To Betty and Bob, following up their wedding with a movie was the logical thing to do. I felt too weird to join them - wedding couples should have time alone, no matter how eccentric their choice of activity - and the drive from Minneapolis plus the 6 am wake up call did wipe me out. Besides, that chick from breakfast was going and there just wasn’t enough room to hide her body in my trunk.
I excused myself so I could crash, planning to throw together a dinner for them before Betty and Bob returned that night with their parents in tow. We all stopped back to change clothing, and I assumed Mark would disappear to his family’s place across town.
As soon as we arrived, I shot into the bathroom and changed to my jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. I was such a quick change artist - a leftover habit from my sluttier college days - that Betty, Bob and their friends were still milling around their house when I emerged. As I sank to the couch to zone out, I realized I made a grave miscalculation. Mark was still with all of them. I kept very, very silent, hoping that he would not notice my presence in the crush of people.
It almost worked.
Bob stood at his bedroom door and bellowed, “Everybody on their way to the movie, out the door now!” Everyone followed suit except for me. Mark trailed behind, and looked set to go, when Bob said, “You sure about staying here, Zee?”
Mark paused at the door, looked back at me, and then changed his course. “I’m staying here to hang,” he said to Bob. “I hope that’s OK.”
Betty turned to Bob and wiggled her eyebrows. “Use some condoms, kids!” she said. I flipped her the bird. They laughed and left, and Mark sat down on the other end of the couch.
I grimaced and grabbed the TV remote; they kept an Invader Zim DVD in the player at all times. I could generally watch about two episodes before it went from funny to grating.
I stared at the screen, zoning out and half-hoping I’d doze off. After all the wedding, travel, and additional pressure of Mark’s presence, I needed a fucking break.
Mark sat beside me, saying nothing. I made it through two episodes, and realizing he was going to stay planted on that couch no matter what I did, I rallied myself into the kitchen to wash the gigantic stack of dishes despite my exhaustion.
Mark followed me a few moments later. He stood in the doorway, watching my hands scrub back and forth at the crust on a cereal bowl. “Miss your dishwasher?” We’d had a six month argument about what I paid in rent for my place - just for the convenience of a full size dishwasher.
I grit my teeth, scrubbing harder. “Yeah.”
“I’d be afraid to touch any of that.”
“I am, but I’m not letting it stop me.” Betty had a baby on the way, and Bob didn’t know yet. I figured reducing some of the daily biohazard might give the kid a sporting chance.
“Can I help?”
I swallowed a sigh. I wasn’t getting rid of him, and the not-quite of our situation made confronting him about my feelings totally inappropriate. I had told him how I felt about him when we’d known each other three months. He friend-zoned me. It wasn’t going to happen, I knew it wasn’t going to happen, and yet hear I stood two years later washing dishes while part of my brain had us fucking on the kitchen floor. And catching God-knows what diseases.
If I had to go through the hell of standing beside him, unable to touch him, I might as well get some shared labor out of the deal. “There are towels in that drawer,” I gestured with my head. “Dry.”
Mark began wiping down dishes with a thorough touch, his broad hand completely covering each utensil. They were large enough that he could easily cup my breasts in his hand, encasing it completely.
I scrubbed harder on my dishes, trying to find something so gross it pushed the image of his hands rubbing my nipples and sliding down my body from my mind. Think about penguins. White elephants. Mark’s cock springing free from his - dammit!
We worked in a speechless rhythm, the shhh-shh of my scrubbing and the occasional clink making the only sounds as Mark stashed dishes in the cabinet. At last, he broke the silence. “Where have you been?”
Avoiding you. Avoiding that you just want to hang out. Avoiding that I have to struggle not to throw myself at you whenever you’re within a mile of me. “Same place as always. Home, work, stuff. Mostly I just go to work and go home, with stops for groceries.”
“That can’t be healthy.”
“Just staying home all the time? That doesn’t sound like you.”
