Beatriz did her best to not roll her eyes as her coworkers gossiped about the men in the office. She idly sipped her drink and nodded at the appropriate times. Office outings were painful but they assured that she fit in and that mattered in any workplace. When her lips found nothing but ice in her glass, she excused herself and made her way through the press of people. She caught the eye of the bartender, ordered her drink, and leaned against the bar while she waited.
"May I buy you a drink?" asked Shawn. He smiled and moved in close.
"No thank you," she replied.
"Well, then is there anything else I can do for you?" he asked, placing a hand on her hip.
"Oh, Shawn," she said and patted his face with her right hand. "How old are you?"
Beatriz clicked her tongue. "Shawn, you are attractive, confident, motivated, and very very boring."
She could see the confidence that had grown during her praise, quickly evaporated with her final words. She traced a glossy red nail down the line of his jaw.
"You're also just a boy. I like men." She gave his cheek a firm pat as the bartender arrived and set her drink down.
"Oh, thank you. This gentleman here will be paying. He's also graciously agreed to buy the next round for that table over there." Beatriz pointed towards her coworkers. When they saw her gesture, they waved. Shawn gave a weak smile and waved back. She eased her drink off the bar and returned to her table.
"What happened?" whispered Sara as Beatriz settled into her chair.
"Oh, nothing. Just putting a boy in his place," she replied. Her phone chirped. She retrieved it from her bag and squinted at the display. The week had been hectic and caused Thursday to sneak up on her. Jane's party started in thirty minutes. Beatriz emptied her drink, said her goodbyes, and slipped through the crowd on her way to the exit.
"You came! And you're on time!" cried Jane as she greeted Beatriz at the door. They embraced warmly.
"Of course. I wouldn't miss your party," said Beatriz as she gave her friend a light kiss on the cheek. Her eyes swept over the room. "Where are your kids?"
"Maggie is spending the night at a friend's house. Ryan is sulking in his room." Jane smiled and shook her head. "He thought he should be able to attend because his eighteenth birthday was last week."
Beatriz mirrored her friend's gesture. "Teenagers."
"Ooh. You have to try the new cheese we found. Also, watch out for the punch. It's a touch strong," Jane said as she pushed her friend into the ring of people gathered around the refreshment table.
Beatriz spread fancy cheeses across several types of artisan crackers and nibbled on carrot sticks while she chatted with couples in the neighborhood and the odd acquaintance of Jane's. After her second cup of punch, she began to feel light-headed. She snatched a bottle of cider from one of the ice filled tins with the intention of nursing it until her head cleared. The drink had a crisp taste and a tartness that nipped at her tongue. Lost in a brief conversation, she was shocked to find the bottle empty.
"Be careful of those, they have a kick," said one of Jane's friends. "I had two the other night and was out like a light."
Beatriz set the bottle down and looked for a place to sit until she felt better. It was late and the crowd had thinned. She found herself sitting on a couch in a dark room while soft music played in the background. The patio doors to the backyard were open. Several couples danced slowly to the music while others lounged in chairs under the clear night sky. A gentle breeze tickled Beatriz's cheeks. She struggled to keep her eyes open. Her body felt warm and her limbs were heavy.
Beatriz was barely aware of a weight settling down on the couch with her. An arm slipped over her shoulders. She fidgeted weakly but the arm stayed in place. Fingers closed on each side of her chin and steered her head to the left. Lips pressed against hers.
"Such soft lips," her kisser mumbled.
Over the music she couldn't place the voice. Lips found hers again. It wasn't wholly unpleasant. The warmth of another body was soothing. She sighed when a tongue slipped into her mouth. Beatriz ignored the tugging on her blouse and focused on the soft, warm lips. She shivered when a cool hand brushed across her stomach and squeaked when it slid underneath her bra.
"Shush, it's OK," the voice told her.
A finger circled her nipple and caused her to shiver against the arm across her shoulders. She was sensitive to temperature and it felt like the cold finger was running along her spine.
"Nice tits," the voice said.
The hand warmed as it pleasantly caressed her. Beatriz moaned softly. Jolts of sensation rippled down her body when her nipple was brushed.
"Does this feel good?" her mystery partner inquired.
Beatriz bit her lower lip and nodded her head. She rubbed her thighs together. Heat was slowly building deep below her navel. A hand captured her chin and she was kissed deeply.
"Let's get you back to your place and out of these clothes," the voice suggested.
"OK," she mumbled.
Hands steadied her as she wobbled to her feet. Her forehead pressed against the side of his face while her nose poked his cheek. The lights in the room flared to life.
"What's going on here?" demanded Jane.
Beatriz squinted at the painfully bright light. Her arm was draped over Ryan's shoulders.
"Oh hi Jane! Your son is a great kisser."
"Ryan, what are you doing?"
"He has his hand on my ass."
The squawk of the alarm grated on her soul. Beatriz groaned as she slid out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. She sat during her shower because she didn't trust her legs. The hot water soothed her but also emphasized her dry mouth and made her feel queasy. She skipped breakfast and instead opted for four aspirin, a glass of water, and sitting with her head resting against her kitchen table. Through sheer will, she forced herself to get dressed, stumble out her door, and head off to work.
"I need to learn restraint," she mumbled as she rubbed her temples. The glare of the morning sun off her computer screen felt like tiny daggers stabbing her eyes.
"You look like hell," Shawn offered as he walked by.
Her head hurt too much to come up with a snarky reply. She didn't risk a rude gesture in case her boss was around. By lunch, three empty water bottles adorned her desk and yet her mouth still felt like it was stuffed with cotton. The remainder of the afternoon was spent with her head in her hands squinting between slightly splayed fingers.
She turned off her phone as she entered her home. Beatriz felt a slight sense of pride at having survived the day. She grabbed a bottle of water from her fridge and left her clothes where they fell as she shambled up the stairs and entered the bathroom. The cool bottle against her forehead felt refreshing as she rested in the steaming water.
The snooze button was pressed twice before Beatriz crawled out of the comfort of her warm bed in search of coffee. Dressed in a robe and slippers, with a steaming cup in hand, she ventured outside to retrieve her mail. Slipping back into her house, she gave the front door an extra nudge with her hip. Sometimes the lock didn't catch properly. She scolded herself for forgetting to ask Jane, at the party, to see if James would look at it.
She separated out her bills as she sipped her second cup. What mail remained went in the trash. Yawning, she stretched and turned her eyes towards the clock. Errands would consume most of the weekend but a tickle of arousal had been fluttering in her stomach since she awoke. It had been a long week and she convinced herself she had time to play before a shower. Beatriz pulled the box from underneath the bed. She removed her robe and pajamas, folded them neatly, and placed them on the top of her dresser. From the box of toys, she selected whatever struck her fancy. With desired items in hand, she crawled onto her bed.
.... There is more of this story ...