WARNINGS: This story includes explicit descriptions of sexual acts. If reading this might involve you or another person in an illegal act, or you are offended by the exploration of adult themes in literature or on the Internet, do not read further.
Copyright 1999 by Jane Urquhart. The author is a member of the Net Authors and Creators Union (NACU), which defends the rights of Internet authors and creators. NACU intends to bring suit against any person or corporation infringing copyright.
Specific permission is granted for publication in the news groups Alt.Sex.Stories and Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated and for archiving by the Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated archive, Deja.com, and RemarQ.com. All other rights are reserved. Do not repost or distribute by any other means without express permission from the author.
"Son of a bitch is from California," Nicole said in a conversational tone. "I should have expected this when I married him." Then she crossed her arms and
pulled her T-shirt over her head, exposing a lacy bra. "Let's see just how much 'fun and games' he's prepared to put up with."
Turning toward the trees, she shouted, "Hey, Bob! Hurry up! Time for my peaches!" Bob picked up the basket and headed toward her. The closer he got, the slower he walked. I guess the basket was heavy. Or maybe he was afraid he'd trip, since he was staring at Nicole's nice bra. He finally set down the basket.
I just took those paragraphs right out of the middle of this story and stuck them up there so you'd have some idea what you're getting into.
"So what are you reading these days?"
I can't think of anything more innocuous to ask than that. It was just one of those lunches where everybody is kind of tired and people have already finished trashing their bosses or their employees and stopped complaining because it's raining and generally haven't got much to say. So I threw it out.
Nicole looked at me with a funny little smile. "You really want to know?"
Well, maybe not before I asked, but I sure did after she said that.
"Yeah, Nicole," I said. "Tell us what the modern Franco-American artists' community is reading."
"Nancy Friday. You ever heard of her?"
Well, well. "I may have." These are my best friends, but I am a careful person. "Some kind of feminist stuff, right?"
"Women's fuck fantasies," Beth helpfully supplied. Beth is not a careful person. "I read 'em years ago."
Nicole, who is pretty dark, managed to blush anyhow.
"She's written some other things since, you know," she said accusingly.
"Yeah, but you wouldn't look like that if you were reading the book about her mother." Beth may not be careful, but she's not stupid. "My question is, where do you hide them?"
"Hide them?" Nicole asked. "Uh, yes, I see what you mean. I don't exactly hide them, I just keep them in my desk at work. The kids aren't going in there."
"No." Beth shook her head. "I mean from your husband." We all knew each other's husbands well. We did all sorts of things together, and we women hung out with each other when the guys went off to do guy things.
"He doesn't go in there, either." Nicole managed to blush again.
"I figured," said Beth. "I read the good ones out loud to Steve, but I'm the only woman I ever heard of who didn't hide them from her husband."
"I wasn't married yet when I read them," I answered. No use trying to look innocent in this crowd. They knew me too well.
"Bet you didn't keep them around," Beth observed, spearing a piece of pineapple off her plate with a toothpick. "Might frighten Bob." She daintily put the pineapple in her mouth.
"I guess I do hide them from Ken." Nicole looked at Beth. "Why do I do that?"
"What I said. Might frighten the old man. If you read fantasies, you probably have them. Ergo, you're a crazed nymphomaniac he can't possibly satisfy ever and you're probably going to go down to the Combat Zone and pick up three sailors any day now."
"But I'm not!" Nicole looked shocked. "I've been faithful all these years; I have three kids; I'm thirty-two years old. Why would he think that?"
"He wouldn't," Beth said, "but that's what you're afraid of."
Nicole thought about that. You could practically hear all those little gears grinding away. Then she looked at me.
"Do you hide things from your husband?"
"Not lately. Well, not much, anyhow." My turn to skewer pineapple off Beth's plate. I'd already eaten up all of mine. "But I used to. And Beth's right. We're all afraid to shock the poor dears. Even now, when he knows I write sex stories, I'm a little careful with some things. I'm a good editor--I edit."
"Bob knows you write those stories?"