I was on my last dish, a wooden cutting board that looked like it came from a tree dinosaurs ate. If I scrubbed much more, it would reduce to a splinter. I kept my eyes on it, rubbing at the wood with the steel wool pad - probably the worst thing for it. “I’m not the party girl everyone keeps making me out to be,” I snapped. If I was out, I was avoiding my feelings. I had already accepted that I could not run from them, and my liver was not about to let me run from them this time.
The year I’d had was hard, not made easier by my reality that I was in love with a man who did not reciprocate and now seemed dead-set on spending every second of this trip with me. Any woman in my shoes would have opted to stay in more, too, and watch Buffy reruns if just for the hope of relationships that didn’t end the world.
I paused in my scrubbing as the tears and snot made their appearance. Ah, a wedding followed by the maid of honor’s humiliation. I brushed my sleeve across my face and went back to scrubbing. The way I was going, there was going to be nothing left of that cutting board.
Mark’s hand closed over mine, and then, towel wrapped around his other hand, he deftly pried the cutting board from my hands while holding me in place. I felt my pulse rise and my breathing speed. Without letting go of me, Mark set down the cutting board, dropping the towel.
His fingers wrapped around my wrist and tapped my pulse; there was no hiding my feelings here. He rubbed his thumb deliberately against the fluttering point in my wrist, a small smile playing around his lips at the increase. He raised my hand above my head, out of the way of our bodies and stepped into me. “So you’ve been avoiding me,” he said conversationally, as though every inch of him wasn’t pressed into me.
“What makes you say that?” I gulped for breath and licked my lips. The smell of his cologne made me dizzy to the point of cross-eyed.
“This,” he said, gently increasing the pressure of his thumb. With his other hand, he traced the fluttering pulse at my neck. “This,” he said, and, dropping both hands to my waist, kissed and savored the galloping vein while I shivered. “The rapid breathing that changes whenever I leave the room clues me in, too.”
“Stupid small house. No damn secrets here!” I said.
His hand cupped my face, and he tilted my chin so that our glasses never touched. He exhaled gently on my lips, eliciting a moan from me before I could stop it. I could feel his teasing smile before he pressed his lips against mine, fitting his lips so that nerve met nerve. His tongue licked mine, gently. He coaxed my mouth open, slowly, cleanly, while I melted.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and leaned into his embrace just to stay standing. Balance seemed to disappear; Mark would have to stay standing for both of us.
The liquid pit of longing at the bottom of my stomach became roast flame, and I became aware of my breasts pressing into his chest, of his slightly callused hand stroking the side of my neck as his other hand placed gentle pressure on the small of my back.
Mark broke the kiss slowly, reducing the intensity of his tongue and giving my lips a playful nip before he stopped. He stopped both his hands to my waist, steadying me, and then took a step back. I could feel the shadow of our heat in the space between us. As the space cooled, this sudden confident Mark disappeared, and I saw uncertainty in his ice blue eyes.
“I’m glad to know you wouldn’t kick my ass for that,” he said, and I could sense a small amount of agony in his tone.
Kick his ass? I was fighting the urge to knock him on the floor and grind on him until we both came. I took a deep breath, then another, then three more.
Inhale, exhale, that’s how it goes. Cool down, Zee. I hated this moment, whenever it came: it was the moment of decision. It was a moment I gave up ever having with Mark, and now, because it was Mark, I was more sure of myself and how I wanted him than ever – and less sure of him than I had ever been before. A moment’s calm could wipe it all away, and as it was I was in danger of that fucked up hookup zone when you hooked up with someone you friend zoned, and then the person you did it with was stuck with feelings that would stay after you found someone else to have an orgasm with.
I already knew how the rules worked: if I walked away, cleared my head, and asked myself what I really wanted, I would lose the moment. For all I knew, this was just casual seduction on Mark’s part, a way to pass the time until we returned to our regularly scheduled lives. 6 hours away, the painful talks over coffee awaited. I hated him for a moment - what he was doing was exactly what you DON’T do with a woman that’s in love with you, not if you have a conscience.
