gazed into those huge, deep pools of chocolate. He could almost see himself.
Amber’s hands paused as her dress moved precariously to the edge of her nipples. Her tongue caressed her upper lip as she pulled the dress farther down, past her breasts. They sprang free. Full, round, tanned, firm, Amber squeezed them together, leaned forward, brought them up close to his face. He lowered his lips to them, not touching he knew the rules well but close enough to make her smile and let out a soft moan for him.
The visions blended with Amber’s hypnotic dance. She faced him, arching her back, balling her hands up into tiny fists and pulling them close to her waist while grinding her hips forward at the same time. As she did this, he saw himself grasping her hips as they came forward, gliding between her thighs, hearing her squeal as he entered her with a powerful surge. He felt Amber straddling him, tasted her tongue as it snaked into his mouth, smelled her perfume and her hair and her excitement. He felt the warm, tight muscle surrounding him, moistening him, slowly moving up and down, back and forth on him.
Amber smiled as his hips moved forward, following her rhythm. She lowered her glance, saw how hard he was, straining against his pants, and moved downward. Her hands stroked his thighs. She looked up at him, licked her upper lip, moved her lovely face next to his, then tossed her hair into his lap, pulling away from him as she did so.
But in his vision, she did not pull away. Instead, her warm saliva coated his turgid prick. He felt her lips, her tongue, her teeth gently dragging on him. He ran his hands through those endless strands of gold. Her mouth tightened around him. She took him deep, then pulled up and circled the engorged tip of his cock with her lips and tongue. Then she bobbed up and down on him. Faster and faster. Amber’s eyes begged him to send his load down her throat. He began to feel the familiar spasms but they subsided as Amber stood up and turned away.
Amber now had her back to him, probably smiling at the guys across the room, nodding her head as they silently begged her to come dance for them. He didn’t care. Amber rolled her hips in impossible circles for him, rocked back and forth, bent over and gave him a glimpse of what she had under her tiny G-string. Out of the corner of her eye she watched the effect she had on him. He was thrusting at her, head tossed back, steadying himself with both hands. He really needed her now. He could actually feel the hot wetness of her cunt as he pushed himself into her once again. He stroked her muscular back, wrapped his hands around her waist and pulled her close to him. Amber’s hair bounced with every powerful thrust. He reached around and cupped her full breasts, stroking harder and faster into her. She called out his name, called for him to come deep inside her. He remembered wanting to empty it all, to give everything he had to her, until…
The eighth song ended. Amber’s face shone from her exertions. She gave him a big smile, leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Her wonderful body disappeared like a sunset into her gown. He loved watching her dress even more, he realized, than watching her undress. Amber did it so sensuously. She sat down directly in front of him, spreading her thighs, then drawing them together as she slid the dress up her tan, endless legs. She pulled it up her torso, giving him a quick smile as he watched her tuck her breasts into place, knowing that he really wanted to do the tucking.
Sometimes, when her gown had a zipper, she would come close to him and let him do it for her. When he got that lucky, he would always caress the length of her smooth, rippling back. Then she would lift her skirt up so that he could slip the money into her garter. He always seemed to fumble at this point, not quite grasping enough of the garter with his fingertips, caressing the cash very high up on her thigh. He always gave her extra. A lot extra. Then she smiled and kissed him on the cheek again. Always on the cheek. He tried to catch the corner of her mouth one time even begged to kiss her but she politely informed him that this was not allowed.
All told, tonight he had blown an entire week’s pay on Amber. Pay that could have gone to his savings, or to a VCR, or to even more repairs on his little black Chevy. But none of those things could replace the way Amber made him feel. Even after she hugged him a final good-bye and went off in search of others, he stared after her, watching her hips sway back and forth under her gown, seeing the reactions of other men as she rolled her head around, smiling, and pulled her dress off for them.
He could only smile, knowing what they felt and wanting to feel that way again. Wanting to feel the rush of blood from his head to the rest of his body wanting to brush Amber’s magnificent thighs with his when she knelt before him wanting to press her breasts against his chest as he crushed her to him wanting to stare into her big brown eyes forever, needing the warmth and comfort of Amber’s arms.