"Sure," I said. "I spent so much time at the computer I had to tell him. Also, I was so proud of the first one I had to show it to him. Especially since it was about the time we went to the opera with Beth and Steve. He laughed like hell. I was afraid he'd blow a gasket, but he didn't. I think he's kind of pleased I'm so literary." I smiled.
"Bet you didn't show him the Sandman one," Beth said.
"I did, too! He thought it was--I quote--'kind of cute.' Warmed him up a bit, I recall." Remembering, I found myself smiling again.
"So I'm the only coward around," Nicole said.
"No, you're not." Beth looked up at me fiercely. "Janey, if you eat that last piece of pineapple I'll jab you with this toothpick." She turned back to Nicole. "We're all cowards. See, we've got these guys. Really fine husbands. We're wives. If we fuck up and they leave, who are we then? Single mothers? Gay divorcees? Yuck. So we're careful. Janey and I are noted for being 'liberated,' but we're not. Not really. I haven't told Steve about the little orgy I attended when I was in B School. No way. I'm supposed to make him happy, not shake him up."
"I don't think Bob ever knew about that football poster I had over my bed in college, and I don't really see any need to tell him I have a thing for linebackers, do you?" I took the pineapple anyhow and she didn't strike. But I hollered at the waiter and made him bring us another plate of fruit along with the check. You never can tell. "Haven't told him about the tight end I had this little arrangement with senior year, either. Never did score a linebacker, though. Pity."
"You have a thing about linebackers and you married that string bean?" Nicole laughed.
"I don't want to be married to one, but I could find some other uses for them," I said.
"Why not quarterbacks? They're supposed to have brains."
"Not required, and they're too little." This time I used my fork on a chunk of honeydew. "Brains I wanted to be married to. Different thing."
"Don't mind little sawed-off oil men, either, do you, dear?" Beth has a wonderful smile. She was referring to her husband, our hard man, who, despite his short stature, is the toughest business man and general hardass I ever have had the pleasure of, uh, meeting.
"If I can't get a linebacker," I said with extreme nonchalance.
Nicole was mystified.
"What the *hell* are you two taking about?"
"Tell us about your fantasies, Nicole," I said, picking up the subject bodily and throwing it as far as I could.
"Well, they aren't linebackers." She started to blush again, but not quite so much. "All right, I'll tell you. I dream of orgies. Just little orgies. With my friends." Then she did blush.
"Us? You mean us? Must be--you don't have any other friends." I sort of giggled. I do not giggle. Except sometimes, and then only sort of...
"I have plenty of other friends." She threatened to throw a strawberry at me. "But sometimes, yeah, I have little orgies in my head with you guys. More with your husbands." Back to blush city. "I never, ever, thought I'd tell that to anybody at all, ever."
"Not even Ken?" I asked innocently...
"Especially not Ken. You think I 'm crazy?"
"See? That's what I mean," said Beth. "How do you know he's not just itching to get his hands on Janey's left boob?"
"You can leave my boobs out of this, " I said.
"OK, I have a left boob, too." Beth stood up, the organ in question modestly covered by her dress-for-success suit. "Think he'd like a little taste? He does look, you know. They all look. I have to go, anyhow. You dear people may be ladies of leisure, but I have a company to run. Maybe we can continue this on the weekend."
We both stood and gave her little cheek kisses and Beth hurried off, her heels clacking on the tiled floor. The Trident isn't exactly an upscale restaurant. When she'd gone, we sat down again and Nicole turned to me.
"I am simply amazed at her. OK, she looks like the sexpot of the century, but she's always so, so together. Sure, she jokes all the time and throws out innuendoes, but I never realized she analyzed behavior like that."
"She is indeed the sexpot of the century," I said, "and she makes money by knowing how people operate. She wouldn't know Shakespeare from Adam's off ox, but she reads all kinds of stuff to keep informed. She probably knows more practical psychology than I do, and I studied the stuff in school."
"Well, she made me think."
"Ah, Nicole." I sort of gazed off into the distance. "These orgies. Have you always had that kind of fantasy? Or is it something recent?"
Nicole thought for a minute. "No, they're fairly recent. That's odd, now that you mention it--ten years ago I'd have thought an orgy was disgusting. Just
sex--no romance. I wonder what's changed?"
.... There is more of this story ...