Mark pressed his hands into my waist. “Say something,” he begged. He looked terrified.
“I’m scared,” I said. It was the truth. I didn’t want to lose Mark, but I didn’t really have him the way I wanted him, and the only solution to that as far as I could tell was to distance myself. Which wasn’t happening with those hands on my body right at that moment. I also guessed saying “I’m in love with you,” would kill the mood faster than “Does the blow up sheep need batteries?”
Mark pulled me closer to him, his beard tickling my cheek. “When you wouldn’t see me, or answer my calls, that hurt. That hurt more than I thought it would.” He pushed me back, both hands on my shoulders, looking earnestly into my face. “I’d be out with other women, and thinking of you.”
“I called you,” I said mildly. It was always me calling him. I’d gotten tired of it.
“I know. You were so chipper that I knew something wasn’t right. I’d finally worked up the courage to tell myself how much I really wanted you, and then you started slipping away from me –“ his eyes filled, became an ocean of agony that matched my own.
My heart broke for him, and in the riptide of emotion, I kissed Mark with all the passion I ever held for him. Every memory, every casual touch, every thought whether passing or longing, flooded through me in that kiss. What began at his mouth moved to his neck. My hands took on their own agenda, unbuttoning his shirt as my lips followed in their wake. I pushed the shirt off Mark’s shoulders, pausing to run my tongue around each nipple.
Mark gasped at my boldness. I pulled his shirt off, shoving it over his arms and onto the floor, pausing as his kisses on my lips and fingers distracted me. I gave Mark a lingering kiss, taking back my attention span and control as I did so, dropping to my knees, fingers working his belt buckle made clumsy from both my exhaustion and my arousal.
Mark clasped his hands over mine on his belt, pressing them into his erection. “Stop!” he whispered.
I looked up. Mark’s hair was the mess I had fantasized about making it, and he looked a bit rattled. His glasses were slightly crooked. I gazed up at this man I adored, my hands over his rising cock, waiting for him to find his breath. He gazed back, and then croaked out, “Condoms.”
I walked over to the kitchen shelf where Betty hid her liquor, and reached behind the gin. Betty and Bob both hated gin. Sure enough, behind them was a box of Trojans. I pulled out two, and grinned at Mark.
He gaped. “How did you know that was there?” he asked.
“Betty and I kept condoms stashed all over the places when we were in college,” I explained. “It’s an act of courtesy.”
Mark’s eyes widened as I, more sure of myself this time, undid his belt buckle and unzipped his pants. I ran my hand beneath his boxers, delighting in his gasp. “I think it’s safe to quit thinking,” I whispered in his ear. God knows that last thing I wanted right now was for either of us to come to our senses.
Mark planted himself next to me at the post wedding breakfast despite my best attempts to plant myself elsewhere. I focused intently on the friend Betty seated across from me, because the homicidal rage she stirred within me helped distract me from how much my desire for Mark was depressing me. I hated her. She was exactly what I needed.
She loved country music and carried on about the greatness of Montgomery Gentry, and then, upon discovering I was divorced, out of the blue brought up gaming conventions and called them Man Mall of America. When she jumped to husband shopping as though that was the way to deal with post-divorce grief, I grabbed a fork and dug it into my thigh.
Mark interrupted her, speaking with a strident urgency about an Ikea opening in Madison as though it were the most important political happening of the decade. I bit back the obvious Fight Club comments, and as he carried forth, withdrew with my cell phone.
Even talking to an imaginary person on the phone relieved the heartbreaking intensity of that much time close to Mark, especially after what amounted to being verbally attacked by a stranger for having a man and tossing him back when he proved, well, mean.
I wanted away from Mark, away from my friend’s glowing happiness, away from ambitions that started and stopped at penis-gathering, away from the endless talk about RPGs that just weren’t my bag. I was happy for my friends and in hell for myself. It was Betty’s day, and I was not going to inflict the feelings I was eating via Cheetos on her. I flipped the cell phone closed and slipped it in the pocket of my trench coat. I closed my eyes, feeling the sun and inhaling hard to gather the cold wet air of fall in Wisconsin.
I was able to take two breaths before Mark appeared at my side, intruding on my peace and yet making me ache to bring him closer.
“How are you?” he asked again.
“I already answered that this morning,” I told him. “Thanks for the coffee by the way.”
Mark exhaled, then rephrased, pushing a hand through his sandy hair. “How have you been?”
“Busy.” I saw Betty and Bob gathering their coats and their individual checks. “I think it’s time to go,” I said, and stepped away, falling into the stream of people pouring out of the Country Kitchen.
”Zee -” Mark said, but I waved my hand.
“See you at the house,” I said, cutting him off.
A hand dangled a mug of steaming life above me. “Here, Zee, coffee, Zee.” I reached a hand above me from my prone position on the couch, and another hand wrapped my palm gently around the warm mug. I sat up, pulling from my stomach muscles to slow my ascent and avoid spilling any precious bean on my favorite pajamas.
As I took a sip, I blinked my eyes a few times and focused. I was still unsure as to the location of my glasses, but I was pretty sure that it was Mark who sat at the end of the couch I just crashed on. “So how have you been?” he asked, as though we were in some Minneapolis coffee shop, on one of our casual (boring) evenings out that ended with him excusing himself and me eating my way through a bag of Cheetos in frustration.
I wiped the crust from my eyes. Any attempt to look alluring and distant was utterly fucked; Mark had ambushed me. He then trapped me with coffee, my greatest morning weakness. It was unfair.
He leaned towards me from the couch arm in jeans that fit perfectly and a dark blue button-down shirt that fit him exactly. I forced myself to grip the mug; my hands wanted to do other things in my weakened and typically horny morning state. I sipped the sweetened blackness.
Three weeks of perfectly good avoidance, swept away by our best friends’ wedding to each other and my inability to afford a hotel. “Fine,” I finally answered, gulping more coffee and then yanking blankets off myself.
I sat upright, moving to the farthest side of the couch from him. A-ha! My glasses rested on the end table next to my side of the couch. I slipped them on, and tried to ignore the bedheaded version of myself reflected in the television set.
The muffled voices of Bob and Betty carried from their bedroom, just a few steps from my couch. The clock on their VCR - why in the hell did those two still own a VRC? - read 6 am. Their appointment with the Justice of the Peace was at 8.
According to Beth’s planning meeting the night before, it took half an hour to get to the courthouse. Given my state after the drive, it might take me 45 minutes just to look not-homeless. I scalded my tongue swallowing the remaining coffee in one gulp. “Ow, fuck!” I said, shoving the mug in Mark’s hands before stumbling toward the bathroom.
Mark be damned, we had a wedding to get to.
The bathroom for some reason was behind the kitchen; I emerged from it in the pale blue dress I chose to stand next to Betty on her wedding day. Mark greeted me by the door of the shower, silently proffering another mug. Mark opened his mouth to say something, but was disrupted when a loud thunk and Ben swearing “Damn coffee table!” interrupted us.
Ben appeared in the doorway to the kitchen, otherwise undamaged, and headed over to the coffee maker himself. Betty followed behind him, and we all stood agape. She looked amazing in a white skirt suit with white tights and black heels. A string of blue pearls at her neck perfected the look.
I looked between Betty and Ben, and tried to suppress my eye roll at how they’d kept me up all night loudly rehearsing for their wedding night. They both looked flushed and satisfied – the kind of satisfied advertised by romance novels and De Biers commercials after a wedding.
“Get her fueled, Mark?” Bob asked, setting down his mug and straightening his tie. I didn’t bother glaring and I knew that Betty would kill me if I poured coffee on him right then. They had fought for hours over what he would wear to the wedding, and the white shirt and blue striped tie was the only alternative to his one man 1970s lifestyle theme.
In Bob’s mind, he was helping. He didn’t know that I managed to stumble to my day job before my first cup of coffee every single day without any assistance. Mark looked vaguely disappointed. “One depth charge, and she shot through the shower before I could inhale.”
Bob grinned lecherously at me. “Aw, Mark, you missed a photo opportunity!”
This time I glared, and Mark deftly removed the mug from my hands before I could use it as a weapon. “Wedding!” I barked, and marched out the door to the car, grabbing my coat on the way.
The social outings that included Ethan were excruciating. Since Betty and Brian were my best friends, I spent plenty of time with them, single or with my partner. Ethan frequently came along too, and we would joke, or his hand would brush mine, or at picnic tables our legs pressed into each other.
I had to lock myself in the bathroom and get friendly with the shower head so regularly that I broke the hanging clamp.
Then, one June afternoon, the four of us went on a picnic at the Stone Arch park, located along a strip next to one of those tourist-friendly buildings with restaurants on the first floor, but lots of out-of-business or on-vacation type offices on the second floor.
We sat next to each other, passing cheese and chit-chat while Brian and Betty did the whole “You’re pretty,” “No, you’re pretty!” thing while Ethan and I surreptitiously rolled our eyes at each other. I pretended not to see Ethan flinch every time his brother and sister-in-law kissed. At last, Brian and Betty decided they wanted to stroll across the Stone Arch bridge that connected the park to downtown Minneapolis.
Ethan and I knew that meant that one would likely delivery oral sex to the other on one of the wooded trails surrounding the bridge.
This left us alone, a bottle of wine between us.
We both reached for it at the same time, his hand wrapping over mine.
I inhaled. He wore that cologne again. Fresh, dirty fantasies flew out of brain cells long dormant.
We looked at each other over the bottle of wine, and then, as the newlyweds retreated in the background, we kissed.
His lips explored mine with amazing skill. Kissing was usually a prelude to eroticism for me, something you did while the rest of your body warmed up for sex.
But Ethan’s kiss was in itself a form of sex. I heated, then melted, then evaporated. I forgot other people were in the park with us until a man there with his son gave a disapproving throat clear.
Ethan, on top of me, blushed as I felt his hardened cock pressing into me. “I may need to uh - stay here a few moments.”
“Yeah,” I acknowledged. “There are kids here. I think one is watching.”
He turned bright red, and suddenly his body retreated. “Thanks,” he muttered, not sounding particularly thankful.
“We’re out of wine,” I noted. “Perhaps we should go see if something harder is available at that bar in the Main.” I allowed my eyes to wander below Ethan’s beltline, feeling the heat of his blush as though it touched my skin like sunlight.
“Uh, yeah,” he said and stood up, giving me a hand up after. He pulled me into him.
His fingers brushed my neck as his lips touched mine in a fresh experimental kiss. When I invited him in further, his tongue teased the edges of mine and he ran a deliberate finger down the back of my neck, making me shiver and draw closer to him. I could feel my belly and pussy filling with ticklish heat.
I broke away. “Let’s see about that wine,” I said, and took an unsteady step toward the large brick building. Ethan grabbed my hand, and we both scrambled our way far from the prying eyes of anyone who might report us for lewd public acts.
Inside, we found a corner beneath a stairwell, and he pulled me close for another kiss, this time his large hands exploring my body. He slid a hand beneath my shirt and bra, brushing a thumb over my nipple. He pinched it, then circled with a finger, until I gasped. “How’s you know about that one?” Women all have moving erogenous zones, so how he knew about my only other stationary point…
He smirked. “I do listen when you and Betty talk,” he murmured, planting kisses down my neck and shoulder. He suddenly yanked my shirt down and sat up straight, leaving me reeling for a moment. Realizing what happened, I felt a grim pleasure at his erection and how hard he had to work to breathe it down before the building security guard walked by.
I leaned into him, wobbly from the hormonal onslaught. Our breathing synced together as we both calmed down, and as the guard walked by and out a nearby exit.
“Where can we find some space?” he whispered thickly in my ear.
I ignored my melting panties situation and forced myself to think. I’d seen an empty office the last time I’d wandered upstairs on a photography walk. I grabbed his hand. “I have an idea,” I said.
The old massage parlor, true to a foreclosed business, left its doors unlocked and all its furniture except for the massage tables behind.
I pulled Ethan in, into one of the back appointment rooms. He pinned me against the counter, his scent overwhelming me as his hands teased my nerves to ecstatic hysteria. His kiss captured me again as his hands slid behind my ass. I hopped up, on the counter, never breaking our embrace.
Ethan’s kisses continued with their psychotropic impact as his hands ran expertly over my body. He touched my nipples after I began arching my back, and then he began running those long, gorgeous fingers down my sides, over my thighs.
He inserted a hand beneath my skirt, fingers lightly brushing my pussy as I mewled into his mouth. In another moment, he pulled my panties aside and jammed his fingers into my pussy, rubbing persistently at my clit with his thumb until I came, hard and fast against his hand. As I lay breathing hard on the desk, I heard the telltale zip and the brief fumble of cellophane.
“Give me that,” I said, raising my head, still breathing hard. “I do the christening on an inaugural voyage.”
Ethan handed me the condom. I sat up, ripped the package open neatly, and with condom in one hand, stroked his cock with my other. I continued with light touches around the head, finally grasping it in my palm and circling with my fingers until his mouth opened in a gasp, and I felt my pussy tighten at the helpless arousal in his face. I rolled the condom over his lovely cock and whispered in his ear, “Please fuck me.”
Ethan’s sharp intake of breath and the tensing of his cock, still in my hand, told me how willing he was. I leaned back and pulled aside my panties so he could enter me, his lovely cock sliding by as my eyes rolled back in my head . A grunt escaped him as he brought his hips to meet mine. Every pleasure center in my pussy trilled.
He began to move, slowly, encouraging me to keep up with him. I kept cumming from the sheer force of his presence – the smell, the way he teased my erogenous zones, his hands. Just my wanting him for so long would have been enough to bring me, but that he had so much skill and passion brought me completely over the edge. “God you’re a tight fuck” he whispered, pushing into me harder.
I lifted a foot and pressed it on his ass, encouraging him inside me as hard and deep as I could take him, cumming every few seconds along the way. At last I giant wave overtook me, and as my own body convulsed I felt the pause where Ethan’s own orgasm caught up with my parade of them.
When he at last pulled out of me and we cleaned ourselves up, we sat next to each other, in awkward silence for a moment. Finally, I broke the silence. “Thanks,” I said. “I needed that.”
Ethan leaned over and kissed me, his cologne filling me with horny thoughts all over again. “Any time.”
We stopped at the bar and bought four bottles of hard lemonade, agreeing to claim the long line as our cover story to Betty and Brian.
The pair emerged from their “stroll across the bridge.” Ethan and I clinked bottles, and exchanged a look when we saw the leaves in Betty’s hair.
(Source: leilockheart, via leilockheart)
Everyone else complained about Ethan’s cologne. To me, it was catnip. It had this masculine texture that made me think of licking his skin after I worked him into a sweat, and every time I inhaled I found myself dizzy and hot. One whiff and Ethan starred in a fantasy where he plugged every hole in my body.
He wore it at the groom’s dinner for Betty and Brian. I sidled up to him, as everyone else’s attention was diverted to the happy couple. “What cologne are you wearing?”
I’d heard of it before, but never experienced it the way I did on him. “Huh,” I said. “It’s unique on you.”
“Is that a good thing?” he looked a little uncertain, his green eyes sliding sideways at me, his voice betraying a tiny flick of lost little boy.
“Probably a little too good.”
Ethan emitted a brief chuckle, and I slid away, my partner wanting my attention and with pictures to endlessly snap.
I had a sneaking suspicion that Ethan was a bit torn up about the wedding. After some observation, it looked to me like Ethan was in love with Betty.
That was fine with me. I didn’t want his heart, I wanted his cock.
At the wedding, he looked utterly fuckable in his black tux and red tuxedo vest. I imagined unbuttoning the fly and his dick springing free, into my hot and greedy hand.
At the reception, he was seated next to me.
I leaned into him and whispered in his ear, “You’re wearing that cologne again.”
He smirked down at me, our height difference apparent even while sitting down. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
I laid my hand on his arm and leaned in so he could feel my breast press into his shoulder. “It’ a little too good.” I could feel his smile radiate through him. “Besides, I was hoping you’d wear it again.”
Ethan emitted a short, embarrassed laugh, and blushed.
I had put some hope in a brief and sexy dance the night before, him hard against me as we moved around the floor, but no luck. He was shy about dancing.
When the time came for the garter toss, I was enlisted to round up the single men and present them for the execution. I playfully pushed Ethan and another single man towards the center of the floor; the other man ran ahead dutifully. Ethan, after his compatriot moved ahead, deliberately slowed so that my hand was on his back; I could feel the muscles moving beneath my hand.
At the end of the night, we shared another cigarette while the wedding guests packed up cars with reception flotsam. His hand slipped over mine as we passed it back and forth, and I did my best not to leave any lipstick on the end. He wrapped his arms and around me, and pulled me close for a moment, and for a crazy moment we looked at each other.
But I went home with who I came with, and he went home alone.
I swear I will come up for a better title for this. Or not.
The night we met, I wasn’t even considering sex. I had come pounding on Betty and Brian’s door, tearful over dysfunctional family crap, after finding my own alcohol supply completely empty. Betty settled me on her couch with a large glass of something Long Island like, and withdrew with Brian into the bedroom for a few moments.
I only saw the man on the balcony after I sucked down half the drink. At first, I thought him a hallucination or ghost, and in my alcohol driven state, decided my best bet was confrontation.
Ethan made a tall ghost, his six foot five figure silhouetted against the foggy October night. A cloud of steam around his head turned out to be a cigarette.
“Are you real?” I asked, and poked him once in the shoulder.
He stared down at my finger, resting on his arm. “Yes, quite.” He half-smiled as he took a drag of his cigarette.
“I’m J,” I introduced myself.
“I know who you are,” he said. “I heard Brian and Betty talking about you.”
“Normally I’m only mildly psychotic.” I smiled with some regret. “Great first impression I make.”
Ethan grinned at this, and offered me a drag. I took it, even though normally I don’t smoke. I noticed that he smoked a Pall Mall, rather than the usual Marlboro. This made me like him. Also, his smile suggested lots of sexy things going on in his mind.
He also had one thing that always gets me: lean hips. They make my clit tingle. I could imagine grabbing those hips as he thrust into me. His ass was the perfect shape for clenching in your palm or anchoring yourself when riding him up and down.
That night, I finished his cigarette, and my drink - and then I went home and played with myself half the night.
I miss the length of you. Your long legs, your tall fingers, the way you had to fold yourself to get into anything from a car seat to a restaurant booth. I miss the way your fingers brushed mine when you passed me a cigarette, and the cool way you simply shared a light with me - intimate, and yet as though it were nothing. You never offered anyone else a drag, and if it was just you and me, there was never a question of me having my own ciggie.
I miss your green eyes, and how you always felt compelled to tell me that they used to be blue. I miss how you would try to act so cool, but then I would make you smile despite your stoic efforts, and how sexy that smile is. The half smile would creep out, as you pretended you were too aloof for my camera, for my jokes, and then you’d surrender and show me the full light of you.
I miss the way I could make you laugh, whispering something outrageous in your ear like “I was hoping you’d wear that cologne again,” or “You’re my favorite.” It came from deep within, involuntary, and I could feel the heat off your body as you’d flush afterwards.
I miss how you would touch me, wrapping your hand around mine when I passed you my phone, or bumping fingers to mine after I dropped a business card. I could never tell if you touched by accident, or deliberately. I did have reasons to doubt.
I miss how you used to try to make me laugh, imitating people we both knew who were sublime and ridiculous. You always tried to lead me to the compassionate view of people, and I always thought you stashed your admiration in people that didn’t really love you. When I was aggravated with another situation, you did Nerd-on-Caffeine voice, imitated an angry gay seeking clove cigarettes, and once, just to make me smile, you did a full on Wonder Woman spin in my living room.
You drank a lot. You kept whiskey by your bedside. I worried about you. I still do. I worried you, too. You would try to play marriage counselor, and while you might not have loved me, you never refused my love, either. It drove me crazy. It’s not like he didn’t know. I told him, even though I didn’t want to. Your first thought when I told you I loved you was “I have nothing to offer,” about yourself. It was not “you’re married,” or “you’re a madwoman.” It was about what you could bring.
It’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard you say. Nobody your age has a good job these days. Nobody has a house they can keep. It’s all about the heart now, and I loved you and him both, and I was up front about it with both of you. If you judged me for it, you kept it to yourself. I thank you for that. We were richest when all three of us were together.
I miss how you were vulnerable with me. I never saw you show that side to anyone else. When I teased you about girls digging you more if you danced, or bugged you about unemployment, you let me see the part of you that hurt. I so wanted to kiss you and love that pain away. Instead, you danced with me in that precious moment alone, four steps, looking down at our feet so you didn’t tangle me in your climb-me legs. You cared about the world, about your family, and sacrificed your happiness to it. I have already learned the world doesn’t pay back virtue, and I was in pain at my own conflict. You wanted more than anything to be a good person, and could not conceive that you already are good.
I don’t believe in the same religious stuff you do, and I don’t think you really believe it either. To me, sin consists of taking away another being’s choice. All else is a matter of personal contract, and social contract can go fuck itself. You struggled to understand this about me, and I could see that you loved that about me - and you feared it.
You are a good man, one of the best men I’ve ever known. I love you. I fell for you because of your goodness, your sweet nature, the generous spirit that drove me crazy because I felt you should conserve something for yourself. I think that you wanted to love me back, and you and he tried to connect to each other for my sake. The attempt itself is a priceless gift of your collective regard for me.
One lie, maybe a series of lies, and it all fell apart. I was accused of something I did not do, and you cut me off as though I didn’t exist. You never asked for my side of it. You never gave it another thought. All those moments between us, gone, forgotten. If I did not have the picture of you looking at me, your eyes shining, I would think that I meant nothing to you at all. I’m sure you feel enormous betrayal; from what I can glean of the lies spread, what else would you feel? I am the one who was betrayed - and not even by you. I’ve learned that silence is from the ones who care more, and I know your silence, your cutting me off, tells me that you care the most.
I’m leaving for a little while, and I know things will be different when I get back. Perhaps I will simply forget about you, leave my pain across the ocean, leave my tears in the back alley of some arrondissement and then move right on into my future. He is still by my side, and I know he always will be, whether you come to join me or not.
All the same, I miss you. I am sorry for the pain and anxiety I caused you. It was a long winter, eating at my soul, and in the end, it consumed whatever we were to be to each other.
If I had to say, I’m mostly a switch. Sometimes I sub, sometimes I dom. It’s about the power exchange to me, and for me it’s a turn-on on either side of the equation.